NNEK24005U Physical Activity and Health - Brain and Cardiovascular System

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Human Physiology


The student will gain insight into the physiological processes that underlie the beneficial effects of physical activity on cardiovascular and neural health. The students will learn to recognize the effect of inter-organ crosstalk during PA and evaluate evidence for sub-cellular, cellular and system-level mechanisms that underlie the link between PA and improved health. Concrete, evidence-based examples from disease-prevention and therapy will illustrate how physical activity can be used for prevention of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

Learning Outcome


Explain how physical activity can be used for disease prevention and disease reduction in cardiovascular diseases, stroke and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Illustrate how mechanisms that underlie the the health effects of PA can be used for discovery of novel therapeutic targets and development of personalized exercise regimes.

Identify how the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system affect each other.

Gain knowledge of examination techniques related to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular blood flow.


Argue for specific health-promoting effects of physical activity in different target groups.

Select, assess and present relevant scientific results within the field.

Lead an interdisciplinary discussion on how inter-organ signalling networks contribute to the health effects of PA


Distinguish between systemic and skill-specific effects of physical activity on brain function and structure.

Design experimental experiments that test a relevant issue related to physical activity and health and be able to discuss this in relation to the existing physiological knowledge (select and relate to relevant literature).

Analyze and discuss the choice of training and testing methods in relation to specific target groups and integrate this knowledge, in order to understand causal relationships.

Course literature will be announced at study start on the course’s Absalon page.

Relevant bachelor's degree which includes at least one 7.5 ECTS course in human/cellular physiology.
Student-activating teaching via presentations and group work-assignments as well as expert lectures and demonstrations. Constructive feedback from faculty and peers as well as lectures and demonstrations.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 33
  • Preparation
  • 99
  • Practical exercises
  • 4
  • Study Groups
  • 30
  • Exam Preparation
  • 39
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Throughout the course, oral peer-feedback is included in connection with the student’s presentation of research studies and the presentation of a student pitch. Oral feedback from the teacher is also given after all presentations, including an individual feedback session after the student pitch.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min.
Type of assessment details
The examination lasts 30 minutes ( including evaluation). Examination starts with a 10 min presentation of a scientific study by the student and is followed by a subsequent scientific discussion with the examinators. This discussion is based on the presented article and its relation to the course material. The presented article is drawn approx. 24 hours before the exam. There are no restrictions on the number and nature of assistive devices that the student may utilize during preparation and during the exam, provided that standard guidelines to avoid plagiarism are followed.
Exam registration requirements

To be allowed to register to the exam all students have given a research study presentation and have provided peer-feedback to at least one other group of presenters. Students allowed to register to the exam have also actively participated in student pitch presentations.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

Same as the ordinary exam. If the requirements are not met, the course supervisor must be contacted, and supplementary presentations /student pitches must be done no later than 3 weeks before the re-examination.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see ”Learning Outcome”