BMS109 - Physiology with Pharmacology (20 credits)

Module Co-ordinator: Dr. E. Seward

Available as an individual module to students outside the department of Biomedical Science  as BMS108


This module aims to introduce the study of physiology and pharmacology at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organ structure level. It uses a systems-based approach and will examine the effects of disease and drugs on bodily function.


This module aims to provide students with an introduction to human physiology and pharmacology. Whilst providing a system-based approach, it will emphasise that modern understanding of normal bodily functions and drug treatment requires an integrated understanding of cell and molecular biology combined with a basic knowledge of anatomical tissue and organ structure. It will also examine the effects of disease and drugs on body function. Teaching and learning will take place in a formal lecture environment and will be supported by web-based materials. Assessment will be by formal examination.


By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able to demonstrate a range of knowledge. They should be able to:

  • relate the structure of molecules, cells, tissues and organs to their physiological function
  • list the molecular and cellular changes that occur in various diseases and state how these affect normal function
  • discuss how animal models can be used to study different diseases
  • outline the roles of the endocrine system and autonomic nervous system in regulating activities within the various systems of the body
  • recall how drugs can alter the function of systems.

Teaching Methods

The module will involve lecture-based sessions and a tutorial supported by web-material. During the module, formative assessments will be available on the web. The questions on the formative assessments will be in the same style, form and level of difficulty as the final examination. This will enable the students to test their development of knowledge and also provide practice for the module examination.

This didactic approach aims to deliver key knowledge and concepts to a large number of students in an effective manner.


Applies only to non-BMS students taking these sessions as the free-standing module BMS108.

Assessment will be a 2-hour formal, multiple-choice question paper that will be `guess corrected´. MCQ examinations are well established as a reliable and discriminating method of assessing factual knowledge such as that to be imparted by this module. Formative assessments of the same style, form and level of difficulty will be available via the web.