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PHSL251 Physiology (for Human Nutrition/Dietetics)

Further examination of the function of major organ systems of the human body, with relevance to the practice of human nutrition and dietetics.

PHSL 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 human nutrition and dietetics.

Paper title Physiology (for Human Nutrition/Dietetics)
Paper code PHSL251
Subject Physiology
EFTS 0.1750
Points 21 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,235.68
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,733.00

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HUBS 191 and HUBS 192 and two of BIOC 192, CELS 191, CHEM 191, PHSI 191
(PHSL 231 and PHSL 232 and PHSL 233), PHTY 251, MELS 251, PHCY 251
Schedule C
Only available to students majoring in Human Nutrition.
Essential for Human Nutrition majors intending to enrol in dietetics

Course co-ordinator: Associate Professor Daryl Schwenke (

Teaching staff

Dr Phil Heyward, Associate Professor Phil Sheard, Dr Pete Jones, Dr Daryl Schwenke, Dr Andrew Bahn


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

Paper Structure
51 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 and case study (diabetic neuropathy)
  • Cardiac cycle and case study
  • Respiratory control and case study
  • Kidney and gut and case study (vitamin B12 deficiency)
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," 14th edn, McGraw Hill, Inc., New York, 2016.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Ethics, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Acquired extensive knowledge of the physiology and pathophysiology of body systems.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 9-16, 18-22
B1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 9-16, 18-22
C1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-16, 18-22
E1 Friday 09:00-09:50 9-15, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 11, 13, 18, 20, 22
A2 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 10, 12, 14, 19, 21