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Medical Physiology BSc Honours

Gain a theoretical and practical understanding of normal body function with specialised clinical and research equipment.
Code
B123
Start
September 2023
Duration
3 years full-time
4 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK) *
£14,700 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Dr Lygeri Dimitriou

Learn a wide range of techniques

Physiology is a scientific discipline that’s essential to medical practice and human health. Our degree will give you a theoretical understanding of bodily functions, from cells and tissues through to organ systems. You’ll be taught by a dedicated team of academics and clinical practitioners, using a wide range of learning styles. The course will focus on the diagnosis of disease, assessment of human fitness, and performance under difficult environmental conditions.

You’ll also learn a wide range of analytical techniques that are most often used in clinical settings and in research on body functions. Additionally, you’ll develop the skills to record and securely store data sets – all transferable skills employers are looking for.

Our specialist Hatchcroft Building is outfitted with cutting-edge facilities and you’ll have access to all the labs and equipment there. You’ll get the experience of working with the latest industry equipment from the very start.

In our partnership with Saracens Rugby Club, you’ll have access to the fantastic resources at StoneX Stadium, including the brand new £23 million redevelopment project of the West Stand which offers state-of-the-art facilities as a top educational and high performance centre for teaching and research excellence. With some of the most advanced equipment in the UK, you will be able to utilise the new specialist spaces, simulation suites, specialist labs, plus much more.

How you’ll practice your skills

Using specialist equipment, you’ll have the chance to investigate and record electrical brain activity, monitor nerve pathways, and rhythm, rate, and functioning of the heart. Our expert tutors will be on hand to guide you through the process while helping you to develop technical and soft skills. You’ll also get the experience of designing your very own research experiments.

External specialists from related industries frequently visit our campus to give talks. We have excellent relationships with prestigious NHS trusts, such as Guy’s and St Thomas’, UCLH, College Hospital, and many more. We use these relationships to help you secure placements and gain exposure to the industry. We also give you the opportunity to take an optional placement year.

Past graduates from this course have gone on to roles like applied physiologist, exercise physiologist, clinical scientist, and many others. You can look forward to joining the armed forces, the NHS, research centres and pharmaceutical companies as the skills you’ll gain will be highly in demand.

Get the support you need

During your course, you’ll get personalised support from your Personal Tutor, Student Learning Assistant, and Graduate Academic Assistant. Their first-hand experience in your subject area means they understand how to best support you.

Learn a wide range of techniques

Physiology is a scientific discipline that’s essential to medical practice and human health. Our degree will give you a theoretical understanding of bodily functions, from cells and tissues through to organ systems. You’ll be taught by a dedicated team of academics and clinical practitioners, using a wide range of learning styles. The course will focus on the diagnosis of disease, assessment of human fitness, and performance under difficult environmental conditions.

You’ll also learn a wide range of analytical techniques that are most often used in clinical settings and in research on body functions. Additionally, you’ll develop the skills to record and securely store data sets – all transferable skills employers are looking for.

Our specialist Hatchcroft Building is outfitted with cutting-edge facilities and you’ll have access to all the labs and equipment there. You’ll get the experience of working with the latest industry equipment from the very start.

Access to the on campus laboratories is subject to availability. Alternative teaching and learning including pre-recorded demonstrations and virtual laboratories will be used to enhance your learning.

How you’ll practice your skills

Using specialist equipment, you’ll have the chance to investigate and record electrical brain activity, monitor nerve pathways, and rhythm, rate, and functioning of the heart. Our expert tutors will be on hand to guide you through the process while helping you to develop technical and soft skills. You’ll also get the experience of designing your very own research experiments.

Access to the on campus laboratories is subject to availability. Alternative teaching and learning including pre-recorded demonstrations and virtual laboratories will be used to enhance your learning

External specialists from related industries frequently visit our campus to give talks, where on campus delivery is not available online alternatives will be employed. We have excellent relationships with prestigious NHS trusts, such as Guy’s and St Thomas’, UCLH, College Hospital, and many more. We use these relationships to help you gain exposure to the industry. We also give you the opportunity to take an optional placement year subject to availability.

Past graduates from this course have gone on to a wide range of roles including  applied physiologist, exercise physiologist, clinical scientist, and many others. You can look forward to joining the armed forces, the NHS, research centres and pharmaceutical companies as the skills you’ll gain will be highly in demand.

Get the support you need

During your course, you’ll get personalised support from your Personal Tutor, Student Learning Assistant, and Graduate Academic Assistant. Their first-hand experience in your subject area means they understand how to best support you.


Find out more

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What will you study on BSc Medical Physiology?

Your studies will help you to acquire a sound understanding of the human physiology and how body’s physiological systems respond to extreme environmental conditions, such as extreme ambient temperatures and space.

In Year 1, you will review the basic sciences, covering cell biology, anatomy, human physiology and the physics behind the instrumentation and equipment used to record body functions. You will also learn about current trends and potential careers in the field of medical physiology.

In Year 2, you will explore common cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems, covering relevant anatomy, cell biology, genetics, physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology and therapeutics. You will also learn techniques used to assess the functioning of the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous and musculoskeletal systems and acquire research and employability skills.

Finally, in Year 3 you will explore  the techniques used to assess the functioning of the cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous and musculoskeletal systems in much greater depth, with an emphasis on diagnostics and assessment of human performance. The effect of prolonged exercise, extreme ambient pressures and temperatures, stress, high altitude and the space environment on human performance will also be studied. You will be able to carry out your own research in an area of physiology.

What will you gain?

Upon successful completion of this degree you will have gained an awareness of the causes of and pathophysiology of diseases of the heart, lungs, musculoskeletal and the nervous systems, and have developed the practical skills and knowledge to assess the health status of an individual and to evaluate human performance. You will have an ability and understanding in recording, storing and analysing anthropological and physiological data, as well as an understanding of the importance of research in the advancement of scientific knowledge and evidence-based practice.

You will also gain skills and experience in:

  • Recording and evaluating anthropometrical and physiological data, to assess health status or human performance
  • Team-working, including both interpersonal and intrapersonal capacities
  • Developing effective communication skills, including advanced literacy and presentation skills
  • Problem solving and analysis
  • Independent, critical and creative thinking.

Modules

  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Cell Sciences (30 credits)

      The module aims to provide you with an introduction to the classification, structure and function of cells and microbes and examples of disease that result from abnormal structure and/or function. Another key aim of this module is to enable you to acquire laboratory skills required to study cells and microbes.

    • Physics and Measurements (15 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with an introduction to the physical and mathematical principles that underpin the concepts of instrumentation used in the Neurosensory Sciences and measurements.

    • Clinical Technology and Mathematics (15 credits)

      The module introduces you to the basic principles of both physics and mathematics that are related to healthcare and ensures that you have a good range of the mathematical and statistical skills that underpin the practice of healthcare science.

    • Professional Development (30 credits)

      This module begins the process of developing the skills required by employers, to become an autonomous and lifelong learner, and a scientist. A further aim is to provide you with a forum to explore current trends in your field of study.

    • Human Sciences (30 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology required to underpin your future learning. The unifying theme of homeostasis is used to show how a healthy structure and function are maintained and how failures of homeostasis can result in disease.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Research Methods and Professional Development (30 credits)

      The module aims to provide you with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work, with the focus on preparation for the final year project module. The module also develops your core research skills fundamental to a scientific research design, irrespective of discipline. Specific research skills include analytical techniques appropriate to your course requirements.

    • Applied Clinical Neurophysiology (30 credits)

      This module aims provide you with a solid foundation in neurophysiological recording systems, theory and practice of electroencephalography (EEG) and visual evoked potentials (VEP).

    • Cardiopulmonary Science (30 credits)

      The aim of the module is to provide you with an understanding of cardiovascular and respiratory systems from a molecular to a system level in health and disease. Additionally, you will gain an appreciation of the theory and practice of monitoring techniques used to assess cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

    • Medical Instrumentation and Imaging (30 credits)

      The module aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding of principles and properties of measurement techniques used in carrying out physiological measurements.

  • Year 3 - Compulsory

    • Dissertation (30 credits)

      This module will build on the skills you acquired when undertaking a Research Methods and Professional Practice module and from the knowledge gained throughout the course to date. Further development of analysis, critical thinking and scientific literary style will be promoted. You will pursue areas of individual interest in the subject area appropriate to your target award and have the opportunity of gaining increased theoretical and practical knowledge in a chosen specialist field. You will gain individual research experience  in an area that may provide future employment opportunities. Personal responsibility for your own learning through self-directed study and supervised preparation will be fostered. This is an integral part of the degree programme, furthering the development of skills in critical analysis and reflection.

    • Human Performance Assessment (30 credits)

      The aim of the module is to provide you with an understanding of both the integrative physiological responses or adaptations, including pathological changes and the limits of human performance under challenging environmental conditions. Additionally, you will gain an appreciation of the theory and practice of monitoring techniques used to assess physiological changes induced by exercise or environmental stressors in healthy individuals.

    • Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (30 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding required for clinical practice. You will be able to safely contribute to the clinical exercise testing and interpretation of results of patients diagnosed with heart diseases, pulmonary vascular diseases, peripheral arterial diseases, and muscle disorders.

    • Neurophysiological Assessment (30 credits)

      The aim of the module is to give you the practical knowledge and skills of electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) used to diagnose neurological and neuromuscular diseases and used in neurophysiological research. Additionally, you will gain an insight into interpreting test results.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Course specification

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BSc Medical Physiology support your career?

Great emphasis is placed on ensuring that you acquire the graduate skills required by employers throughout your course and there is a variety of careers open to you once you graduate including:

  • Applied Physiologist
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Physiologist
  • Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Practitioner
  • Clinical Scientist specialising in cardiac science or neurophysiology
  • Exercise Physiologist

Typical employers of medical physiology graduates include  the armed forces, NHS, health and fitness industry, research centres and academic institutions and, medical device and pharmaceutical companies.


We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Neuroscience BSc Honours

Start: September 2023, September 2023: EU/INT induction

Duration: 3 years full-time, 4 years with a placement, Usually 6 years part-time

Code: B14A

Sport and Exercise Science BSc Honours

Start: October 2022

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

Code: C615

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