Integrated Body Systems module

Module Overview

The module will provide an overview of the regulation of the major body systems including cardiovascular and respiratory systems, renal and endocrine function with opportunities for discussion of how the systems to integrate to achieve homeostasis in situations of stress, such as strenuous exercise, dehydration, temperature fluctuation, fatigue and restricted food intake. 

The basis of the mechanisms that regulate balance during movement will also be reviewed.  This will form a foundation for students to consider how these homeostatic mechanisms are disturbed and adapt in conditions that are relevant to the athlete such as asthma, cardiomyopathies and arrhythmias, diabetes, prolonged training, de-conditioning, recovery from injury.


5 separate days of attendance for interactive seminars, practical and tutorial sessions for collection and interpretation of data and Problem Based Learning sessions focused on case-studies

Modules dates

  • 20, 26, 27, 28 September 2016
  • 5, 6 October 2016
  • 24, 25, 26, 31 October 2016

Learning Outcomes

The module will provide you with

  • Understanding of the central nervous and local mechanisms that control the major body systems, of the important feedback mechanisms and of the ways in which central and peripheral mechanisms interact
  • Understanding of how the body systems interact with one another
  • The ability to explain how normal homeostatic mechanisms are disturbed when the body is faced with environmental stresses that are common in sport
  • The ability to evaluate when physiological variables observed in the athlete deviate from the normal and the disturbances in regulatory function that may underlie them


20 credits


A seen case-study with a set of questions devised to test understanding and ability to search out information


As preparation for the module you are advised to use a standard Human Physiology textbook such as Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews - Physiology, Pocock & Richards, Berne & Levy, Vander, Sherman & Luciano etc.  During the module, you will need to access original papers and reviews to support and find information for the case studies and assessments.


Module Organiser

Professor Janice Marshall

Background reading

If it was sometime ago that you studied, or used Human Physiology, or if you feel that your background in Physiology is rather weak, it will help if you do some reading before the Integrated Body Systems Module begins. There are some suggestions below for the topics within each of the main body systems that are of particular relevance to the Module.

Respiratory Physiology

JB West Respiratory Physiology. This is a very good small book on Respiratory physiology. The following chapters would be particularly useful.

  • Chapter 6: Gas transport to the periphery
  • Chapter 8: Control of Ventilation
  • Chapter 9: Respiratory Physiology in unusual environments

Otherwise, there are good chapters on respiration and respiratory control in all textbooks of physiology. For example:

G Pocock & CD Richards: Human Physiology, The respiratory system

A Davies, AGH Blakely & C Kidd: Human Physiology

  • Chapter 7.3: Blood gas Carriage
  • Chapter 7.4: Control of Breathing

Cardiovascular & Respiratory Integration

This is dealt with well in several textbooks of Human Physiology. Examples that relate particularly to exercise and high altitude are:

G Pocock & CD Richards: Human Physiology

  • Chapter 25: The physiology of Exercise
  • Chapter 30: The Physiology of High Altitude and Diving

Kidney and Renal Function

Principles of Renal Physiology by CJ Lote

  • Chapter 8 Regulation of Body Fluid Osmolality
  • Chapter 9 Regulation of Body Fluid Volume
  • Chapter 10 Renal regulation of body fluid pH

Alternatively you could read similar chapters in Textbooks of Human Physiology, for example:

G Pocock & CD Richards: Human Physiology

The Regulation of Body Fluid Volume

Acid Base Balance

A Davies, AGH Blakely & C Kidd: Human Physiology

Regulation of Body Fluids

Regulation of acid base balance

Temperature regulation

There are good chapters on temperature regulation in most textbooks of Human Physiology, for example

G Pocock & CD Richards: Human Physiology

The regulation of Body Temperature

A Davies, AGH Blakely & C Kidd: Human Physiology

Temperature Regulation

Glucose Regulation and Metabolism

This is dealt with well in several textbooks of Human Physiology. An example is:

G Pocock & CD Richards: Human Physiology

  • Chapter 24: Energy Balance and control of metabolic rate
  • Chapter 27: The regulation of blood glucose