Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitGippsland School of Applied Sciences and Engineering
OfferedGippsland First semester 2013 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Wendy Wright


This unit aims to present normal physiological function of the major organ systems in vertebrates. The emphasis is on the study of discrete cell populations and organs within each system and the integration of these systems to meet the needs of the functioning organism. The relationship between structure and function is an underlying theme of the course. 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.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Recognise the major anatomical features of the vertebrate body;

  1. Describe the normal physiological function of the major systems of vertebrates;

  1. Describe the behaviour of individual cell populations within each of these systems;

  1. Discuss the integration of the activities of individual cell population to create a functioning system;

  1. Understand the control mechanisms which operate within each system and within the functioning organism;

  1. Measure physiological responses under a range of experimental conditions and choose appropriate reference material to interpret these responses.


Mid-semester test (theory): 25%
End-of-semester test (theory): 45%
Practical work (assessed by attitude and performance in the lab and by laboratory reports submitted throughout the semester): 30%
A pass in both theory and practical work is mandatory to pass this subject.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour tutorial per week, plus eight 3-hour laboratory exercises every semester

Off-campus attendance requirements

OCL students complete laboratory component using home experimental kits. Optional weekend schools also offered.