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MELS251 Physiology (for BMLSc)

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Further examination of the function of major organ systems of the human body, with relevance to the practice of medical laboratory science.

MELS 251 will build on and extend your understanding of the physiology of the nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal system topics that you were introduced to in HUBS 191 and HUBS 192. The laboratories are designed to complement the practice of medical laboratory science.

Paper title Physiology (for BMLSc)
Paper code MELS251
Subject Medical Laboratory Science
EFTS 0.166
Points 21 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,421.13
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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PHCY 251 or (PHSL 231 and PHSL 232 and PHSL 233) or PHSL 251
Limited to

Essential for the Medical Laboratory Science programme.


Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Martin Fronius
Dr Phil Heyward
Dr Karl Iremonger
Dr Zoe Ashley
Dr Adam Ware
Associate Professor Daryl Schwenke
Associate Professor Pete Jones
Dr Andrew Bahn
Dr Toni-Ann Alsop

Note, teaching staff may change, check department website for updates.

Paper Structure

Fifty lectures on topics including:

  • Body composition
  • Nerve
  • Muscle
  • Somatic and special senses
  • Pain
  • Higher brain functions
  • Endocrinology
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Respiration
  • Kidney
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Exercise
  • Temperature regulation

Five laboratories, including self-directed clinical case studies:

  • Cell physiology
  • Nerve and muscle physiology
  • Cardiac cycle
  • Respiratory control
  • Kidney and gut
Teaching Arrangements

Four lectures each week and five laboratory sessions, usually on alternate weeks (check timetable to confirm laboratory dates).


Widmaier, Raff, Strang: Vander's "Human Physiology: The Mechanisms of Body Function," 15th edn, McGraw Hill, Inc., New York, 2019.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Ethics, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will have acquired extensive knowledge of the physiology and pathophysiology of body systems.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 9-15, 18-22
B1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 9-15, 17-22
C1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-15, 17-22
E1 Friday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
P1 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 11, 13, 18, 20, 22