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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

  • this course provides a broad overview of the fundamental processes underpinning transformation of a single fertilised egg into a fully functioning individual;
  • you will gain in depth and cutting edge knowledge on the major patterning and morphogenetic processes essential for establishing the body plan, major organ systems and causes of birth defects;
  • this core knowledge is directly relevant and will prepare you for more advanced studies in all areas of Life Sciences, including Anatomy, Developmental Biology, Physiology and Neuroscience;
  • wide transferable and employability skills, including problem solving and presentation practice, are a core component of the course

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Lynda Erskine

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

Focusing on human development, this course will examine the question of how a single fertilised cell develops into a fully functioning organism with a complex, highly patterned body structure. The course will begin with an overview of embryonic and foetal development, the major signalling systems sculpting normal development and causes of birth defects. The structural changes underlying the development of each of the major tissues and organs of the body will be discussed in turn, and the genes and signalling pathways involved will be introduced briefly.

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: 1 one and a half hour written examination (70%) and in-course assessment (30%). Continuous assessment comprises: Individual oral presentation (15%), written summary of the oral presentation (5%) and practical write up (10%).

Resit: 1 one and a half hour written examination (70%) and previous continuous assessment (30%).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


- Practical reports and written summaries will be marked with written comments. - Written feedback, including peer-comments, on oral presentation.

Course Learning Outcomes


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