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Why read Physiology?

NST 1B Physiology is arguably the core option for second year bionatscis: falling between the cellular and the whole-organism levels, physiology occupies a central position within the biological sciences.

Apart from being a fascinating subject in its own right, 1B Physiology is an excellent partner to almost any other biological course, be it molecular, para-medical or whole animal. In this document, we will describe our physiology course and spell out the main reasons why you should consider taking it.


But I know all about physiology already...I did it at 1A!

Some students feel that, having read 1A Physiology of Organisms (PoO), they have covered physiology already and should therefore try something different in part 1B. However, you only scratch the surface of animal physiology in PoO – it gives you a good overview, but there is unfortunately no time in the 1A course to look at anything in satisfactory detail.

Actually, only about half of the 1B course relates to the same topics as covered in 1A, and most students find the in-depth 1B treatment to be much more interesting and rewarding. The other half explores strange new worlds, including reproductive physiology, exercise physiology and physiology in extreme environments.

Leave out the Physiological sciences from your curriculum, and you launch the student into the world, undisciplined in that science whose subject-matter would best develop his powers of observation; ignorant of facts of the deepest importance for his own and others’ welfare; blind to the richest sources of beauty in God’s creation; and unprovided with that belief in a living law, and an order manifesting itself in and through endless change and variety, which might serve to check and moderate that phase of despair through which, if he take an earnest interest in social problems, he will assuredly sooner or later pass....Thomas Henry Huxley, 1854.