INTRODUCTION TO PRINCIPLES OF PHYSIOLOGY AND PRACTICAL SKILLS - 2025/6

Module code: BMS1032

Module Overview

This module aims to introduce students from all backgrounds to the principles of regulation of homeostasis. It provides a foundational knowledge to which principles can be applied in the control of several model systems to maintain homeostasis. The content builds upon content from Cell Biology and Biochemistry in semester 1 of level 4 and this essential knowledge is utilised in multiple modules at levels 5 and 6.

Students will develop their practical skills in a number of scenarios, including exercise physiology, use of digital technologies to determine and monitor physiological outputs relating to model systems covered in the content. Laboratory skills are further developed from semester 1, data analysis and use of graphing software is cemented using lab derived data.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

BAILEY Sarah (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: 77

Lecture Hours: 21

Tutorial Hours: 13

Laboratory Hours: 3

Practical/Performance Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 20

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Two dry-lab practicals and one laboratory practical sessions that encourage application and extension of the module content. 

  • How principles of feedback and nervous stimulation contribute to the control homeostasis.

  • Use of ion/molecule movements in the regulation of fluid and/or gas composition and it’s influence on model system function to restore homeostasis.

  • Model systems include, but are not restricted to, respiratory, cardiovascular, haematological and urinary systems.

  • Practical and taught content enables students to become proficient with the generation of graphs, analysis of data and use of appropriate scientific terminology use of terminology.



 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK - PRACTICAL WRITE-UP 1 10
Coursework COURSEWORK - PRACTICAL WRITE-UP 2 20
Examination Invigilated EXAM (in-person) 70

Alternative Assessment

Practical 1 – pre-recorded data can be provided. Practical 2 – remote practical data with “think out loud” PowerPoint given to ensure students understand experimental design, results provided (videos of experiments also provided) Exam – N/A  

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the depth of detail required to successfully explain the principles of physiology in a meaningful way.

 

The summative assessments consist of two practical reports (10% and 20% respectively) and a final examination (70%).

 


  • Two in semester practical reports will prepare students by ensuring they gain feedback with a clear landing place and actionable feedback to develop how they answer questions and analyse and present data. The presentation of data using appropriate software packages is essential to developing the digital capabilities of students and refining their employability skills as demonstrated by both laboratory skills and communication skills. The final exam, will examine all learning outcomes and comprise test questions designed to assess application of knowledge rather than recall of facts, such as ordering processes or explains how functions explain signs or symptoms.



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. In addition, students will be given group formative feedback on the written questions in practical 1 to help develop an understanding of the expectations with regard to data analysis, importance of scientific terminology and the depth of detail needed for the next piece of work, all of which aid in the development of resilience & resourcefulness and in employability skills. Verbal (lecture) or written (SurreyLearn) feedback will be available for test style questions for each topic, again developing student assessment literacy for the final exam and continual revision of topics occurs to increase awareness of topics in this module.

Module aims

  • Introduce the concept of homeostasis and mechanisms, structures and communication styles used to maintain this throughout the body.
  • Develop the ability to identify the function of several model systems and products, linking this with their impact upon one another.
  • Provide links between physiological and pathological processes that enables application to degree interests and links to clinical outcomes.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to collaborate with peers, develop ideas and extrapolate and interpret data.
  • Enable students to relate physiology to every day applications through practical sessions collecting human data and laboratory sessions which provide an opportunity to visualise how experimental data can be used clinically.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe methods of communication and movement that influence homeostasis, linking fluctuations in variables to example physiological systems. KC
002 Explain how feedback processes maintain homeostasis, identifying how these may be applied maintain homeostasis. KC
003 Develop awareness of methods used to measure human physiological outputs, applying knowledge of these systems to explain the results observed. KCT
004 Integrate knowledge of physiology with signs and symptoms to problem solve a potential cause to the changed variable. KCPT

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, practicals 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 writing skills.

 

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 to be completed during independent study. 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).

  • Formative examination tutorials; (end of module); these help you to ask any last-minute questions and talk through how to approach 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.

  • 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.

  • Recorded content; Short videos should be watched ahead of the tutorial, meaning we can explore exactly how these can be used in a much more exciting and realistic way. These can usually be watched anytime as the tutorial will be at the end of the week or during the following week.

  • Practical & laboratory sessions; You will work in groups and measure some human physiology variables on each other, to give some insight into how changes in physiology can affect our everyday activities and a way to analyse real life data. There will be two dry-lab practicals and one laboratory practical session, which will enable you to develop resilience as you test out hypotheses, investigate new methods and make observations about the application of Physiological theory taught in the module content. The dry-lab practicals developed for this module enable development of your digital capabilities through the LT platform to record subject data, using appropriate scaling and taking readings from data traces.  You are expected analyse your data, develop criticality of your own work and develop resourcefulness as you suggest other more relevant or alternative strategies for gaining the results that you initially set out to obtain. Staff will provide formative feedback throughout the session to allow you to try, fail and then re-try while still being supported in your learning. The Laboratory session prepares students with laboratory skills relevant to a clinical or lab employability setting, further developing your technical skills and digital capabilities as you learn to compare manual and automated results and plot graphs using software packages such as Microsoft excel or GraphPad prism.

  • Independent study: Between lectures you will need to refine your knowledge through reading of textbooks relevant to module topics, extending your knowledge beyond the course content. Completion of pre-or recommended reading and/or formative assessment tasks/tests 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. Scaffolding will be given to help you develop confidence and ensure the development of resourcefulness and confidence in your own ability to carry out further research.


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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS1032

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:

 

Employability: This module provides you with working knowledge of key tools used by physiologists in practice and in research. During practical sessions you will be introduced to a range of equipment utilised physiologists in a clinical and research setting. The activities have been designed to reflect real-life practice and you will be working in groups to collect, analyse, interpret and present findings data that is generated during this session. Students are expected to meet professional standards (H&S, participant care, technical [blood sampling] and transferable [communication, teamwork] professional skills) and implement problem-solving skills, preparing you for work beyond your University course.

 

Digital Capabilities: As with all modules, you are expected to engage with online material and resources available on SurreyLearn, and other digital platforms. Following a flipped classroom approach, you are advised to engage with recorded content and guided or independent learning in advance of tutorials, bringing with you any questions. Your engagement in small group discussions is highly encouraged to enhance communication and team working skills including use of collaborative digital tools including poll everywhere, kahoot and the LT platform (for practicals 1 and 2). You will need to create excel spreadsheets to perform calculations on data collected in practical sessions and present results visually using graphing software.

 

Global and Cultural Capabilities: You will work together in groups and perform problem-solving and decision-making tasks during tutorial and practical sessions. This provides an opportunity to interact, communicate and build relationships with people from different backgrounds. You are encouraged to share experiences and knowledge from your own culture and backgrounds when participating in these activities.

 

Sustainability: You will learn about the sustainability of human health and how some aspects of physiology can be maintained through exercise and healthy diets etc, while other aspects can also be modified through the use of clinical interventions.

 

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The learning, teaching and assessment strategy for this module has been designed to encourage active participation, peer support and reflective engagement. In practical sessions you will work in small groups to strengthen the student / demonstrator relationship, build trust, and develop an understanding of the expectations for summative assessments through immediate formative feedback.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Medicinal Chemistry MChem 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Veterinary Biosciences BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biochemistry MSci (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biochemistry BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences (Infection and Immunity) BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences (Animal Biology and Ecology) BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences (Cellular and Molecular Sciences) BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Science MSci (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Microbiology 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 2025/6 academic year.