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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
October 2021
Duration
3 years full-time
4 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK) *
£14,000 (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.

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 in light of the ongoing Covid 19 outbreak. 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 in light of the ongoing Covid 19 outbreak. 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 in light of the Covid 19 outbreak.

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.

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

    • Cell Sciences (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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 is to enable you to acquire laboratory skills required to study cells and microbes.

    • Human Sciences (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Professional Development (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module begins the process of developing the skills required by employers, to become an autonomous and lifelong learner and a scientist. You will also have the forum to explore current trends in medical physiology.

    • Clinical Technology and Mathematics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module introduces the basic principles of both physics and mathematics that are related to healthcare. You will gain a range of the mathematical and statistical skills that underpin the practice of healthcare science.

    • Physics and Measurements (15 credits) - Compulsory

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

  • Year 2

    • Research Methods and Professional Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Placement learning is under the control of external employers who may restrict access to placement learning in light of the ongoing Covid 19 outbreak.

      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. You will develop core research skills fundamental to a scientific research design, irrespective of discipline. Specific research skills include analytical techniques appropriate to individual programme requirements.

    • Medical Instrumentation and Imaging (30 credits) - Compulsory

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

    • Neurophysiology (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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) - Compulsory

      This module will 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.

  • Year 3

    • Neurophysiological Assessment (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will 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.

    • Human Performance Assessment (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will provide you with an understanding of both the integrative physiological responses or adaptations to, 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.

    • Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding required to safely contribute to the clinical exercise testing and interpretation of patients with heart diseases, pulmonary vascular diseases, peripheral arterial diseases, and muscle disorders.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will build on the skills you have acquired throughout the course and in past modules. Further development of analysis, critical thinking and scientific literary style will be promoted. You will be enabled to pursue areas of individual interest in the subject area appropriate to your target award and will have the opportunity of gaining increased theoretical and practical knowledge in a chosen specialist field. Individual research experience will be gained in an area that may provide future employment opportunities. Personal responsibility for 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.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

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.

How is the BSc Medical Physiology taught?

This programme will be delivered in a blended learning format using live interactive teaching sessions via a number of learning platforms e.g. Kaltura newrow Adobe Connect or Zoom. These sessions will be recorded so that you can return to this learning in your own time and study at your own place.  Learning may be supplemented by pre-recorded lectures, demonstration of laboratory techniques or data analysis activity where students can access the information at any point. Practical sessions will either be virtual or on campus where this is possible in light of the ongoing Covid 19 outbreak.  This wide range of teaching and learning approaches are used to build up your skills and knowledge

You will take part in online problem solving discussions,  critical debates and exercises, online workshops, and in-class activities. You will supplement all this with your own guided and independent reading. The mix of delivery modes will be varied and suitable to the content being delivered.

The programme has a strong practical element, with an emphasis on developing the skills needed in a laboratory setting and in gaining hands-on experience of diagnostic techniques.  Access to on campus activity is subject to ongoing and further Covid 19 restrictions and virtual laboratories and pre-recorded lab and practice demonstrations will be used to facilitate your learning

Middlesex is committed to equipping and accommodating learners fully online where they cannot reach campus, and where a second lockdown is in place. In such event, the fully online scenario will be in place to provide and support students’ learning.

Assessment

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Your knowledge and understanding is assessed by both summative and formative assessments, which include seminar presentations, written assignments including laboratory reports, portfolios, group project, dissertation, practical and theory examinations.

Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with other interactive teaching as well as larger lectures delivered online and recorded sessions available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: Course delivered fully online

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

10 (all years)

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

45  (all  years)

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

1 (all years)

Scenario 2: Course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

10  (all  years)

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

45 (all years)

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

1 (all years)

Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week, per level:

2 days in total (essential) (all years)

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.

Support

You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  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: October 2021, September 2021: 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 2021

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

Code: C615

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