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.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Ramesh Rajan


This unit examines, in four themes, the nervous, sensory, brain and muscle systems, which act as the body's detection, communication, analysis, and action systems. Theme 1 (The world within) explains nerves and intercell communication. Theme 2 (Registering the world) shows how the systems of touch, pain, hearing, vision, taste and smell detect stimuli. Theme 3 (Analysing the world) shows how the brain analyses information. Theme 4 (Action responses) details how the body responds through movement via muscles and limbs. Normal physiology and common dysfunctions of the systems are studied, to allow for a greater understanding of the normal physiology, and an appreciation of dysfunctions.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Identify the structures of and explain the functions of the detection, communication, analysis and action systems in the body: viz., the nervous system, sensory systems and skeletal muscle;

  1. Describe how nerve cells function electrically, and signal information to other cells and organs;

  1. Explain how some of the major sensory systems transmit information about the world to the brain for analysis and interpretation;

  1. Describe how the skeletal muscles function to allow the body to respond overtly to the world as the action system of the body;

  1. Develop organisational, communication and management skills;

  1. Demonstrate physiology laboratory skills, including calculations of osmolarity and tonicity, measurements of hearing sensitivity with an audiometer, and the tabulation and graphing of numerical data;

  1. Recognise that there is variability in biological systems through the observations of physiology experiments and the completion of practical laboratory exercises.


In semester multiple-choice tests: 30%
In semester problem quizzes: 5%
In semester practical class quizzes: 35%
End of semester theory written examination (3 hours): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour hour practical class or progress review period per week


PHY2051 and BMS1052