This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the function, control and co-ordination of the cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems. Students will examine cardiac, pulmonary and renal function and normal circulatory, respiratory and renal dynamics. An overview of the co-ordination of these systems will be achieved through an examination of the mechanisms involved in maintaining fluid, electrolyte, and acid-base balance, and the integration of neural and endocrine function in the control of cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems. Homeostatic control of the cardiac, pulmonary and renal systems will also be examined by investigating their responses to stresses, including exercise and high altitude.

Unit details

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Credit points:
Unit code:


RBM1528 - Human Physiology 2

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Reflect on cardiac function and explain changes in ECG, cardiac work and the pulse pressure wave in order to understand physiological responses to exercise;  
  2. Evaluate the characteristics of obstructive and restrictive diseases and interpret how these alter lung volumes;  
  3. Interpret kidney control and feedback mechanisms, including molecular transport in each nephron segment, in order to forecast fluid, electrolyte and acid-base imbalance;  
  4. Analyse and report on cardiorespiratory responses to exercise and outline exercise limitation in normal and extreme environments; and  
  5. Analyse and report on cardiorespiratory and renal data from experimental procedures on human participants in a clear and concise scientific manner;  


Assessment type Description Grade
Laboratory Work Three (3) Laboratory Reports (1500 words total) 24%
Exercise Two (2) in class/online submissions (600 words total) 16%
Test Test (20mins) 10%
Exercise Justified response to Physiological reasoning questions (open book - 2.5 hours) 50%

Required reading

Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach 8th ed,
Silverthorn, D.U. (2019)

RECOMMENDED TEXTS: Beachey, W. (2018) Respiratory Care Anatomy and Physiology: Foundations for a Clinical Practice 4th ed, Elsevier Powers, S.K., & Howley, E.T. (2018) Exercise Physiology 10th ed, McGraw-Hill.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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