Area of Study
Biology, Life Sciences, Physiology
Taught In English
Successful completion of introductory university level biology
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units0
Hours & Credits
The module introduces students to fundamental physiological concepts which underpin
the coordinated functioning of the human body, including homeostasis, cellular
communication and movement of molecules through body compartments. The main
physiological systems of the body are then covered, including the nervous, muscle,
endocrine, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal and digestive systems.
Autumn Semester content summary: basic concepts in physiology, muscle, nerve and
? Fundamental physiological concepts: What is physiology? The concept of
homeostasis. Movement of molecules and ions through body compartments.
Cellular communication; signal transduction pathways.
? Neurophysiology. Structure and classification of neurons. Membrane potentials,
the resting potential, graded potentials and action potentials. Synapses,
excitatory and inhibitory chemical synapses, neurotransmitters and
neuromodulators, modification of synaptic transmission. Selected examples of
? Muscle. Skeletal muscle: molecular mechanisms of contraction, the
neuromuscular junction, mechanics of single fibre contraction, skeletal muscle
energy metabolism, types of skeletal muscle fibres. Selected pathologies of
skeletal muscle. Smooth muscle: excitation-contraction coupling, types of
? The endocrine system. Hormone structure and synthesis, hormone transport in
the blood, hormone metabolism and excretion, mechanisms of hormone action,
control of hormone secretion. Selected examples of pathophysiology.
Spring Semester content summary: respiratory, cardiovascular, renal and
? Cardiovascular system: Blood: plasma, blood cells. Overall design of
cardiovascular system. Cardiac action potentials, cardiac ECG, excitationcontraction
coupling and the cardiac cycle. Cardiac output: control of heart rate
and stroke volume. Relationship of pressure, flow and resistance. Arterial blood
pressure and its measurement, control of vessel tone, the function of capillaries,
and the function of veins. Regulation of arterial pressure by control systems.
Selected examples of pathophysiology.
? The respiratory system. Organisation of the respiratory system. Ventilation.
Exchange of gases in alveoli and tissues. Transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide
in blood. Control of respiration. Hypoxia. Selected examples of disorders of the
? The urinary system: Structure of the kidneys and urinary tracts. Filtration,
reabsorption and secretion in the nephron. Composition of urine. Control of
micturition, regulation of fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance. Selected
examples of pathology of the urinary system.
? The digestive system: Digestion and absorption of carbohydrate, protein, fat,
vitamins and minerals and water. Regulation of secretion and motility of the
gastrointestinal tract. Selected examples of pathology of the gastrointestinal
Teaching: Lectures, tutorials and practical sessions
STUDY OPTION 1:
? Exam: MCQs and SAQs (50%)
? Practical: MCQ (25%)
? Coursework: Short answer questions written assignment (25%)
STUDY OPTION 2:
? Practical test (25%)
? Assignment (25%)
? End of semester test (50%)
STUDY OPTION 3:
? Practical test (25%)
? Assignment (25%)
? Exam (50%)
Study Option 1 = Whole Year
Study Option 2 = Autumn
Study Option 3 = Spring/summer
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.