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PHSL345 Physiological Aspects of Health and Disease

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website

The application of knowledge about human molecular, cellular and systems physiology in understanding physiology and pathophysiology of the human body.

This paper will be of interest to students who would like to have a deeper understanding of human molecular, cellular and systems physiology of both normal bodily adaptations to extreme situations and dysfunctions underlying specific disease.

Paper title Physiological Aspects of Health and Disease
Paper code PHSL345
Subject Physiology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,092.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,314.50

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PHSL 232 and PHSL 233
Schedule C

One of five 300-level papers for Physiology majors.
Essential paper for Functional Human Biology majors.
Optional paper for Drugs and Human Health, Infection and Immunity, Molecular Basis of Health and Disease, and Nutrition and Metabolism in Human Health majors.


Teaching staff

Associate Professor Daryl Schwenke
Dr Tanya Cully
Associate Professor Kirk Hamilton

Note: The teaching staff list may be updated. See the 'more information' link above for details.

Paper Structure

The paper will be taught as three modules, each of 8 lectures and 2-3 laboratory sessions. Lecture topics include:

  • Potassium channelopathies
  • Heart failure
  • Skeletal muscle function

Assessment includes an internal component (including presentation of a research poster and a written research proposal) and a 3-hour final exam. A mark of at least 45% in the final exam must be attained to pass the paper as a whole.

For further detail please refer to the undergraduate handbooks BSc PHSL or BBiomedSc FUHB, available to download.

Teaching Arrangements
You will attend two lectures each week and one 4-hour laboratory session every week.

Readings consist of original research articles.

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

Students who successfully complete this paper will

  • Acquire deep knowledge and understanding of the physiology of selected body systems in normal and dysfunction situations
  • Develop skills in a variety of physiological experimental techniques
  • Develop critical thinking and how to analyse and interpret complex data sets
  • Develop oral and written scientific communication skills

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
Thursday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 14:00-15:50 9
Monday 14:00-17:50 11-13, 15-16, 18-21
A2 Friday 14:00-15:50 9
Friday 14:00-17:50 10-12, 15-20