Fundamentals of Biology and Physiology

Module summary

Module code: BIOL1002
Level: 4
Credits: 30
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Joanna Miest



• To provide a broad overview of the fundamentals of biology, from the cellular level, to the ecosystem.
• To provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of physiology at an anatomical and functional level

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Identification of the components of the cell and be familiar with basic cellular function;
2. Understanding of underlying biological processes in various organisms
3. Understanding of the differences, similarities and functions of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
4. Be familiar with the physiological function of various systems.

Indicative content

The organisation of the cell in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the nature of cell membranes and movement of materials across these. Cell organelles: structure and function. The cell cycle and cell division. Viruses - reproduction and infection. Function, genetics, and physiology of bacteria. Introduction to the principles of heredity in eukaryotes. Ultrafiltration, reabsorption and secretion in the kidney; loop of Henle urine concentration; Digestion and the absorption of food; neural and hormonal control. Cardiorespiratory systems: structure and function. The endocrine system; function of hormones; lock-key system. Evolution.

Teaching and learning activity

The module will be delivered largely through lectures and tutorials (approximately 2:1). Underlying principles are explained in lectures; tutorials (delivered on-line) will establish the understanding of these principles and will enable students to take ownership of their own learning. Theory will be related to practicals delivered in the level 4 practical module.


Abstract: 20% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 4.
Word Length: 600 words.
Outline Details: Students will write an abstract on a scientific topic.

Phase Test: 30% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3.
Duration: 2 hour test.
Outline Details: Students will sit a phase test.

Exam: 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 2, 4.
Duration: 2 hour exam.
Outline Details: Unseen closed book exam.

Formative Assessment: Online Tutorial – Pass/Fail mark. Weekly online quizzes.