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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedGippsland Second semester 2011 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Mr Peter Freeman


Principles of Physiology will build on the foundations learnt in BIO1711 Vertebrate Biology to examine several physiological systems, with an emphasis on control mechanisms. The unit will consist of four themed sections: Homeostasis and Coordination, Cardiovascular System, Environmental Exchanges and Balance, and Nutrient Exchange and Utilisation. The unit will also explore interactions between systems in the maintenance of homeostasis. Laboratory and tutorial classes 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.


Upon completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. explain the concept of homeostasis and the principles of negative and positive feedback mechanisms, illustrated within the context of the neural and endocrine systems;
  2. outline the processing of information within the central nervous system;
  3. describe how the endocrine system acts as a regulatory system within the body;
  4. explain how basic life processes are controlled and integrated through nervous and endocrine activity;
  5. describe the structure and function of the heart, blood and blood vessels, and how the perfusion of the body's tissues is maintained and regulated according to physiological need;
  6. explain how the respiratory system functions to exchange blood gases;
  7. describe how the renal system functions to maintain the body's fluid and electrolyte balance and the extracellular volume;
  8. evaluate the interactions of the respiratory and renal systems in the maintenance of the extracellular pH;
  9. describe how the body satisfies its requirement for energy and appropriate nutrition;
  10. demonstrate practical skills in the measurement of simple physiological parameters and the evaluation and interpretation of experimental data;
  11. demonstrate communication skills through written reports and participation in on line discussion of topics being considered in the unit and display the ability to work effectively in small groups.


Workshop assessment: 20%
Case based integration assignment: 20%
Examination: 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Peter Freeman

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour workshop per week

Off-campus attendance requirements



BIO1711 and BIO1722


BMS2031, PHY2021 and PHY2032