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


This Level 3 unit consists of a series of integrated lectures, laboratory classes and tutorials that demonstrate how physiological systems function in the whole body, how they are controlled by local cell regulation and by neural and hormonal means, how they respond to internal and environmental perturbations, and how they interact. The unit builds on an understanding of general physiological function and mechanisms developed in the Level 2 Physiology units. Key concepts include the sensory input into different body systems, the application of control theory to body system control, and their response to internal and external factors. Research and communication skills are embedded. The unit focuses on oral presentation skills in science including the use of visual aids, seminar preparation and public speaking, and on teamwork skills, the latter developed through laboratory classes and a student-centred oral presentation conference.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) exhibit a sound knowledge of control theory in body systems, including feedback and feedforward, and the ability to apply this information to multiple organ systems; (2) recall and apply the general principles of sensory reception, and how information about changes to the body's internal milieu or its environment are processed; (3) recall and explain the responses of specific physiological systems to both internal and external perturbations, including uncompensated changes, compensatory changes, and the consequences of these changes on other body systems; (4) record accurate data from experiments using relevant instrumentation, and explain the instrumentation's use; (5) communicate scientific information, including orally in the context of a scientific conference at a professional level, work as part of a group to achieve successful outcomes in a laboratory, communicate effectively in a work environment, and understand how the peer review process is used in science, and apply it to their own oral presentations; and (6) understand body function in terms of the underlying biological mechanisms.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar presentation; (2) practical assessments; and (3) theory examination. 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)
Associate Professor Peter Noble (00046893)
Unit rules
Successful completion of Unit(s) PHYL2001 Physiology of Human Body Systems and
PHYL2002 Physiology of Cells
or PHYL3002 Physiology of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
labs: 3 to 6 hours per week including self-paced work and seminars
  • 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.