Module code: BMS2038

Module Overview

This module aims to build upon the principles of feedback and basic systems covered at level 4. In this module we go into greater depth about the homeostatic control through the use of nervous, endocrine and other control mechanisms. Students will build upon biochemical principles of receptors and second messengers as key components of feedback mechanisms, applying this to whole-body regulation. Investigation and integration of multiple systems and their response to the same mediator is an essential part of this module.


Students will develop their oral and written communication skills within a scientific discipline, enabling them to explain & extrapolate both theoretical knowledge & perform data analysis.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

BAILEY Sarah (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 3

Independent Learning Hours: 72

Lecture Hours: 19

Tutorial Hours: 15

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 31

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Development of digital technology literacy through practical simulation, use of virtual learning environment, graphing software (excel and GraphPad Prism) and active learning technologies such as Kahoot and Poll everywhere.

  • Content topics include but are not limited to:

    • Central nervous and special senses including integration and modulation of signal outputs.

    • Principles of endocrine regulation including, but not limited to, digestion, temperature control, reproduction, growth, water and mineral/salt balance.

  • Composition of written work consistent with scientific writing to include practices in maintaining academic integrity, formatting written documents and appropriate use of terminology which further develop employability skills and encourage students to develop resourcefulness as they experience different types of media and become critical of the quality of their sources.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test ONLINE (OPEN BOOK) TEST (63 MINS) WITHIN A 4HR WINDOW 25
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test ONLINE (OPEN BOOK) TEST 63 MINUTES WITHIN A 4HR WINDOW 25

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their conceptual understanding of integrated physiology in a step-wise fashion or related topics.


Formative assessment will be provided in the form of test style questions given either in the lecture or on SurreyLearn as practice for summative assessments. Verbal (lecture) or written (SurreyLearn) feedback will be available for these questions. Formative feedback and peer feedback on scientific writing will be given as part of the writing workshops and weekly tutorials.


The summative assessment: consists of:

  1. Mid Semester test 1: 25%, made up of 50 questions of different styles in SurreyLearn, to ascertain the application of knowledge for content given in weeks 1-4 (assesses learning outcomes 1 to 3)

  2. Mid Semester test 2: 25%, made up of 50 questions of different styles in SurreyLearn, to ascertain the application of knowledge for content given in weeks 6-10 (assesses learning outcomes 1 to 3)

  3. Final examination: 50%, composed of 2 pieces of extended scientific writing to encompass some data analysis and explanation of its relevance (assesses learning outcomes 4 and 5).


Two mid semester summative tests prepare students by ensuring continual revision of topics occurs to increase awareness of topics in this module. These assess the module content while simultaneously allowing a buildup of knowledge. The final exam, comprising two written questions, enables the application of a depth of knowledge and ability to link topics taught on this module alongside interpretation and analysis of data. This type of assessment very heavily addresses the pillar of resourcefulness with regard to seeking sources beyond the module content.

Module aims

  • Build upon principles of feedback in a number of different systems throughout the body to achieve whole body homeostasis.
  • Introduce the topics of systems coordinated and controlled through endocrine function and the central nervous system including sensory perception.
  • Enable students to integrate multiple systems to explain control of bodily functions in response to specific hormones.
  • Apply knowledge of overlap between systems with the responses to stimuli including stress, puberty, food intake etc to explain the signs and symptoms observed, extending this to changes observed in disease states.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to collaborate with peers, develop ideas and extrapolate and interpret data.
  • Develop written communication skills in a scientific writing style reflective of a specified scenario in a professional setting.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
003 Explain how multiple stimuli and hormones control processes and discuss the effect when a mechanism of control becomes dysfunctional. KC
004 Integrate knowledge with critical thinking to analyse data and propose mechanisms underlying signs and symptoms. KCPT
005 Communicate knowledge with clarity and appropriate scientific terminology and style. KCPT
001 Explain principles of feedback including specifically the role of a receptor as a sensor, identifying that different signals travel and act by different methods. KC
002 Apply knowledge of feedback to examples of the endocrine system on whole body homeostasis. KC

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 include lectures, self-study, workshops practical (computer) sessions and tutorials in order to develop subject specific knowledge and the ability to communicate it to others.


Summative, formative and peer feedback is used to enhance knowledge and communication skills which are essential for employability beyond the University.


Learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures; Most of the content will be delivered in this way. These will include active learning activities, small group discussions and link to some additional questions posted for preparation from independent study prior to your attendance. These sessions will be interactive and use suitable digital tools such as Kahoot and Poll everywhere to support your active engagement (e.g., checking your prior knowledge and reiterating important concepts).

  • Test feedback tutorials; Identifying misconceptions revealed from the test results to help you learn from these and implement changes for the exam. Students are expected to reflect on group and individual feedback, which is an essential component of resilience needed for life beyond the university.

  • Formative examination tutorials (end of module); These help you to ask questions and talk through how to approach the exam.

  • Content tutorials; Sessions include in class discussions, problem solving tasks and use of suitable digital tools such as Kahoot and Poll everywhere will be used to support student active engagement (e.g., checking lecture content knowledge, further prompting discussion and problem solving) which will create a good culture of formative feedback to help you as students determine the level of knowledge required and to be able to link parts of the content together. You are encouraged and expected to use prepared information to discuss with others, developing your own communication and team working skills which are key to success beyond university in all career types. Development of communication skills is directly linked to employability and is a key indicator of student success.

  • Academic writing workshops; These will help you to structure your work accordingly and become more familiar with how we mark your answers and provides opportunities for formative feedback. You will be expected to share how they may approach questions, building resourcefulness and resilience as you identify where you can improve, while being supported to devise a plan for improvement.

  • Recorded content; Short videos watched ahead of the tutorial mean we can explore exactly how these can be used in a much more exciting and realistic way during tutorials, often using case studies or problem based learning which are essential tools to understand how to use for employability beyond your degree programme.

  • Practical simulation; It’s hard to see physiological processes without cutting things open (which is not ethical!) so instead this simulation aims to give you some insights as to processes underlying our every day activities and a way to analyse real life data. This also ensures that there is some integration between the digital technologies used to collect data and the practical aspects of physiology research. The dry-lab practicals developed for this module enable students to develop their digital capabilities through the LT platform,  presenting data as digital graphs, analyzing your data, developing criticality of your own work and developing resourcefulness as you have the opportunity to suggest other more relevant or alternative strategies for data acquisition.

  • Independent study: Between lectures you will need to refine your knowledge through reading of textbooks and papers relevant to module topics, extending your knowledge beyond the course content. Completion of pre-reading and/or formative assessment tasks will help the identification of areas of topics to revise or ask for help with (on discussion boards or in person) to improve summative assessment performance. Example texts/ sources will be provided as a scaffold and the rationale for using these will be given to support development of resourcefulness to obtain independently selected further reading.

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: BMS2038

Other information

This module addresses global & cultural communities as it explores a wide range of case studies relating to physiological dysregulation, leading to disease. Some of these do arise in particular global locations or in particular populations around the world, where there is a biological reason for why this may be acceptable or more common for those people.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Biochemistry MSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biochemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Science MSci (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Microbiology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Veterinary Biosciences BSc (Hons) 1 Optional 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.