Physiology II (Human)

Study the physiological structures of the human body. Learn about key systems, how they're formed, how they work, and how they affect the body as a whole.

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. Cell Physiology .... Study of the functions of cells
    • Chemical reactions
    • Homeostasis, feedback systems, homeostatic imbalances
    • Cellular Metabolism
    • Membrane Transport
  2. Histophysiology ... Study of the functions of tissues
    • Muscle filaments and fibres
    • Bone Ossification and Growth
    • Varieties of Dense Connective Tissue
    • Functions of Epithilial Tissue
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Cardiovascular Physiology
    • The Cardiac Cycle
    • Heart-Muscle cell contraction
    • Hemodynamics of blood - volume, BP, capillary exchange
    • The Arterial-Alveolar Gradient
    • Cardiac Output
    • Oxygen Transport
  7. 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
  8. Respiratory Physiology ... Study the functions of the air passageways and lungs
    • Pulmonary Ventilation - pulmonary capacity
    • Gas Exchange
    • Lung Volumes and Capacity
    • The Respiratory Epithelium
  9. 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

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.

Why is it Important to Understand Physiology?

There are many reasons! Among other things, it allows us to know what good structure is, and to know what we should be striving to attain in our bodies.
Consider posture, for instance:
  • Posture is the position in which the body is held upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down.
  • Conscious activation of the postural muscles is important, especially when sitting or standing for long periods of time. The postural muscles are primarily located in the torso and referred to as core muscles.
  • The core refers to an area of the body between the diaphragm (the breathing muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen) and the pelvic floor. It is comprised of the multifidus muscles (small deep back muscles that connect the vertebrae), the transverse abdominis (a flat, horizontal deep muscle which forms the abdominal wall) as well as the diaphragm and the pelvic floor.

Benefits of Good Posture

Good posture involves training the body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.

Correct posture:
  • Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
  • Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.
  • Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
  • Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
  • Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
  • Prevents strain or overuse problems.
  • Prevents backache and muscular pain.
  • Contributes to a normal appearance.
The spine is the basis of good posture. Three neutral curves are present in a healthy spine and are located in the cervical or neck region, thoracic or chest region and lumbar or low back region. These curves allow weight to be shared by the various structures of the back such as the surrounding muscles and ligaments. These supporting structures have a great influence on the position of the spine.

Abnormal posture is caused when the curves are changed or accentuated due to lifestyle adaptations, reductions in flexibility and strength or altered co-ordination. Examples of abnormal posture include scoliosis or sideways curve, increased lumbar lordosis or sway back, flat back or complete loss of all spinal curves, and kyphosis or hunch back.


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