Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Cellular physiology examines in detail how physical and molecular principles apply to the function of cells and how this relates to the function of tissues and organs, and ultimately to the whole body. This unit focuses on quantitative descriptions of membrane transport and electrical phenomena, cell signalling and regulation of force in smooth and skeletal muscle. Relevance to disease is highlighted. Laboratory classes are undertaken to ensure students obtain an understanding of hands-on investigative approaches to the solving of scientific problems using isolated cells, tissues and whole animal preparations. Students also gain experience in hypothesis-driven experimental design and execution, current experimental techniques in cell physiology, scientific report writing and presentation of experimental data.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) attain up-to-date knowledge of (a) mechanisms of membrane transport; (b) the concerted action of electrical and ionic events that regulate cell function; (c) the action of various pharmacological agents on membrane channels and transport processes; (d) how pharmacological agents can be used to test for various membrane processes; (e) trans-epithelial transport of solutes and water; (f) mechanisms of force generation in smooth and striated muscle, and (g) membrane and intracellular signalling in force generation in smooth and striated muscle and (2) gain experience in hypothesis-driven experimental design and execution, current experimental techniques in cell physiology, the use of isolated cells, tissues and whole animal preparations, data analysis and presentation, scientific report writing and conference-style presentation of experimental data.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written examination; (2) laboratory assessments; and (3) online quizzes. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Erin Lloyd (00084758) and Associate Professor Peter Noble (00046893)
Unit rules
Successful completion of
one Unit(s) PHYL2002 Physiology of Cells
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
lab classes: 3 labs up to 6 hours each
tutorials: up to 8 hours (four 2 hour tutorials throughout semester)
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.