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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 15/07/2022 15:28:55

Title of Module: Human Physiology

Code: BIOL09003 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Andrew  MacKenzie

Summary of Module

This module extends and develops material delivered on the key physiological areas of nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and digestive systems at Level 8. Fundamental physiological principles in each of the systems are consolidated, laying foundation for the further development of these subjects in the Level 10 ‘Biology of Disease' module. 

The nervous system includes discussion of the autonomic nervous system and motor and sensory pathways.

The cardiovascular system overviews cardiac output, vascular regulation, blood pressure and capillary exchange.

The respiratory system includes discussion of gas transfer, respiratory mechanics and lung capacities.

The renal system includes outlines urine formation (glomerular filtration and tubular processing), urine concentrating mechanisms and renal control.

The digestive system overviews the processes of ingestion, digestion, absorption and defecation and includes discussion of the associated accessory structures.

As appropriate, examples of integration between these systems will be presented and pathophysiological illustrations used.

This module will work to develop a number of the key “I am UWS” Graduate Attributes to those who complete the module. Details are provided later in descriptor.  

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Describe in detail the normal structure and function of key human physiological systems (comprising the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and digestive systems).

L2. Explain principal control mechanisms of key human physiological systems (comprising the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and digestive systems) and, where appropriate, disturbances to this control.

L3. Report on aspects of key human physiological systems (comprising the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and digestive systems) through analysis of laboratory-based results and data.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Developing general and integrated understanding of major physiological systems in humans, including fundamental concepts and specialised terminology (Graduate Attribute-Successful-Professional-driven). Self-evaluation of information derived from experiment to determine priority value of data (Graduate Attribute-Universal-Academic-critical thinking)

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Trained to apply skills and techniques important in monitoring basic physiological parameters (blood pressure; urinalysis; etc). Aptitude in collecting data from human volunteers (Graduate Attribute-Universal-Personal-ethically minded). Constructing dose-response curves using standard pharmacological preparations.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Developing a working hypothesis; designing an experiment to test hypothesis (Graduate Attribute-Work Ready-Academic-problem solver); analysing data to accept / reject hypothesis. Performing routine urinalysis and interpreting the results. Investigating the cardio response to static vs. dynamic exercise. Evaluating histology specimens to identify with supporting rationale.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Data analysis and tabular/graphical presentation of data collected during laboratory (Graduate Attribute-Successful-Academic-autonomous) and exercise mini-project assignment. IT communication with student peers as part of group cohesion in mini-project assignment (Graduate Attribute-Work Ready-Personal-effective communicator).

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Develop the ability to work productively as part of an integrated group to perform and monitor the body’s responses to exercise, to analyse the resulting data and form part of a group presentation. Assume responsibility for delegated component of integrated work (Graduate Attribute-Universal-Professional-collaborative).

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Human Biology
Other:BIOL08019 Core Biomedical Science OR BIOL 08001 Vertebrate Physiology, depending upon programme of study, or suitable equivalent.
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes will include formal lectures, structured tutorials, laboratory classes and independent study. VLE-based support materials will be available to support the module.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery25
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity5
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop6
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, audio-recordings, etc, access via VLE

Further indicative resources and relevant module information (announcements; timetable; staff contact details etc) available via module VLE site

Recommended text:

Martini, F.H (2016) Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, 7th Edition (Pearson)

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Attendance at synchronous sessions (lectures, tutorials and practicals), completion of asynchronous activities, and submission of assessments to meet the learning outcomes of the module.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardBiological Sciences and Health
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelBiology L7-11
ModeratorRobin Freeburn
External ExaminerD Stobo
Accreditation DetailsThis module is part of the BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science programme; accredited by Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). This module is part of the BSc (Hons) Applied Bioscience programme; accredited by Royal Society of Biology (RSB). This module is part of the BSc (Hons) Environmental Health with Professional Practice programme; accredited by The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS).
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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assignment class test (written) (50%)
coursework (50%)

Coursework will include a laboratory report, short practical reports, and a histology identifcation table.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck mark 500

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Laboratory/ Clinical/ Field notebook  check mark500
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
In line with current legislation (Equality Act, 2010) and the UWS Equality, Diversity, and Human Rights Code, our modules are accessible and inclusive, with reasonable adjustment for different needs where appropriate. Module materials comply with University guidance on inclusive learning and teaching, and specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. Where modules require practical and/or laboratory based learning or assessment required to meet accrediting body requirements the University will make reasonable adjustment such as adjustable height benches or assistance of a ‘buddy’ or helper.
Please refer to the UWS Equality and Diversity Policy at the following link:

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.