Physiology is the study of how the various tissues and organs of the body work to support life and grow. Undertaking a major in physiology will advance your understanding of how the body works, which is often of practical relevance in clinical medicine.
For more information on the program structure and content, view the Science Undergraduate Handbook.
To prepare for a physiology major, you must take first year chemistry. It is also recommended that you take junior units in molecular biology and genetics, mathematics and physics.
You will take the intermediate physiology units that are prerequisites for your senior units. Your second year classes will have an emphasis on cellular neurophysiology, muscles, blood, respiration, the cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, reproductive, sensory and motor systems, and principles of data analysis.
To successfully complete the physiology major, you must take at least 24 credit points from senior units of study in physiology.
Human Cellular Physiology
Neuroscience: Special Senses
Neuroscience: Motor Systems and Behaviour
Heart and Circulation: Normal Function
Heart and Circulation: Dysfunction
Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience
Cells and Development
With a major in physiology, you can become a professional in a vast range of health-related roles. These include clinical practitioner roles, biomedical research, health promotion and medical journalism. Physiologists work in fields as diverse as conservation and wildlife biology to cancer diagnostics. Your career development will depend on your personal strengths and interests.
Further study for major
If you are interested in furthering your specialisation in physiology, you may wish to undertake an honours year and a subsequent postgraduate research program, subject to admission requirements.
Opportunities for honours and postgraduate research are available for eligible students in a variety of specialised physiology fields including motor and sensory systems, muscle cell function, neurobiology, developmental physiology, embryonic stem cells, human reproduction, vision and more.
Completing your honours year is an important step in exploring your potential for a career in research, as it involves completing a research project in your specialised area, under the supervision of an expert in that field. If you do well enough, you might be eligible to apply for a research program like the MSc or PhD, where you can take your research even further.
Related subject areas
Anatomy and Histology