Physiological Systems and Regulation

Module summary

Module code: BIOC0578
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Abigail Rickard



• To develop students' understanding of the roles and limitations of homeostatic control and regulation;
• To examine the factors which contribute to the integrated control of representative examples of different physiological systems

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

Learning Outcome
1 Explain the inter-relationships existing between the anatomy and physiology of organ systems
2 Discuss how physiological and biochemical systems interact to maintain the stability of the internal environment
3 Explain how regulation of internal physiological parameters is related to changes in the external environment
4 Analyse, synthesise and summarise information and to present a critical review thereof

5 Design, plan, conduct and report on investigations, obtaining and analysing data
using appropriate techniques (working individually or as a group)
6 Undertake investigations in a responsible, safe and ethical manner;

Skills Learning Outcomes:

• Obtain and integrate knowledge from a range of text and electronic sources
• Reference / cite work appropriately
• Use electronic systems as an information source and communication tool in a critical manner Develop an adaptable, flexible, and effective approach to study and work

Indicative content

Endocrine and neural systems: Transmission of information by electrical and chemical signals; synaptic events; transmitters; receptors and signal transduction; information processing; control of hormone action and secretion; neuro-endocrine co-ordination; pituitary-hypothalamic relationships. Cardiac and respiratory systems: the cardio-vascular system, baroreceptors and medullary control centres; cardiac and vascular contraction; ventilation of the lungs; chemoreceptors and the medullary inspiratory centre; transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide in blood. Fluid and solute regulation by the kidney: Renin, aldosterone and the control of sodium reabsorption; ADH/vasopressin and the control of water reabsorption; salt balance, water balance and blood pressure; extra-cellular hydrogen and bicarbonate ion regulation and the control of pH. Thermoregulation: The hypothalamic 'set-point'; avenues of heat loss and gain; shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis; acclimation and acclimatization of thermoregulation; pathological and adaptive hypothermia. Immunological Co-ordination: Types of immunity; innate and specific responses; antigen-antibody interactions; complement; phagocytosis; immunisation

Teaching and learning activity

This course will consist of lectures and incorporated practicals. Lectures will be used to review a variety of complex regulatory processes which occur in physiological and biochemical systems. Online support is integrated into the course. Practicals will enable students to become familiar with a wide range of different techniques used in physiological investigation and will train them to present and interpret scientifically the results of their work.


Methods of summative Assessment: Coursework.
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment: 1-4.
Weighting: 50%.
Pass mark: 40
Word Length: 1500.
Outline Details: A scenario-based assessment with a short turn-around time. Students to answer a series of related, short answer questions that require them to do some background reading and revisit their lecture notes to synthesise ideas to identify likely causes presented in the scenario.
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Verbal questions in the briefing session.

Methods of summative Assessment: Physiology Practicals.
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment: 5,6.
Weighting: 50%.
Pass Mark 40
Word Length: n/a
Outline Details: Students to submit 4 practical reports throughout the term. Students will use the online learning software LabTutor to complete this.
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:Verbal within the practical sessions.