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NST 1A Physiology of Organisms

crabPhysiology is the branch of biology relating to how living organisms work. While often concentrating on the organ-level (“how does the heart work?”), it covers life from the whole organism down to the single cell and intracellular organelle. It overlaps with biochemistry and other life sciences, and is usually taken to include membrane biophysics. It can include every aspect of the function of an organism, from molecular mechanisms to the control of behaviour. In its applied aspects, physiology deals with the function and malfunction of parts of the human body with reference to health and disease (areas relating to medicine), how to improve crop yield (areas relating to plant sciences) as well as the practical problems of animal, plant and microbial performance and their responses to challenging conditions (areas relating to ecology). The course does not assume a knowledge of A-level biology or any other course, although some background in biology, chemistry and physics will be useful. It provides a foundation for second-year subjects including Animal Biology, Ecology, Neurobiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Plant & Microbial Sciences and Physiology.

Lectures: take place on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 12 noon

Practicals: take place every two weeks, from 12-1pm and then from 2-5pm on either Wednesdays or Fridays, while in the Lent term practical classes are every week. There is only one practical class in the Easter term.

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Matt Mason, Department of PDN,

Course Website:

The course timetable can be seen here