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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Area of Study

All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Science
Offered bySchool of Applied Sciences and Engineering
Course coordinatorMs Jenny Mosse


Physiology is the study of the way in which the body functions normally, and in dysfunction and disease. It is the core discipline of the biomedical, medical and life sciences. A program of study in physiology provides an ideal cornerstone for students wishing to pursue future studies in medical or allied health areas. Physiology provides the answers to questions on how the body works, on what happens when we are born and develop, on how our body systems adapt when challenged by stresses such as exercise or environmental extremes, and on how body functions change in disease states. From nerves to muscles, from the brain to hormones, physiologists are concerned with functions at all levels. This spans from the molecular and cellular to the organ and body systems levels, to ultimately provide understanding of the integrated function of the whole body.

In all units, emphasis will be on body function. There will be study of both normal function as well as of common examples of adaptation to unusual environments (eg high altitude) and of dysfunction (eg heart disease, infertility, ageing) as appropriate to the unit and level of study. The aim is to provide students with greater insight into body function and an understanding of the basis of many common dysfunctions.


On completion of a minor sequence in physiology students will:

  • have achieved a broad understanding of the mechanisms that make up normal body function, at the levels of body systems and the cells, tissues and organs involved
  • have developed a deeper understanding of the systems that regulate normal healthy body functions, and their interactions with our environment
  • have gained an understanding of the effects of disturbances of the body's normal systems, leading to malfunction and disease
  • have gained proficiency in the use of physiological techniques to understand body functions, including an appreciation of the challenges involved in studying the intact mammalian organism
  • have gained proficiency in assembling the findings of laboratory based learning into written accounts, in accord with scientific principles and norms
  • have gained proficiency in searching the scientific literature for knowledge and in preparing reports based on these searches
  • have developed skills in the presentation of scientific information, alone and as part of a well functioning team.


Level one

Level two

  • BIO2721 Human development and genetics
  • BIO2752 Principles of physiology*

* BIO1711 and BIO2752 are divided into two streams: the human/medical stream or the animal/veterinary stream; students select the stream appropriate to their study program and interests.

Sequence requirements

Minor sequence in human physiology (24 points)

Requirements for honours in physiology

  • 24 points of relevant level-three units, of which 18 points are normally physiology units. Level three physiology units and an honours program in physiology are only available on the Clayton campus.

Additional information

The physiology minor sequence combines well with the applied microbiology and applied biochemistry sequences.

Relevant Courses

+ 0050 Bachelor of Science