Physiology of Organisms

Physiology of Organisms is the ideal course for those of you who enjoyed human biology topics from GCSE and A-level such as the circulatory system, and those who enjoy the more medicine-inspired aspects of biology. The broad nature of the subject means that for some lecture courses have to include a lot of basic facts without the time for gaining a lot of in depth understanding of the topics. However, this is rectified if you continue to the second year physiology course, in which much of the same material is covered in greater depth.

Over the year you’ll study animal physiology, including nervous and cardiovascular physiology, and plant physiology. In the Michaelmas term you’ll only have practicals alternate weeks, although there is one every week in Lent term. The practicals are interesting, although several involve experimentation on fellow students! You write up the results in a handbook, which is handed in for assessment – it’s honestly not that scary, and most answers are given in class discussions.

Physiology doesn’t immediately sound like something you’ve studied before, which is why it’s often overlooked in favour of Biology of Cells and Chemistry, but it is a really interesting course and acts as a precursor to a lot of IB Biological subjects. This course is useful for Physiology, Animal Biology and Plant Sciences Part 1B and PDN, Plants and Zoology Part II.

One useful textbook is Eckert’s Animal Physiology. This will see you through more than half of 1A Physiology and is also useful for some 1B subjects. If you want a textbook on plants, Plant Physiology by Taiz and Zeiger is good. There are generally several copies of Eckert’s book available at the Larmor book-sale.

Link to course website:

The Natural Sciences Society of St John's College