Animal Physiology, 12 credits

Djurfysiologi, 12 hp


Main field of study


Course level

First cycle

Course type

Programme course


Jordi Altimiras

Director of studies or equivalent

Agneta Johansson

Education components

Preliminary scheduled hours: 160 h
Recommended self-study hours: 160 h

Available for exchange students

ECV = Elective / Compulsory / Voluntary
Course offered for Semester Period Timetable module Language Campus ECV
6KBIO Biology, Bachelor's Programme 5 (Autumn 2019) 1 2+3+4 English Linköping E

Main field of study


Course level

First cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Biology, Bachelor's Programme

Entry requirements

Note: Admission requirements for non-programme students usually also include admission requirements for the programme and threshold requirements for progression within the programme, or corresponding.


Passed basic subjects in biology (75hp, at least 45p theory). 

Understanding of the following essential physiological concepts as presented in Silverthorn, D. U. Human Physiology. An integrated approach 8th ed. or earlier. Pearson.

  1. Homeostasis
  2. Negative feedback control loops
  3. Resting membrane potential
  4. Action potential
  5. Synapse
  6. Classification of the vertebrate nervous system: central, peripheral, sensory, motor, somatic, autonomic, parasympathetic and sympathetic
  7. Receptor adaptation
  8. Pituitary hormones
  9. Cross-bridge cycling in muscle: role of actin and myosin
  10. Dynamics of calcium in muscle contraction
  11. Muscle types: skeletal, cardiac and smooth
  12. Types of cells in blood
  13. Respiratory pigments: hemoglobin
  14. Gas partial pressures and Dalton’s law
  15. Gas solubilities and Henry’s law
  16. Oxygen dissociation curve
  17. Structure of a nephron
  18. Gastrointestinal peristalsis
  19. Phases of the menstrual cycle

Intended learning outcomes

The student will increase her/his understanding of how animals acclimate and adapt to their environment and to specific situations encountered during their lifetime. This will be achieved by applying the essential principles of physiology (covered in an earlier basic course such as NBIB29 Fysiologiska principer) to specific situations/problems that different animal species (including humans) face in their life span.

For every given situation/problem the student will be able

  • to identify the fundamental concepts implicated by discussion with fellow students.
  • to understand the fundamental concepts by explaining them orally in tutorial sessions.
  • to integrate all mechanisms involved in a multi-faceted response of the entire organism by writing a concise essay outlining all the steps of the physiological response.

In consequence, the student will improve her/his ability

  • to articulate and explain scientific concepts orally and spontaneously.
  • to write briefly and precisely on the progression of biological processes.
  • to describe quantitatively the outcome of physiological responses.

Course content

Through the presentation of the different body systems the course will assist the students in deepening the understanding of such systems as well as how they are integrated in different environmental conditions or environments such as high or low temperatures (global warming), dry environments, high altitudes, underwater environments, scarce resources (fasting and starvation), and stress. Special focus will be placed on the integration of two or more physiological systems. For example, live under water or at high altitude require the coordination of the circulatory and respiratory systems in birds and mammals. Understanding live in the desert requires the integration of the kidneys with thermoregulation and water loss.

Teaching and working methods

The course is organizes in a flipped classroom structure. Students are expected to prepare and study different physiological mechanisms and systems with the help of activities such as filmed lectures, quantitative problems and practical laboratories. A later discussion on the contents covered will be taken with teachers in the course to clarify concepts and reach a deeper level of understanding. Weekly assignments will provide continuous formative assessment and evaluation on their ability to interpret and evaluate functional adjustments shown by animals to thrive in their home environments.


TEN1Written examination3 creditsU, 3, 4, 5
UPG2Weekly assignments5 creditsU, 3, 4, 5
UPG1Literature assignment4 creditsU, 3, 4, 5

Final grade is computed from a pondered average from the different evaluation items as follows: 30% UPG1, 50 % UPG2, 20% TEN1.


Four-grade scale, LiU, U, 3, 4, 5


Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi

Director of Studies or equivalent

Agneta Johansson


Jordi Altimiras

Course website and other links

Education components

Preliminary scheduled hours: 160 h
Recommended self-study hours: 160 h

Course literature


  • Hill, R. W., Wyse, G. A. & Anderson, M., (2018) Animal Physiology 4th edition Sinauer/Oxford University Press
    ISBN: 9781605357379
Code Name Scope Grading scale
TEN1 Written examination 3 credits U, 3, 4, 5
UPG2 Weekly assignments 5 credits U, 3, 4, 5
UPG1 Literature assignment 4 credits U, 3, 4, 5

Final grade is computed from a pondered average from the different evaluation items as follows: 30% UPG1, 50 % UPG2, 20% TEN1.

Course syllabus

A syllabus has been established for each course. The syllabus specifies the aim and contents of the course, and the prior knowledge that a student must have in order to be able to benefit from the course.


Courses are timetabled after a decision has been made for this course concerning its assignment to a timetable module. A central timetable is not drawn up for courses with fewer than five participants. Most project courses do not have a central timetable.

Interrupting a course

The vice-chancellor’s decision concerning regulations for registration, deregistration and reporting results (Dnr LiU-2015-01241) states that interruptions in study are to be recorded in Ladok. Thus, all students who do not participate in a course for which they have registered must record the interruption, such that the registration on the course can be removed. Deregistration from a course is carried out using a web-based form: 

Cancelled courses

Courses with few participants (fewer than 10) may be cancelled or organised in a manner that differs from that stated in the course syllabus. The board of studies is to deliberate and decide whether a course is to be cancelled or changed from the course syllabus. 

Regulations relating to examinations and examiners 

Details are given in a decision in the university’s rule book:

Forms of examination


Written and oral examinations are held at least three times a year: once immediately after the end of the course, once in August, and once (usually) in one of the re-examination periods. Examinations held at other times are to follow a decision of the board of studies.

Principles for examination scheduling for courses that follow the study periods:

  • courses given in VT1 are examined for the first time in March, with re-examination in June and August
  • courses given in VT2 are examined for the first time in May, with re-examination in August and October
  • courses given in HT1 are examined for the first time in October, with re-examination in January and August
  • courses given in HT2 are examined for the first time in January, with re-examination at Easter and in August.

The examination schedule is based on the structure of timetable modules, but there may be deviations from this, mainly in the case of courses that are studied and examined for several programmes and in lower grades (i.e. 1 and 2). 

  • Examinations for courses that the board of studies has decided are to be held in alternate years are held only three times during the year in which the course is given.
  • Examinations for courses that are cancelled or rescheduled such that they are not given in one or several years are held three times during the year that immediately follows the course, with examination scheduling that corresponds to the scheduling that was in force before the course was cancelled or rescheduled.
  • If teaching is no longer given for a course, three examination occurrences are held during the immediately subsequent year, while examinations are at the same time held for any replacement course that is given, or alternatively in association with other re-examination opportunities. Furthermore, an examination is held on one further occasion during the next subsequent year, unless the board of studies determines otherwise.
  • If a course is given during several periods of the year (for programmes, or on different occasions for different programmes) the board or boards of studies determine together the scheduling and frequency of re-examination occasions.

Registration for examination

In order to take an examination, a student must register in advance at the Student Portal during the registration period, which opens 30 days before the date of the examination and closes 10 days before it. Candidates are informed of the location of the examination by email, four days in advance. Students who have not registered for an examination run the risk of being refused admittance to the examination, if space is not available.

Symbols used in the examination registration system:

  ** denotes that the examination is being given for the penultimate time.

  * denotes that the examination is being given for the last time.

Code of conduct for students during examinations

Details are given in a decision in the university’s rule book:

Retakes for higher grade

Students at the Institute of Technology at LiU have the right to retake written examinations and computer-based examinations in an attempt to achieve a higher grade. This is valid for all examination components with code “TEN” and "DAT". The same right may not be exercised for other examination components, unless otherwise specified in the course syllabus.

Retakes of other forms of examination

Regulations concerning retakes of other forms of examination than written examinations and computer-based examinations are given in the LiU regulations for examinations and examiners,


For examinations that involve the writing of reports, in cases in which it can be assumed that the student has had access to other sources (such as during project work, writing essays, etc.), the material submitted must be prepared in accordance with principles for acceptable practice when referring to sources (references or quotations for which the source is specified) when the text, images, ideas, data, etc. of other people are used. It is also to be made clear whether the author has reused his or her own text, images, ideas, data, etc. from previous examinations.

A failure to specify such sources may be regarded as attempted deception during examination.

Attempts to cheat

In the event of a suspected attempt by a student to cheat during an examination, or when study performance is to be assessed as specified in Chapter 10 of the Higher Education Ordinance, the examiner is to report this to the disciplinary board of the university. Possible consequences for the student are suspension from study and a formal warning. More information is available at


The grades that are preferably to be used are Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass not without distinction (4) and Pass with distinction (5). Courses under the auspices of the faculty board of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (Institute of Technology) are to be given special attention in this regard.

  1. Grades U, 3, 4, 5 are to be awarded for courses that have written examinations.
  2. Grades Fail (U) and Pass (G) may be awarded for courses with a large degree of practical components such as laboratory work, project work and group work.

Examination components

  1. Grades U, 3, 4, 5 are to be awarded for written examinations (TEN).
  2. Grades Fail (U) and Pass (G) are to be used for undergraduate projects and other independent work.
  3. Examination components for which the grades Fail (U) and Pass (G) may be awarded are laboratory work (LAB), project work (PRA), preparatory written examination (KTR), oral examination (MUN), computer-based examination (DAT), home assignment (HEM), and assignment (UPG).
  4. Students receive grades either Fail (U) or Pass (G) for other examination components in which the examination criteria are satisfied principally through active attendance such as other examination (ANN), tutorial group (BAS) or examination item (MOM).

The examination results for a student are reported at the relevant department.

Regulations (apply to LiU in its entirety)

The university is a government agency whose operations are regulated by legislation and ordinances, which include the Higher Education Act and the Higher Education Ordinance. In addition to legislation and ordinances, operations are subject to several policy documents. The Linköping University rule book collects currently valid decisions of a regulatory nature taken by the university board, the vice-chancellor and faculty/department boards.

LiU’s rule book for education at first-cycle and second-cycle levels is available at 


Hill, R. W., Wyse, G. A. & Anderson, M., (2018) Animal Physiology 4th edition Sinauer/Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9781605357379

Note: The course matrix might contain more information in Swedish.

I = Introduce, U = Teach, A = Utilize
I U A Modules Comment
1.1 Knowledge of underlying mathematics and science (G1X level)

1.2 Fundamental engineering knowledge (G1X level)

1.3 Further knowledge, methods, and tools in one or several subjects in engineering or natural science (G2X level)

1.4 Advanced knowledge, methods, and tools in one or several subjects in engineering or natural sciences (A1X level)

1.5 Insight into current research and development work

2.1 Analytical reasoning and problem solving

2.2 Experimentation, investigation, and knowledge discovery

2.3 System thinking

2.4 Attitudes, thought, and learning

2.5 Ethics, equity, and other responsibilities

3.1 Teamwork

3.2 Communications

3.3 Communication in foreign languages

4.1 External, societal, and environmental context

4.2 Enterprise and business context

4.3 Conceiving, system engineering and management

4.4 Designing

4.5 Implementing

4.6 Operating

5.1 Societal conditions, including economic, social, and ecological aspects of sustainable development for knowledge development

5.2 Economic conditions for knowledge development

5.3 Identification of needs, structuring and planning of research or development projects

5.4 Execution of research or development projects

5.5 Presentation and evaluation of research or development projects


This tab contains public material from the course room in Lisam. The information published here is not legally binding, such material can be found under the other tabs on this page.

There are no files available for this course.