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In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in Semester 1, 2021.

This course component will be available to study remotely for students commencing in Semester 1, 2021. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the course component may not be available to be studied remotely.

Note: The University intends to offer as many units of study as possible in a remote as well as face-to-face learning method of delivery in Semester 1, 2021 and subject to ongoing border closures and public health orders impacting attendance on campus, in Semester 2, 2021. However, some units of study and courses require students to study in-person at the relevant University of Sydney campus/es and host locations for placements and will not be available remotely.

About this major

Physiology is the study of how the various tissues and organs of the body work to support life and grow. Undertaking a major in physiology will advance your understanding of how the body works, which is often of practical relevance in clinical medicine. For more information on the program structure and content, view the Science Undergraduate Handbook.

About this major

To prepare for a physiology major, you must take first year chemistry. It is also recommended that you take junior units in molecular biology and genetics, mathematics and physics.

You will take the intermediate physiology units that are prerequisites for your senior units. Your second year classes will have an emphasis on cellular neurophysiology, muscles, blood, respiration, the cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, reproductive, sensory and motor systems, and principles of data analysis.

To successfully complete the physiology major, you must take at least 24 credit points from senior units of study in physiology.

Human Cellular Physiology
Neuroscience: Special Senses
Neuroscience: Motor Systems and Behaviour
Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience
Cells and Development

Further study for major

If you are interested in furthering your specialisation in physiology, you may wish to undertake an honours year and a subsequent postgraduate research program, subject to admission requirements.

Opportunities for honours and postgraduate research are available for eligible students in a variety of specialised physiology fields including motor and sensory systems, muscle cell function, neurobiology, developmental physiology, embryonic stem cells, human reproduction, vision and more.

Completing your honours year is an important step in exploring your potential for a career in research, as it involves completing a research project in your specialised area, under the supervision of an expert in that field. If you do well enough, you might be eligible to apply for a research program like the MSc or PhD, where you can take your research even further.

Graduate opportunities

With a major in physiology, you can become a professional in a vast range of health-related roles. These include clinical practitioner roles, biomedical research, health promotion and medical journalism. Physiologists work in fields as diverse as conservation and wildlife biology to cancer diagnostics. Your career development will depend on your personal strengths and interests.
Career pathways
Courses that offer this major

To commence study in the year

Units of study in this major

To commence study in the year

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.