Skip to main content

Study information

Laboratory Techniques in Physiology

Module titleLaboratory Techniques in Physiology
Module codeSHSM006
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Dominic Farris (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This is a specialist module on human performance and physiological exercise testing. A pre-requisite for this module is good understanding of undergraduate level exercise physiology. A major feature of the learning and teaching methods in this module will be the active encouragement of laboratory work. The majority of this module will take place in the laboratory utilising techniques not necessarily previously available to undergraduate students. Part of the learning and teaching strategy will include practical class participation and this may include exercise from time to time.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to develop your understanding on laboratory techniques utilised in physiology research laboratories. The module will be research-driven and will benefit from recent and ongoing research of Lecturers involved in the module.

By the completion of this module you will have an understanding of different laboratory techniques, collection and subsequent analysis of data and interpretation of results. In addition, through your participation in this module you will expand your skill set and acquire practical skills that are required in your career.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Perform selected laboratory procedures competently and independently
  • 2. Analyse the obtained data accurately and interpret your results

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Critically evaluate current laboratory techniques from an evidence-based point of view

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Discuss and present information (communicate with confidence)
  • 5. Work both co-operatively and independently

Syllabus plan

A series of lectures and guest speakers will support the learning and teaching process:

  • Introduction to module, rationale, assessment and Health and Safety
  • Assessment of neuromuscular function
  • The power-time relationship
  • Muscle bioenergetics
  • Reliability and validity of laboratory techniques
  • Lactate threshold
  • Respiratory gas exchange and incremental exercise
  • Oxygen uptake kinetics
  • Exercise physiology in practice: scientific support

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching33Lead lectures, practical sessions, seminars and presentations
Guided Independent Study192Preparation for weekly lectures through reading from journals, textbooks and / or web based resources
Guided Independent Study75Preparation for summative assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Peer feedback on a proposal for an oral presentation. Students don’t deliver the oral presentation but print out slides and receive peer feedback. This is related to Assessment 1.10 minutes powerpoint slides 3-5Oral and peer

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual oral presentation4015 minutes (10-minute presentation + 5 minutes Q&A)3-5Written
Practical laboratory skills601 hour per pair (40-minute test working as a pair + 10-minute data analysis + 5 minutes questions per individual)1-2, 4-5Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual oral presentationIndividual oral presentation3-5August/September assessment period
Practical laboratory skillsPractical session in the lab1-2, 4-5August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to sit a further examination. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Australian Sports Commission (2000). Physiological Tests for Elite Athletes. Champaign, Il; Human Kinetics.
  • Eston, R.G. and Reilly, T. (2009). Exercise Physiology Laboratory Manual: Tests, Procedures and Data, 3rd edition. London; Routledge.
  • MacDougall, J.D., Wenger, H.A. and Green, H.J. (1991). Physiological Testing of the High Performance Athlete. Champaign, IL; Human Kinetics.
  • Winter, E.M., Jones, A.M., Davison, R.C., Bromley, P. and Mercer, T. (Eds). (2007).
  • Sport and Exercise Science Testing Guidelines: The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Guide. Routledge, London and New York.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Physiological testing, validity and reliability, research methods

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date