How Bodies Work (C1159)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

An introduction to physiological mechanisms, regulation and control in mammals and some other species. The organ systems of the body have to work together to maintain physiological functions. Thus the cells and tissues communicate within one organ, but also between organs. So while it often helps to examine processes at the cellular (even sub-cellular) and tissue levels, it is important to consider that it all works together, as part of one integrated system: the body.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to physiology, and to hormones and homoeostasis
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Respiratory system
  • Cellular respiration
  • Digestive system
  • Kidneys and fluid balance
  • Interactions of the organ systems, control and regulation are underlying themes
  • Examples of physiological adaptations of other, non-human animals

These topics and themes are backed up in workshop settings.


85%: Lecture
15%: Seminar


50%: Coursework (Problem set, Report)
50%: Examination (Multiple choice questions)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 117 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.