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BL2310 Comparative Physiology

SCOTCAT credits:15
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 8
Planned timetable:Lectures: 12.00 noon Mon, Tue, (odd weeks) 12.00 noon Mon, Tue, Wed (even weeks) Practical classes: 2.00 - 5.00 pm Mon or Tue (weeks 3, 5, 7, 9, 11)

A comparative physiologist studies organisms to explore the origins and nature of physiological diversity. This module covers the principles of physiological adaptation in a range of animals, including examples from all major taxa and from all habitats. The specific topics and components include: (1) the physiological consequences of body size and scaling effects; (2) respiratory and circulatory systems in vertebrates and invertebrates; (3) thermal physiology: (4) water balance in aquatic and land animals; (5) the mammalian kidney and its functioning; (6) sensory systems in different environments; (7) neural signaling and vertebrate senses; (8) control systems - hormones and pheromones; and (9) immunity and the maintenance of physiological integrity.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Compulsory for Zoology single honours degree

Optional for all other Biology degrees where timetabling allows.

UG Pre-requisite(s):BL1101 and BL1102
UG Anti-requisite(s):BL2106
UG Modules required for:BL3000, BL3316, BL3318

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:3 x 1-hour in even weeks and 2 x 1-hour in odd weeks, 3-hour practical (x 5 weeks)
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 39
  • Guided independent study: 111

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 50%
  • Practical examinations: 50%
  • Coursework: 0%
UG As used by St Andrews:2-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%
UG Re-assessment:2-Hour Written Examination = 50%, Existing Coursework = 50% (if Exam failed) Existing Examination = 50%, New Coursework = 50% (if Coursework failed) 2-hour Written Examination = 100% (if coursework and exam failed) 2-hour Written Examination = 100% (for Qualified Honours Entry)


Module coordinator:Prof S Healy
Module teaching staff:Team taught