Physiology and Pathological Physiology (eng.)

‘In the fields of observation chance favours only the prepared mind.’ Louis Pasteur

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This study programme aims to consolidate and extend the students’ knowledge of physiology and pathophysiology on all levels, from systemic to molecular. Graduates must be able to use the knowledge obtained during the studies for their own research work in both these basic areas of instruction, carry out their research using current scientific methods, and use valid methods for obtaining results as well as sound statistical methods. Besides theoretical knowledge, students also learn practical skills, especially as regards clinical examination and laboratory methods. The results of their thesis, stemming from the evaluation of data acquired during basic or applied research, bring genuinely new insights into physiology, clinical physiology, or pathological physiology.


After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:

  • Use his/her extensive knowledge of physiology and pathophysiology to formulate his/her research objectives.
  • Use and further develop diagnostic, examination, and laboratory methods.
  • Obtain original research results based on well-formulated research objectives.
  • Collect and organize a database file.
  • Evaluate the results of his/her work and draw conclusions from them.
  • Work in a team and respect the rules for successful teamwork.
  • Present his/her findings to other scientists.
  • Publish his/her research findings.
  • Work together with others to win grans.

Graduates can work as junior researchers in a research team and later on in their careers also as senior researchers with their own teams. They can supervise students’ Bachelor’s and Masters’ theses in related fields and work as physiology and pathophysiology lecturers with the possibility of an academic career at MU. Graduates who decide to work in clinical practice also have higher chances of career growth leading to senior consultant positions.


The standard length of the study programme is 4 years, but students can also defend their theses earlier, provided they meet all the requirements (credits, advanced Master’s state examinations, courses, publications, submission of a doctoral thesis). The maximum allowed length is 7 years.

The study programme is organized into semesters. To enrol in any subsequent semester, students need to earn at least 20 credits in the previous semester (minimum credits per semester – see new Masaryk University Study and Examination Regulations from 1 February 2012) or 45 credits for the previous two semesters. These requirements do not apply if a students has already earned 240 or more credits and has not exceeded the standard length of study (see section 12 (2) of Masaryk University Study and Examination Regulations).

Students earn credits for the following courses:

(1) Work on Doctoral Thesis I–VIII (to be evaluated by the supervisor at the end of each semester and credits granted by the respective Board for Doctoral Studies – BDS – at the supervisor's suggestion): 5 to 25 credits per semester.

Steps: data collection, statistical evaluation, attending specialised seminars/workshops, lectures on the topic of the thesis.

Doctoral students now have the option of using another step in working on their thesis (course code DSDP099). In the case that they fail to submit their thesis within the standard length of study, they can repeatedly enrol in this course until submission (this is related to the minimum requirement of 20 credits per semester).

(2) Professional Training I–VIII (to be evaluated by the supervisor at the end of each semester and credits granted by the respective BDS at the supervisor's suggestion): 1 to 8 credits per semester

Steps: participation in specialized seminars/workshops, lecturing, self-study of literature, completion of a course relevant to the field, etc.

Students can enrol in this course 8 times during their studies. The subject also includes examinations, non-graded credits, and colloquiums in courses specific to the Physiology and Pathophysiology Board for Doctoral Studies.

Specialized courses (see the syllabus for individual doctoral programmes at are not defined in the university information system (IS Muni): these are included in the Professional Training courses for all BDS. Students may combine and use them freely based on their own initiative, following the recommendations of their supervisors and based on what is required for their given thesis topic. The syllabuses describe the content, supervisors, and recommended literature for each course, but there are no formal lectures: the courses consist in self-study and attending suitable research and science events. The overall effort should be focused on the doctoral state examination that needs to be passed before thesis defence.

(3) Teaching assistance: 1 to 8 credits per semester.

Steps: Independent teaching or assisting other lecturers.

Students can enrol in this course 8 times during their studies.

(4) Internship in another country: 5 to 25 credits per semester.

Students can enrol in this course twice during their studies.

(5) Completing a course common to all PhD students: 5 credits

1. Molecular Biology and Genetics

2. New Trends in Pathophysiology

3. New Trends in Medical Immunology

4. Clinical Data Analysis

5. Ethics in Research and Experiments

6. Rhetoric: Standards of Interpersonal Communication

7. Acquisition of Scientific Information

8. Design and Analysis of Clinical Trials

9. Computer Network User

Students need to complete at least 5 credit courses (English and 4 other courses). The maximum number is not specified.

“English” is a two-semester course and students need to pass the final exam to earn the credits.

(6) Publication Activities

3 credits for each evaluation point earned for publication activities.


Practical training is focused on helping the students learn examination and laboratory methods and techniques that can be used to collect data for publications and the thesis. As a part of the practical training, students also obtain basic teaching experience in physiology and pathophysiology.


Students need to fulfil the following requirements before defending their theses:

1. Earn 240 credits over the whole course of study.

2. Complete a minimum of 5 common subjects.

3. Earn a minimum of 30 credits for publication activities.

4. Pass their doctoral state examination.

5. Submit their thesis.

6. Defend their thesis (approved by a reader) before an examination board.


Graduates can become junior research workers and start a research and/or academic career at the Faculty of Medicine or Faculty of Science, Masaryk University.


Field of study specifications

Field of Study: Physiology and Pathological Physiology (eng.)
Abbreviation: FYPFA
Code: 5103V010
Type: doctoral degree programme
Degree: Ph.D.
Accreditation: to 31/12/2024
Programme: P5156 D-FP4 Physiology and Pathological Physiology (4-years)
Faculty of Medicine
Field of study guaranteed by:
Faculty of Medicine
Field guarantor:
prof. MUDr. Anna Vašků, CSc.