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Course Description
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Integrated Physiology 3CTC518
University of Westminster
London, England

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Liberal Arts and Sciences; Physiology 300 English 4 50 n/a

Mechanisms for integrating physiological systems at the molecular, cellular and structural
levels. The roles of the nervous, endocrine and immune systems in maintaining homeostasis.
Psychoneuroimmunology. The responses and consequences of acute and chronic stressors.
Sexual reproduction and pregnancy. The changes in systems with development, growth, and age.

This class builds on the material covered in first year undergraduate Physiology. It aims to illustrate how the various physiological systems are integrated at the molecular, cellular and structural levels to maintain homeostasis, and the changes that occur in selected systems with age.


On successful completion of this class the student will be able to:
1. Compare and contrast the mechanisms used by the major homeostatic systems;
2. Illustrate how physiological systems are integrated at the molecular, cellular and
structural levels;
3. Describe the physiological processes involved in sex determination, sexual
reproduction, pregnancy, foetal development and labour;
4. Outline the structure and function of the central nervous system and sensory
organs/receptors, and changes that occur with age;
5. Discuss the body's response to acute and chronic stressors and the consequences to
physiological systems, particularly the immune system;
6. Identify ways in which different pharmacological modalities may be used to change
or modify physiological systems.


The mechanisms and molecules involved in inter- and intra-cellular communication. The role of connective tissue in integrating body systems. Control systems involved in maintaining homeostasis; the roles of, and interrelationships between, the nervous, endocrine and immune systems in homeostasis. The body's response to acute and chronic stress; Selye's general adaptation syndrome; detrimental effects of stress overload.
Sexual characteristics and their determination; processes involved in sexual reproduction
and reproductive cycles and changes with age. Fertilization, embryonic and foetal
development and the effect of teratogens and endocrine disruptors. Birth control,
pregnancy and labour. The structure and function of the central nervous system and chronic degenerative changes in ageing. The anatomy and physiology of special sense organs and the changes that occur in these with age.
The key pharmacological activities of drugs used in the autonomic and cardiovascular
systems, the central nervous system, the endocrine system, the gastrointestinal tract and
for chemotherapy.

Lectures 25 hrs
Tutorials/ Seminars 11 hrs


The coursework will consist of an essay, which will be selected from a range of titles. This
will allow the development of literature searching skills and effective academic writing, as
well as extending students knowledge of physiology.
The short answer test will consist of compulsory questions, which will be designed to enable students to demonstrate both the breadth and depth of their understanding of physiological systems and the inter-relationships between them.


An Essay 50%
A Short Answer Test 50%
An Essay 1500 words. The essay title will be selected from a range of titles given at the start of the class: this will allow the students some personal choice in what they choose to study.
The questions will require students to search for material and integrate it into a cogent and clearly argued debate.

Criteria for the essay will be:
· the structure and presentation of the essay, and the quality of syntax and grammar;
· the relevance of the discussion to the title and the extent of critical analysis of all its
· evidence that the material used is current and objective in its views.
· the range and relevance of the references cited.

A Short Answer Test The Short Answer Test will consist of compulsory questions which will test both the breadth and depth of the students' knowledge and their understanding of the topics covered in the class.

Recommended Texts
Marieb (2004) Human Anatomy & Physiology 6th edition, International Edition, Pearson OR
Tortora G J & Grabowski R R, (2001) Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 9th edition,
London: Harper & Row Davey B, (2001) Birth to Old Age: Health in Transition. Buckingham: Open University Press Journals
British Medical Journal, Science, The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine

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