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Programme Specification: Part IB Physiology

This course is taught by the Department of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience.


  1. to provide a course of study in mammalian, principally human, physiology, building on knowledge of basic physiological principals, covering many topics incompletely or not taught in the Part IA Physiology of Organisms course;
  2. to prepare students for a number of Part II Natural Science courses, principally Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, but also Pharmacology, Pathology and Zoology, among others.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should:

  1. have an enhanced knowledge and appreciation of mammalian physiology;
  2. have gained knowledge of a number of important physiological systems including the cardio-respiratory, renal and reproductive systems;
  3. be able to recognise and identify the principle tissue structures in those systems;
  4. be able to analyse and extrapolate from their knowledge of the separate systems to discuss physiological responses to challenges such as exercise, fasting and ascent of altitude.

Teaching and Learning Methods

These include lectures, supervisions and practical classes.


Assessment for this course is through:

  • an unseen written examination based on the content of the lecture course (for aims 1-2 and learning outcomes 1-4)
  • an unseen written examination based on practical work conducted throughout the year (for aims 1-2 and learning outcomes 1-4)
  • a practical examination involving the interpretation and identification of slides, micrographs and experimental records (for aims 1-2 and learning outcomes 1-4)

Courses of Preparation

Essential: either NST Part IA Physiology of Organisms or NST Part IA Biology of Cells.

Recommended: A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, and/or Physics.

Additional Information

Further information on each subject is available in the Subject summary and on the Course Websites pages.