Senior Units of Study

The Senior units of Physiology in semester one include Frontiers in Cellular Physiology and Reproduction, Development and Disease and Neuroscience and in semester two Frontiers in Whole Body Physiology and Physiology of Disease as well as further related study in Neuroscience units.
Physiology Major Table
Neuroscience Major Table

Physiology - Semester 1

PHSI3009: Frontiers in Cellular Physiology
PHSI3909: Frontiers in Cellular Physiology Adv


PHSI3009/PHSI3909 provides an exploration of mechanisms by which cells interact with and respond to the external environment. The lecture series will discuss how cells sense changes in the environment, attempt to accommodate and respond to these changes, how these responses are often defective in human disease. The large group tutorial sessions will offer training in skill development and re-inforce the material covered in the lecture series. In the problembased learning classes groups of students (supported by experienced research-focused academic) will explore specific human diseases and the physiology underlying these conditions. Practical classes will offer insight into the methods used to study cellular physiology.

6 Credit Points | Coordinator A/Prof Anuwat Dinudom


PHSI3010: Reproduction, Development and Disease
PHSI3910: Reproduction, Development and Disease Adv

The aim of this unit is to provide students with advanced knowledge of the physiological processes that regulate normal reproduction and development and how these may go awry leading to significant human disease. Lectures will focus on; male and female reproductive physiology, endocrinology of reproduction, physiology of fertilisation, cell cycle control and apoptosis, mechanisms of differentiation, gastrulation, cardiovascular development, tissue formation and organogenesis, stem cell biology and the link between developmental processes and cancer. Reprogramming and tissue regeneration will also feature in the lecture content. Problem-based learning will focus on reproductive physiology and regeneration. Practical classes will examine the processes regulating spermatogenesis, embryogenesis and stem cell biology.

Semester 1, 2016 | 6 Credit Points | Coordinator Dr Stuart Fraser

Neuroscience - Semester 1

NEUR3006 Neural Information Processing
NEUR3906 Neural Information Processing Adv

This unit provides an introduction the mechanisms that drive neurons and neural circuits throughout the brain and body. The lectures explore how signal intensity is translated into nerve impulse codes and how this information is again translated through synapses to convey and interpret information about the external world, to control the body and to record information for future use. We also consider how sensory and motor information is integrated through neural circuits in the brain and spinal cord. Practical classes introduce some of the different ways in which the workings of the brain are studied. Each student chooses a journal club that focuses on a specific topic in neuroscience. In the weekly sessions, group members read, present and interpret original research papers, developing a deep understanding of the emerging scientific evidence in the topic area. This senior year unit of study will develop skills in critical analysis, interpretation and communication of new evidence.

NEUR3006 Neuroscience: Motor Systems & Behaviour
Semester 1, 2016 | 6 Credit Points | Coordinator A/Prof Bill Phillips
NEUR3906 Neuroscience: Motor Systems & Behaviour Adv
Semester 1, 2016 | 6 Credit Points | Coordinator
6 Credit Points | Coordinator Dr Dario Protti

NEUR3005 Functional Neuroanatomy
NEUR3905 Functional Neuroanatomy Adv


The aim of this unit is to provide students with advanced knowledge of functional neuroanatomy and systems neuroscience. There will be a detailed exploration of the anatomical structures and pathways that underlie sensation and perception in each of the sensory modalities. The neural circuits and mechanisms that control somatic and autonomic motor systems, motivated behaviours, emotions, and other higher order functions will be explored in great detail. Practical classes will allow students to identify and trace key anatomical structures in human brain and spinal cord specimens. Reading and interpreting images from functional and structural brain imaging techniques will be incorporated into the neuroanatomy practical classes. The ongoing Neuroscience in the Media task will encourage the development of critical analysis of the media portrayal of neuroscience research, as well as allowing students to re-frame and communicate these ideas with their peers. This unit will develop key attributes that are essential for science graduate as they move forward in their careers.

It is recommend that students interested in gaining a Neuroscience major via the NEUR pathway also take NEUR3005/NEUR3905.

Please not that this unit is administered by Anatomy & Histology and does not count towards a Physiology major

6 Credit Points | Coordinator Dr Paul Austin



Physiology - Semester 2

PHSI3011: Frontiers in Whole Body Physiology
PHSI3911: Frontiers in Whole Body Physiology Adv

PHSI3011 and PHSI3911(Advanced) explore the mechanisms that underpin homeostasis throughout the whole body drawing on current research. You will gain detailed insights into whole body physiology and homeostasis at the molecular and cellular level, including bone metabolism, blood cell production, cardiovascular function, autonomic regulation of the body’s functions, metabolism and comparative physiology. Practical classes will include exercise / CV physiology and a series of exercises involving the analysis of “normal” datasets.

6 Credit Points | Coordinator Prof Philip Poronnik

PHSI3012: Physiology of Disease
PHSI3912: Physiology of Disease Adv

The aim of this unit is to provide students with advanced knowledge of the physiological processes that are defective or inappropriate leading to human disease. Lectures will focus on three themes: cancer (tumour physiology), cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease.
Problem-based learning sessions will focus on cancer and cardiovascular disease. Practical classes will include the Cancer eLab online learning environment and a laboratory based practical. These teaching and learning systems will offer insight into the manner by which normal physiological processes become altered and lead to diseases afflicting the human population.

6 Credit Points | Coordinator A/Prof Matthew Naylor

Neuroscience - Semester 2

NEUR3003: Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience

This second semester unit is designed to introduce students to "cutting edge" issues in the neurosciences. This course is a combination of small lectures on current issues in cellular and developmental neuroscience and a research-based library project. Suitably qualified students may have the option of replacing the library project with a laboratory project. Issues covered in the lecture series will include the role of glial on cerebral blood flow and neural transmission, neurochemistry and psychiatric disorders and the development of central and peripheral nervous system.



6 Credit Points | Coordinators A/Prof Kevin Keay & Dr Catherine Leamey


NEUR3903: Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience Adv

This unit encompasses the material taught in NEUR3003. Advanced students perform a research project and present a mini-lecture on a current topic in neuroscience.

6 Credit Points | Coordinators A/Prof Kevin Keay & Dr Catherine Leamey


NEUR3004: Integrative Neuroscience

This second semester unit is designed to introduce students to "cutting edge" issues in the neurosciences and to be taken in conjunction with NEUR3003. This course is a combination of small group lectures on current issues in neuroscience, seminar groups and a research-based library project. Suitably qualified students may have the option of replacing the library project with a laboratory project. Seminars will be held on topics including imaging pain, emotions, cortical development and plasticity, colour vision, stroke and hypertension, long-term regulation of blood pressure, auditory hallucinations and the "cocktail party effect".



6 Credit Points | Coordinators A/Prof Kevin Keay & Dr Catherine Leamey

NEUR3904: Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience Adv

This unit encompasses the material taught in NEUR3004. Advanced students perform a research project and present a mini-lecture on a current topic in neuroscience research.

6 Credit Points | Coordinators A/Prof Kevin Keay & Dr Catherine Leamey