Physiology II (Human)

Study human physiology for applied health science, medicine, or fitness; learning by distance education, about Menbrane transport, Cellular metabolism, Cellular energy production, Homeostasis, Temperature control , Glycolysis and more

Course CodeBSC111
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn How Body Processes Affect Our Ability to Function

There are a range of basic functions that are common to most cells in the body, along with a range of specialist functions performed by specific cells or cell types. In this course, you'll investigate a range of common processes, looking at how important systems are built, how they work, and how they affect the body as a whole.

You'll also discuss how our bodies maintain internal equilibrium and health while exposed to the most variable range of conditions, such as physical, psychological and environmental factors.

A course designed for health therapists and all those working in health care that want or need to develop a deeper understanding of the human body processes and health maintenance.

Prerequisite: Human Anatomy & Physiology BSC101 or equivalent.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Cellular Physiology
    • Membrane transport
    • Simple passive transport
    • Facilitated passive transport
    • Active transport
    • Transcription, translation and post transcriptional modification
    • Cellular metabolism
    • Cellular energy production
    • Homeostasis
    • Homeostatic balance
    • Feedback system
    • Body temperature
    • Effect of temperature on enzymes
    • Adenosine triphosphate
    • Glycolysis
  2. Histophysiology
    • Physiology of tissue
    • Epithelial tissue
    • Connective tissue
    • Dense connective tissue
    • Cartlidge
    • Bone tissue
    • Bone physiology
    • Compact bone
    • Spongy bone
    • Muscle tissue
    • Muscle fibre: filament types
    • Nervous tissue
  3. Systems Physiology
    • Central and peripheral nervous systems
    • Somatic and autonomic nervous systems
    • Sensory, motor and integrated systems
    • General senses
    • The process of sensation
    • Special senses
    • Autonomic nervous system
    • Autonomic reflexes
    • Parasympathetic nervous system
    • Sympathetic nervous system
  4. Neurophysiology
    • Structure of the nervous system
    • Parts of a neuron
    • Classification of different neurons
    • Neuron function
    • Action potentials
    • Graded potentials
    • Synapses: electrical, chemical
    • Neurotransmitters
    • Neural circuits
    • Different functions of the brain
    • Homeostatic reflex arc
    • Spinal chord and spinal nerves
  5. Endocrinology
    • Functions of endocrine system
    • Actions of hormones
    • Hormone target cells
    • Anterior pituitary gland hormones
    • Actions of posterior pituitary
    • Actions of adrenal gland: cortex and medula
    • Pancreatic hormones
    • Thyroid gland
    • Parathyroid
    • Adrenal glands
    • Pancreas
    • Hormone receptors
  6. Cardiovascular Physiology
    • Heart function
    • Cardiac cycle
    • Heart muscle cell contraction
    • Blood vessels
    • Blood: regulation, erthrocyte physiology, leucocytes
    • Hemostasis
    • Lymphatic system
    • Blood flow
    • Gas transport
    • Arterial alveolar gradient
    • Oxygen transport
    • Factors affecting oxygen release by haemoglobin
  7. Immunology
    • Immune system structure
    • Lymphatic organs and tissues
    • Types of resistance
    • Non specific cellular and chemical defences: phagocytes, natural killer cells
    • The inflammatory response
    • Specific defence mechanisms
    • Humoral immunity
    • Antibodies
    • Antigens
  8. Respiratory Physiology
    • Respiratory epithelium
    • The lungs
    • Airway anatomy
    • Alveoli
    • Nasal and oral cavities
    • Larynx, trachea, bronchial tree
    • Function of respiratory system
    • Pulmonary ventilation
    • Lung volumes and capacity
  9. Renal Physiology
    • Urinary system
    • Blood and nerve supply
    • NephronsKidney functions
    • Remal processes
    • Glomerular filtration
    • Electrolyte and Acid base balance
    • Tubular reabsorption
    • Tubular secretion
    • Ureters
    • Urinary bladder
    • Urethra
    • Micturition process

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Review basic functions occurring in the cells of the human body
  • Review basic functioning of the tissues within the body such as bone and muscle.
  • Describe the significant systems and the functions of those systems of the body.
  • Describe the functional characteristics of the nerve cells and nervous system.
  • Describe the functioning of hormones and how they control body functions.
  • Describe the functioning of the heart, blood, and blood vessels in the cardiovascular system.
  • Describe the significant functions of the body’s defence system and the cells of the immune system.
  • Describe the significant functions of the respiratory system and the air passages and lungs.
  • Describe the function of the kidneys and the renal system in the human body.

What You Will Do

  • Cell Physiology
    • Study of the functions of cells
  • Chemical reactions
    • Homeostasis, feedback systems, homeostatic imbalances
    • Cellular Metabolism
    • Membrane Transport
    • Histophysiology - Study of the functions of tissues
  • Muscle filaments and fibres
    • Bone Ossification and Growth
    • Varieties of Dense Connective Tissue
    • Functions of Epithilial Tissue
    • Systems Physiology - Study of the significant systems and functions of organs
  • Autonomic Nervous System
    • Dual Innervation and neurotransmitters
    • Actions of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System
    • Peripheral Nervous System
    • General senses and their integrative function
    • Study of the sensory modalities - smell, taste, vision, hearing and equilibrium
    • Neurophysiology - Study of the functional characteristics of nerve cells
  • Structure of the Nervous System
    • Myelination
    • Resting membrane potentions, ion channels, repolarization
    • Classification of different neurons
    • Grey/White matter
    • Reflexes, relex arcs and homeostasis
    • Action potentials and synapses
    • Functions of the cerebral cortex
    • Endocrinology - Study of hormones and how they control body functions
  • Principle functions of the endocrine system
    • Physiology of hormones
    • Actions of the Anterior and Posterior Pituitary Glands
    • Hormone receptors
    • Mechanisms of homeostatic action
    • Cardiovascular Physiology - Study of the heart and blood vessels
  • The Cardiac Cycle
    • Heart-Muscle cell contraction
    • Hemodynamics of blood - volume, BP, capillary exchange
    • The Arterial-Alveolar Gradient
    • Cardiac Output
    • Oxygen Transport
    • Immunology - Study of the body defence mechanisms
  • Non specific cellular and Chemical Defenses
    • Functions of White Blood Cells
    • The Inflammatory Response
    • The Physiology of Fever
    • Specific Defense Mechanisms
    • Immunity and Antibodise
    • Respiratory Physiology - Study the functions of the air passageways and lungs
  • Pulmonary Ventilation - pulmonary capacity
    • Gas Exchange
    • Lung Volumes and Capacity
    • The Respiratory Epithelium
    • Renal Physiology - Study of the function of the kidneys
  • Structure and Functions of the kidneys
    • Nephrons
    • Glomerular Filtration
    • Renal control of Electrolytes and Acid Base Balance
    • Active and Passive Tubular Reabsorption
    • Tubular Secretion
    • The process of Micturition


A group of tissues make up an organ and a group of organs that work in a specific way together make up the organisation of a system.

The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) includes both cranial and spinal nerves and is divided into a Somatic Nervous System (SNS), Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) and Enteric Nervous System (ENS)

Both the somatic and autonomic nervous systems operate via reflex arches and the somatic nervous system comprises both sensory and motor neurons. Sensory neurons convey input from nerve receptors for the special senses which are vision, hearing, taste, smell and equilibrium. The function of motor neurons is to stimulate skeletal muscle.

Some other significant systems are the digestive, integumentary, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, reproductive, and immune system as well as the special senses, sensory, motor, and integrative systems. Some of these systems will be covered in later lessons.

Autonomic Nervous System

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) regulates the activity of smooth muscle, cardiac muscle and some glands help to maintain homeostasis. It is part of the nervous system that maintains internal organs, which include the stomach, liver, kidney, blood vessels, bladder, pupils and eye muscles, heart, digestive glands, sweat and saliva.

The ANS operates without conscious control or sensation, meaning that the response cannot be changed or suppressed and the main input to it is assisted by autonomic sensory neurons. These neurons regulate different activities by either increasing (exciting) or decreasing (inhibiting) ongoing activities (cardiac, smooth muscles and glands).

The main purpose of the ANS is to be related with other systems and in fact, it is also interdependent with them. An example of the ANS in action is in the flight or flight response in the General Adaptation Syndrome. The ANS is made up of the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic divisions which balance activity and tone of certain organs such as genitals, heart and digestive system – both of these divisions receive impulses from both sympathetic and parasympathetic neurons to be able to function adequately.

When the autonomic nervous system receives information about the body from the outside environment and body, it then responds by either stimulating body processes, which is usually processed through the sympathetic division, or inhibiting responses, which is generally done through the parasympathetic division.  The neurons of the autonomic nervous system are also based on the type of neurotransmitter they produce: Cholinergic which release acetylcholine (Ach) and Adrenergic which release noradrenalin or adrenalin.

How Can This Course Help You?

A course for health therapists and all those working in health care who want or need to develop a deeper understanding of the human body processes and health maintenance.


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Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author. BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics. Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projec
Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Sarah Jury

Over 15 years working in small business, I.T., education and science. Sarah has a PGCE(Post Compulsory Education), BSc(Hons) (Genetics), DipComp(Open), CertWebApps(Open). She has designed and created several Web sites for different organisations.