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PA10315: Fundamentals of physiology and pharmacology for Natural Sciences students

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2015/6
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Further information on credits Credits: 12
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • EXAMINATION (EX 100% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Whilst taking this unit you must take BB10005 and BB10006, or equivalent units in Year 1 of the Natural Sciences Life Sciences stream.
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
To provide the student with an understanding of the structure and function of the major organs and systems of the human body, the physiological principles of homeostasis, and regulation of these systems relevant to pharmacology.
To provide the student with an introduction to the concepts of drug action within living systems at a molecular and cellular level.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit, the student should be able to:
* Define health and illness and the physiological concept of homeostasis
* Describe the structure and function of the major organs and systems of the human body.
* Demonstrate knowledge of how the function of major organs and systems are integrated and regulated in normal healthy physiology
* Explain the principles for the molecular basis of drug action within living systems at a molecular and cellular level (pharmacology)
* Use relevant pharmacological calculations to determine the potency of agonist and antagonist drug action.

Scientific and practical skills (T/F/A) Study skills, handling information, working with others (T/F) Problem solving (T/F/A).


* Introduction to pharmacology & receptor theory
* Agonists - EC50, pD2 - efficacy, co-operativity
* Antagonists - competitive / non- competitive, IC50, pA2, Schild plots
* Introduction to pharmacodynamics
* Nerve cells - membrane potential, communication - chemical transmission & synapses
* Anatomy of the nervous system
* The brain
* The autonomic nervous system
* Reflexes and senses (touch)
* Ears and eyes (Anatomy and function)
* Nose and throat (Anatomy and function)
* Blood cells
* Blood formation & clotting
* Skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle
* The gastrointestinal system: anatomy, function, digestion.
* Liver anatomy & function
* Skin anatomy & function
* Kidney: anatomy & function Overview of ions & water regulation.
* Bladder and micturition
* Lungs and respiratory system
* Regulation of respiration, chemical / neuronal
* Understanding oxygen transport
* Acid / base balance
* Cellular respiration & energy, ATP, NAD, NADH
* Cellular metabolism: glucose transport & pathways
* Cellular metabolism: tricarboxylic acid cycle
* Anatomy of the cardiovascular system
* Blood flow and heart rate
* Cardiac output & ECG
* Blood pressure regulation
* The blood brain barrier
* Body temperature and energy balance
* Diet and nutrition for a healthy body
* Introduction to endocrine system
* Calcium homeostasis: bone and joint physiology
* Calcium homeostasis: hormonal regulation
* Glucose homeostasis - Pancreas
* Introduction to Diabetes
* Neuroendocrine regulation and pituitary
* Reproductive system
* Hormones of pregnancy, menopause and contraception
* Thyroid gland
* Adrenal gland.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PA10315 is Optional on the following programmes:

Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Year 1)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 1)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Year 1)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences with Professional Placement (Year 1)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 1)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2015/16 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2016/17 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2015/16.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.