Module code: BMS1058

Module Overview

This module builds on from knowledge gained in semester one in cell biology and biochemistry and starts placing the knowledge gained there into a greater perspective relevant to all fields related to Sport & Exercise and Nutritional Sciences.

Physiology aims to understand the underlying mechanisms of living things from a basic cellular level all the way up to a whole organism and how the different structures (e.g. organs) interact and influence each other. In this module we will start to instil an appreciation and initial endeavour to integrating molecular, cellular, and whole-body functions.

Physiology helps to create an understanding of how our bodies stay healthy and deal with and overcome pressures in everyday life such as stress or disease and how we can improve our health, performance and longevity.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

REVELL Victoria (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 84.5

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 10

Practical/Performance Hours: 7

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 16.5

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content that will be covered in the module is:

  • Introduction to Physiology

  • Homeostasis

  • Cell Physiology

  • Neurology (Autonomic & Central)

  • Cardiovascular physiology

  • Pulmonary physiology

  • Endocrine systems

  • Lymphatic system & Haematology

  • Gut physiology

  • Renal/Liver function

  • Immunology

  • Current topics in physiology

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Practical report (based on practical 1-3) 30
Examination Exam (3 out of 6 SAQ and 50 MCQ) (90 min) 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate: An intermediate understanding of human organ system structure and function and how different systems interact during rest and increased physical demand. Students will have a basic understanding of, and be able to apply, contemporary physiological practical skills required in laboratory and field based physiological study. These skills will help to increase students understanding of theoretical knowledge and applied techniques furthering employability opportunities after successfully completing the degree programme. The assessments will include feedback both from the teaching team and peers as assessed during practicals which will allow students to get early feedback on their progress and make any required changes to their study plans.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A practical report based on data collected in practicals 1-3. (Addressing LO¿s: 3, 4, 5 & 6)

  •  A 2h exam which consists of 6 short answer questions (SAQ, students need to answer only 3) and 50 MCQ¿s. (Addressing LO¿s: 1, 2, 3, 4)   

Formative assessment:

The formative assessments on this module are designed to allow students to: Understand and explain the different organ systems and their individual and integrated function. Demonstrate the basic skills required to perform intermediate level physiological assessments both on a laboratory and field-based setting. These formative assessments will be available to students throughout the module via SL and during practical sessions where the assessments are simulated. Discussion and sharing of opinions and ideas is a crucial element of the module and will stimulate discussion and critical thinking between the students and the team. Exam preparation and writing skills feedback will be provided through weekly example SAQs which students can prepare and anonymously post on SurreyLearn. Each week several of these practice SAQs will be discussed during a teaching session where the module team will provide feedback and make suggestions for improvement. Student interaction will be encouraged during these sessions as well. Using this method all students will have the opportunity to receive and provide feedback anonymously and students that did not submit any answers, or who¿s answer was not discussed, will still be able to benefit from the provided formative feedback.


Verbal feedback following lectures or during tutorials. Verbal feedback from academics or demonstrators during practicals. Feedback to specific queries via email, with responses being made available to all via SurreyLearn or during tutorials as appropriate generic class feedback to practical reports. Feedback will be provided in such a way that (where relevant) individual questions will be posted on SL or discussed in teaching sessions so the entire group will receive this feedback. During seminars and practicals feedback will be provided by module staff but peer feedback via the SL discussion boards will be strongly stimulated as well.

Module aims

  • Emphasise the physical and chemical principles which underlie mechanisms in physiological systems
  • Develop an integrated view of the structures and functions of the different organ systems in the body
  • Gain an understanding of what homeostasis is, and how physiological systems are controlled to ensure a well-functioning internal environment.
  • Develop practical and analytical skills to strengthen understanding of physiological concepts through practical application
  • Further your competencies in a range of key skills including written and oral communication, project & time management, and working as part of a small team.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the chemical and physical principles that govern human physiology CK
002 Be aware of the importance of homeostasis and how different organ systems interact to maintain homeostasis under normal and challenging conditions. CK
003 Develop knowledge regarding the function and structure of the different organ systems in the human body. CKT
004 Understand and be able to argue how organ systems can acutely modify their normal function to accommodate physiological changes such as exercise or posture changes and consider how changes in normal physiological processes can lead to abnormal function and disease. CK
005 Collect, analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data and be able to develop reasoned arguments from this CPT
006 Demonstrate ability to work independently and as a group PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

All students are expected to engage with the weekly on demand recorded content before the scheduled seminars/tutorials that will further their understanding of the physiological concepts that are the basis of human health. Each on demand topic is supported by a lecture/workshop to discuss and expand on these concepts and to allow discussion. Some of this knowledge will be integrated into practical classes that are designed to deepen your understanding of the topic, other topics that are not covered in a dedicated practical will have self-guided practicals for you to work through in your own time. Engagement with the weekly content will help to develop subject knowledge but also the practical application of this knowledge in a professional and transferrable setting. Specific seminars will be scheduled to allow for further integration of topics into a whole systems approach to human physiology. Group discussions will form a crucial part of learning and knowledge exchange within the module.

Throughout the module SurreyLearn will extensively be used to inform students and disseminate specific contents such as lecture hand-outs and recordings, useful links and additional literature. SurreyLearn will also be used as the primary communication tool between students and the module team. This will allow to effectively answer questions that are of relevance to all students. Outside of the seminar sessions, students are also actively encouraged to support each other's learning via the SurreyLearn module discussion forum. Here they can post questions and comments regarding content or assessments with help from the module team.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS1058

Other information

The School of Biosciences and Medicine is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas: Digital Capabilities: The module is set up in such a way that students will have to use several different (cloud-based) computer programmes during their practical and self-guided learning which will further their knowledge of different IT systems. Throughout the module all students will also be exposed to different types of physiological assessment procedures, many of which are now digitized. Surreylearn will be used as the main mode on information sharing. Global & Cultural Capabilities: Many of the basic physiological systems that will be taught during the module has similar functions in the global population but in this module we will also focus on certain aspects of human physiology where a differing ethnic backgrounds can impact physiology either in a positive (endurance capacity) or negative (sickle cell anaemia) manner. The module will also touch on how health and disease and the ageing process affects human physiology. Employability: Within the module we will introduce current standard methods of physiological enquiry and analysis. Theses techniques will then be built upon in following modules to ensure that students will be able to apply the majority of contemporary methods used in physiology. Many of these skills will also be transferable to other fields of work and not just physiology. Through the applied methods of learning and assessment students will also be stimulated to start assessing what the learn critically and develop reasoning skills that will be crucial to obtaining future employment. Resourcefulness & Resilience: Students will learn to work with new equipment either alone or in groups of people they are not familiar with to solve different tasks which will require them to find information from different sources and share and divide their workload. Through the use of different deadlines (related to formative and summative assessments) students will be able to develop essential time management skills and at times be able to work under pressure of deadlines.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module
Food Science and Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Nutrition and Dietetics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate of 40% overall and a pass on the pass/fail unit of assessment is required to pass the module
Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.