Course Title: Systems Physiology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Systems Physiology

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Elizabeth Verghese

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 0282

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.02.039

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study (Pre-requisites)



Course Description

This course will expand upon previous studies in BIOL2480 Introductory Human Biosciences and develop your understanding of the physiology of major body systems. It will further contribute to the foundational knowledge required for program-specific application of anatomical and physiological information.

Topics covered will include:

  • Endocrine system. Major endocrine glands and hormonal control of energy balance and metabolism, responses to stress, growth and reproduction.
  • Cardiovascular System. The cardiac cycle, regulation of blood pressure and haemodynamics, blood composition and haemostasis.
  • Respiratory System. Pulmonary ventilation, gas exchange and transport, regulation of respiration.
  • Digestive System. Digestion and absorption of nutrients; gastrointestinal motility and secretions.
  • Renal System. Mechanisms of filtration, reabsorption and secretion; integrated regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance.
  • Integrated neural control mechanisms for these body systems

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcome/s:

Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Laboratory Medicine) (BP147):

  • Understand appropriate and relevant, theoretical concepts of scientific knowledge with the ability to use and apply the knowledge in a wide range of problem solving, challenging and interpretative situations within the professional laboratory medicine discipline (PLO1)

Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Radiations) (BP148RT, BP148NM, BP321RT, BP321NM): In accordance with the Professional capabilities for medical radiation practice developed by the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia (MRPBA professional capabilities).

  • Apply an understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathology that is appropriate to your division of registration (PLO5.1)

Bachelor of Nursing (BP032) In accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Registered Nurse Standards for Practice:

  • Thinks critically and analyses nursing practice (PLO1).

Upon successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Identify the major endocrine glands and explain the role of the endocrine system in blood glucose homeostasis, the stress response, and in maintaining normal growth and metabolism.
  2. Explain the integrated regulation of cardiac output and blood pressure by heart and blood vessels.
  3. Identify main elements in blood and explain the key events in haemostasis.
  4. Describe the mechanisms controlling pulmonary ventilation and the subsequent exchange and transport of gases.
  5. Explain the role of the digestive system in the absorption and processing of nutrients by the body.
  6. Describe the basic renal processes and explain the role of the kidney in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance.
  7. Discuss the role of the nervous system in the control of these body systems.

Overview of Learning Activities

Course materials will be delivered predominantly online and supported with face-to-face workshops/tutorials.

Teacher Guided Hours: 12

Learner Directed Hours: 96

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources in this course include:

  • Online learning activities
  • Recommended readings from textbooks, online sources, and designated references
  • Workshop/tutorial activities

Online resources will be made available via the RMIT Learning Management System (LMS).

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Online tests

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

Assessment Task 2: Workshop/tutorial learning activities

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

Assessment Task 3: End of semester exam

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7