VSC226 Veterinary Physiology (8)

Physiology is the study of the normal function, control and integration of body systems. It is how animals live their daily lives. Its scope ranges from molecular, cellular, tissue and organ to whole body function and is the basis for recognition of abnormal function, which will be covered in subsequent pathology and clinical subjects. Foundations of veterinary physiology are explored by evaluation of homeostatic and control mechanisms. The workings of nerve and muscle cells, endocrine, digestive, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems and the ways that they interact to maintain homeostasis will be studied in domestic species. Practical exercises will utilise computer simulations and clinical techniques on human and animal subjects to illustrate and extend information presented in lectures. Veterinary physiology runs concurrently with Comparative Anatomy during first session of Second Year to provide parallel teaching of related content and to ensure that the interrelationships between form and function are apparent to students. Physiological processes in the different body systems, drawn from normal animal activities, will be presented to reinforce the content taught in previous, concurrent and successive subjects to reinforce understanding of integrated body functions.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC226. 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 enrolment in the

Bachelor of Veterinary Biology,
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)


VSC113 and VSC224 and ( CHM102 or CHM104 )

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to explain the relationship between form (structure) and function of different body organs and systems;
  • be able to define homeostasis and identify regulatory mechanisms by which the body seeks to maintain its internal environment;
  • be able to outline mechanisms for the control and integration of different body systems;
  • be able to utilise their understanding of normal function to explain the basis for abnormal function of organ systems covered;
  • be able to integrate information from concurrent subjects and apply this information to material covered in Veterinary Physiology;
  • be able to use information presented on domestic species to understand and explain modifications to basic mammalian physiology adopted by different animal species; and
  • be able to apply basic statistical methods of hypothesis testing to analyse physiological data and present the findings in a scientific format.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Homeostasis and Control Systems;
  • Skeletal Muscles: contraction and control;
  • Cardiac and Smooth Muscle;
  • Endocrine system;
  • Gastrointestinal system;
  • Cardiovascular system;
  • Respiratory system; and
  • Descriptive Statistics.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of VSC226 in Session 1 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 %
Staff evaluation of practical performance
Endocrine physiology - research poster
Mid session exam
Final exam

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.