Module Overview

Introduction to Histology, Anatomy and Physiology

The aim of this module is to introduce the learner to the structure and function of the human body through the study of anatomy, histology and physiology and to familiarise the learner with the structure and function of normal tissues in the body. This module will introduce the learner to the four histological tissues of the body and to explain how these are organised to form the organs and systems of the body.  This module will provide foundational knowledge required for subsequent studies of the physiology and pathology of these tissues.

Module Code

BIOL 1800

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change


- Introduction to anatomy, physiology and the importance of homeostasis for human health.

- Histology of the four tissues of the body: Epithelia, connective tissue, muscle and nervous tissue.

- Composition of body wall, body cavities and body membranes.

- Epithelium – structure, function and classification.  Glands, examples of exocrine and endocrine glands and their control.

- Connective tissue – composition and classification.  Cartilage, bone and blood.

- Muscle – structure and function of skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle. Comparison of skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle excitation and contraction.

- Musculoskeletal systems – hormonal control, chronic changes in response to lifestyle,

- Nervous tissue – neurons and glia.  Basic organisation of the central and peripheral NS. Sensory physiology and the reflex arc.  The Neuromuscular system – Generation and propagation of action potentials.   The synapse.  Contraction of skeletal muscle. 

- The gastrointestinal system – gross anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract.  The role of the GIT, pancreas and liver in digestion, absorption of nutrients and metabolism.

- The Integumentary system – structure and function of the skin.  Role of the integumentary system in protection, energy storage, perception and thermoregulation and secretion.


- Learning to recognise the different tissues studied: epithelium, connective tissue, muscle and nervous tissue and their arrangement in the different body organs.

- Dissection or demonstration dissection of a small mammal.

- Structure of the brain and spinal cord, spinal reflexes and Sensory Physiology.

- Apply knowledge of anatomy, histology and physiology to the study of a number of clinical conditions affecting the GIT, musculoskeletal system and the skin.

This module will be delivered over one semester with a total of 48 contact hours. The module will use a mixture of lecture/workshops (24h), practical laboratory work (18h) and tutorials (6h). Multimedia presentations will be used as appropriate.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100