Objectives and competences

The master's degree in Integrative Physiology focuses in particular on the most innovative and applied aspects of the physiology of exercise, altitude and hypoxia, and the latest advances in oxidative stress and free radicals, and molecular and cellular physiology.
This master's degree, which is taught as a blended learning course, is aimed at broadening the students'knowledge of the latest aspects of physiology research. It focuses in particular on the most innovative and applied aspects of the discipline, including the physiology of exercise, altitude and hypoxia, the latest advances in the understanding of oxidative stress and free radicals, and molecular and cellular physiology. 

The course has has received the distinction “International Master’s Programme” (IMP) from the Government of Catalonia’s Agency for the Administration of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) (2013 IMP 00019).

The master’s degree in Integrative Physiology is intended for holders of degrees and diplomas in the life sciences and health sciences, experimental sciences, physical activity and sports sciences, and related scientific disciplines.

Basic information

TypeMaster's degree
Faculty or schoolFaculty of Biology
Branch of knowledge
  • Biomedical sciences
Mode of delivery
  • Blended learning
Number of places available30
Length of course1 academic year
Language(s) of instructionSpanish (75%) and English (25%)
Approximate price per credit27.67 euros per credit (82 euros for students who are not EU nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2023-2024
Course detailsIndicators
Open pre-enrolmentYes
Open enrolmentYes
Lead to doctoral studiesYes
Admission for applicants not holding a degree qualificationNo
Bridging coursesYes

Objectives and competences


Physiology research is important in many branches of knowledge. The discipline has more specialized indexed journals than many other areas of science, and many Nobel Laureates have been awarded the distinction in recognition of their work in physiology.
The master's degree in Integrative Physiology, which is taught as a blended learning course, looks in detail at current aspects of research in the discipline. In particular, it focuses on the most innovative applied aspects, including the physiology of exercise, altitude and hypoxia, the latest advances in the understanding of oxidative stress and free radicals, and molecular and cellular physiology. It also encompasses a range of more general subjects that address advances in endocrinology, neurophysiology and reproductive physiology.
The objective of the master's degree is to train researchers in physiology who can undertake research in public and private centres. In addition, it provides the preparation to carry out physiology research at doctoral level.


General competences
  • Capacity to obtain and analyse information on scientific advances in the area of physiology.
  • Capacity to develop a critical attitude for the analysis of one's own work and that of colleagues, to make considered judgements, to defend arguments with rigour, and to discuss new ideas on topics in the area of physiology.
  • Capacity to make decisions, resolve problems and propose new hypotheses in a reasoned, efficient manner.
  • Capacity to incorporate new technologies into research or academic work and to make effective use of them.
  • Capacity to develop specific skills for basic and applied physiology research in a laboratory setting.
  • Capacity to use suitable statistical methods and tools to process and analyse experimental research data.
  • Capacity to write clear, concise reports on the results of a study, with a clear formulation of the conclusions.

Generic competences
  • Capacity to act critically and self-critically, and to demonstrate attitudes that are consistent with and values that are respectful of ethical and moral considerations.
  • Capacity to work in interdisciplinary and multicultural teams and to collaborate actively to reach common goals.
  • Capacity to generate original ideas to meet a specific need or to provide alternative solutions to a specific problem, and to show the motivation to put novel ideas into practice.
  • Capacity to adopt integrated and systemic approaches, to think and act in a way that is respectful and supportive of others, and to give due consideration to the social and environmental impact of actions.
  • Capacity to understand and express oneself orally and in writing using the specialized terminology of the discipline, in one's own and a foreign language.

Specific competences
  • Capacity to use new digital technologies to analyse and process signals and images in physiology.
  • Capacity to use sources of scientific information and databases to consult current knowledge on topics of interest in the field of physiology.
  • Capacity to plan and design experimental models to assess the adaptive response of a physiological system.
  • Capacity to identify alternative models to animal experimentation and to justify their use.
  • Capacity to select appropriate instruments for laboratory work and to use them correctly, using the knowledge acquired during the course.
  • Capacity to analyse physiological parameters and interpret the relationships between them.
  • Capacity to identify the mechanisms of functional regulation at the molecular, cellular and systemic scales.
  • Capacity to use systems to monitor physiological processes.
  • Capacity to use advanced methods and applications to disseminate research results and share resources.
  • Capacity to use functional evaluation techniques and clinical diagnoses to improve human and animal welfare.

Access and admission

Applicant profile and access requirements

Recommended applicant profile

The master's degree in Integrative Physiology is intended for holders of degrees and diplomas in the life sciences and health sciences, experimental sciences, physical activity and sports sciences, and related scientific disciplines. It is also suitable for professionals in the field who are interested in acquiring advanced, high-quality training in physiology and have sufficient previous studies to access an official postgraduate programme.

Access requirements and conditions

General requirements
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Official Spanish university degree.

  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.

  • A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements
The course is open to holders of a degree in one of the following subjects: biology, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, biochemistry, environmental sciences, pharmacy, veterinary science, physical activity and sports sciences, medicine, dentistry, podiatry, physical education, food science and technology, human nutrition and dietetics, physiotherapy, nursing, biomedical engineering, and human kinetics (or an equivalent EHEA or non-EHEA degree).
If the qualification used for admission is not listed above, the Coordination Committee will assess the suitability of its content to determine whether the applicant has the necessary prior knowledge. Students who cannot demonstrate sufficient knowledge of physiology must take bridging courses. A basic understanding of physiology is considered essential to acquiring the competences for this master's degree. Therefore, students who have not received sufficient prior training must take the 6-credit bridging course in Human Physiology during the first semester.
Students who will be asked to complete bridging courses include those with engineering degrees and experimental science degrees (except those indicated above). As prospective students may have a wide range of previous qualifications and come from different countries, the Coordination Committee will consider each application on its own merits.



First period: 1 February'7 June 2024.
Notification of resolutions: 17 June.

Second period: 8 June'2 September 2024.
Notification of resolutions: 9 September.


  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Required documentation

  • Pre-enrolment application
  • Photocopy of degree certificate or equivalent qualification. In case of admission, foreign degrees that require so should be translated and authenticated through diplomatic channels before completing the enrolment.
  • Other specific documentation related to the selection criteria

Selection criteria

The main admission requirement is the compatibility of the candidate's previous qualification with the content of the master's degree.
In accordance with the regulations on official postgraduate study at the University of Barcelona, the admission process is overseen by the master's degree Coordination Committee.

  • PHASE 1. In the first phase, the main factor considered will be the academic record, which is assessed on the basis of (1) the grade-point average for the qualification used for admission and (2) the subject area of the qualification:

    • 1. Degree used for admission to the master's degree, accredited through the official degree certificate or the individual academic certificate. A maximum of 15 points is awarded for the previous qualification. The maximum score will be given to holders of degrees in the biosciences or health sciences, followed by holders of diplomas in these disciplines. For applicants with degrees in other fields, the score will vary according to the compatibility of their qualification with the content of the master's degree.

    • 2. Grade-point average for the EHEA or pre-EHEA degree or diploma used for admission to the master's degree. The score assigned will be the grade-point average; the minimum score is 5 points, and the maximum score is 10 points.

  • PHASE 2. If there are more applicants than places on offer, a second selection phase will be carried out, using the scores assigned in the first phase. The forty applicants with the highest scores will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria: (3) academic qualifications other than the degree used for admission; (4) professional experience; and (5) the applicant's reasons for applying.

    • 3. Other higher education qualifications, accredited by means of the degree certificate or the individual academic certificate. The maximum score will be 5 points, according to the following scale:
      - Doctoral degree (5 points)
      - University master's degrees (3 points)
      - Other official higher education qualification (3 points)
      - University-specific master's degrees or postgraduate qualification (2 points)
      - Specialization courses in an area related to the master's degree (1 point)

    • 4. Professional or research experience in the field of physiology. The maximum score is 10 points.

    • 5. Reasons for applying to the master's degree, with a maximum score of 10 points, evaluated by means of:
      - a statement of interest that outlines the applicant's interest in the course;
      - a personal interview with the applicant, if considered necessary.
      In all cases, supporting documentation must be provided. Training/experience that is not accredited by supporting documentation cannot be taken into consideration.


The Coordination Committee will study the profile of each pre-enrolled applicant and, if necessary, contact them to arrange an interview.


As a general rule, at the UB you will be required to enrol online. Remember that you can lose your place if you do not enrol on the day you have been assigned

Enrolment calendar

  • July: 15 -30
  • September: 16 -30

Course curriculum

Subjects and course plans

Distribution of credits

Compulsory 18
Optional 24
Compulsory placements 0
Compulsory final project 18

List of subjects

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: Integrative Physiology
Advanced Endocrinology Optional 1st semester 6
Approaches in Hypoxia Research Optional 2nd semester 3
Current Aspects of Molecular Physiology Optional 1st semester 6
Experimental Models in Physiology Compulsory 1st semester 6
Experimental Models of Oxidative Stress Optional 2nd semester 3
Final Project Compulsory 2nd semester 18
Information Technologies in Physiology Compulsory 1st semester 6
Introduction to Research Compulsory 2nd semester 6
Neurophysiology Optional 1st semester 3
Physiological Principles of Oxidative Stress Optional 2nd semester 6
Physiology of Altitude Optional 2nd semester 6
Physiology of Exercise Optional 2nd semester 6
The Physiology of Reproduction Optional 2nd semester 3
Use of Animals in Experimentation Optional 2nd semester 6

Previous years


Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.

Placements are supervised by tutors and subject to assessment. They are therefore included in the academic record.  There is also an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 500 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. For both curricular and non-curricular placements, an educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.

Institutional information

Career opportunities

What can you work on ?

The master's degree is research-focused. Consequently, graduates will be qualified to work in research centres in the field of physiology (in health, biomedicine or biosciences) or to continue their academic and research training at doctoral level in preparation for an academic career.
The multi-disciplinary nature of physiology itself and the interdisciplinary focus of the master's degree will ensure that graduates have a wide range of career options. In Catalonia alone there are some 100 biomedical centres, as well as numerous health and wellness companies, clinical analysis centres and veterinary and pharmaceutical laboratories.
Graduates move into a broad spectrum of professional areas.

Basic and applied physiology research in R&D laboratories and public and private technology centres; biohealth, biotech and clinical research for the study of physiological and pathophysiological systems.

In public or private universities, as a lecturer for bachelor's degree and postgraduate courses; lifelong learning at conferences, congresses, etc.; development of health education programmes for schools and society in general, or work as a health consultant in sports environments.

Other professional and management activities
In companies involved in the development and distribution of social healthcare and biotech products and equipment; in companies that supply laboratory equipment and medical products, designed by experts working in multidisciplinary teams; in the assessment, marketing and use of products and diagnostic equipment for biomedical applications; as health consultants in sports, and as expert professionals in university education and lifelong training.

Access to the labour market

Data from the university system in Catalonia

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