BPS1012 - Human Physiology II: Body systems - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Jennifer Short


Dr Jennifer Short

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)




Previously coded PSC1012 Physiology II


This unit builds and extends on concepts learnt in PSC1011 Human Physiology I: Cells to systems. This unit extends on a foundation of knowledge about mammalian systems and the relationship between pathophysiology and the rational design and use of drugs. Students will investigate the physiological basis of disease, highlighting the causal connections between cell biochemistry, body function at the tissue, organ and system level and human health. Several cells, tissues, organs and systems will be analysed in detail, and examples of disease states amenable to pharmacotherapy will be discussed. The unit aims to provide a basic understanding of the functions of organs and systems such as the cardiovascular and respiratory systems; however, there is an equal emphasis on one of the key components of drug discovery: the choice of therapeutic target based on a thorough understanding of mechanism of action of drugs. A primary aim of this unit is to provide students with an understanding of basic pharmacological principles and how these are applied in pharmaceutical science. Students will undertake experimental approaches designed to solve biochemical, pharmacological and physiological research questions.

Topics to be covered include the:

  • fundamentals of drug action
  • cardiovascular system
  • respiratory system
  • pathophysiology of human disease states


At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe the structure and function of each major cell, tissue, organ and organ system considered within the unit;
  2. Explain how ligands interact with protein targets, such as receptors and receptors;
  3. Compare (evaluate, characterise) pharmaceutical agents based on quantitative and qualitative parameters (affinity, potency, efficacy, etc.)
  4. Compare and contrast agonists and antagonists and describe how their characteristics and behaviour can be measured;
  5. Analyse and predict the effects observed within a cell, and the impact on cellular function following activation of specific receptor families and receptor (sub)types;
  6. Analyse selected disorders and disease states using an understanding of the physiological basis of the disease;
  7. Practice basic laboratory techniques and communicate experimental findings;
  8. Research a contentious topic in the area of physiology, and debate the findings of such research, at an appropriate scientific level.


Final exam (2 hour):50%; in-semester assessment 50%.

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty-four 1-hour lectures
  • Twelve 1-hour consolidation classes
  • Six 2-hour laboratory practicals
  • Six 2-hour workshops


  • Twelve one-hour online preparation modules

See also Unit timetable information

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: