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AN3009: ARCHITECTURE OF LIFE (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

  • this course will equip you with key micro-anatomical principles and concepts that underpin human form and function; 
  • you will study the intricacies of cellular and extracellular components; how these combine structurally and functionally to form a coherent organ, and how they are altered in disease; 
  • you will learn through structured practical classes, which form the core element of this course, lectures, tutorials and online histology packages; 
  • the course will equip you with key generic microscopical, analytical, problem-solving and transferable skills, aimed at developing graduate attributes, to provide a solid foundation for further study in the biomedical sciences

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Mr David Chorn

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Aims: To study the relationship between structure and function in the organisation of body tissues. To understand how the anatomy of tissues/cells differs in the healthy and abnormal states. To deepen students' knowledge and understanding of the specialties of histology and pathology. To help students understand how histology and pathology can help us prevent, screen for, diagnose and treat disease/injury. To help students adopt an integrated and broader approach to the study of human cells and tissues. To introduce students' to the research and healthcare applications of histology and pathology, and what potential career opportunities there may be in these fields. To enhance students' practical skills relating to histology/pathology/imaging and the use of human specimens/samples. To enhance students' problem-solving skills and confidence in dealing with complex information and imagery. Main Learning Outcomes: Students should have an understanding of tissue/cellular organisation in a variety of body locations and how these relate to function. They should be able to: - explain how cellular and extracellular components combine to form a cohesive structural and function tissue organisation - describe and discuss a variety of structural formats within the human body. - explain how variations to the structural formats of body surfaces, tubes and musculoskeletal structural components are modified from a basic format and the functional effects of such structural variations in normal and disease situations. - use the skills necessary to interpret microscopic slides, anatomical specimens and models and the output from other imaging procedures. - use the skills necessary to interpret histological and pathological images and use their findings to solve problems. - use the skills of relating structural information and functional activity. Content: The course will include lectures on the features of a variety of human tissues - in states of normality and abnormality. Further lectures will examine the way that these tissues change during disease states and injury. Practicals will offer demonstrations of traditional and modern methods of analysing structure/appearance of human tissues with practical experience of the analysis of data produced by such methodologies. Students will also undertake several problem-based learning sessions where they will have to use the knowledge they learn to interpret histological and pathological images and data.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: One 90-minute essay examination (70%) and in-course assessment (30%). In-course assessment comprises: 2 laboratory reports, 1 problem solving exercise/essay (1500 words). Resit: One 90-minute essay examination (70%) and previous continuous assessment (30%).

Formative Assessment

A mock exam allows students to practice for essay based exams and receive feedback on their performance. Formative online tests delivered via MyAberdeen to consolidate lecture material covered throughout the course. Feedback provided on performance during problem-based learning tutorials to help students enhance their critical analysis and data/image interpretation skills.


Practical reports and essays will be marked with written comments. Problem solving questions will be discussed during tutorials. Formative test answers with explanations will be delivered via MyAberdeen. Tutorial sessions will provide discussion and feedback on course content. Written comments will be provided on the mock exam question.

Course Learning Outcomes


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