Introduction to Human Physiology and Nutrition

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Human Physiology and Nutrition

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Nutrition and Food Science, Psychology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • 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.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
    Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    This module will aim to provide a sound understanding of how human physiology underpins medical science and how nutrients and non-nutrients impact on cell, tissue and organ function. An introduction to the fundamentals of human physiology, including that relevant to the cardiovascular, nervous, digestive, hepatic, renal, respiratory, sensory and reproductive systems, as well as that of bone, muscle, blood and the immune system will be covered, detailing the physiological processes relevant to human health and disease. Specific examples of how nutrients impact on the homeostasis of these systems will form the fundamental basis of all Nutritional topics in Parts 2 and 3. In this course, students will learn about:

    ? Fundamentals concepts in human physiology: cellular, tissue, organ level physiological processes and interactions between them: Rationale: Physiology forms the basis of all human disease. As such, if we wish to understand how nutrients and specific diets work, either positively or negatively within the body, it is essential to understand the physiological and biochemical systems which regulate health and disease in humans.

    ? Nutritional requirements for growth and maintenance: Rationale: Fundamentally, macro-and micro-nutrients impact on the growth and maintenance of the human body from birth through to old age. An understanding of such actions is critical as a foundation to topics dealing with malnutrition and over-nutrition.

    ? Macro- and micro-nutrient requirements within the context of each physiological system within the body, including that of the brain, circulatory system, bone, heart, liver etc. Rationale: The impact of specific nutrients on the functioning of each physiological system at the cell or organ level is necessary prior to an understanding of how over or under supply of such nutrients effect influences health and disease (Parts 2 and 3).

    ? Fundamentals of nutrition research: including laboratory skills, literature searches will also be provided as part of this module.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    On completion of the module, students will have gained an understanding of the fundamentals of human physiology and nutrition, including topics in homeostasis, the various physiological systems listed above and how they function, and concepts of nutrient balance required to support such systems.

    Students will be able to describe the function of the specialist organs in the body and have some understanding of the importance of nutrition to these systems.

    Furthermore, students should be able to complete basic laboratory tasks relevant to nutrition and physiology.

    Additional outcomes:
    Students will gain experience in advanced knowledge management, interpreting complex and conflicting scientific data and presenting results to a lay and scientific audience.

    Outline content:
    This module provides the fundamental background to understand human physiology and nutrition. The following topics will be covered: Homeostasis, Cardiovascular system, Renal function, Hepatic function, Digestive System, Respiratory function, Muscle physiology, Central Nervous System, Endocrine System, Immune System, Reproduction & Gestation, Growth and repair and Energy balance.

    A total of 5 practical sessions will be taught along the fundamental lectures, that will include basic laboratory skills, blood pressure, blood and common anaemia, renal functions, nervous system, nutrition.
    Global context:
    Nutrition is an applied health science, as such an understanding of how the body works and the influence and importance of nutrients maintaining this system is essential to the nutrition scientist.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    The course will be delivered using a mixture of teaching and learning techniques, in particular lectures and enquiry-based learning, as well as laboratory work.

    Contact hours:
    Lectures Fall: 20 Spring: 10
    Practicals classes and workshops Spring: 40
    Guided independent study Fall: 80 Spring: 50

    Total hours by term Fall: 100 Spring: 100

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Practical skills assessment 40
    Set exercise 60

    Other information on summative assessment:
    Assessment will be divided into:

    2 online Blackboard Tests in Autumn (20%, 10% each)
    2 online Blackboard Tests in Spring (20%, 10% each)
    5 Practical Reports (Total 60%, 12% each)

    Requirements for a pass:
    overall mark of 40%

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Students who fail to obtain a 40% pass mark will be reassessed by oral exam before the end of the Summer term

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

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.


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