Undergraduate study in Physiology

What can you study in Physiology?

You can study Physiology as a major in the Bachelor of Science (BSc).

Physiology is the study of how living organisms function, from the cellular to the whole-body level. If we understand how organisms work we can understand what goes wrong in disease, and develop a scientific basis for its treatment. Physiology is highly quantitative and has close links with biochemistry, molecular biology, mathematical modelling, pharmacology, zoology and neuroscience.

As a Physiology student, you’ll take courses in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Medical
Science and Physics to give you a solid quantitative grounding and to encourage critical thinking, science innovation and translation. As part of your Physiology major you’ll complete a capstone course, PHYSIOL 399, where you’ll demonstrate your knowledge and skills through the design of a scientific research project. You’ll explore ethics, the role of science and scientists in society, science communication, and commitment to Māori and Pacific health advancement.

Structuring your programme in Physiology

If you began your degree prior to 2019 we recommend you seek advice to make sure you are taking the correct courses. Contact the Science Student Centre at scifac@auckland.ac.nz.

Where can undergraduate study in Physiology take you?

Physiology holds a central position amongst the biological and medical sciences. With a physiology background you could work in New Zealand’s rapidly growing healthcare sector. There is also much work overseas, with a strong demand from the international biomedical research community for physiology graduates.

Career opportunities include:

  • Biomedical research
  • Industry research
  • Medical journalism and science communication
  • Sports physiology

A Physiology background is also very desirable for clinical professions. For example, it could lead to work in the areas of audiology, medicine, optometry and veterinary medicine. Physiology has always been important in medical research and drug development.

Further study options

Help and advice

For further information and advice, please contact the Science Student Centre.

Science Student Centre

Room G20, Level G
(Beside the entrance to the Large Chemistry Lecture Theatre)
Building 301
23 Symonds Street
Auckland 1010

Phone: +64 9 923 7020
Email: scifac@auckland.ac.nz
Web: Department of Physiology