Module code: BMS2038

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

BAILEY SG Dr (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 5

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 112

Lecture Hours: 40

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test MCQ TEST (30 MINUTES) WEEK 5 20%
School-timetabled exam/test MCQ TEST (30 MINUTES) WEEK 9 30%

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The module introduces the functions of several physiological systems and creates an understanding of methods that exist to enable control of these in an attempt to maintain whole body homeostasis.

Topics covered include: central nervous system, the basis of vision, hearing and other special senses; the function of the gastro-intestinal tract and the principles of endocrinology including the role of individual hormones. 

Module aims

To develop further the physiological concepts introduced at Level 4

To provide integrated views of system approaches to homeostatic functions

To emphasise the physical and chemical principles which underlie mechanism in physiological systems

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Outline basic principles in exercise physiology, Physiology of diving and high altitude KT
Outline basic principles underlying rhythmicity in biological systems KT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Module introduction: Review of key physiological concepts from level 1 and overview of integration of these with current module themes.

Central nervous system:

Organisation of the central nervous system (spinal cord, brain).
Motor control.
Higher functions of brain (speech, memory, sleep and emotions)


Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste and Somatosensation and ascending pathways (touch, proprioception, temperature, pain)


Structure of the liver
Role in detoxification
Relationship with the gallbladder, gallbladder functions and control of bile release
Relationship between the liver, gallbladder and GI tract

GI tract:

Structure and function of GI tract
Motility in the GI tract
Control of gastric/salivary secretions  and function
Exocrine pancreas
Carbohydrates digestion and absorption
Protein digestion and absorption
Physiology of the liver
Biliary system and fat (including fat soluble vitamins) digestion
Water and electrolyte absorption


Principles of endocrinology (steroids and peptide hormones)

Hypothalamus, pituitary and feedback loops
Thyroid gland
Endocrine pancreas
Adrenocortical hormones (cortisol and mineralocorticoids)
Regulation of calcium (Parathyroid glands)
Adrenal medulla
Male reproduction 
Ovarian cycle
Female reproduction

End of module tutorial/revision

Scientific writing workshops:

Interactive workshops to cover the ability to read & interpret questions, structure & approach to scientific writing and how to write for a target audience. 

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to include lectures, self- study and workshops in order to develop subject specific knowledge and the ability to communicate it to others. Summative, formative & peer feedback used to enhance knowledge and writing skills.


The learning and teaching methods include:

33 hours Lectures
2 hours formative MCQ feedback tutorials
2 hours formative examination tutorial (end of module)
3 hours writing workshops
Class discussions & use of poll everywhere for formative feedback

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 of related topics.

Formative assessment will be provided in the form of MCQ questions given either in the lecture or on Surrey Learn as practice for summative assessment. Verbal (lecture) or written (Surrey Learn) feedback will be available for these questions. Formative feedback and peer feedback on scientific writing will be given as part of essay writing workshops and feedback.

The sequential summative MCQ questions prepare the students for the summative written exam, assessing the module content while simultaneously allowing a build-up of knowledge. The final exam, comprising two written questions, enables the demonstration of a depth of knowledge and ability to link topics taught on this module.

The summative assessment consists of two MCQs tests (50% in total) and a final examination (50%, 60 minutes) 

Reading list


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 2017/8 academic year.