ASC171 Animal Anatomy and Physiology (8)

Animal anatomy and physiology introduces students to the principles of physiology and anatomy as it relates to animals, in particular mammals and birds. The integration and control of all major organ systems, including endocrine, nervous, musculoskeletal, digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and immune will be examined, from micro to gross anatomical levels and normal physiological processes. The importance of blood, cellular communication and the principles of thermoregulation will also be covered. Homeostasis is central to this subject and the linkages between each of the organ systems and how they contribute to maintaining homeostasis, thereby allowing an animal to cope with, or thrive in, its environment is explored. Examples from a range of animal species are used to assimilate and demonstrate concepts learnt in lectures and applied in practical classes.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC171. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in:

  • Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) Integrated Honours
  • Bachelor of Equine Science (with specialisation)
  • Bachelor of Equine Science (Business Management)
  • Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours)  Integrated Honours
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Technology
  • Bachelor of General Studies (Science)

Other students may enrol in ASC171 at the discretion of their Course Coordinator and the Subject Coordinator.

Assumed Knowledge

Biology (either BIO100, or Year 12 HSC or equivalent biology)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to compare and contrast the normal anatomy and physiology of various species including mammals and birds;
  • be able to describe and relate the anatomy and physiology of these animals to the maintenance of homeostasis;
  • be able to describe and relate the anatomy and physiology of these animals to their lifestyles and environments;
  • be able to identify and explain important anatomical and physiological features of the various major organ systems; and
  • be able to communicate effectively, both orally and/or in writing, using the specialised language of anatomy and physiology.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Anatomical and physiological language and terminology;
  • What is homeostasis?
  • From cells to body (membrane potential, chemical communication, tissues to organs);
  • Anatomy and physiology of the following systems:
  • - Nervous system
  • - Endocrine system
  • - Skeletal system, including joints and bone metabolism
  • - Muscles
  • - Digestive system
  • - Cardiovascular system
  • - Respiratory system
  • - Renal system
  • Blood and its functions (including fluid movement);
  • Body protection systems with a focus on the immune system and skin; and
  • Regulation of body temperature.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ASC171 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Online progress fortnightly mini tests
Case study synopsis
Mid session exam
End of session exam
Submission of weekly practical reports

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

Attendance at a residential school enables students to develop competence in a number of laboratory skills in the anatomy and physiology laboratories, as well as encouraging face to face discussion amongst their peers and staff, and thereby ensuring that they have access to both scientific enquiry and knowledge, and the opportunity to develop through the social aspects of learning, that face to face interaction can provide.

Special Resources

This subject has a 4 day residential school for those students enrolled via distance education. To ensure the learning experiences for all students enrolled in ASC171, either internally or via distance education, are the same.  The 4 day residential school includes all of the practical classes that are taught to the internal students as well as supporting lectures and tutorials.  Students are required to attend the compulsory residential school which may involve travel and accommodation expenses.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.