• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

Physiology is the science of living systems. Learn how cells, organs and tissue function in our bodies, as well as how they adjust to change.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework
Royal Society of Biology Accredited Degree

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 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 transport across membranes of tissues plays a key role in 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.

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.

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Undergraduate student Rachel from Malaysia talks about the Biomedical Sciences BSc at the University of Dundee

Degree flexibility

Our flexible choice of modules means you'll get to study a wide variety of topics. This broad exposure gives you the time to develop your understanding of biomedical science. You can then choose to specialise or graduate with a broad biomedical sciences degree.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2018
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 / 4 ABB (minimum) - AAB (typical) including A-Level biology and chemistry, plus GCSE mathematics at C / 4
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) H2H2H3H3 at Higher Level including biology and chemistry, plus Ordinary Level mathematics at O2 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.
A combination of IB Certificate plus other qualifications, such as A-Levels, Advanced Placement Tests or the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), will also be considered.
34 points at Higher Level grades 6, 6, 5 to include biology and chemistry, plus Standard Level mathematics at grade 4
Graduate Entry
BTEC BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma can be considered for the Foundation Year in Life Sciences. Level 2 Entry is not possible with this qualification
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) A relevant HNC with grade A in the graded unit with appropriate Science units A relevant HNC with grade A in the graded unit and 120 SCQF Credits or A relevant HND with grade AA in the graded units with appropriate Science units
Scottish Baccalaureate Distinction with AB at AH Biology and Chemistry. Mathematics at SG (grade 3) or Intermediate 2 / National 5 (grade C) Distinction with AB at AH Biology and Chemistry. Mathematics at SG (grade 3) or Intermediate 2 / National 5 (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 Pass with A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE grade C / 4 Pass with A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE grade C / 4
European Baccalaureate 70% overall with 7 in Biology and Chemistry 75% overall with 7.5 in Biology and Chemistry
Other Qualifications
Notes

 EU and International qualifications



English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers

 

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.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

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-based learning
  • media / video exercises

as appropriate to each module.

How you will be assessed

All modules are assessed by a combination of in-course and end-of-course assignments. 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.

Online assignments are used extensively at Levels 1 and 2, with access on or off campus. Peer assessment is used to promote teamwork and group learning.

Level 1 entry

With highers, A-levels, Irish Leaving certificate, IB Diploma, HNC, etc

Level 1

Life Science core theory and practical modules.

You can also study subjects from other schools such as languages

Advanced entry (to level 2)

With advanced highers, A-levels, IB diploma, HND, etc

Level 2

Semester 1: Core theory, practical and outside subject

Semester 2: Biomedical or biological modules

Level 3

Choose to specialise in the subjects that excite you in Biomedical or Biological Sciences

Graduate BSc

Bachelor of Science (Ordinary Degree), Biomedical Sciences, or Biological Sciences

Year in industry

Opt to have a year in industry or study abroad

Level 4

Research project on current research in Life Sciences.

Graduate BSc Hons

With named specialist degree

Level 5

Extend research projects, research seminars in your chosen area, research skills and planning.

Graduate MSCi

in a specialist subject

What you will study

Typical course structure

The modules are running during the 2016-2017 academic year. We refresh our modules every year to keep our courses up to date, so your modules may be different.

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.

Level 1 - core modules

Semester 1

Number of credits: 10

This is a module that introduces aspects of two major concepts: the basics of heredity and evolution. For basics of heredity, an introduction to genetics, inheritance of traits, and the fidelity of genetic information over generations will be given. The concept of evolution will consider Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection, the nature of variation, the ways in which selection acts upon variation and descent from a single common ancestor. Finally the concept of molecular evolution explores how genes and genomes evolve to produce the diversity of life systems observed today.

Credits: 10

Semester: 1

This is a module that introduces aspects of major concepts: The Gene, Evolution and Biological Organisation. The concept of the Gene covers major topics such as DNA, genes, genomes, reproduction and heredity. The concept of Evolution introduces the topics of multicellularity and the benefits of being multicellular. The concept of Biological Organisation introduces the topic of chemical transmission and how characteristics are retained from simple animals such as the coelenterates to more complex animals such as the chordates. The need for a nervous system and the early development of nervous systems including simple nerve nets are explored from an evolutionary perspective.

Semester: 1

Number of credits: 10

This module will start with a mandatory introduction to health and safety and basic lab skills. There will be one field excursion and a series of practical classes that will cover techniques of isolation and culture of microorganisms and gram staining. Other set practical classes include: arthropod diversity and insect dissection, forensic entomology and the analysis of DNA.

Semester: 1

Number of credits: 10

This module will extend and develop the generic skills introduced in BS11003 with specific emphasis on health and safety and basic laboratory practice. The ability to work effec tively as part of a group will form a significant part of this module. Students will extend their information literacy skills by locating and accessing scientific resources to support their learning.

To support the group lab project, students will receive guidance on lab- book/record keeping, experimental design and project planning, in addition to interpretation of data and presentation of project results. Students will also be encouraged to reflect on and evaluate their own learning throughout the semester, identifying areas for development and consolidation.

Semester 1:

Number of credits: 20

This module introduces the application of the physical  sciences and mathematics to the Life Sciences. T he module covers aspects of basic  physics, chemistry and mathematics including numeracy and mathematical application; biophysics; organic; and physical chemistry and the introduction to and  use of numeric and scientific literacy. The use of technology to support and enhance application within the Life Sciences will form a significant part of this module, which  will be both theoretical and practical in delivery.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 10

This module develops aspects of four major concepts:  The Cell, the Gene, Evolution and Biological Organisation. The concept of the Cell  covers major topics such as cell division, chromosome structure, sexual  reproduction, germ cells, meiosis and fertilisation. The concept of the Gene covers  the major topic of genetics, introducing genes and alleles and gives a functional  explanation of Mendel’s Laws. The concept of Evolution introduces topics such as  the Mesozoic ecosystem structure and the transition of life to land, including the  dominance of insects, amphibians and reptiles. Consideration will be given to the  physiological problems of life on land (reproductive freedom from water, breathing air  [especially during the mid- Devonian drop in global oxygen levels], water conservation  and the emergence of the mammal -like reptiles). The concept of Biological  Organisation covers topics such as changes in posture, heart anatomy, respiratory  capacity, temperature regulation and endothermy in terrestrial vertebrates. Fluid  balance, homeostasis and the basic principles of endocrinology are introduced,  together with the basic concepts of neurophysiology, muscles and  movement.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 10

This module develops aspects of three topics: i)  Energy and Metabolism, ii) The Cell and its Environment, and iii) Animals: Form and  Function.

Energy and metabolism introduces the major topics of chemical and biological  thermodynamics covering enzymes (as biological catalysts, their structure and basic  mechanisms), enzyme kinetics, energy  flow and transfer and the basic principles of  metabolism in autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms.

The Cell and its Environment develops the topic of cell structure, covering  intracellular compartmentalisation and trafficking; lipids and membranes, with specific  emphasis on the biochemical and biophysical properties of membranes.

The Animals: Form and Function topic starts with the basic concept that specialised  cells form tissues and organs which in turn interact at the level of the whole- organism. Phys iological systems (endocrine, nervous, circulatory, gas exchange and  excretory) in animals of increasing complexity are used as examples, highlighting  links between form and function and to illustrate the importance of homeostasis.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 10

This module will extend and develop laboratory and research skills introduced in semester 1 of Level 1

  • Optical techniques – Students will use a spectrophotometer to produce a standard absorbance spectrum, apply the Beer -Lambert Law to derive unknown concentrations from known values of absorbance and perform a Bradford Assay
  • Protein purification – Students will experience two techniques that are commonly used to separate mixtures of proteins: size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS PAGE) 
  • PCR - In conjunction with its associated workshop, this laboratory exercise aims to give students a basic understanding of the practical application of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the use of agarose gel electrophoresis for the analysis of DNA samples.
  • Enzyme kinetics – Students will gain practical experience of a typical enzyme assay procedure.
  • Digital skills – online scientific literature searches
  • Protein expression – Students will learn how to purify and analyse a recombinant protein.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 10

This module will extend and develop the generic  skills introduced in BS12003 with specific emphasis on data presentation,  interpretation and analysis. The ability to work effectively as part of a group and the  application of peer support and peer-assessment will form a significant part of this  module. Students will extend their information literacy and scientific writing skills by  researching and presenting an area of current research in poster format, giving due  attention to scientific writing protocols. Students will be encouraged to reflect on  and evaluate their own learning throughout the semester, identifying areas for  development and consolidation and setting appropriate targets.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 20

This module outlines the historic development of  the Life Sciences from alchemy with its origins in ancient Egypt to the present day. It  covers key milestone events such as identifying the structure of DNA and cloning of  Dolly the sheep and includes pivotal figures such as da Vinci, Darwin and Watson and Crick. The module explores the relationship between art and science through  botany, anatomy and forensic art and reviews modern popular science writers such  as Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins and Nick Lane. The module goes on to  examine the significance of the philosophical framework within which science is  developed and how this has impacted upon the direction of scientific thought. The  moral and ethical implications of scientific research and devel opment are analysed  within traditional and contemporary contexts such as bodysnatchers, stem cell  research, use of animals and humans in research and the nature/nurture debate.  The role of the media in shaping society’s opinion and interpretation of science is  discussed in relation to the  public understanding of science .

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 20

The purpose  of this module  is to inspire students to  think beyond  their programme of studies and plan their own business/research idea.  This module  will consist  of:

  • Inspire  Dundee - Lectures  from inspirational members of staff who run their  own companies.
  • Intellectual Property -  discovering  what people want to think about when  protecting their  own ideas, an overview of patent law.
  • CV Writing skills
  • The Money Pot - where  to obtain funding and how to  write a successful proposal.  
  • The Plan - writing business plans and discovering how much money is needed  to set up  a business/run a lab.

Level 1 - optional modules

Semester: 1

Number of credits: 20

This module  offers a science based optional module  which may be of particular interest to those students who intend to specialise in  later years in either pharmacology or drug discovery. The module will look at  several classical English texts in which poisonings play a pivotal role in the plot. After examination of the text, the symptoms will then be  unpicked and possible poison molecules identified along with their source. Students  will be able to explore the darker side of pharmacology and look at the importance  of  dosage and how molecules used to cure can also kill.

Level 2 - core modules

Semester 1

Number of credits: 10

The module will be covering the evolution of life in the Cenozoic era. The first half of which will be a general to specific introduction to statistics for the biosciences, bringing students up to speed on the structure of datasets and how one infers differences. This will also include an introduction to the design of experiments, concepts of randomisation and blocking; regression, anova and principle tests of signal versus noise. The second half of the module will address the geological, climatic and biological changes that have led to the modern disposition of the continents. This will cover major climatic themes that have shaped modern life including sea level change and glaciation; evolutionary development of birds and mammals; the evolution of endothermy; the biogeographic distributions of biota; and the adaptive radiation/evolution of the mammals. This will also include a comprehensive introduction to human origins and the impact this species has on nature. Topics including the evolution of the hominid lineage; predation/parasitism, and disease/population dynamics. Students will be expected to complete a substantial piece of coursework related to a component of the indicative content.

Semester 1

Number of credits: 10

This module builds the foundations for our understanding of genetics and molecular biology. DNA is at the core of explaining who we are and how we are different and this module explores the role of DNA in transmitting information from generation to generation, how that information is copied and used, and how that use is regulated. With that foundation the module explores how we can manipulate the genetic code of an organism to take on new functions and respond to stimuli, and what happens when the regulation of the cell goes wrong.

Semester 1

Number of credits: 10

This module will extend and develop laboratory and research skills introduced in Level 1 (direct Level 2 entrant students will have an opportunity to learn skills and techniques at the start of semester 1).  There is specific emphasis on the following subject areas: comparison of kinetic and thermodynamic control in protein folding, use of aseptic techniques through the use of bacteria, the broad use and application of antibodies in Life Sciences, introduction of the concepts of osmolarity and tonicity and retrieval and analysis of sequence information (genetic, cDNA and amino acid) from online databases.  A significant component of the taught element of this module is devoted to the study and application of statistics, data analysis and representation, using the R-Studio software tool.  A summatively assessed lab skills test is set at the end of the module.

Semester 1

Number of credits: 10

Students will carry out two laboratory projects which will allow them to gain experience in the use of laboratory equipment and techniques.  The projects will cover basic organic synthesis of biological molecules and also a forensic chemistry investigation.  These projects will allow them to improve their experimental planning, risk assessment, report writing and data analysis skills.  Group work will involve oral and written presentation skills and provide team building experience.

Module not available to non-Life Science students except forensic anthropology and anatomical science students

Semester 2

Number of credits: 20

The aim of this module is to introduce students to specific topics within the Biomedical Sciences.  Topics will include: Nerve and muscle: the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), muscle contraction and body movements; Cardiovascular system: heart function and integrated control of blood pressure; Pharmacology of NMJ and heart muscle; Effects of exercise on cardiovascular systemSkills - Students will develop and apply skills in problem solving, teamwork and IT and be encouraged to develop self-reliance and independent study skills.

Number of credits: 20

The aim of this module is to give students a sound foundation in biomolecular mechanisms and processes.
This module will study the main mammalian metabolic pathways and their control including the molecular processes involved.  The module will also look at current topics in microbiology including disease and resistance and introduce immunology and virology.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 20

The aim of this module is to broaden and strengthen both the practical and generic skills of students by building on experience gained at level 1 and semester 1 of level 2.

The module will expand on techniques and skills introduced in earlier practical modules.  Practicals will be accompanied by data handling and manipulation workshops.  Basic concepts in ethics in the Biosciences will be introduced in a workshop.  Careers and employability exercises will help students to decide on their future career paths.  Generic skills will be reinforced by updating students’ PDP.

Module not available to non-Life Science students except forensic anthropology and anatomical science students

Level 2 - optional modules

Semester: 1

Number of credits: 10

This module will consist of one tutorial session every  week covering: 

  • A recap on the fundamentals of molecular orbital theory, acids and bases and  physical chemistry as applied to Biology
  • Inorganic chemistry with particular reference to metals in biology such as iron,  copper and zinc and chelation therapy.
  • Trends in the periodic table will be looked at in-depth.
  • Organic chemistry content will focus on fundamental mechanisms, molecular struc ture, stereochemistry, and functional groups with a focus in  carboxylic acids.

Semester: 1

Number of credits: 10

This  module  will  provide  a general introduction to  statistics with specific examples for the biosciences, bringing students up to speed  on the structure of datasets and how one infers differences.  This will include an  introduction to the design of experiments, concept s of randomisation and blocking; Regression and Multiple regression; ANOVA (including posthoc testing); principle  tests of signal versus noise. Students will also be introduced to appropriate graphing  and representation of data. Students will be expected to complete a substantial  piece of coursework related to a component of the indicative content.

Semester: 1

Number of credits: 10

This module focuses on the development of basic  programming skills using Python 3 for use in Life Sciences applications. The intention  is to provide a basic understanding of programming. This will be achieved by a  comprehensive hands-on experience of the use of these languages. The course is intended to provide a hands -on introduction to programming in Python  3. The expectation is that the skills acquired will provide a basic competency that will  enable the development of Python scripts that may be embraced in problem solving  and data analysis beyond this module.

Semester: 1

Number of credits: 10

This module will consist  of:  

  • Theoretical concept of an entrepreneur – introduction to the current theory of what  makes an entrepreneur.
  • Research techniques – how to complete market research in order to evaluate the  feasibility of a business proposal and market the b usiness proposal once developed,  and how to conduct interviews in order to evaluate the entrepreneurial characteristics  of an individual.
  • Developing the business idea – Taking a basic business idea and adding flesh in the  form of determining the market, refining the processes, and understanding the key  components of the business model.
  • Numbers count – an introduction to key accounting models such as costing and  break -even analysis to allow students to financially evaluate their proposals.
  • Business Risk – how to evaluate and mitigate the business risks relating to individual  business proposals.  

At Levels 3 and 4 you will study a combination of modules appropriate to your chosen degree subject within the biomedical sciences theme.

If you are reading for a single Honours degree in one of these subjects you will take modules in your main subject combined with modules in other subjects in this group, or combined with Level 3 modules in an appropriate biological sciences subject.

Physiological Sciences levels 3 and 4

Level 3 - core modules

Semester 1

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide the student with an understanding of the regulation of normal membrane function and the physiological principles underlying this, show how our current understanding of membrane function has been arrived at using examples from current literature, provide an understanding of some basic cellular and molecular physiological and pharmacological techniques and their application to investigate membrane function and enable the acquisition of skills, attitudes and techniques useful in the pursuit of modern biology.

Semester 1

Number of credits: 15

This module will broaden and strengthen the practical, laboratory research and generic skills of students by building on their level 1 and 2 or other previous experience and preparing them for more advanced study at level 4.

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of changes in biological membranes, pre-clinical methods used in drug screening and development, techniques available for evaluating human psychological and/or physiological responses and different types of study design in clinical trials.

Semester 1

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide a good understanding of the physiological and pharmacological regulation of body systems for maintaining homeostasis.  After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how key body systems are regulated by physiological and pharmacological agents in the maintenance of processes such as blood sugar, calcium balance, obesity/appetite/satiety and reproduction.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide a good understanding of the physiology and pharmacology of the human respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal systems.

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the functions and related pharmacology of respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal systems in human physiology.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide the anatomical background to the human systems studied in the Biomedical Stream at level 3.

After study of this module, students will be able to; recognise the gross anatomy and histology of the systems covered, describe the pathology of these systems and explain the development of systems during the first trimester

Level 3 - optional modules

Semester 1

Number of credits: 15

The aim of this Module is to introduce specific topics within the area of Biochemistry and Cell Biology that will underpin the more specialised areas that students will encounter in Semester 2 of Level 3 and in Level 4.  The Module also aims to strengthen students’ skills in scientific writing, critical analysis of scientific literature and in self-directed learning.

Topics covered in the module are how proteins function at the molecular level, protein folding, targeting, posttranslational modification and turnover, the cytoskeleton, molecular motors, cell division and how cells form tissues, cell signalling and regulation of metabolism, bioenergy and photosynthesis, systems biology approaches.

Semester 1

The aim of this module is to introduce specific topics within the area of Gene Regulation and Expression including examples of how defects at the molecular level result in disease. Topics will include transcription, translation, mRNA processing, RNAi and miRNA function and utilisation, DNA recombination and Epigenetics and genetic disease,

Students will understand the fundamental processes in molecular biology that are critical for gene expression in relation to cellular function

To be able to apply this knowledge and other information to explain the mechanism by which at least one disease state is manifest by perturbation and mutation of the apparatus to allow normal function.

Semester 1

Number of credits: 15

To introduce practical tissue culture laboratory skills, and strengthen research and generic skills of students by building on their level 1 and 2 or other previous experience and preparing them for more advanced study at level 4.

After successful completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the effects of signalling mechanisms on cells and molecules; of the techniques available for evaluating physiological responses in tissue culture cells; and of the principles underlying advanced instrumentation commonly used to assess experiments involving cultured cells e.g. fluorescent microscopes, luminometers.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module is to introduce students to the specialist area of study of developmental biology building on their core curriculum in levels 1&2 and Semester 1 of Level 3.  To give the student an understanding of the stages and processes involved in the development of organisms. Topics include: Morphogenesis, patterning embryos, patterning tissues, morphogenetic movements, development and diseases stem cells.

Students will be able to explain broad aspects of the development of vertebrates and invertebrates and what happens when these processes go wrong and will develop their literature review skills, and group working and ways of presenting information in an informative manner.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will cover methods of cell-to-cell communication, signal transduction pathways, key proteins in signal transduction and downstream effects.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide students with a broad understanding of key topics in immunology. This module will underpin more specialised areas of  immunology that the students will encounter in their Level 4 laboratory projects and in Semester 2 of Level 4. The module aims to strengthen students’ skills in problem solving, critical analysis of scientific literature and will be able to explain central concepts in the field of immunology and relate this to protection against infectious disease.

Students will be able to explain central concepts in the field of immunology and relate this to protection against infectious disease, innate immune mechanisms that sense and eliminate pathogens, processing and presentation of antigenic material to drive immune responses, antibody-mediated protection, development and activation of B and T lymphocytes, lymphocyte function, mucosal immune defences, immunological memory and vaccination, immunity to viruses, immunodeficiency diseases, autoimmune diseases and immune hyper reactivity.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide students with a good understanding of the quantitative aspects of pharmacology including mathematical descriptions of drug/receptor interactions and the handling of drugs by the body (pharmacokinetics).

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate receptor theory, including basic mathematical descriptions of receptor occupancy and the nature and diversity of allosteric interactions within receptor complexes, the area of pharmacokinetics and drug disposition within the body and the drug development process.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide students with a good knowledge and understanding of chemical transmission within the central nervous system and how this may be modulated to achieve therapeutic benefit in several disorders of nervous system function.

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate chemical transmission within the central nervous system, pathological mechanisms involved in disorders of the central nervous system and the modulation of chemical transmission to achieve therapeutic benefit.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide an opportunity to acquire a good understanding of the physiology and anatomy of systems that govern the sensory perception and motor function.

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how nervous systems, in particular the motor and sensory systems, are built and function, using examples from all stages of neural organization (at the molecular, cellular, circuits and systems levels).

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of molecular pharmacology, from drug receptor interactions to activation of intracellular signalling cascades.

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate and explain the basic principles of receptor pharmacology, with a focus on G protein coupled receptor structure, signalling and function.

Semester: 2

Credits: 15

This module will provide a firm grounding in key molecular mechanisms and pathways  underpinning proliferation and survival relevant to the development of cancer and other  disease-related themes at levels 3 and 4. Additionally, it will  provide  an insight into the  experimental appr oaches that have advanced the field of cancer biology . Topics  covered will include  reversible post-translational modification of proteins and the  nature/function of the enzymes that mediate these processes, with emphasis on their  dysregulation in cancer; major pathways controlling proliferation and survival including  cell cycle regulation and programmed cell death; key principles by which transcriptional  regulation underpinning the control of gene expression is perturbed during cancer   development;  pathological mechanisms (with emphasis on post-translational  modification) by which stimulatory and inhibitory signals regulate cell cycle control  through selective gene expression in cancer ; and general therapeutic strategies in  cancer based on the understanding of these pathways.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 15

This module  will  provide  a broad  knowledge  base  in data analysis for students of life sciences.  Aspects of generalized linear modelling using datasets will be revisited and  extended . Topics explored will include generalised linear modelling using error  structures that aren’t normally distributed; analysis of data with  fixed, random and mixed  effects; principal component analysis  and other clustering techniques; and analysis of  experimental designs that involve nested, split plot or non-orthogonal data.

Level 4 - core modules

Semester 1

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide the student with an understanding of the regulation of normal membrane function and the physiological principles underlying this, show how our current understanding of membrane function has been arrived at using examples from current literature, provide an understanding of some basic cellular and molecular physiological and pharmacological techniques and their application to investigate membrane function and enable the acquisition of skills, attitudes and techniques useful in the pursuit of modern biology.

Semester 1

Number of credits: 15

This module will broaden and strengthen the practical, laboratory research and generic skills of students by building on their level 1 and 2 or other previous experience and preparing them for more advanced study at level 4.

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of changes in biological membranes, pre-clinical methods used in drug screening and development, techniques available for evaluating human psychological and/or physiological responses and different types of study design in clinical trials.

Semester 1

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide a good understanding of the physiological and pharmacological regulation of body systems for maintaining homeostasis.  After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how key body systems are regulated by physiological and pharmacological agents in the maintenance of processes such as blood sugar, calcium balance, obesity/appetite/satiety and reproduction.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide a good understanding of the physiology and pharmacology of the human respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal systems.

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the functions and related pharmacology of respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal systems in human physiology.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide the anatomical background to the human systems studied in the Biomedical Stream at level 3.

After study of this module, students will be able to; recognise the gross anatomy and histology of the systems covered, describe the pathology of these systems and explain the development of systems during the first trimester

Level 4 - optional modules

Semester 1

Number of credits: 15

The aim of this Module is to introduce specific topics within the area of Biochemistry and Cell Biology that will underpin the more specialised areas that students will encounter in Semester 2 of Level 3 and in Level 4.  The Module also aims to strengthen students’ skills in scientific writing, critical analysis of scientific literature and in self-directed learning.

Topics covered in the module are how proteins function at the molecular level, protein folding, targeting, posttranslational modification and turnover, the cytoskeleton, molecular motors, cell division and how cells form tissues, cell signalling and regulation of metabolism, bioenergy and photosynthesis, systems biology approaches.

Semester 1

The aim of this module is to introduce specific topics within the area of Gene Regulation and Expression including examples of how defects at the molecular level result in disease. Topics will include transcription, translation, mRNA processing, RNAi and miRNA function and utilisation, DNA recombination and Epigenetics and genetic disease,

Students will understand the fundamental processes in molecular biology that are critical for gene expression in relation to cellular function

To be able to apply this knowledge and other information to explain the mechanism by which at least one disease state is manifest by perturbation and mutation of the apparatus to allow normal function.

Semester 1

Number of credits: 15

To introduce practical tissue culture laboratory skills, and strengthen research and generic skills of students by building on their level 1 and 2 or other previous experience and preparing them for more advanced study at level 4.

After successful completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the effects of signalling mechanisms on cells and molecules; of the techniques available for evaluating physiological responses in tissue culture cells; and of the principles underlying advanced instrumentation commonly used to assess experiments involving cultured cells e.g. fluorescent microscopes, luminometers.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module is to introduce students to the specialist area of study of developmental biology building on their core curriculum in levels 1&2 and Semester 1 of Level 3.  To give the student an understanding of the stages and processes involved in the development of organisms. Topics include: Morphogenesis, patterning embryos, patterning tissues, morphogenetic movements, development and diseases stem cells.

Students will be able to explain broad aspects of the development of vertebrates and invertebrates and what happens when these processes go wrong and will develop their literature review skills, and group working and ways of presenting information in an informative manner.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will cover methods of cell-to-cell communication, signal transduction pathways, key proteins in signal transduction and downstream effects.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide students with a broad understanding of key topics in immunology. This module will underpin more specialised areas of  immunology that the students will encounter in their Level 4 laboratory projects and in Semester 2 of Level 4. The module aims to strengthen students’ skills in problem solving, critical analysis of scientific literature and will be able to explain central concepts in the field of immunology and relate this to protection against infectious disease.

Students will be able to explain central concepts in the field of immunology and relate this to protection against infectious disease, innate immune mechanisms that sense and eliminate pathogens, processing and presentation of antigenic material to drive immune responses, antibody-mediated protection, development and activation of B and T lymphocytes, lymphocyte function, mucosal immune defences, immunological memory and vaccination, immunity to viruses, immunodeficiency diseases, autoimmune diseases and immune hyper reactivity.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide students with a good understanding of the quantitative aspects of pharmacology including mathematical descriptions of drug/receptor interactions and the handling of drugs by the body (pharmacokinetics).

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate receptor theory, including basic mathematical descriptions of receptor occupancy and the nature and diversity of allosteric interactions within receptor complexes, the area of pharmacokinetics and drug disposition within the body and the drug development process.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide students with a good knowledge and understanding of chemical transmission within the central nervous system and how this may be modulated to achieve therapeutic benefit in several disorders of nervous system function.

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate chemical transmission within the central nervous system, pathological mechanisms involved in disorders of the central nervous system and the modulation of chemical transmission to achieve therapeutic benefit.

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide an opportunity to acquire a good understanding of the physiology and anatomy of systems that govern the sensory perception and motor function.

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how nervous systems, in particular the motor and sensory systems, are built and function, using examples from all stages of neural organization (at the molecular, cellular, circuits and systems levels).

Semester 2

Number of credits: 15

This module will provide an understanding of the fundamental principles of molecular pharmacology, from drug receptor interactions to activation of intracellular signalling cascades.

After successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate and explain the basic principles of receptor pharmacology, with a focus on G protein coupled receptor structure, signalling and function.

Semester: 2

Credits: 15

This module will provide a firm grounding in key molecular mechanisms and pathways  underpinning proliferation and survival relevant to the development of cancer and other  disease-related themes at levels 3 and 4. Additionally, it will  provide  an insight into the  experimental appr oaches that have advanced the field of cancer biology . Topics  covered will include  reversible post-translational modification of proteins and the  nature/function of the enzymes that mediate these processes, with emphasis on their  dysregulation in cancer; major pathways controlling proliferation and survival including  cell cycle regulation and programmed cell death; key principles by which transcriptional  regulation underpinning the control of gene expression is perturbed during cancer   development;  pathological mechanisms (with emphasis on post-translational  modification) by which stimulatory and inhibitory signals regulate cell cycle control  through selective gene expression in cancer ; and general therapeutic strategies in  cancer based on the understanding of these pathways.

Semester: 2

Number of credits: 15

This module  will  provide  a broad  knowledge  base  in data analysis for students of life sciences.  Aspects of generalized linear modelling using datasets will be revisited and  extended . Topics explored will include generalised linear modelling using error  structures that aren’t normally distributed; analysis of data with  fixed, random and mixed  effects; principal component analysis  and other clustering techniques; and analysis of  experimental designs that involve nested, split plot or non-orthogonal data.

MSci Integrated Masters Programme

Develop your own research project and work for five months in a lab with our MSci Programme.

The MSci Programme takes students coming from the Biological or Biomedical Sciences streams.

RSB Advanced Accredited logo

This programme provides an additional year of study in the indicated specialisms that is designed to increase your practical ability and employability, giving you focused training in laboratory research that results in the award of a Masters degree.

Based from the outset in one of our internationally renowned research laboratories, you will build on your Level 4 experience but go well beyond it: you will develop your own research project that you will write up in the form of a grant proposal, receive training in a variety of research skills and carry out a 5-month, full-time project in your host lab based on the proposal you have written.

In addition to enhancing your laboratory skills you will develop your ability to think critically and analytically, learn how to formulate new ideas and research hypotheses and develop skills in data analysis, interpretation and communicating scientific information.

Entry to the MSci Programme will be by interview and you must maintain a B3 average at first attempt across your Life Sciences Modules throughout Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 to be eligible.

Specialisms available:

  • MSci Biochemistry
  • MSci Bioinformatics
  • MSci Cell Signalling
  • MSci Cell & Developmental Biology
  • MSci Drug Discovery
  • MSci Immunology
  • MSci Molecular Biology
  • MSci Molecular Microbiology
  • MSci Neuroscience
  • MSci Pharmacology
  • MSci Physiological Sciences
  • MSci Plant Sciences

The Procedures for managing student applications to transfer to the SLS MSci Programme are available to download.

Students interested in applying for the MSci Programme should complete and return the MSci Application form with their CV by the last week of Semester 2, Friday, 27 May 2016 to Schooloffice-LS@dundee.ac.uk.  Late applications will be considered if space is available.

For more information contact:
David Norman
d.g.norman@dundee.ac.uk
01382 384798

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.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2018-19

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2018-19
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2017 entry). Fees for September 2018 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2018.
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year of study. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £19,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.


Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code Unistats Data
Apply NowPhysiological Sciences BSc (Hons)B100