Department of Physiology

Study options

What is physiology?


Physiology is, first and foremost, a science: it is concerned with how living organisms work. Ultimately, understanding how living organisms work will allow us to understand what goes wrong in disease and provide a rational scientific basis for the treatment of disease. As a science, physiology depends on the acquisition of knowledge by observation and experiment, and the interpretation of experimental observations. Of the biological sciences, physiology is highly quantitative in its approach and it also has close links with biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, mathematical modelling, pharmacology, and zoology.

Why study physiology?

Mammalian physiology may be viewed as a cornerstone of scientific medicine and it is therefore not surprising that a large part of medical research world-wide is centred on physiology. While Physiology is an important subject in its own right, it offers a broad training in scientific and technical skills that naturally feed into other disciplines. Physiology is an active and developing science which promises to remain one of the most exciting biological disciplines for the foreseeable future.

Career opportunities with Physiology

Physiologists have many roles in society as physiology occupies a central place amongst the biological and medical sciences. Graduates with a physiology background are employed in a range of professions, including:

·       Biomedical research (Universities, research institutes, commercial projects, government research centres)

·       Industry research (biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, commercial etc.)

·       Medical journalism and science communication

·       Sports physiology

A background in physiology is also highly desirable for clinical professions such as:

·       Audiology

·       Medicine

·       Optometry

·       Veterinary medicine