Physiology for Physical Activity & Health | Abertay University

Physiology for Physical Activity & Health


The overall purpose of this module is to develop students’ understanding of the core concepts of sport and exercise physiology and how these apply to real world environments. This will be achieved by explicitly addressing students’ knowledge of energy metabolism, endocrine and neuromuscular control and the cardiovascular and respiratory system. The will allow students to develop their understanding of the health adaptations to physical activity and exercise. They will also examine physiological tests and how to analyse physiological data in relation to health.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with an understanding of the core concepts of sport and exercise physiology and how these apply to real world environments

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Demonstrate an understanding of core bioenergetic processes related to exercise and health.

2.  Explain the role of the endocrine system in exercise and health.

3.  Explain the cardiovascular and respiratory response during exercise

4.  Review and interpret data from physiological tests, identifying common patterns and relationships.

Indicative Content

1 Fundamentals of bioenergetics

Students will explore the core concepts of energy production during exercise, examining the interaction of the different energy systems during exercise and how these change with inactivity.

2 Regulation of energy systems

Students will learn about hormonal and neural factors that influence the availability and regulation of fuel metabolism at rest and during exercise in health and disease.

3 Cardiovascular and respiratory system in sport and exercise

Students will learn about the determinants of exercising muscle oxygenation and its regulation by the cardiovascular and respiratory system, the regulation of arterial blood pressure during exercise and the interaction between oxygenation and arterial blood pressure.

4 Fatigue

Students will develop an understanding of both neuromuscular and skeletal muscle fatigue and the potential mechanisms resulting in the development of fatigue.

5 Physiological Testing

Students will explore a number of physiological tests that are used routinely for health assessment, developing an understanding of the tests and their limitations. Students will also learn how to carry out different physiological tests and analyse and interpret the results.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching and learning strategies focus on developing students’ skills in accordance with Abertay graduate attributes. This module particularly focuses on the aspect of the Intellectual; understanding how the subject is evolving while critically evaluating information and identifying information gaps. The aspect of Professional is also focused on; problems solving, tackling complex issues, and focused on continued learning and professional development. A significant proportion of contact time will be provided in the form of small group discussions and practical activities where students will relate taught materials to their own experiences in sport and exercise. This focus on self−directed learning and students own experiences will encourage the application of knowledge to real life situations and the ability understand and evaluate the links between the two. Assessment will focus on not just the content knowledge but will be delivered in a mode that emphasises the ability to apply physiology in a research environment, exploring data collection, analysis and presentation.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 14
Tutorial/Seminar 14
Supervised Practical Activity 21
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 30
Independent 121

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 2017/18 , and may be subject to change for future years.