The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


The course will provide a conceptual physiological framework for understanding the lives of animals at every level of organisation. It starts with essential chemical and physical laws that govern physiological processes in animals. These provide a foundation to understand the breadth of physiology. The course illustrates how the major physiological systems function and integrate to sustain the lives of animals. Contemporary physiological research is also considered in the course. Although the basic principles and mechanisms of major physiological systems form the central theme of this course, the importance of integrating knowledge across physiology disciplines with molecular biology, behaviour, ecology and other fields is also emphasised.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Cellular mechanisms of solute and water transport used by animals living in different environments

2. The basic processes and effects of animal cell signaling

3. The different energy requirements of an animal at rest and during exercise, and how this is reflected in the functioning of the oxygen transporting systems

4. How the cardiovascular and respiratory systems are integrated and controlled

5. How animals use aerobic and anaerobic forms of metabolism for ATP production.

6. How animals move with muscles and navigate their movement by the neural control

7. The basic control processes of the nervous and endocrine systems

8. How animals have adapted to their environment with different ways of urine formation to excrete nitrogen wastes and water

9. The importance of physiology

10. Use the light microscope to identify animal tissues and cells

11. Be able to relate the structure and function of animal tissues

12. Master tools for information-gathering from the scientific literature

13. Carry out physiological studies in the laboratory

14. Interpret physiological data and phenomena critically

15. Write a laboratory report


  1. Introduction and Molecules and Cells in Animal Physiology
  2. Transport of Solutes and Water
  3. Muscle Structure
  4. Control of Movement
  5. Muscle in Human Health and Diseases
  6. Neural and Endocrine Control
  7. Neurons and Synapses
  8. Sensory Processes
  9. Animal navigation
  10. Nutrition and digestion
  11. Aerobic and Anaerobic Metabolism
  12. Aerobic activity and the Enertetics
  13. Thermal regulations
  14. O2 and CO2 Physiology
  15. Physiology of Breathing
  16. Transport of O2 and CO2 in Body Fluid and Acid-Base Balance
  17. Circulations
  18. Energy and Motion in Diverse Environments
  19. Water, Salt and Temperature Regulation in Diverse Environments
  20. Ecology and Physiology

Assumed knowledge

BIOL1001 and BIOL1002

Assessment items

In Term Test: Progress Test

Report: Lab Reports

Formal Examination: Final Examination

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety induction.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 21 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term