Human Physiology

Physiology is the discipline that underpins modern medicine and this is reflected in our course. The emphasis of our research led teaching is on how the body copes with the normal demands we place upon it during everyday life.

We also study how body systems go wrong in diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and neurodegeneration.

Our approach is an integrative one, ranging from how whole organs work and interact to control body functions, down to the molecular mechanisms operating within cells.

Feedback from graduates is highly positive on this degree course, which has been praised for its choice of modules available and wide variety of topics to choose from for the advanced topics module. This course provides the opportunity to choose topics that interest you the most.

Example comments included:

"The dissertations were beneficial in increasing our transferable skills set."
"Project supervisors gave lots of support."
"Learnt how to critically appraise literature, which will be a highly beneficial skill to have for the future."

Course content

The course will:

  • provide you with advanced study of specialist areas such as cellular physiology, neuroscience and integrative physiology, broadly reflecting the research interests of the teaching staff
  • require you to undertake either a literature or laboratory project, in the context of studying experimental design and practice
  • provide opportunities to develop competency in transferable skills, including communication skills, problem solving, experimental design, data and information retrieval, integration, analysis and interpretation, using statistics and computing/information technology as appropriate
  • provide appropriate support and guidance
  • provide high quality learning resources to support the objectives of the course.

Research projects

You can apply for, or may be offered, projects in any area of Biomedical Science (eg human physiology, pharmacology, neuroscience) but here are some titles of projects offered recently by members of the Physiology Programme team or undertaken by our intercalating students:

  • Mechanisms of respiratory rhythm generation
  • Mechanisms of acute/chronic pain and analgesia
  • Trigeminal system and chronic oro-facial pain
  • Nanotoxicity
  • Cellular mechanisms associated with cardiac dysfunction
  • Lipid regulation of cardiac myocyte function
  • Cardia myocyte morphology and function
  • Excitation-contraction coupling in diseased myocardium
  • Computational analysis of arrhythmogenisis in virtual ventricular tissue
  • Obesity: an epidemic
  • Renal Physiology, Aquaporins & Water balance
  • Molecular physiology and pharmacology of P2X and TRPM ion channels
  • Structural basis of movement in living cells: molecular motors
  • The genetic basis of neurological disorders
  • Stem cell differentiation and development

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1


Advanced Scientific Skills 20 credits
Advanced Topics in Human Physiology II 20 credits
Research Project in Biomedical Sciences 40 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Human Physiology in Relation to Medicine BSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching


You are assessed in two ways. Depending on which modules you take, approximately two-thirds of your final mark will come from the module exams, which you will sit in January (semester 1 exam period) and May (semester 2 exam period). The remaining third of your final mark will come from course work during the year - including the research project.

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

Other course specific tests:

Successful completion of the first two years of an MBChB programme at UK Universities or international equivalent. For international students proof of English Language proficiency will be required. In line with undergraduate medicine we require a minimum of English GCSE grade B or IELTS 7.5.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

How to apply

Read about applying for intercalation on the School of Medicine website.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

The course is designed to give you a challenging, enjoyable and rewarding year which will add significantly to your skills, knowledge, and enhance your career opportunities on graduation.

The course allows full integration with existing science based BSc courses and the chance of a substantive research project.

In addition to providing subject-specific knowledge, we equip you with the best possible skills for future careers. There is a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving. You will gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. You will be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your intercalating year.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.