General information

Subject type: Basic

Coordinator: Esther Wall Gimeno

Trimester: Second term

Credits: 6

Teaching staff: 

Ishar Dalmau Santamaria

Teaching languages

  • Catalan
  • Spanish
  • English


Basic skills
  • B1_That students have demonstrated knowledge and understanding in a field of study that is based on general secondary education, and is at a level that, if supported by advanced textbooks, also includes some aspect that involves knowledge from the forefront of their field of study


Specific skills
  • E1_Know and understand the morphology, physiology, pathology and behavior of people, both healthy and sick, in the natural and social environment


  • E20_Identify the structural, physiological and biomechanical factors that condition the practice of physical activity and sport

  • E21_Identify the effects of physical exercise on the structure and function of the human body


Transversal competences
  • T2_Demonstrate ability to organize and plan



The subject of Human Physiology aims to provide the basis of knowledge of the functioning of the different organs and systems of the human body, and the relationship between these systems and their responses and adaptations in certain conditions such as pregnancy, growth and old age. As a future professional in physiotherapy, the students of the degree in Physiotherapy must understand the operation of all the functional systems that make up the human body.

Physiology is the science that studies the human being in a state of health and in this way will also allow the understanding of the pathophysiological situations that lead to disease.

On the other hand, the subject of Human Physiology aims to stimulate a critical attitude towards science and its paradigms.

The gender perspective will be an aspect that the teaching staff will take into account by making an inclusive and non-sexist use of language and promoting the equal participation of everyone in an inclusive environment in lectures. Female bibliographic references will be provided in the classroom to the extent that the subject allows it and the full first name of the authors will be used. Regarding the images of the content in the teaching material, the non-perpetuation of stereotypes will be encouraged. The different responses in women and men will become visible in terms of the exposure of risk factors underlying the onset of disease, the differences due to sex and gender in the manifestations and experience of the disease. Epidemiological studies have identified differences in the frequency of diseases between sexes, as well as differences in life expectancy; key concepts that will be integrated into the teaching syllabus.


Learning outcomes

LO1. Identifies the main historical facts of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and biomechanics, as well as recognizes the study methods and recording techniques most used in these disciplines and interprets the data and graphs.

LO6. Apply, based on knowledge, the anatomy and physiology involved in the body systems determining human movement.

LO7. Explain the terminology of exercise physiology accurately.

LO8. It applies based on knowledge, the effects of physical activity and physical interventions, caused on the biochemical reactions of the different human organs and systems.

RA9. Interpret, based on knowledge, the acute and chronic effects caused by physical exercise, as well as their evaluation through basic field and laboratory tests: metabolic and cardiorespiratory variables considering biological differences by age and sex.

LO10. It applies, based on knowledge, the changes and adaptations that occur due to variation in age, gender and environmental stress.

Working methodology

The methodology of the subject will be carried out combining face-to-face classroom time, with autonomous work time, with the support of the virtual learning environment. The percentage of time the student spends is distributed as follows:



Face-to-face sessions

Lectures, classes aimed at debate and clarification of content, reading discussion classes.

Self-employment Personal study, problem solving, information searches (bibliography, webgraphy), guided assignments.



Topic 1. Introduction to Physiology

Definition of physiology.

Levels of organization of the human body.

Basic life processes.


Topic 2. Bioenergetics and Metabolism

Concept of bioenergetics.

Metabolism Obtaining and transferring energy.

Topic 3. Physiology of the Muscular System

Contraction and relaxation of muscle fibers.

Metabolism and muscle control.

Unit 4. Physiology of the Nervous System

Neuronal physiology: neuronal electrical activity. Synaptic transmission.

Generalities of the physiology of the central nervous system.

Generalities of the physiology of the peripheral nervous system: somatic nervous system and autonomic (vegetative) nervous system.

Topic 5. Physiology of the Endocrine System

Comparison of the control exercised by the nervous and endocrine systems.

Mechanisms of hormonal action and control of hormonal secretion.

Endocrine glands and endocrine cells (organs, tissues).

Unit 6. Physiology of the Cardiovascular System

Physiological bases of cardiac contraction.

Circulatory pathways

Hemodynamics: factors that affect blood flow.

Unit 7. Physiology of the Lymphatic System and Immunity

Immunity concept.

Generalities of the lymphatic system.

innate immunity

acquired immunity

Unit 8. Physiology of the Respiratory System

Generalities of the physiology of the respiratory system.

Mechanics of ventilation.

Gas exchange and transport.

Unit 9. Physiology of the Digestive System

Generalities of the physiology of the digestive system.

Digestion, absorption and defecation.

Unit 10. Physiology of the Urinary System

Generalities of renal physiology.

Transport, storage and disposal of urine.

Composition of urine.

Topic 11. Physiology in certain conditions and its adaptations: Pregnancy, Growth and Old Age

Physiological bases of pregnancy, growth and old age.

Learning activities

Typology Activity


AF1. Theoretical classes


AF2. Seminars / workshops


AF5. Tutorials


AF6. Study and group work


AF7. Study and autonomous, individual work




Evaluation system

Qualification system: (Royal Decree 1125/2003, of 5 September, establishing the European credit system and the system of qualifications in university degrees of an official nature and valid throughout the state):

0 - 4,9: Suspension (SS)

5,0 - 6,9: Approved (AP)

7,0 - 8,9: Notable (NT)

9,0 - 10: Excellent (SB)

The final grade of the student is the result of a continuous assessment through different assessment activities. In order to pass the course you must pass a minimum grade of 5 points out of 10, according to the following table.

Evaluation system


SE1. Electronic portfolio


SE2. Oral presentation


SE3. Exam


SE4. Self evaluation


SE5. Peer evaluation (2P2) or co-evaluation





Evaluation activity in recovery period 


 SE3. Exam


Important, to be able to pass the subject, it is necessary to have passed the Exam (SE3) with a minimum weighting of 5/10. In the recovery period, it will be possible to take an exam equivalent to the final exam of the subject and which will be weighted with the same percentage on the final grade.

The rest of the grades will be maintained with the grade obtained during the course.

In accordance with current regulations, you can only opt for recovery, if it has been suspended the subject. If the rating is Not presented, you will not be eligible for recovery. 

The total or partial copy in any of the learning activities will mean a "Not Presented" in the subject, without option to present in the proof of recovery and without prejudice of the opening of a file for this reason.



Patton Kevin T, Thibodeau Gary A. Anatomy and Physiology. 8th ed. Barcelona: Elsevier Spain; 2013

Hall John E, Hall Michael E. Guyton & Hall: Compendium of Medical Physiology. 14th ed. Barcelona: Elsevier Spain; 2021

Tortora Gerard J, Derrickson Bryan H. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. 15th ed. Madrid: Editorial Médica Panamericana; 2018


Pla Cristóbal Mosque. Human Physiology. From physiological reasoning to clinical reasoning. 2nd ed. Madrid: Editorial Médica Panamericana; 2018

Silverthorn Dee Unglaud. Human physiology: an integrated approach. 8th ed. Madrid: Editorial Médica Panamericana; 2019.

López Chicharro José, Fernandez Vaquero Almudena. Physiology of exercise. 3rd ed. Madrid: Editorial Médica panamericana; 2006

Hall John E. Guyton & Hall: Treatise on Medical Physiology. 13th ed. Barcelona: Elsevier Spain; 2016

Tresguerres Jesús A. Fernández. Human Physiology. 5th ed. Mexico: McGraw-Hill; 2020