Have you ever wondered: what limits determine where humans and other animals can live? How are water, sugars and ions transported across cell membranes? What specific exercise training programmes ensure peak performance? Physiology, the science of living systems, will help you to answer these questions and many more.
Why study this course at Dundee?
The School of Life Sciences consistently achieves high rankings for both its teaching and research, and our Physiological Sciences course was ranked No. 1 in Scotland by the Times Good University Guide 2012.
We are committed to delivering excellent physiology teaching and have been active in developing teaching software to help deliver both lecture and practical material.
What exactly is Physiology?
Physiology is about the functions of living organisms, such as the circulation and function of the heart, food and digestion and the energetics of muscle contraction. Its scope ranges from understanding events at the molecular level (e.g. how cells sense nutrients) to the integrative physiology of organs and systems and how they are regulated and adjust to change (e.g. in response to exercise and to environmental extremes such as the microgravity of space flight).
On a molecular level, understanding ion channel properties and what controls where and when they are placed in the body brings us closer to developing novel therapeutic strategies for pain control and the treatment of life threatening conditions such as cystic fibrosis.
Nutrient (glucose, amino acids and lactate) transport across membranes of tissues plays a key role in whole body fuel metabolism. Integrative physiology shows how whole body metabolism is regulated and how the body adapts to altered fuel intake and use, and how muscle can adapt to changes throughout life e.g. growth, ageing and functional alterations such as exercise.
Physiologists haved helped in the development of treatments such as cardiac pacemakers and artificial joints, which are of benefit to animals as well as humans.
What is so good about this course?
Flexible course pathways
Physiological Sciences is available as a single Honours degree programme and can also be combined with several other disciplines, in the Anatomical & Physiological Sciences degree, or combined with another subject e.g. pharmacology, in a Biomedical Sciences degree.
The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.
You have to obtain your qualifications at the first sitting of examination.
|Courses starting 2016|
|Qualification||Level 1 Entry||Advanced Entry to Level 2|
|SQA Higher/Advanced Higher||AABB at Higher including biology and chemistry, plus mathematics (Standard Grade at 3 or National 5/Intermediate2 at C)||AB at Advanced Higher including biology and chemistry, plus BB at Higher in different subjects, plus mathematics (Standard Grade at 3 or National 5/Intermediate2 at C)|
|GCE A-Level||ABB (minimum) - AAB (typical) including A-Level biology and chemistry, plus GCSE mathematics at C||ABB (minimum) - AAB (typical) including A-Level biology and chemistry, plus GCSE mathematics at C|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC)||AABB at Higher Level including biology and chemistry, plus Ordinary Level mathematics||Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification|
|International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma||30 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 5 to include biology and chemistry, plus Standard Level mathematics at grade 4||34 points at Higher Level grades 6, 6, 5 to include biology and chemistry, plus Standard Level mathematics at grade 4|
|BTEC||BTEC Extended Diploma can be considered for the Foundation Year in Life Sciences.||A relevant HND with Merits in appropriate Science modules|
|SQA Higher National (HNC/HND)||A relevant HNC with grade A in the graded unit with appropriate Science units||A relevant HND with grade AA in the graded units with appropriate Science units|
|Scottish Baccalaureate||Applicants with this qualification would be considered for Level 2 entry||Distinction with AB at AH Biology and Chemistry. Mathematics at SG (grade 3) or Intermediate 2 (grade C)|
|SWAP Access||Relevant science subjects with AAA grades to include Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology at SCQF Level 6||Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification|
|Advanced Diploma||Applicants with this qualification would be considered for Level 2 entry||Grade A with ASL-A Level Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE C|
|Welsh Baccalaureate||Applicants with this qualification would be considered for Level 2 entry||Pass with A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE grade C|
|European Baccalaureate||70% overall with 7 in Biology and Chemistry||75% overall with 7.5 in Biology and Chemistry|
English Language Requirement
For non EU students
English Language Programmes
We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.
How you will be taught
We use a variety of teaching methods, with lectures and practicals forming the core. In addition, we use workshops, tutorials, computer-aided learning, and field excursions, as appropriate to each module.
How you will be assessed
All modules are assessed by a combination of in-course and end-of-course procedures. Regular in-course assessments (e.g. practical reports, computer-based exercises, essays and data processing exercises) provide feedback on your progress and help you prepare for end-of-module examinations.
On-line assignments are used extensively at Levels 1 and 2, with access via a PC on or off campus. Peer assessment operates in many team projects.
What you will study
Typical Degree Programme
Levels 1 and 2
All Life Sciences degree programmes share common core modules at Level 1 that provide a general introduction to the life sciences through an integrated programme of lectures, tutorials, practical work and field excursions.
Please refer to the Biological/Biomedical Sciences degree structure and overview webpage for details of the common curriculum in Levels 1 and 2.
At Level 3 you specialise much more in physiology, and you choose additional subjects that interest you to study alongside your main subject. You will study aspects of cellular and molecular physiology that currently cover:
- membrane physiology
- ion and nutrient transport
- cell-cell communication
- cell excitability and neurophysiology
The knowledge you gain from these topics will then be carried forward to demonstrate how function at the cell and molecular level is integrated into control of physiological systems (e.g. respiratory, cardiovascular, etc.) and the whole body.
Summer work placements
Many students take advantage of opportunities for summer work placements, normally between Levels 3 and 4, which are available as externally-funded competitive placements, or as voluntary laboratory work.
Your studies at Level 4 will be at the level of current research in your chosen subject area.
Advanced study of topics in physiological sciences currently include:
- membrane transport
- lung development and function in health and disease
- regulation of cardiac function
- human reproduction
- modern techniques of human metabolic investigation
- regulation of nutrient exchange
- nutrient induced responses
- regulation of fuel and oxygen utilisation
- comparative animal physiology
Your studies will involve extensive use of scientific literature and the opportunity to attend a regular programme of seminars given by invited speakers from Britain and abroad.
- Research project - several formats are available including laboratory-based research under the supervision of a leading scientist, computer modelling, multimedia teaching packages, literature and electronic database review.
As a graduate in physiological sciences you will have an excellent grounding for a career in, or further training for, biomedicine and related fields including biochemistry, pharmacology and physiotherapy.
Many of you will contribute to a better understanding of the basis of human performance, taking higher degrees and then going on to careers in biomedical research.
You will also be welcomed into applied research and development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Some of you will go on to teach in schools and universities. We also have a good record of postgraduate entry to medicine.
A broad spectrum of employment is available to graduates in any discipline and your training in communication and transferable skills will be recognised and valued by a wide range of employers.
The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.
|Fee category||Fees for students starting 2016|
|Scottish and EU students||£1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2015 entry). Fees for September 2016 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2016.|
|Rest of UK students||£9,000 per year of study. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.|
|Overseas students (non-EU)||£15,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.|
Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.
Your personal statement should demonstrate an interest in the subject you are applying for and a commitment to the study of that subject. How did your interest in the subject arise, and do you have a particular career path in mind?
You should comment on your participation in both school/college/work and extracurricular activities and on the extent to which they have aided in your personal development and the acquisition of skills that will be of value to you as a life sciences student.
- Do you have an enquiring mind?
- Do you have good analytical skills and problem-solving ability?
- Are you self-motivated and able to work independently?
- Are you a good team player?
- Do you have good communication skills?
If you are planning a gap year, comment on the intended activity and the benefits that you think you are likely to gain from the experience.
Give careful consideration to both the style and content of your personal statement as it can be an indicator of your ability to communicate as well as providing an account of your personal achievements and skills.
|Degree||UCAS Code||KIS Data|
|Apply Now||Physiological Sciences BSc (Hons)||B100|