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 Second semester 2013 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2013 (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.


On completion of this 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;

  1. 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;

  1. Explain how the respiratory system functions to exchange blood gases;

  1. Describe how the renal system functions to maintain the body's fluid and electrolyte balance and the extracellular volume;

  1. Evaluate the interactions of the respiratory and renal systems in the maintenance of the extracellular pH;

  1. Describe how the body satisfies its requirement for energy and appropriate nutrition;

  1. Measure simple physiological parameters, evaluate and interpret experimental data and work effectively in small groups.


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

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

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

Off-campus attendance requirements