Biology (BIOL) 235

Human Anatomy and Physiology (Revision 11)

BIOL 235

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook) or Grouped Study

Credits: 6

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: None. Although this course assumes no prior knowledge of the human body, a basic knowledge of biology and chemistry would be an asset to the student.

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

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Biology Studies home page

BIOL 235 has a Challenge for Credit option, except to meet program requirements in the AU Post-LPN BN program.
Note: Students are encouraged to contact their program advisor to ensure this option will work for their particular program.

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Welcome to Biology 235: Human Anatomy and Physiology, a six-credit, university-level course that covers all major elements of the human body, including basic anatomy, fundamental organic chemistry, cellular structure and function, and the integration, organization, and control of all the body systems. While completing this course, you will acquire an understanding of normal anatomy and physiology, of physiological adaptations to special conditions, and of some of the physiological factors in disease processes.


  • Chapter 1: An Introduction to the Human Body
  • Chapter 2: The Chemical Level of Organization
  • Chapter 3: The Cellular Level of Organization
  • Chapter 4: The Tissue Level of Organization
  • Chapter 5: The Integumentary System
  • Chapter 6: The Skeletal System: Bone Tissue
  • Chapter 7: The Skeletal System: The Axial Skeleton
  • Chapter 8: The Skeletal System: The Appendicular Skeleton
  • Chapter 9: Joints
  • Chapter 10: Muscular Tissue
  • Chapter 11: The Muscular System
  • Chapter 12: Nervous Tissue
  • Chapter 13: The Spinal Cord and Spinal Nerves
  • Chapter 14: The Brain and Cranial Nerves
  • Chapter 15: The Autonomic Nervous System
  • Chapter 16: Sensory, Motor, and Integrative Systems
  • Chapter 17: The Special Senses
  • Chapter 18: The Endocrine System
  • Chapter 19: The Cardiovascular System: The Blood
  • Chapter 20: The Cardiovascular System: The Heart
  • Chapter 21: The Cardiovascular System: Blood Vessels and Hemodynamics
  • Chapter 22: The Lymphatic System and Immunity
  • Chapter 23: The Respiratory System
  • Chapter 24: The Digestive System
  • Chapter 25: Metabolism and Nutrition
  • Chapter 26: The Urinary System
  • Chapter 27: Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base Homeostasis
  • Chapter 28: The Reproductive Systems
  • Chapter 29: Development and Inheritance

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to

  1. Develop a vocabulary of terminology to communicate the information effectively for topics related to human anatomy and physiology.
  2. Recognize and explain the principle of homeostasis and how the feedback systems control the physiological processes in the human body.
  3. Understand and explain the connections within and between anatomical and physiological systems of the human body.
  4. Recognize the anatomical structures, explain physiological functions, and recognize and explain the principle of homeostasis applied to all eleven systems of the human body.
  5. Use knowledge of anatomy to predict physiological responses and use knowledge of physiology to predict the variations of anatomical structures.
  6. Synthesize ideas and understand how changes to anatomy and physiology could result in situations of homeostatic imbalances.

(Adapted from HAPS Learning Outcomes Project, 2010)


Your final grade in Biology 235: Human Anatomy and Physiology is based on the grades you achieve in three quizzes, three written assignments, and three exams. The Study Schedule in the Course Information suggests when you should complete each quiz and assignment, and when you should write the exams. The passing grade for this course is D (50 percent).

In order to complete the course, you also must achieve a minimum passing grade of fifty percent (50%) on each quiz, each assignment and each exam (see below). If you obtain less than the required passing grade on any quiz or assignment you may take another version of the quiz or assignment delivered by your assigned Academic Expert at your request. This applies only to the quizzes and assignments for which you did not receive a minimum passing grade; you may not take an alternative quiz or assignment in an attempt to increase your grades.

The table below shows the mark distribution for the assessment tools in this course. You may wish to use it to keep a record of your performance in Biology 235.

Mechanism Possible Marks Proportion of Final Grade Minimum Pass Grade
Quiz 1 60 3% 50%
Quiz 2 60 3% 50%
Quiz 3 120 6% 50%
Assignment 1 100 5% 50%
Assignment 2 100 5% 50%
Assignment 3 100 5% 50%
Midterm Exam 1 60 20% 50%
Midterm Exam 2 60 20% 50%
Final Exam 120 33% 50%
Total   100% 50%

The exams for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

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.

Tortora, G. & Derrickson, B. (2014). Principles of Anatomy & Physiology (14th ed.). New York: Wiley.

  • WileyPLUS - online learning resource
  • WileyPLUS

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the BIOL 235 challenge registration, you must achieve a minimum passing grade of on each part of the examination which represents a minimum of 70 marks for Part 1, and a minimum of 20 marks for Part 2.

The Challenge Exam grade should be minimum 50%, and will result from the addition of total correct marks archived for Part 1 (maximum 140) and for Part 2 (maximum 40). The final mark will be calculated as a grade out of 100 (e.g. 180 marks = 100%).

Course materials and the textbook cannot be provided by Athabasca University. The two parts of the exam must be written on the same day.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Fall 2019 Grouped Study Course Schedule

Institution Dates Time
AU Calgary Sept 9 - Apr 27 (FULL) Monday 6:00 - 9:00pm
AU Calgary Sept 3 - Apr 28 Tuesday 6:00 - 9:00pm
AU Edmonton Sept 4 - Apr 29 Wednesday 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Winter 2020 Grouped Study Course Schedule

Institution Dates Time
AU Calgary Sept 9 - Apr 27 (FULL) Monday 6:00 - 9:00pm
AU Calgary Sept 3 - Apr 28 Tuesday 6:00 - 9:00pm
AU Edmonton Sept 4 - Apr 29 Wednesday 6:00pm - 9:00pm

For more information on grouped study courses, please visit our classroom-based study information page.

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 11, September 2, 2016.

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