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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

Our medical physiology course offers you an exceptional opportunity to study the complex anatomy and detailed function of the human body in both health and disease.

We place a strong emphasis on learning all about the body’s structure and functions, with a particular focus on anatomy, histology, biochemistry and pharmacology.

We’ll give you a practical insight into the techniques and instrumentation used to investigate the human body in varying states of health and disease, such as fitness tests, chest X-rays and electrocardiograms (ECG), which measure the electrical activity of the heart.

You’ll examine life support systems and have the chance to earn a first-aid qualification. You’ll also discover what happens when body systems break down and how this can lead to disease.

You’ll have the option to take our four-year placement course, which features a year's work experience, normally in a laboratory, after your second year. We’ve seen how such placements often lead to full-time jobs.

If you don't meet the entry requirements for a BSc degree, you have the option of taking an extended four-year version of this course. You’ll begin by taking a Bioscience foundation year which will prepare you for the BSc degree.

What makes this course different

Public Health and Health Science

Foundation year

Find out more about our flexible Bioscience and Health Foundation pathways

Read more
Placement

Placement

Optional placement year available

2nd in London

2nd in London

We are rated the 2nd top university in London for Medical Physiology, only behind King's College London. This includes a fantastic 88% student satisfaction. (The Guardian League Table, Anatomy and Physiology, 2018)

£2.4m

£2.4m Investment in facilities

You'll work in our recently refurbished bioscience teaching laboratory. The lab is proving a major resource and will have a great impact on your student experience.

Industry links

Industry links

We have strong links with The Physiological Society - a professional body that offers student membership and opportunities for you to present your research work and attend courses to enhance your skills.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

In short, you'll study the anatomy and functions of the human body in sickness and in health. 

Along with all your fellow students in your first year, you'll study physiology, biochemistry, human anatomy, cell biology and genetics to equip you with an excellent all-round grounding.

In year two, you'll study more advanced areas of biochemistry, physiology, anatomy and histology and be introduced to pharmacology, disease processes and immunology.

At the end of that year, you'll have the option of a year-long placement in a laboratory away from the University, either in the UK or abroad. This could be in a hospital or research institute or at a food, medical or industrial company.

In your final year, you'll focus more on diseases of the systems of the body and be able to specialise in optional subjects such as toxicology, exercise or neuropharmacology. You'll also complete a major research project.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Essential Skills for Higher Education (Mental Wealth)

    The module aims to enable you to develop the range of essential skills required to complete your academic studies successfully and to enhance your employment prospects. You will develop your skills in academic reading and writing, gathering and evaluating information, and critical thinking. You will perform various individual and group activities, including presentations on topics relevant to your degree studies, enhancing your social awareness and team work skills as well as core communication skills.

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    Essential Maths & ICT

    This module will provide you with fundamental knowledge and practical skills in basic maths, data presentation, and the IT skills. The development of these essential skills will help you to successfully complete further academic studies and enhance your employment prospects. Topics of study will include working with numbers, practical applied maths, basic statistics, data presentation and applied IT skills training in Microsoft office.

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    Career & Professional Skills (Mental Wealth)

    The module aims to develop your life and professional skills, enhance your employment prospects and progression, as well as the academic and subject specific skills which are required for further study. You will actively seek and engage with various digital platforms (e.g., Lynda, LinkedIn), University services and external institutions that will offer you opportunities, to explore, evaluate, learn and participate in activities that enhance your professional skills and reflect on how to plan your career. Academic staff in the various degree programmes and career coaches at UEL will advise and support you on professional skills, career prospects and developments.

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    Human Biology

    Within this module you will develop an understanding of the basic anatomical structures in the human body and physiological principles and processes underpinning their function. You will explore key areas such as the cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, and musculoskeletal system and the coordination of these systems in the maintenance of bodily homeostasis and human health.

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    Introduction to the Study of Cells

    The module aims to provide you with a basic introduction to how different biological and biochemical processes function within cells. You will study the structure and biochemistry of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, cell metabolism, cell division as well as the principles of genetic variation. After completing this module you will have gained a suitable foundation for further studies in the biological and chemical sciences.

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    Chemistry of Life

    This module will provide you with a foundation in the theoretical and experimental aspects of chemistry that underpin many topics Chemistry and Biosciences. You will study basic principles of chemistry such as the periodic table, molecular structure and chemical bonding, organic and biological chemistry, nomenclature of carbon molecules and the structures and functions of the building blocks of life, environmental chemistry, pollutants and toxins on our environment and health.

    Optional Modules
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    Optional Short Placement

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

  • Core Modules
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    Professional Practice in Science (Mental Wealth)

    This module will introduce you to the different approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in a Higher Education setting focusing on core skills required for the bioscience and chemistry programs. This will support you in your ‘transition’ from school, college or the work place towards degree level study. The module will have at its core the key academic, employability and transferable skills of English for academic writing, ICT, numeracy in biological and chemical sciences, statistics, basic laboratory techniques, presentation, and personal development and study skills.

    In parallel themes in personal development such as the understanding of key attributes and topics in emotional, social, cognitive and physical intelligence that are important for careers in biosciences and chemistry professions related to a student’s program of study.

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    Essential Chemistry

    This module aims to enable you to consolidate and develop a knowledge and understanding of the basic principles underpinning the chemistry of biological molecules and the basic analytical techniques that are encountered in bioscience.

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    Cell Biology

    Within this module you will develop a working knowledge, definitions concepts and practical skills that support the understanding of the structure and function of the dynamic cell. This includes topics in cell architecture, organelles, cell cycle, division, intra and extracellular signalling events, differentiation and specialisation of cells and the evolution of cell structures.

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    Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    This module will give students a working knowledge of the definitions, terms and concepts used in biochemistry and molecular biology, and some of the main processes that occur in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Areas of study will include chemical principles relevant to biological systems, the structure and function of biological molecules (RNA, DNA, proteins etc.), the processes underpinning cellular metabolism and its control. Students will develop and demonstrate their competence in a variety of practical laboratory techniques, focusing on enzyme catalysed reactions as well as develop an understanding of how these theoretical concepts and practical techniques overlap with other related disciplines.

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    Fundamentals in Human Anatomy and Physiology

    This module will enable you to consolidate your competence in specified areas of human anatomy and physiology including the structure, function, neurological and hormonal control of the human body, its component parts and major systems (musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, renal, urogenital, nervous, endocrine) and their relationship to each other. You will also be introduced to basic laboratory techniques and methods of functional assessment for physiological processes in humans.

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    Fundamentals in Microbiology

    Within this module you will learn about the structure, physiology, biochemistry, identification, classification and control of microorganisms, including the roles of normal flora found associated with humans. You will also develop basic practical skills required for the safe handling, identification and quantification of different microbes.

    Optional Modules
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    Optional Short Placement

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

  • Core Modules
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    Infection & Immunity

    This module will provide you with a basic understanding of selected topics in medical microbiology, immunology, epidemiology and disease prevention. In the first part of the module the microbes and the consequences of microbial infection on their hosts will be explored. In the second part the development, structure and mechanisms of action of the components of the immune system; innate, acquired immunity, immune effector functions and vaccines will be explored. Theoretical concepts are reinforced through laboratory practical sessions which will introduce you to diagnostic microbiological and basic immunological techniques and data analysis.

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    Physiological Regulation

    Within this module you will enhance knowledge of structure and function of physiological systems building their on their fundamental understanding of the cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive and endocrine systems. You will also develop theoretical knowledge and obtain practical experience in of monitoring physiological function and dysfunction including analysing and interpreting human physiological data.

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    Fundamental & Experimental Pharmacology

    Within this module you will learn to communicate a body of factual information, and engender an understanding of such knowledge, as it pertains to modern pharmacology. You will cover topics in basic pharmacology, drug targets, neurotransmitters, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, autacoids. You will also develop competencies in a range of practical techniques relating to pharmacology in areas relating to the investigation of drug action and drug selectivity.

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    Functional Anatomy

    Within this module you will build and further enhance your knowledge of human anatomy covering normal anatomical structure and related function of the musculo-skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, gastro-intestinal, reproductive, integumentary and endocrine systems. You will also learn basic practical techniques used for the analysis of human movement.

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    Cellular Biochemistry

    Within this module you will build on your knowledge and understanding of the fundamental biochemical, metabolic pathways and processes in found within cells and organisms. This will include the investigation of protein structure and function and enzyme activity and control. You will learn and practice purification techniques for macromolecules. You will also examine theoretical and practical aspects of enzymes function and enzymology. Important exemplars in metabolic pathways such as the TCA and ETC will be discussed in detail and their roles in cellular energy production and human health and disease explored.

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    Research & Career Development - Mental Wealth

    This module is structured to offer you reflective, integrated components in which different scientific disciplines and specialities belonging to their and other programmes of study (such pathobiology, clinical laboratory practice, disease treatment, synthetic chemistry, drug design and manufacture, etc.) are discussed in a system-led approach to develop professional competencies required in carrying out independent laboratory work in a professional setting.

    This includes developing your understanding of different investigative techniques both within and outside of their programme of study, reading and interpreting scientific literature, generic research skills and understanding professional and regulatory benchmarks (ie ethics, governance) within the sector. You will also develop practical skills such as recording, evaluating and presenting results to different types of audiences. While development of sector specific scientific skills is the focus of this module, you will also in parallel develop key transferable skills which will help you thrive in a variety of other sectors.

    Optional Modules
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    Level 5 Short Work Placement

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

  • Optional Modules
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    Year Long Placement (Sandwich Year)

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It also enables you to apply knowledge and skills in the competent performance of tasks required by a scientist. Furthermore, it helps you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

  • Core Modules
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    Cellular Pathology

    Cellular pathology is the microscopic examination of normal and abnormal cells or tissues (histopathology) for indicators of disease. Within this module you will develop a deep understanding of key topics in the clinical and diagnostic application of this discipline. The module curricula will encompass both theoretical and practical aspects such as the gross structure and ultrastructure of normal cells and tissues, structural changes which may occur during disease, reproductive science (including infertility) and embryology. You will get hands on experience preparing cells and tissues for examination as well as develop core competencies in the principles and application of visualisation and imaging techniques, to aid in the diagnosis of disease and selection of treatments.

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    Clinical Physiology

    This module will help you develop a critical understanding of a number of key topics in clinical physiology, its application in the assessment of human health and diagnosis and treatment of disease. This includes advanced study of diseases of the respiratory, nervous, gastro-intestinal, urinary systems as well as nutrition and disease, lifestyle and exercise and aging. You will gain hands on experience in the practical aspects of determining the health status of an individual and diagnosis of disease states using physiological assessments.

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    Applied Physiology

    This module will help you develop a critical understanding of a number of key topics in the application of physiological techniques in understanding human health and disease. These include physiological measurement and signal processing, understanding the how medical and research instrumentation works and is used to investigate body systems and first aid/life support/ cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills. You will also learn about life threatening disorders affecting multiple systems of the body and further develop their entrepreneurial skills through writing a business proposal on a relevant bioscience topic.

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    Research Project and Career Enhancement Portfolio (Mental Wealth)

    During this cap-stone module you will integrate and apply the knowledge and practical skills you have learned through their degree program in two activities. The first is the honours level independent research project (honours dissertation) focused on generation and interpretation data in a topic area centred within your program of study. The second is the development of a career enhancement portfolio where you will be able to assess and hone their key transferable skill sets in preparation for successfully achieving their desired post graduate destinations.

    Optional Modules
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    Neuropsychopharmacology & Emerging Therapeutics

    In this module you will develop in depth knowledge and understanding of aspects of the central neuropharmacology and principles of psychopharmacology related to existing and emerging themes that include mechanisms of addiction and novel therapeutics. This module will also provide you with the understanding of how drugs affect the peripheral (autonomic and voluntary) and central nervous systems in the prevention and treatment of diseases that include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety and depression.

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    Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Pharmacology

    This module will provide you with an in-depth understanding of current and novel pharmacological strategies and in-development interventions used for the treatment of cardiovascular, pulmonary and renal conditions. You will review conditions such as hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure and angina, haemostasis, thrombosis, COPD and asthma, critically evaluating the use of current therapeutics in their treatment and the prospect for clinical application of novel next generation therapies.

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    Toxicology

    Within this module you will develop an in-depth understanding of key topics in toxicology as well as become familiar with a wide range of toxins and toxic compounds. These topics include the biochemical basis of toxicity, enzymes involved in drug metabolism, the various mechanisms underlying toxicity and the organs affected, mechanisms by which toxins can act to cause disease like cancer (carcinogenesis) and how the genetic background of an individual can influence the activity of a toxin (pharmacogenetics). You will also gain hands on experience in performing tests used to assess toxicity in clinical or research settings, gaining valuable experience in diagnostic and pharmacokinetic applications. Finally, this module will also offer you an opportunity to specialise, developing additional expertise in a discrete area within this discipline.

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    Exercise Physiology Techniques

    This module will build your knowledge of the contemporary issues in exercise physiology, emphasising the physiological responses during various exercise situations and conditions. As part of this module you will experience a range of measures designed to examine physiological responses, thus developing the knowledge and skills necessary for a future career in the sports sciences.

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    Level 6 Short Work Placement

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

We aim to make our course an enjoyable and compelling learning experience, throughout which you'll be guided by experts who are as enthusiastic about their subject as they are knowledgeable.

Experts such as Course Leader Dr Mohammed Meah, who's researching the body's response to stress, and Dr Geoff Webb, an author of books on nutrition.

To make our course extra stimulating, we organise external visits such as a day in the dissecting room at St George's Hospital, and we invite guest experts to speak to you. Major international company ADInstruments, for instance, gave a workshop on the methods of measuring biological data from humans.

Our close association with the professional body, The Physiological Society, opens up opportunities, too.

Some of our students have made waves by presenting their research at the Society's meetings, while others have received grants, enabling them to attend specialist courses in 'in vivo' 'in vitro' experimentation.

Your final-year research projects will be your showcase for future employers, demonstrating your ability to generate and interpret new data on subjects such as the cause and diagnosis of diseases.

In your extensive lab studies, you'll benefit from the superb specialised equipment at our Stratford campus, particularly relating to cardiovascular and respiratory research.

Each year you will spend up to 250 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities. These may be lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

Year 1: 180 Hours - Taught Sessions, 60 Hours - Practical/IT Workshops, 960 Hours - Independent Learning

Year 2: 195 Hours - Taught Sessions, 55 Hours - Practical/IT Workshops, 950 Hours - Independent Learning

Year 3: 178 Hours - Taught Sessions, 72 Hours - Practical/IT Workshops, 950 Hours - Independent Learning

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

We'll assess you with a mixture of coursework and exams. Coursework includes essays, research reports, group and seminar presentations and a final-year project. Most of the assessment in your first year is by coursework and we'll give you as much feedback as possible.

In your third year, you'll either take five core modules or undertake a work placement. We'll assess you accordingly. 

  • Year 1 - 58% Portfolio/Coursework, 42% Laboratory/Practical/ICT
  • Year 2 - 42% Written Exam/Timed Assessment, 42% Portfolio/Coursework, 16% Laboratory/Practical/ICT
  • Year 3 - 53% Portfolio/Coursework, 38% Written Exam/Timed Assessment, 9% Laboratory/Practical/ICT

You'll always receive detailed feedback outlining your strengths and how you can improve. We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 14 working days, although you will receive immediate feedback following many of our face to face assessments.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Stratford Campus

Stratford Campus, Water Lane, Stratford

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Mohammed Meah

Mohammed Meah is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Medical Physiology in the School of Health, Sport and Bioscience.

See full profile

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

I’ve had a great time at UEL and enjoyed my medical physiology degree. The anatomy and physiology has given me a strong basis for further studies, particularly relevant for my present medical degree at Aberdeen University.

Agnieszka Lucarz

BSc (Hons) Medical Physiology

Dockland Campus

Why study at UEL?

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We are one of the very few universities in London to offer on-campus accommodation. Our stunning waterfront Halls of Residence is convenient, secure and comfortable - and living on campus is a great way to make friends.

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YOUR FUTURE CAREER

We've worked hard to ensure that this course will be the perfect launch-pad for your future career. Employers recognise the quality of the scientists we produce at UEL and graduates of our course have landed jobs at Hammersmith Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Royal Brompton Hospital, among others.

If you take the option of the one-year work placement, you'll be in a good position to go on to full-time employment in the same organisation, as many of our graduates have done in the past.

The thorough grounding you'll receive in physiology and the transferable skills you'll learn will open up all sorts of career avenues to you, as Isaac Mwita found.

This 2012 graduate reckons the practical knowledge he acquired in investigating the workings of the human respiratory system during our course was largely responsible for securing him a job as a clinical physiologist in the lung function unit of London's Royal Brompton Hospital.

Our students have gone into a variety of jobs in clinical physiology, medicine, radiography, physiotherapy and teaching. In addition, the industrial and pharmaceutical industries are always on the look-out for physiologists.

You might decide to study for a further degree in a related subject, either an MSc or PhD, or embark on a research career in the biological or medical fields. There's always the possibility that, with further study, you could become a doctor or dentist.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.