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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

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

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

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

  • Either BI20M3 Molecular Biology of the Gene (Passed) or BI25B2 Physiology of Human Organ Systems (Passed)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

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.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • BSc Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy)
  • BSc Biomedical Sciences (Develop'l Biol)
  • BSc Human Embryology & Dev'l Biology
  • Bsc In Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy & Biobusiness)
  • Bsc In Biomedical Sciences (Dev Biology & Biobusiness)
  • Bsc In Human Embryology & Developmental Biology (Biobusiness
  • MSci in Biomedical Sci (Developm'l Biology) with Ind Placm't
  • MSci in Biomedical Science (Anatomy) with Indust'l Placement
  • MSci in Human Embryology & Developmental Bio with Ind Plac't
  • Msci In Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy & Bio Bus) With Ip
  • Msci In Biomedical Sciences (Develo Biolo & Bio Bus) With Ip

Contact Teaching Time

35 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


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



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

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