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Last modified: 16 Aug 2021 13:53

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 Aberdeen 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?

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.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 15 - 18
  • 1 Workshop during University week18

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

10% Workshop

15% Individual Oral Presentation

10% Written Summary

20% Multiple Choice Questions (throughout the course)

15% Fact Sheet

30% Open Book Exam (using 3 Case Study type questions with short note style answers)

Alternative Resit Assessment

Online exam

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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