Module Overview

Respiratory Physiology 1

This module is concerned with the use of Clinical Respiratory Physiology in relation to patient evaluation and the identification of lung disease. 

The module comprises taught academic material and an eight-week-long clinical placement in an appropriate Clinical Respiratory Laboratory.

The aim of the module is to develop a conceptual and applied understanding of the role of Respiratory diagnostic methods in a clinical setting.  It aims to develop the key skills required for a student to work in a Clinical Respiratory Lab and to prepare the student to conduct some of the basic examinations and diagnostic procedures.

Students will also be exposed to and develop their knowledge in relation to advanced testing methods for the detection and monitoring of Respiratory disease.

It is intended that students will integrate their knowledge in auxiliary areas of clinical practice into their understanding of respiratory physiology.

Module Code

PHYS 3823

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

The teaching and learning methods place emphasis on experiential learning in the skills laboratory and whilst on professional practice placement.

Practical assessments, case studies, role-playing exercises, reflective practice and student-led seminars play a significant part in both learning and teaching.

Indicative Syllabus: 

Applied Respiratory anatomy and physiology.

  • Correct use of Equipment:

Environmental parameter checks, calibration and quality assurance, equipment set up and checks, artefact.

  • Planning and preparing for testing:

Consumable preparation, adherence to infection control procedures and policy and procedures of the department.

  • Pre-test procedures:

Check indications for testing; contraindications to testing; establish patient demographics and identification; perform accurate measurement of e.g. height and weight.

  • Pre-test evaluations

Carry out a Medical History; a Medication history; establish the reason for referral.

  • Introduction to basic lung function assessments:
  1. Provide patients with a clear explanation of test procedures,
  2. Spirometry Assessment of airway function.
  3. The determination of Lung volumes (Static and dynamic) by at least 1 measurement technique.
  4. The Diffusing capacity of the lung
  5. Assessment of 'Bronchodilator response' through the delivery of an inhaler bronchodilator medication. 
  6. Understands the reasons to terminate the test if a patient becomes unwell
  7. Be able to identify changes in a patient's condition in measurements taken and by evaluating patient symptoms if they change during the testing session.
  • Data interpretation:

Apply Reference/Expected normal data sets relevant to the patient population; Identify normal variant and abnormal results; work towards a clinical diagnosis.

  • Observation of advanced lung function tests:

Observe and assist with specialised procedures as set out in the year 3 student placement manual.

  • Paediatric lung function:

Special considerations when carrying out lung function in the paediatric patient population.

Lectures and demonstrations take place prior to the commencement of the clinical placement. 

The student will undertake an eight-week period of placement in a clinical Respiratory Physiology Department, thus developing their required practical skills. 

During the placement period, tutorials will be delivered by the Clinical Tutor.

Contact hours (12 hrs pre-placement lectures, 280 placement hours, 12 tutorial hrs)


Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination45
Other Assessment(s)55