- 2019


Minor / Major

Commencement year

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2019 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook.

Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the component of any bachelors double degrees.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Managing faculty

Faculty of Science

Offered by

Department of Physiology


Dr Julia Choate



Physiology is the study of the way in which the body functions normally, and in dysfunction and disease. It is a core discipline of the biomedical, medical and life sciences. Physiology provides the answers to questions on how the body works, on what happens when we are born and develop, on how our body systems adapt when challenged by stresses such as exercise or environmental extremes, and on how body functions change in disease states. From nerves to muscles, from the brain to hormones, physiologists are concerned with functions at all levels. This spans from the molecular and cellular to the organ and body systems levels, to ultimately provide understanding of the integrated function of the whole body.

We are a leading Department of Physiology, both nationally and internationally. The department has produced six fellows of the Australian Academy of Sciences. Our research is focused around areas that address modern day issues of health and disease. These include:

  • obesity and diabetes
  • cardiovascular and kidney physiology
  • cognitive neurosciences
  • integrative neurosciences, including the peripheral nervous system
  • neuroendocrinology, in relation to reproduction, stress and homeostasis.

In all units, emphasis will be on human body function. There will be study of both normal function as well as of common examples of adaptation to unusual environments (e.g. high altitude) and of dysfunction (e.g. heart disease, infertility, ageing) as appropriate to the unit and level of study. The aim is to provide students with greater insight into body function and an understanding of the basis of many common dysfunctions.

A program of study in physiology prepares you for a wide range of careers. You can apply your knowledge of physiology directly, choosing a career in the biomedical sphere. This may involve research or further studies in medical or allied health areas (e.g. audiology, health informatics). Physiology graduates can also use the general skills and knowledge they have acquired to pursue a career in a wide variety of workplaces, including education and the public service.


Physiology is listed in S2000 Bachelor of Science, S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) and S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours) at Clayton as a major, or minor.

The physiology minor and major is not available in the double degree course S2007 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedical Science.


In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major will be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad knowledge of the mechanisms that make up normal healthy body functions, at the levels of body systems and the cells, tissues and organs involved
  • develop abilities to generate and integrate knowledge, from the molecular level through to the whole body, and have gained an appreciation for the value and limitations of physiological genomics in understanding living organisms
  • demonstrate an understanding of the effects of disturbances of living organisms that lead to malfunction and disease.


Minor requirements (24 points)

12 points at level 1, and 12 points at level 2.

Students complete:

  1. Two level 1 units (12 points) from the following:

    * Note that these PHS-coded units have mathematics units as prerequisites or corequisites.

  2. The following two level 2 units (12 points):
    • PHY2011 Neuroscience of communication, sensory and control systems
    • PHY2032 Endocrine control systems or PHY2042 Body systems physiology

Major requirements (48 points)

12 points at level 1 and at least 18 points at level 3.

Students complete:

  1. The requirements for the minor in physiology (24 points)
  2. Four additional units (24 points) from the following, with at least three units (18 points) at level 3:
    • PHY2032 Endocrine control systems
    • PHY2042 Body systems physiology
    • PHY3012 Integrative neuroscience
    • PHY3072 Exercise physiology and metabolism
    • PHY3102 Nutrition, metabolism and body weight
    • PHY3111 Sensory and cognitive neuroscience
    • PHY3171 Clinical and experimental cardiovascular physiology
    • PHY3181 Hormones and reproduction
    • PHY3990 Action in physiology research project

Requirements for progressing to honours and other further studies

Students must meet the entry requirements for S3701 Bachelor of Science (Honours) or meet the progression requirements to the fourth year of S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours).

Students must also complete prerequisite study as per the intended discipline. Refer to the honours prerequisiteshonours prerequisites (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2019handbooks/undergrad/science-honours-prerequisites.pdf) table.

Relevant courses


Single degrees

Successful completion of this area of study can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the following single degrees:*

  • S2000 Bachelor of Science
  • S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours)
  • S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours)

Students in other single bachelor's degrees may be eligible to complete the minor or major by using 24 or 48 points of their free electives.

Double degrees

Successful completion of this area of study can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the Bachelor of Science component in the following double degrees:*

  • B2023 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • B2016 Bachelor of Commerce Specialist and Bachelor of Science
  • D3005 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • E3007 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • C2003 Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Science
  • L3007 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • S2006 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts
  • S2004 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • S2003 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Global Studies
  • S2005 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Music

* Students cannot complete a minor, major or extended major in the same area of study.