• Class Number 3451
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Joshua Chu-Tan
    • AsPr David Kramer
    • Dr Joshua Chu-Tan
    • Dr Suzanne Estaphan
    • Vishal-Rai Sidhu
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
    • Vishal-Rai Sidhu
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. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, 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. Collect experimental data and interpret graphical representations of measured physiological parameters in light of established physiological principles.
  5. Describe and apply principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
  6. Identify key targets for pharmacological intervention in the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and endocrine systems.
  7. Communicate information relevant to human physiology using a range of media.

Required Resources

Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology 13th edition, ISBN 9781455770052

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

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 Lectures: Introduction/ Review of Cellular Physiology focusing on the cell membrane, membrane potential, transport across the membrane and signal transduction.
2 Lectures: Introduction/Review of Nerve cell physiology and the Action Potential.
3 Lectures: Components of blood and cardiovascular physiology Case study 1 released (10%)
4 Lectures: Kidney structure and function, re-absorption and secretion, and regulation of blood volume.
5 Lectures: Respiratory system, gas exchange and control of ventilation. Case study 2 released (10%)
6 Lectures: Integrated physiology regulation of pH, haemoglobin, and acid/base regulation.
7 Lectures: Physiological basis of sports and exercise Mid-semester exam (20%)
8 Lectures: Principles of Pharmacology Pharmacology assignment released (15%)
9 Lectures: Endocrine physiology
10 Lectures: Gastrointestinal physiology. Overview of absorption, distribution and storage of food metabolites in the fed and fasting state. Physiological adaptation to starvation.
11 Lectures: Nutrition, basal metabolic rate, RDI, physiology of weight
12 Lectures: Physiological basis of therapeutics agents.

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial/workshop registration will take place in Week 1. Details are provided on Wattle.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Case study assessments 20 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4
Mid-semester exam 25 % 19/04/2021 23/04/2021 1, 2, 3, 4
Pharmacology Assignment 15 % * * 5, 6, 7
Final exam 40 % 03/06/2021 01/07/2021 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

* 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 Academic Integrity . 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.

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date for mid-semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held; the due and return date for end of semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and the date official end of Semester results are released on ISIS. Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Case study assessments

Two separate case study reports worth 10% each on the basis and significance of physiological recordings. These reports will reinforce key teachings in the cardiac and respiratory physiology lectures and will cover information taught in practical sessions in previous years. Students will be required to analyse provided data provided and understand the physiological principles underpinning it.

Report 1 - ECG/Cardiac function

  • Due: Tuesday week 5
  • Returned: Friday week 6

Report 2 - Spirometry/Lung volumes

  • Due: Monday week 7
  • Returned: Friday week 8

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 19/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 23/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Mid-semester exam

The mid-semester exam will be a 1 hour exam to test the student's knowledge of the topics covered in weeks 1-6. This will be held after the mid-semester teaching break at a time announced on Wattle and make up 25% of the course grade.

The format will be a Wattle based assessment comprised on MCQ, fill in the blank essay questions and short answer questions. A practice exam will be provided prior to the date of the exam.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 5, 6, 7

Pharmacology Assignment

Group communication assignment on the mechanism of action of a class of drugs targeting physiological functions of the cardiovascular, renal or respiratory systems. A list of approved agents and drug categories will be provided to students to sign up for in week 8.

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 8 and the assignment will be due in week 12.

  • Due: Monday week 12
  • Returned: During exam period

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 03/06/2021
Return of Assessment: 01/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Final exam

Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam. If done remotely, the final examination will be conducted on Wattle at a time scheduled by ANU Examinations.

The exam will require student's knowledge of content from the entire semester. MCQs will only cover weeks 7-12. SAQs will be 80% focused on weeks 7-12, 20% focused on weeks 1-6. Essays will cover weeks 1-12.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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.

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.

Returning Assignments

Assignments submitted through Turnitin will be returned on that platform with marker comments and suggestions annotated onto the online submission file.

Quizzes and exams will not be returned but model answers be provided on Wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmissions are not permitted unless under exceptional circumstances after discussion with the convenors.

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).

Dr Joshua Chu-Tan
+61 2 6125 9069

Research Interests

Vision Science, Neuroscience

Dr Joshua Chu-Tan

By Appointment
AsPr David Kramer

Research Interests

AsPr David Kramer

Dr Joshua Chu-Tan

Research Interests

Dr Joshua Chu-Tan

By Appointment
Dr Suzanne Estaphan

Research Interests

Dr Suzanne Estaphan

Vishal-Rai Sidhu

Research Interests

Vishal-Rai Sidhu

Vishal-Rai Sidhu

Research Interests

Vishal-Rai Sidhu

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