Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Jane Black


This unit considers the development of the major organs and organ systems of the body. The classical morphogenetic steps/stages in organ development are described, as well as the most up to date knowledge of the molecular/genetic and foetal/maternal environmental regulation of these morphogenetic processes. Organ systems covered include musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, central nervous, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal and reproductive. Students will learn how abnormalities in genetic and/or environmental regulation of development lead to birth defects as well as chronic diseases in adulthood.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic development of the major organs and organ systems;

  1. Analyse the genetic and environmental regulation of organogenesis in the major organ systems;

  1. Explain how errors or perturbations in genetic and/or environmental regulation of development can lead to birth defects;

  1. Relate the relative contributions of endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm in the formation of the tissues and organs of the adult body;

  1. Outline how suboptimal development can result in or predispose to adult chronic disease;

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with experimental strategies and techniques used to identify and study organogenesis and the regulation of organogenesis;

  1. Demonstrate an ability to interpret, discuss and present studies in developmental biology research.


Seminars: 30%
Practical reports: 20%
Final examination: 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Two lectures, two hour practical class and one hour seminar per week.