• Class Number 2862
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Kathleen Miles
    • Dr Kathleen Miles
    • Dr Nicole Vargas
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

This course uses a systems approach to explain the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the normal functions of the skeletal muscles, heart, lungs, kidneys, circulatory system, stomach, intestine, liver, and pancreas. The interaction of physiological systems in nutrition, energy metabolism and exercise is introduced. Students will develop a contextualised understanding of how external signals elicit changes in cellular function and how the autonomic nervous and endocrine systems orchestrate physiological responses to external and internal stimuli. Examples of common medical conditions will be presented together with the principles of pharmacological management to address the resultant physiological derangements. Online learning activities, laboratory demonstrations, and practical exercises will illustrate the clinical assessment of important physiological parameters. Group work and facilitated discussions of an assigned research paper will build skills in reading scientific journals and science communication.

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 musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, circulatory, gastrointestinal and endocrine systems.
  2. Define homeostasis and describe the roles of the autonomic nervous system and endocrine system in the regulation of physiological systems and metabolism.
  3. Describe the nutritional needs of the healthy body and how the body adapts to changes in levels of nutrients in response to diet.
  4. Describe the integrated physiological responses that occur locally within working muscles, and the changes that occur within the in the blood, cardiovascular and respiratory systems in response to metabolic demands.
  5. Describe principles of pharmacology and the nature of pharmacological targets to correct physiological derangements in organ function and metabolism in a variety of medical conditions.
  6. Collect experimental data and interpret graphical representations of measured physiological parameters in light of established physiological principles.

Research-Led Teaching

The teaching academics in this course are active researchers in the field of medical education, human physiology, exercise and nutrition. Their expertise in these fields are utilised in the content delivery and the assessment style of this course. Students are actively encouraged to experiment in their interpretation of the content and apply their knowledge.

Required Resources

Textbook of Medical Physiology Guyton and Hall ISBN-13: 978-1455770052 ISBN-10: 1455770051

The following two textbooks are also recommended (Understanding Pathophysiology is a required textbook in semester 2 MEDN2002):

Understanding Pathophysiology 3e (Australia and New Zealand Edition) Craft and Gordon eBook ISBN: 9780729586337 Paperback ISBN: 9780729542647

Pharmacology For Health Professionals, 5e; ISBN 9780729542753

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 on assignments.
  • Verbal comments.
  • Feedback to the whole class.
  • To groups; and
  • To individuals.

Timely feedback will be provided for all assessments, including take-home question sets, post-practical reports and the group project. Students are encouraged to seek additional feedback from the course convenor as required.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lectures:L1 - Homeostasis and Cellular Physiology IL2 - Homeostasis and Cellular Physiology IITutorial - Homeostasis and Cellular Physiology
2 Lectures: L1 - Somatic nervous system and the action potential IL2 - Muscle contractionsTutorial - Somatic nervous system and muscle contractions
GROUP APost-practical report - Muscle contractions, EMG
3 Lectures:L1 - Cardiovascular Physiology IL2 - Cardiovascular Physiology IITutorial - Cardiovascular Physiology
GROUP BPost-practical report - Muscle contractions, EMG
4 Lectures:L1 - Renal IL2 - Renal IITutorial - Renal
GROUP APost-practical report - Cardiovascular assessment
Group project teams must be arranged by the end of Week 4.
5 Lectures: L1 - Respiratory IL2 - Respiratory IITutorial - Respiratory II
GROUP BPost-practical report - Cardiovascular assessment
6 Lectures: L1 - Blood, circulation and capillary exchange IL2 - Blood, circulation and capillary exchange II
7 Lectures:L1 - Endocrine Physiology IL2 - Endocrine Physiology IITutorial - Endocrine Physiology Mid-Semester examination
8 Lectures:L1 - Gastrointestinal Physiology IL2 - Gastrointestinal Physiology IITutorial - Gastrointestinal Physiology
GROUP APost-practical report - Spirometry
9 Lectures:L1 - Nutrition IL2 - Nutrition IITutorial - Nutrition
GROUP BPost-practical report - Spirometry
10 Lectures:L1 - Exercise IL2 - Exercise IITutorial - Exercise
GROUP APost-practical report - Exercise assessment
11 Lectures: L1 - Integrative Physiology IL2 - Integrative Physiology IITutorial - Integrative Physiology
GROUP BPost-practical report - Exercise assessment
12 Lectures: L1 - Principles of Pharmacology IL2 - Principles of Pharmacology IITutorial - Principles of Pharmacology
13 End of semester examination See ANU Examination Timetable for the scheduled date and time: Examination timetable | Australian National University (anu.edu.au)

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Post-practical Reports 30 % 1,2,4,6
Mid-Semester Examination 20 % 1,2,4
Group Project 10 % 1,2,3,4,5,6
End of Semester Examination 40 % 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 Integrity 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 Skills 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.


Students are expected to attend lectures, contribute to discussions and engage in activities provided for learning. When this is not possible, students are expected to listen to the audio recordings of all lectures and complete additional activities. Students are also expected to attend face-to-face practical classes and tutorial sessions and interact with stations and activities.


The mid-semester and final examinations are composed of multiple question types including multiple choice, extended matching and short answer questions. These examinations are comprehensive and can address any aspect of the curriculum and associated independent study requirements.

Students will need a computer and internet connection for the mid-semester and end of semester examinations.

See ANU Examination Timetable for the scheduled date and time of the end of semester examination: Examination timetable | Australian National University (anu.edu.au)

End of semester course results are released on ISIS.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,6

Post-practical Reports

Post-practical reports will be completed in a small group for each of the four practicals.

Assessments will typically involve responses to short answer questions in a report style. A template is provided for each practical report and this includes the required word count - see WATTLE for further details.

Submission Date: The due date will be by 5:00 PM 1-week following the scheduled activity as appears in the course timetable. For example, if you are in GROUP A undertaking a practical in week 2, submission is due week 3 and if you are in GROUP B undertaking a practical in week 3 then submission is due in week 4. Students who are unwell are advised to follow the standard ANU procedures for an extension due to illness or special consideration.

Value: 30% (each post-practical report assessment is worth 7.5%)

Return Date: 2 weeks after submission date

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Mid-Semester Examination

The mid-semester examination will be a 1-hour exam to test knowledge of the topics covered in weeks 1-7.

The format will be a WATTLE-based online assessment comprised of MCQ and short answer questions. Please be advised that the examination will be conducted using the university Proctorio invigilation software.

A practice exam will be provided prior to the date of the examination.

Examination Date: Week 7 during a scheduled session. See WATTLE for details.

Value: 20%

Return Date: 4 weeks after examination date

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Group Project

In this assignment, groups of ~5 students will work collaboratively to visually communicate research on a nutritional intervention designed to improve measures of health and/or human performance. To do this, students will create an infographic (1-page) summarising the research review article the group has been provided. Groups will then complete a presentation of the infographic via a video recording (5-7 minutes).  See WATTLE for project details and assessment rubric.

You must assign yourself to a project group by the end of week 4. See WATTLE for instructions.

Submission Date: Infographic and video-recorded presentation are to be uploaded to WATTLE by one group member before 11:59 PM 13th May

Value: 10%

Return Date: 4 weeks after submission date

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

End of Semester Examination

The exam will assess student's knowledge of content from the entire semester (Weeks 1-12).

The examination is composed of multiple choice questions, short answer questions and extended matching items.

The final examination will be conducted on WATTLE using Proctorio invigilation software.

Examination Date: See ANU Examination Timetable for the scheduled date and time: Examination timetable | Australian National University (anu.edu.au)

Value: 40%

Return Date: Final course grades will be available from ISIS

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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 will 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 Kathleen Miles

Research Interests

Medical Education

Dr Kathleen Miles

By Appointment
Dr Kathleen Miles

Research Interests

Medical Education

Dr Kathleen Miles

By Appointment
Dr Nicole Vargas

Research Interests

Dr Nicole Vargas


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