• Class Number 4126
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr David Kramer
    • AsPr David Kramer
    • Dr Joshua Chu-Tan
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course is designed to introduce the principles of medical physiology and pharmacology. Topics have been selected to illustrate key scientific principles that underpin the normal function of the healthy human body. Students will be introduced to the major drug classes that act upon important physiological processes. Online learning activities, laboratory demonstrations and practical exercises will be used to illustrate methodologies used to investigate the health of important body systems. Small group workshops will be used to introduce students to historical and current scientific literature related to concepts learned in the course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Discuss the relationship between structure and function in organ systems, with an emphasis on the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and endocrine systems.
  2. Discuss the hypothalamo-pituitary axis and its role in regulation of homeostasis.
  3. Describe the roles of organs and tissues in homeostasis.
  4. Describe and apply principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
  5. Identify key targets for pharmacological intervention in the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and endocrine systems. 

A medical physiology textbook.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Topic: Introduction/ Review of Cellular Physiology focusing on the cell membrane, membrane potential, transport across the membrane and signal transduction. The week also includes a self directed online tutorial on muscle cell physiology and muscle contraction that serves as the preparation for the practical in week 2. There are no scheduled face to face tutorial sessions in week 1.
2 Topic: Introduction/Review of Nerve cell physiology and the Action Potential. Practical session: Muscle contraction. INCLUDES pre and post practical assessments Online assessment associated with the practical (5%)
3 Topic: Components of Blood, Erythrocyte physiology and Oxygen delivery to tissues. Tutorial: Review of cell physiology and oxygen delivery Online progressive assessment weeks 1-2 (5%)
4 Topic: Cardiac conduction and contraction, the circulatory system and blood pressure. Practical session including online preparation: the Electrocardiogram (ECG) INCLUDES pre and post practical assessments Online assessment associated with the practical (5%)
5 Topic: Kidney structure and function, re-absorption and secretion, and regulation of blood volume. Tutorial: Calculating GFR. PLUS INTRODUCING THE ASSIGNMENT
6 Topic: Respiratory system, gas exchange and control of ventilation. Practical session including online preparation: lung function tests. INCLUDES pre and post practical assessments Online assessment associated with the practical (5%)
7 Topic: Integrated physiology regulation of blood pressure and pH. Note Due to the Easter holiday and ANZAC Day holiday there will be no tutorial this week. Online progressive assessment weeks 5,6 (5%)
8 Topic: Applied physiology in the Intensive Care Unit Tutorial: Inferring the status of physiological functions from blood gas values and common clinical tests in healthy and unwell adults.
9 Topic: Applied physiology: Physiological basis of Sports and Exercise Science.Note this is a three hour session that will commence at 8AM and will involve live demonstration of the impact of exercise on measured physiological parameters. NO tutorial this week ASSIGNMENT DUE THIS WEEK
10 Topic: Endocrine control of energy metabolism. Overview of absorption, distribution and storage of food metabolites in the fed and fasting state. Physiological adaptation to starvation. Tutorial: 30 minute practice exam with immediate feedback. Note: Shortlisted topics will be provided to focus study, for the practice exam. Online progressive assessment weeks 7,8,9 (5%)
11 Topic: Principles of Pharmacology Tutorial: Pharmacokinetics problem solving
12 Topic: Physiological basis of therapeutics agents. Tutorial: 30 minute practice exam with immediate feedback. Note: Shortlisted topics will be provided to focus study, for the practice exam. Online progressive assessment weeks 10,11

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online exercises 25 % 04/03/2019 31/05/2019 1,2,3,4
Practical assessments 15 % 12/03/2019 31/05/2019 1,2,3,4
Assignment 20 % 06/05/2019 31/05/2019 5
End of Semester exam 40 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Summative examination comprised of multiple assessment formats including multiple choice, extended matching, short answer and essay questions. The examination is comprehensive and can address any aspect of the curriculum and associated independent study requirements.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 04/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Online exercises

Online quizzes will be used to monitor academic progress and consolidate learning. 5 in total worth 5% each.

The date range for these tasks indicates the approximate due date for the first and last quiz. There are 5 quizzes due over the semester. It is intended that the marked quizzes will be returned within 1 week after submission. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 12/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Practical assessments

Comprised of pre-practical MCQ and post practical short answer questions based on the content of the practical. There are practical sessions in weeks 2,4,6 each contributing 5% to the course mark for a total of 15%.

To be eligible for the marks a student MUST have attended the practical session or have an approved absence recorded by the course convenor as the result of an approved special consideration application. This includes marks associated with the per-practical component.

The date range for these tasks indicates the approximate due date for the first and last assessment. There are several assessments due over the semester. It is intended that the marked assessments will be returned within 1 week after submission. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 06/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 5


Group or Individual communication assignment on the mechanism of action of a class of drugs (group) or individual drug (individual) targeting physiological functions of the cardiovascular, renal or respiratory systems. A list of approved agents and drug categories will be provided to students,

The assignment will involve the creation of an online resource which will be shared with the class. The assignment requirements will be explained in the tutorials in week 5 and the assignment will be due in week 9. Details provided on Wattle

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

End of Semester exam

The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Students to note: online assessments will close and cannot be submitted late

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr David Kramer
6125 1517

Research Interests

AsPr David Kramer

AsPr David Kramer
02 6125 9090

Research Interests

AsPr David Kramer

Dr Joshua Chu-Tan
02 6125 9090

Research Interests

Dr Joshua Chu-Tan

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions