Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


Integrated Human Physiology

Module titleIntegrated Human Physiology
Module codeCSC1005
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Samuel Pollard (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This core module provides an introduction to the science that underpins human health; from cells through to systems that regulate everyday functions. You will explore the modules content through a variety of different teaching formats including working in small groups with a facilitator, larger group seminars and supporting lectures. You will explore the core concepts of human physiology with some examples of diseases in order to underpin your understanding of the normal physiology that controls the internal environment of the human body. The module is structured in cycles of question-setting, personal research and sharing of findings within and between small groups. The personal research stage of each learning cycle is supported by workshops/seminars and delivery of lectures or videoed lecture content, as well as electronic resources. 

This is a core module for students studying BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences and associated pathways.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the module is to introduce and explore the fundamental concepts of human physiology from cellular functions through to systems that are responsible for homeostasis. The module aims to begin with the broader principles of how cells communicate and how cell function. From this basis, you will explore key physiological systems, investigating the central and peripheral nervous, how differing muscles are stimulated to contract, the digestive system and the key associated nutritional principles, the cardiorespiratory system, the renal system and its regulatory role and the immune system and how it aims to protect the body against infection and disease.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate an integrated basic knowledge of the biomedical principles underpinning human health.
  • 2. Demonstrate a basic awareness of the scientific principles underpinning the prevention, diagnosis and management of some important diseases
  • 3. With guidance, apply skills of critical thinking, problem-formulation and problem-solving.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Understand the need for good laboratory practice, competency and professional behaviour, within the broad context of physiology
  • 5. Critically appraise scientific information gained from multiple sources including text books, review articles, journals and websites.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Manage time, workload, ambiguity, change and stress effectively
  • 7. Demonstrate professional competence in communicating effectively.
  • 8. Demonstrate an ability to work as part of a team.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:

Cell signalling- Introduce the differing types of cell receptors and associated signalling pathway mechanisms through the exploration of hormonal signalling processes within the context of a variety of physiological process such as gene expression, cell growth/proliferation and other important cellular functions.  

Nervous system- Gross anatomy and structure, electrical and chemical signalling and associated receptors.

Cardiorespiratory system- Structure of the heart and blood vessels. Blood pressure and how it is regulated. Structure of the lungs and key processes of inspiration and expiration.

Renal system- Structure of the kidneys/nephrons. Functions of the kidney. Process of blood filtration, reabsorption/excretion of filtrate labelled for urination. Hormonal regulation of water and ion reabsorption/excretion. 

Gastrointestinal system- Structure of the gastrointestinal tract. Key physiological functions and processes that differentially occur throughout the system. Exploration of the basics of nutrition, digestion and absorption of macro/micro nutrients.     

Pharmacology – Introduce the fundamentals of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics with direct applications to systems taught within the module.

Immune system- Basic function of the innate and adaptive branches of the immune system

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities36Facilitated structured small group learning (SSGL) sessions. If face-to-face delivery is not possible, this will be delivered through MS Teams or Zoom, supported by online Wiki.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities16Structured supporting learning sessions (workshop and seminar sessions) ) delivered through short pre-recorded video with follow-up question-set, or delivered in face-to-face classes if possible.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities18Lecture material delivered through short pre-recorded videos supported by asynchronous discussion boards, or through face-to-face lectures if possible.
Guided Independent Study45SSGL and workshop preparation
Guided Independent Study100SSGL self-directed research and seminar preparation
Guided Independent Study85Personal revision, consolidation and exam preparation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practice multiple-choice questionsVariety of 20-40 questions for each topic area1-6Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Applied Scientific Knowledge 3 (multiple-choice question exam)602.5 hours, 100 questions1-6Written
Infographics30(2 slides or 2 minute video)1-6Written/Oral
Engagement in small group learning Term 1 & 2 10Terms 1 & 2 1-8Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Applied Scientific Knowledge (multiple-choice question exam) Multiple-choice question Referral/Deferral paper1-6Referral/Deferral period
InfographicsInfographics1-6Referral/Deferral period
Engagement in small group learning term 1 & 2 Remediation meeting1-8Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Human Physiology from Cells to Systems. Sherwood, L. (2016, 9th edition) Cengage Learning.
  • Medical Sciences. Eds. Naish, J. and Syndercombe Court, D. (2014, 2nd edition) Elsevier
  • Pharmacology. Rang, H., Ritter, J., Flower, R. and Henderson, G. (2016, 8th Edition). Elsevier
  • Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. Tortora, G. and Derrickson, B. (2013, 14th edition). Wiley
  • Molecular Biology of the Cell. Alberts, B., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Morgan, D., Raff, M., Roberts, K. and Walter, P. (2014, 6th edition) Garland Science

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

medical, science, physiology, anatomy, cells, human, clinical

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

CSC1004 Fundamental skills for medical scientists 

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date