Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Cell Physiology of Exercise 4C option BIOL4026

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Life Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will allow students to develop and gain a deep and critical understanding of advanced exercise physiology, with an emphasis on examination of how exercise and exercise training affects the physiological and biological processes in cells and how this leads to the integrated adaptation and athletic phenotype observed after exercise training. 


This option is assigned to block S2-C. Normally a 1-hour introductory session, a 1-hour break, then a 2-hour follow-up discussion/tutorial, on Thursdays.

Requirements of Entry

Normally, only available to final-year students in a School of Life Sciences programme. Visiting students may be allowed to enrol, at the discretion of the School of Life Sciences Chief Adviser and the Course Coordinator.

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (70%) and in-course assessment consisting of a critical review essay (30%). 

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to: 

■ Examine the function and integrated relationship between cells, organs and the whole organism;

■ Examine how exercise stress affects the function of, and the relationship between, cells, organs and the whole organism;

■ Examine how cellular processes and adaptations to exercise translate to improved function of the whole organism in both normal health and disease. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to: 

■ Compare cellular processes that are activated or inactivated by exercise;  

■ Appraise experimental methods that are used to assess how exercise affects cellular processes;  

■ Propose cellular mechanisms for improved oxygen transport during and after exercise;  

■ Appraise and evaluate the specific cellular processes that are stimulated by exercise in order to generate beneficial phenotype effects and how they differ from processes generated by other stress stimuli. 

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.