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Human Physiology

Module titleHuman Physiology
Module codeESS1007
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Dr Timothy Etheridge (Lecturer)

Dr Dimitris Vlachopoulos (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The function of the human body is dependent on the interaction between numerous physiological systems. This module will provide you with an overview of the role of key physiological systems in the human body including the cardiovascular, respiratory, blood, thermoregulatory, endocrine, neural, muscular and cellular systems, and how these interact as part of an integrated physiological system. You will gain an appreciation of how these systems preserve homeostasis and how these systems respond when the human body is stressed during exercise. You will also be provided with ample opportunity to put theory into practice by performing physiological measurements in the exercise physiology laboratory. The knowledge gained in this module will provide a good foundation of knowledge in human physiology and an introduction to aspects of exercise physiology that will be expanded in future modules. There are no pre or co-requisites for this module and it is suitable for non-specialist students who have studied some science at A-Level or equivalent.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module seeks to provide you with the necessary foundation knowledge of the human body as a physiological system and how to perform basic physiological measurements in an exercise physiology laboratory. The key components of the cardiovascular, respiratory, blood, thermoregulatory, endocrine, neural, muscular and cellular systems will be covered, alongside the integration of these systems.  You will also be introduced to how some of these systems change during exercise. You will cover the theoretical aspects and complement this with practical laboratory sessions to assess and analyse the responses at rest and during exercise whilst gaining experience of necessary laboratory techniques.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Identify at a fundamental level key physiological systems
  • 2. Explain how the key physiological systems relate to exercise and sport

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Demonstrate scientific writing skills through the production of the abstract
  • 4. Display competence in basic laboratory skills

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 5. Manage self-learning: reflect on progress; manage time; learn independently

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to the module; The respiratory system
  • The blood and oxygen transport
  • The cardiovascular system
  • Cellular structure and function
  • Body water balance and hydration
  • The thermoregulatory system
  • The endocrine system
  • The neural system
  • The muscular system
  • The integrated physiological 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 Teaching22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Practical classes
Guided Independent Study30Reading
Guided Independent Study20Completing study tasks on ELE
Guided Independent Study56Preparation for assessments


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Summative assignment (Abstract) is submitted mid-term and acts as a formative assessment250 words1-5Written

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
Abstract20250 words1-5Written
MCQ examination801 hour 15 minutes1-3Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
AbstractAbstract1-5August/September Assessment period
MCQ examinationMCQ examination1-3 August/September Assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • McArdle, Katch and Katch (2009). Exercise Physiology. Williams and Wilkins (two copies are on temporary reserve in the library and one on short-term loan. The book is also available from the University bookshop and is a recommended purchase for 1st year and 2nd year physiology modules.)

There are a number of other physiology related books which cover the essential material at this first year level, including:

  • Wilmore, J.H., and Costill, D.L. (1999).  Physiology of Sport and Exercise (2nd Edition)
  • Powers and Howley. (1994). Exercise Physiology, Theory and Application to Fitness and Performance.
  • Robergs, R.A. and Keteyian, S.J. (2003). Fundamentals of Exercise Physiology. For Fitness, performance and Health. McGraw-Hill

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

As this module will be introducing fundamental concepts which are continuously being re-examined, we will draw significantly on journal articles. Therefore, reading of scientific journals should form a key component of your learning.

Key words search

Integrated human physiology, respiratory physiology, cardiovascular physiology, blood, oxygen transport, body water balance, hydration, thermal physiology, maximum oxygen uptake, endocrinology, neurology, skeletal muscle

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date