BSc Physiology

BSc Physiology


To study Physiology at degree level, you must apply for entry to the Faculty of Science degree programme. In 1st year, you are required to enrol in the Biological and Chemical Sciences Entry Module CK402. Upon successful completion of 1st year, you should be eligible to enter into second year. It is necessary to carefully select modules that give you the choice of at least three or four degree outlets (see Calendar for details; new regulations for 2007/08). For module titles, content and timetable information click on appropriate year of study. Upon successful completion of 2nd year, you should be eligible to study one of the degrees that you based your module choice on in 2nd year. For further details on Physiology as a degree subject and options in 3rd and 4th year, please click on the links above.

In all cases, please ensure you are reading the instructions for the appropriate academic year as changes are usually made each year.

2nd Science 2011-2012

You will have passed the first year course CK402 and are now choosing modules for 2nd year and trying to select you options for a degree outlet. There are two physiology modules available for second years, PL2021 and PL2022. Full details can be found on the UCC Calendar web pages.

Briefly, students who wish to study Physiology at 3rd and 4th Level, must successfully complete both these modules. You must also successfully complete the Biochemsitry modules BC2001  BC2002. and anatomy modules AN2003  AN2004.

2nd Science co-ordinater Dr P. Harrison

3rd Science

When you register for 3rd year, you select 3 degree programmes in the order of preference that you wish to enter. The requirements for entry into the B.Sc. honours degree programme in Physiology in 3rd year are described in detail on the UCC Calendar and this should be read carefully. 

3rd Science co-ordinator Dr Vincent Healy
Briefly the process is as follows:
To be eligible for entry into the B.Sc. honours degree programme in Physiology in 3rd year you must have successfully passed 2nd year. However, a quota of 25 places exists in 3rd year, and in filling the quota, preference is given to students who passed 2nd year at the Summer Exams (without repeating) and then in order of merit of aggregate marks obtained in the Summer Exams. Once this quota of 25 is filled, there are then no places remaining in the Physiology degree programme.
For this reason it is vital that you get good marks in the 2nd year Summer Exams. Merely passing 2nd year does not guarantee entry into your 1st choice of degree programme. The 3rd Physiology degree programme contains modules to a total value of 60 credits taught by staff from the Department of Physiology and from other departments from the School of Life Sciences. A list of these modules can be obtained from the UCC Calendar and further details about module content can be obtained from the Book of Modules.

4th Science

You will have passed third year course and elected to study 4th Year. Students take four 15 credit modules as shown below. There are no elective modules. Full details can be found on the UCC Calendar web pages. The following information is for guidance only. Please confirm times, locations and module descriptions with main UCC web site and/or Departmental notice boards.

4th Science co-ordinater Niall Hyland 

  • PL4001:Cellular and Molecular Physiology

  • PL4002:Applied Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology

  • PL4003: Integrated Physiology

  • PL4004:Laboratory Research Project

Please find below important links to further information.

Sample list of Past Fourth Year Projects

 4th year Project Titles 2015


Gastrointestinal Physiology

  • The effects of leptin and IL-6 on Sprague Dawley rat colonic contractility.
  • Stress-induced cFos expression in the prefrontal cortex and alterations in colonic IL-6 expression in WKY rats following treatment with xIL-6R and antalarmin.


Cardiovascular Physiology

  • The Role of the Endothelial Surface Glycocalyx in Flow-mediated vasodilation in the anaesthetized Pig.
  • The effect of fMLP and hyaluronidase on peripheral vascular resistance in the anaesthetised pig.
  • Determining the role of the glycocalyx in shear stress flow mediated dilatation.  


Human & Exercise Physiology

  • Effects of exercise during glucose tolerance test: Don’t let your heart miss a beet.
  • Can nitrate supplementation beet hypertension?


Cell & Molecular Physiology

  • Effects of short- and long-term exposure to 27-hydroxycholesterol on Ca2+ homeostasis in neuroblastoma cells with relevance to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Effect of  3-O-Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid on Calcium Concentrations in Breast Cancer Cells
  • The effects of 27-hydroxycholestrol (27-OH) on intracellular calcium concentration in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.
  • Effects of aldosterone on NEDD4-2 abundance in mIMCD3 cells.


Respiratory Physiology

  • The Effects of Upper Airway Obstruction on Sternohyoid Muscle PO2 in the Anaesthetised Rat.
  • Oxidative enzyme activity in respiratory and non-respiratory muscle of hypoxic mice and human respiratory patients.


Genome manipulation technologies

  • Luciferase gene repair in Human cells mediated by guide RNA/Cas9 activity.
  • Development and Utilization of a Dual-Luciferase Assay to quantify CRISPR/Cas9 Homology Direct Repair.


Renal Physiology

  • Bradykinin receptor blockade restores the sympatho-inhibitory response to volume expansion in cisplatin-induced renal failure rats.



  • The influence of the Mas receptor in G-protein mediated calcium signalling in  murine models of Alzheimer’s disease




 4th year Project Titles 2014


Human & Exercise Physiology

  • Effects of postural and exercise challenges on heart rate variability in trained and untrained male and female subjects


Gastrointestinal Physiology

  • Roles of the obesity hormone, leptin and the pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL-6 in Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Genome manipulation technologies

  • A Quantitative Investigation of Gene Repair through Homologous Recombination in CFTE Cells



  • Estrogen and Alzheimer's disease
  • Causes of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease


Cardiovascular & Respiratory Physiology

  • The Effect of Acute concomitant Hyper-Insulinaemia and Hyper-Fructosemia on vascular resistance.
  • Testing the role of Hyaluronan in shear stress mediated dilation of the iliac artery
  • The role of fMLP in selectively degrading components of the glycocalyx in the iliac artery.


Cell & Molecular Physiology

  • Investigating the effects of oxysterols 4β-OH and 7β-OH
  • Effects of γMSH on MAPK signalling in mIMCD3 cells
  • The effect of γ-MSH on β- and γ-ENaC expression in mIMCD3 cells


Clinical Physiology

  • The use of a Mixed Triglycerides Breath Test to assess Pancreatic Exocrine Insufficiency in patients undergoing somatostatin analog therapy
  • TRPV3 and Cutaneous Warm Sensation
  • Vitamin C and Diabetes: The effect of vitamin C on blood glucose meters



Renal Physiology

  • Effects of Angiotensin (II) on Renal Haemodynamics  in an intact NO- system and disrupted NO-system
  • Effects of Bradykinin on the Renal Hemodynamics of Wistar Rats
  • The Effect of Angiotensin-(1-7) on renal hemodynamics in a blocked and unblocked Nitric Oxide System

Graduate Testimonials

Graduate Testimonials

Laboratory Manuals

Under Construction

Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory

Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory

Undergraduate Awards


Charles Medal in Physiology

The Charles Medal is awarded to the student achieving first class honours and the highest aggregate mark in the final year of the BSc (Hons) Physiology programme.

2013       David Burns, Kevin Pierce


The Physiological Society Prize

The Physiological Society Prize is awarded annually by the staff of the Department of Physiology to the student who achieves an outstanding performance in one or more elements of the BSc Physiology programme.

2012       Roisín Burke-O’Toole

2013       Ashling Lavery


Physiology Student of the Year

The Student of the Year is selected by the outgoing BSc Physiology class in recognition of peer support, guidance and bonhomie during the course of the academic year.

2013       Michael Corcoran


Dr. H.H. Stewart Medical Scholarship & Prizes in Physiology

The Dr. H.H. Stewart Scholarship and Prizes in Physiology are awarded annually by the National University of Ireland. The recipients of the Medical Scholarships and Prizes are determined following external review of examination material of students nominated by the Principals/Deans of Medicine in the Constituent Universities and RCSI.

2008       Dearbhla Kelly

2009       Antoinette O’Connor (3rd)

2010       Terence Ho (2nd)

2011       Murray Connolly (3rd)

2012      James Stewart

2013       Siobhan Rafferty

2013       Alexandra Brito (2nd)

Physiology Department


Western Gateway Building Western Road University College Cork