Multicellular Organisation: An Introduction to Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Module code: BS1060

This module will provide an introduction to cellular and systems physiology of the human body with an emphasis on homeostatic mechanisms. You will be encouraged to develop an appreciation that physiological processes in whole tissues and systems can be understood in terms of their underlying cellular mechanisms, including chemical and electrical events. Using the nervous system as an example, you will be introduced to the neural control of voluntary movements and the regulation of involuntary functions by the autonomic nervous system. A brief introduction to key concepts underlying pharmacology will be followed throughout the module by various examples that highlight the role of cell surface and intracellular receptors in mediating drug actions.

Topics covered

  • Homeostasis in the human body
  • Membrane and action potentials
  • Synaptic transmission
  • Introduction to signalling pathways, receptor function and pharmacology
  • Anatomy of the central nervous system
  • Skeletal muscle control
  • Peripheral and autonomic nervous system
  • Endocrine system
  • Immune system
  • Cardiac, skeletal and smooth muscle physiology
  • Respiratory physiology
  • Renal physiology
  • Gastrointestinal physiology


  • 40 hours of lectures
  • 5 hours of tutorials
  • 8 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 247 hours of guided independent study


  • Exam, 90 minutes (60%)
  • Online test 1 (13%)
  • Online test 2 (13%)
  • Report (14%)
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