Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Physiology - Postgraduate options

Subject description


Physiology is a science concerned with explaining how living organisms work. Ultimately, understanding how living organisms work will allow us to understand what goes wrong in disease and provide a rational scientific basis for treatment of disease. Of the biological sciences, Physiology is highly quantitative and has close links with biochemistry, molecular biology, mathematical modelling, pharmacology as well as zoology and plant biology.

Since the sequencing of the human genome has been completed, the importance of physiology as a discipline has increased dramatically, since the next task is to explain how the inanimate proteins produced by the genetic code are organised and work at the cell and tissue level to enable life to exist. Thus, Physiology is an increasingly important field of study for students interested in any aspect of biology or biomedical sciences.


Structure and prerequisites

Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BSc(Hons)) - Physiology

The prerequisite is a major in Physiology and at least 90 points at Stage III.



Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) - Physiology

The prerequisite is a BSc with a major in Physiology, or equivalent qualification.



Master of Science (MSc) - Physiology

The prerequisite is a BSc(Hons) or PGDipSci in Physiology.

Requirements: Research Masters


Career opportunities

Career opportunities which utilise a background in Physiology are as diverse as the discipline itself. Physiology is a foundation subject for the majority of programmes which offer training in the health sciences. A background in Physiology is also useful for a career path associated with servicing New Zealand's rapidly growing healthcare sector.

Finally, a research career in Physiology offers a range of exciting possibilities both here and overseas. As the emphasis of the human genome project is now shifting from gene sequencing to understanding gene function, the demand of the biomedical research community for scientists with a strong background in Physiology will ensure future employment opportunities for those with physiology training. Physiology, as a rigorous, experimental science, has always been important in medical research and drug development.


Help and advice

For further information on postgraduate courses and programmes, please contact the postgraduate coordinator:

Dr Julie Lim
Postgraduate Coordinator - Physiology
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 82591
Email: j.lim@auckland.ac.nz

Megan Spiers
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 86720
Email: m.spiers@auckland.ac.nz