PHYL3004 Physiology of Integrated Organ Function

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 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 3 elective
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.
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.

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)
Dr Peter Noble
Unit rules
PHYL2001 Physiology of Human Body Systems
PHYL2002 Physiology of Cells)
[PHYL2245 Physiology of Cells
(PHYL2255 Physiology of Human Body Systems
PHYL2260 Physiology Adaptation and Stress)]
(PHYL2001 Physiology of Human Body Systems and three of the following: ANHB2212 Human Structure and Development, BIOC2203 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell, BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell, MICR2209 Introduction to Infectious Diseases and Immunology, PATH2201 Introduction to Human Disease, PHAR2210 Foundations of Pharmacology)
PHYL3340 Advanced Cellular Physiology, PHYL3350 Physiological Control Mechanisms
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.
  • 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.