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DB3503: THE EARLY EMBRYO (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

  • this course takes us back to the very beginning of embryonic development and explores the fascinating process of how the fertilised egg develops into the complex multicellular embryo;
  • we will explore the embryology of axis induction and germ layer formation and the cellular processes driving morphogenesis;
  • we will illustrate fundamental molecular mechanisms that regulate early embryonic development; and how many of the same mechanisms are now found to regulate also organ development and stem cells during regeneration;
  • we will also discuss which scientific experiments gave us this knowledge and what tools and methods are used to study early embryos

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Stefan Hoppler

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

This course covers the following topics. Fertilisation: the making of a new organism, Drosophila: The Making of a Fly (Nisslein-Vollhard/Wieschaus screen and beyond), C. elegans: The Making of the Worm, Breaking the Symmetry: Axis Formation in Amphibians and other Vertebrates, Morphogenetic Movements and Cell Migration.

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%)
  • One practical report (based on course practical classes) with essay (introduction and discussion) (30%)


  • One 90-minute essay examination (70%)
  • Previous continuous assessment (30%)

Formative Assessment

  • Case-study exercise with feedback in preparation for summative assessments
  • Practice exam questions on MyAberdeen
  • Problem-solving sessions


  • Practical reports and essays will be marked with written comments
  • Problem solving questions will be discussed during practical
  • Tutorial sessions will provide feedback on course content
  • Feedback on problem-based learning exercise during practical

Course Learning Outcomes


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