SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1B123343
Module Leader Allison Grant
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This introductory module provides an initial overview of the human body, considering fundamentals such as the essentials of anatomy, the world of physiological terminology and various regulatory mechanisms underpinning key activities of major body systems. This is followed by a more detailed study of physiological detection and control systems: endocrine and reproductive physiology, the nervous system and the special senses, and nerve-muscle physiology.


Introduction to anatomy, anatomical terminology and body systems. Tissues, organs and body compartments. Homeostasis and physiological regulation. Endocrinology: the principal structures of the endocrine system and the hormones they release; hypothalamus and pituitary gland; anterior and posterior pituitary hormones; thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas. The hormonal control of reproduction and the structure and function of the principal organs of reproduction. Nervous system: general anatomy of the central and peripheral nervous systems; somatic and autonomic divisions; protective mechanisms; role of glial cells; neuronal structure; nerve conduction; synaptic transmission including receptor types; factors influencing transmission. Muscle physiology: structure of the skeletal muscle cell; skeletal muscle activation and contraction; characteristics of contraction; the neuromuscular junction. Special senses: the anatomy and physiology of special senses; the role of each in integration of body function.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Identify all main body organs and discuss their anatomical position in relation to body systems2. Describe the concept of tissues, and identify and describe the main classification of tissues3. Explain the importance of homeostasis, with examples4. Describe the role of the endocrine system at the cellular, tissue, organ and system levels5. Describe the main mechanisms responsible for control of reproduction6. Explain the structure and role of the nervous system, with particular regard to nerve/muscle physiology7. Collect, analyse and present data from a range of physiological experiments8. Work effectively in small groups in discussion, assimilation and presentation of material studied.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Core material is presented in traditional lecture and tutorial format, supported by electronic materials posted on GCULearn and an integrated programme of practical activities. Each unit incorporates a clear list of learning objectives and conceptually difficult areas of the course are specifically supported in tutorial exercises and lab work. Self-assessment exercises are available on Blackboard. The tutorial programme is designed to reinforce material presented in the lectures but also to begin to establish the principles of thinking round the level 1 material and to facilitate the transition to University level study. The practical programme gives experience in physiological measurements but also in the collection, presentation and analysis of data.

Indicative Reading

Martini, Nath and Bartholomew, 2015 Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology 10E Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Transferrable Skills

-107 Communication skills: essay writing, short answer writing, tutorial discussions and presentations. Group work. Information retrieval skills: use of core textbook and other texts, and the accessing of on-line materials and other resources Life skills: self-motivation and independent learning; self-confidence; teamwork/organisational skills; IT skills -107

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 139.00
Assessment (FT) 2.00
Lectures (FT) 33.00
Practicals (FT) 15.00
Tutorials (FT) 11.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 1.00 50.00 35% Unseen objective style class test
Coursework 2 1.00 50.00 35% Unseen objective style class test