PHY3072 - Exercise physiology and metabolism - 2019

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.



Chief examiner(s)

Professor Brian Oldfield


Dr Joanne Caldwell

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


PHY2011 and one of PHY2032 or PHY2042; or both BMS1052 and BMS2031; or one of NUT2103, BMS2103 or with the approval of the unit coordinator.


The unit addresses the physiological responses to exercise, in particular, muscle energy supply and consumption, metabolism and fatigue and then extends to understanding the adaptive responses to exercise training and the study of various aspects of human exercise performance. There is an emphasis upon how the major physiological systems of the body respond to physical activity and extreme environments, including the cardio-respiratory, endocrine and renal systems. The unit concludes with a consideration of current research ideas about normal function and dysfunction in this area and discusses new research and clinical methodologies that relate to exercise. We also discuss many of the current issues associated with athletic performance including chemical and physiological doping and the decline with aging.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Differentiate the energy pathways that power skeletal muscle activity, and how exercise training leads to adaptations in skeletal muscle structure and function;
  2. Identify and describe the factors that influence muscle fatigue and muscle repair.
  3. Outline and analyse how the cardiovascular, respiratory, sensory and endocrine systems respond to exercise in normal and extreme environments;
  4. Use standard physiological testing procedures to evaluate human subjects for exercise capacity and performance;
  5. Work effectively in a team in relation to the design and completion of a research project and communicate the results to a wider audience
  6. Critically evaluate the scientific literature of relevance to exercise physiology and metabolism.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

In-semester test: 10%

Research project: 25%

Editorial (paired): 10%

Practical assessment (online quizzes): 10%

Examination (2 hours): 45% (Hurdle)

This unit is subject to the Hurdle and Threshold Standards policiesHurdle and Threshold Standards policies ( of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences.

Workload requirements

Five contact hours per week (workshops, lecturers and/or practicals)

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study