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Course Description

Credit Units: 2 (PYS 021)/3 (HMC 014)
Lecturers: Mr. Ubak, N. G.  (BSc, Biochemistry; M.Sc. Pharmacognosy), Email:, College of Health Sciences, Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Course description:

This is an introductory course of general human physiology. The course concentrates on physiological systems and unified concepts that contribute to a basic understanding of the structure of the human body. This course is to ensure that students acquire requisite knowledge of physiology as a basis for understanding how physiological processes are altered by disease states or affected by drugs.

Learning outcomes: 

At the end of the module, students should be able to: 

  • describe the morphology of the major structures in the human body. 
  • demonstrate an understanding of the relationships, interactions, and functions of major structures in the human body. 
  • identify common malfunctions associated with major structures and systems in the human body. 
  • demonstrate skills in the areas of observation and measurement of physiological processes; the assessment and integration of physiological information; 
  • explain the integrated functioning of physiological systems; the pathophysiological changes arising from defects in normal physiological functions; the potential sites of action and mechanisms by which therapeutic agents can affect normal and abnormal physiological function. 

Course content: 

  1. Introduction to the Human Body: an overview of anatomy and physiology; levels of structural organization; maintaining life; homeostasis; the language of anatomy; clinical applications. 
  2. Cellular Level of Organization: overview of the cellular basis of life; the plasma membrane: structure; the plasma membrane- functions; the cytoplasm; the nucleus; other organelles cell growth and reproduction; extracellular materials; clinical applications. 
  3. Tissue Level of Organization: epithelial tissue; connective tissue; covering and lining membranes; nervous tissue; muscle tissue; tissue repair; clinical applications. 
  4. The Integumentary System: the skin; appendages of the skin; functions of the integumentary system; homeostatic imbalances of skin; clinical applications. 
  5. Bones and Skeletal Tissue: skeletal cartilage; classification of bones; functions of bones; bone structure; bone development; bone homeostasis- remodeling and repair; homeostatic imbalances of bone; clinical applications. 
  6. Skeletal System: the axial skeleton (Skull, vertebral column, the bony thorax); the appendicular skeleton (pectoral (shoulder) girdle, upper limb, pelvic (hip) girdle, the lower limb); clinical applications. 

Muscles and Muscle Tissue: overview of muscle tissues; skeletal muscle; smooth muscle; clinical applications. 

  1. The Muscular System: interactions of skeletal muscles in the body; naming skeletal muscles; muscle mechanics- importance of fascicle arrangement and leverage; major skeletal muscles of the body. 
  2. Fundamentals of the Nervous System and Nervous Tissue: organization of the nervous system; histology of nervous tissue; neurophysiology; basic concepts of neural integration; clinical applications. 
  3. The Central Nervous System: the brain; higher mental functions; protection of the brain; the spinal cord; diagnostic procedures for assessing CNS dysfunction. 
  4. The Peripheral Nervous System: sensory receptors and sensation (overview: from sensation to perception); transmission lines: nerves and their structure and repair (nerves and associated ganglia, cranial nerves, spinal nerves); motor endings and motor activity (peripheral motor endings, overview of motor integration: from intention to effect); reflex activity (the reflex arc, spinal reflexes; clinical applications) 
  5. The Autonomic Nervous System: introduction; ANS anatomy; ANS physiology; homeostatic imbalances of the ANS; clinical applications. 
  6. The Special Senses: the chemical senses (taste and smell); the eye and vision; the ear: hearing and balance; developmental aspects of the special senses. 
  7. The Endocrine System: the endocrine system- an overview; hormones; major endocrine organs; other hormone-producing structures; clinical applications. 

Methods of Instruction:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Discussion groups
  • Reading of articles from relevant scientific journals

Methods of Course Assessment:

. Evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

Criteria Marks

Class attendance 10

Tests 10

Assignments 10

Semester’s Examination 70


Pre-requisite courses:


Reading list: 

  1. TORTORA, G.J. AND DERRICKSON, B.H. (2014). Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 14th Edn. New York: Wiley, ISBN: 9781118345009 
  1. MARIEB, E. N. AND HOEHN, K. (2016). Human Anatomy & Physiology, 10th Edn. Boston: Pearson, ISBN: 9780321927040 
  1. HALL, J. E. (2016). Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 13th Edn. Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier Science, ISBN: 9781455770052 
  1. MOORE, K. L., DALLEY, A. F. AND AGUR, A.M.R. (2014). Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 7th Edn. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, ISBN: 9781451119459

Please click on the course content tab to have access to all required materials for this course.

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