Biology (BIOL) 230Back to courses | Print page

Human Physiology (Revision 10)

BIOL 230

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook) with virtual labs and home labs. This course is charged a lab fee.

BIOL 230 lab exemption.

Credits: 6

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: Knowledge of basic chemistry or biology is recommended.

Precluded Course: BIOL 235. (BIOL 230 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for BIOL 235.)

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

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Welcome to Biology 230: Human Physiology, a six-credit, university-level course that covers all major aspects of the physiology of the human body, including basic anatomy, fundamental organic chemistry, cellular structure and function, and the integration, organization, and control of the organism's body systems. After completing this course, you will have acquired an understanding of physiology, physiological adaptations to special conditions, and some of the physiological factors in disease processes.


Unit 1: Homeostasis: The Foundation of Physiology

Unit 2: Cell Physiology

Unit 3: The Plasma Membrane and Membrane Potential

Unit 4: Principles of Neural and Hormonal Communication

Unit 5: The Central Nervous System

Unit 6: The Peripheral Nervous System: Afferent Division; Special Senses

Unit 7: The Peripheral Nervous System: Efferent Division

Unit 8: Muscle Physiology

Unit 9: Cardiac Physiology

Unit 10: The Blood Vessels and Blood Pressure

Unit 11: The Blood

Unit 12: Body Defences

Unit 13: Respiratory System

Unit 14: The Urinary System

Unit 15: Fluid and Acid‑Base Balance

Unit 16: The Digestive System

Unit 17: Energy Balance and Temperature Regulation

Unit 18: Principles of Endocrinology and the Central Endocrine Glands

Unit 19: The Peripheral Endocrine Glands

Unit 20: The Reproductive System


To receive credit for BIOL 230, you must achieve a minimum grade of 50 per cent on each quiz and each exam. The passing grade for this course is “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

3 Assignments Lab. Assignment 3 Quizzes Midterm Exam 1 Midterm Exam 2 Final Exam Total
15% 9% 16% 15% 15% 30% 100%

The midterm and final examinations for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator or at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure a computer with an Internet connection and an accepted web browser is available for your use at the invigilation centre. For more information on AU's Online Exam Project please visit the Office of the Registrar site.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Sherwood, L., & Kell, R. (2010). Human physiology: From cells to systems (First Canadian ed.). Toronto: Nelson Education.

Price, S., & Sherwood, L. (2010). Study guide: Human physiology: From cells to systems (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.

The textbook publisher is offering a print-on-demand option in which you may purchase an unbound copy of the textbook at a discounted rate; you can also acquire a print textbook on your own, if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 10, September 17, 2013.

View previous syllabus

Updated October 22 2013