Physiology for Sport Exercise | Abertay University

Physiology for Sport Exercise


Introduction to physiology


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with basic physiological knowledge and it's application to exercise physiology.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Describe homeostasis in the human body using selected examples and use this knowledge to demonstrate, at a basic level, control of physiological systems at rest and during exercise.

2.  Describe structures and functions of the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, GI and neuromuscular systems.

3.  Know the main fuels used by the body and describe, at a basic level, how these are utilised by the body at rest and in different states of feeding and activity.

Indicative Content

1 Basic cellular physiology and Intercellular communication

Cellular components, cell membranes. Membrane transport, intercellular communication, action potential generation in excitable cells, myelination and synapses.

2 Cardiorespiratory system

Anatomy and basic physiology of circulatory and respiratory systems including: structure function of the heart and blood vessels. Heart rate and cardiac contraction, stroke volume and cardiac output. Blood pressure. Venous return. Distribution of blood flow. Composition of blood, carriage of gasses in blood. Ventilation. Oxygen and Carbon dioxide transport. Introduction to acid/base balance.

3 Neuromuscular system

Nervous system and muscle contraction. Basic structures of the nervous system. Motor and sensory nerves. Skeletal muscle structure. Muscle fibre types. Motor units. Muscle contraction and sliding filament theory. Hennemans recruitment principle.

4 Bioenergetics and metabolism

Use of carbohydrates and fats as fuels to provide energy at rest and during exercise. Influence of selected hormones on metabolism and fuel use. Definitions of VO2, VCO2, RQ and RER. Simple calculations of energy expenditure.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Lab based learning will be utilised to bring physiological concepts to life.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 14
Tutorial/Seminar 14
Supervised Practical Activity 12
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 120

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2018/19 , and may be subject to change for future years.