PHYL2001 Physiology of Human Body Systems

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Physiology major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit is suitable for all students interested in the integrated function of the human body. The unit deals with the functional organisation of major human body systems. There is an emphasis on the mechanisms by which the internal environment of the body is regulated via the various body systems. Throughout the unit examples are given of how abnormal conditions can arise from failures of the body systems. After an overview of body organisation, neural and hormonal control systems, the unit is organised into the following themes: (1) perfusion of the tissues—the physiology of cardiovascular function and control; (2) gaseous exchange—the physiology of respiratory function and control; (3) regulation of body fluid and salt composition—renal physiology; (4) absorption of nutrients—the function of the gut; and (5) the physiology of reproduction—the last topic is used as an example of hormonal control mechanisms and emphasis is placed on the general principles that can be derived from this example.
Students are able to (1) recall and integrate key knowledge and concepts about (a) control of body processes by the autonomic nervous system and endocrine system; (b) function and control of the cardiovascular system; (c) function and control of the respiratory system for gas exchange; (d) body fluid and electrolyte composition and its control; and (e) gastrointestinal functions and reproduction and (2) obtain skills in (a) the design of simple scientific experiments; (b) taking accurate measurements of experimental variables; (c) data analysis and interpretation of results; (d) measuring body function using classical physiology techniques and modern computer techniques; (e) communicating in writing the results of laboratory work; (f) oral communication via tutorial presentations; and (g) teamwork and working in small groups.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) laboratory quizzes; (2) scientific communication and engagement; and (3) a final theory examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Tony Bakker
Unit rules
SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell
IMED1002 The Facts of Life
((at least one of ANHB1101 Human Biology 1: Becoming Human, ANHB1102 Human Biology II: Being Human,
BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology)
Chemistry ATAR
CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry)
Advisable prior study:
12 points of Level 1 human biology
biology, and at least six points of Level 1 chemistry are recommended. Students without any high-school physics are encouraged to consider taking a suitable Level 1 physics unit.
PHYL2255 Physiology of Human Body Systems
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; labs: 3 hours per week (for 4 weeks); tutorials: 2 hours per week (for 6 weeks) (alternating with lab classes)
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]

Sherwood, L. Human Physiology from Cells to Systems, 8th edn: Brooks/Cole 2012

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.