ANAT SC 2109 - Biology and Development of Human Tissues

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

The Histology component of Biology and Development of Human Tissues (BDHT) extends basic knowledge of the microscopic structure and function of mammalian cells and tissues and explores their organisation into organs and systems. Emphasis is placed on developing skills in recognition and interpretation of the appearances of cells and tissues in histological images and analysis of how histological components interact to bring about body functions. The Reproduction and Development component of the course investigates male and female reproductive systems and functions, gametogenesis, fertilisation, implantation, and the normal development of the human conceptus (embryo and associated extra-embryonic tissues, including the placenta). These topics form the biological basis for understanding fertility, contraception, and common developmental and reproductive anomalies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ANAT SC 2109
    Course Biology and Development of Human Tissues
    Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites ANAT SC 1102 or ANAT SC 1103 or BIOLOGY 1101
    Incompatible ANAT SC 2500
    Assessment Slide analysis task, scripted power point/video clip presentation, topic review quizzes, redeemable progress test, examinations
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Eleanor Peirce

    Phone: +61 8 8313 5191
    Location: Room N240, level 2, Helen Mayo North

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand structure-function relationships within and between cells and tissues of myeloid and lymphoid organs, and selected components of the cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, renal, endocrine, and reproductive systems.
    2 Recognise and inter-relate the normal two-dimensional appearance of cells and tissues at the light and electron microscopic levels with their in vivo three-dimensional states.
    3 Understand that histological structure is interpreted from a series of still representations taken at different functioning states of the organism.
    4 Understand and explain the processes and developmental events of fertilisation, implantation, early stage embryos and placenta formation.
    5 Demonstrate competence in using electronic databases and other search methods to source credible scientific information.
    6 Compile, evaluate, critically analyse, appropriately reference and present scientific information using a variety of communication formats.
    7 Work effectively as an individual and in groups in the pursuit of scientific knowledge.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    2, 3, 4, 5, 6

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    5, 6, 7

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    5, 6

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    5, 6, 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Essential Textbook
    Students are expected to access an histology textbook to support their learning. Both textbooks are suitable; select according to readability and learning style. 

    Pawlina, W & Ross, MH (2016) Histology: A Text and Atlas 7th Ed. Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia. ISBN 978-1-4511-8742-7
    Mescher, AL (2013) Junqueira's Basic Histology 13th Ed, McGraw Hill, New York. ISBN 978-0-0717-8033-9
    Recommended Resources
    Students may find the following resources of benefit in clarifying and/or consolidating knowledge of course topics.

    Histology Texts

    Kerr, JB. (2010) Functional histology, 2nd ed. Mosby Elsevier, Sydney.
    Young B, Woodford P and O’Dowd G. (2014) Wheater’s Functional Histology, 6th ed. Churchill Livingstone, London.
    Kierszenbaum AL, Tres L. (2012) Histology and Cell Biology, 3rd ed. Mosby Elsevier, Philadelphia.

    Embryology & Early Development Texts
    Johnson, MH. (2013) Essential Reproduction, 7th ed.Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken.
    Moore, KL, Persaud, TVN and Torchia, MG. (2015) Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects, 9th ed. Elsevier Health Sciences, St Louis. [online access via Clinical Key]
    Sadler, TW. (2012) Langman's Medical Embryology, 12th ed. Wolthers Kluwer/Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia.
    Schoenwolf, GC, Bleyl, SB, Brauer, PR and Francis-West. PH (2015) Larsen's Human Embryology, 5th ed. Elsevier Health Sciences, St Louis. [online access via Clinical Key]

    Other Reference Textbooks and Sources
    Textbooks on Cellular Biology (eg. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts et. al)

    Physiology texts (eg. Human Physiology, Sherwood) etc. will also be very helpful BUT dont cover cell and tissue structure in sufficient detail.

    It is assumed that students will also obtain information from scientific journals and specialised books online or from the Barr Smith Library.

    Electronic Resources
    Links to a range of suitable electronic resources (e.g. animations, video clips, histology image libraries or websites) that support and/or extend course content are available in the course on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    MyUni is used as the method of dissemination to students of all course materials.

    Course materials that are available online include:
    • All learning and teaching resources for face-to-face classes, e.g. prepared notes, links to support materials such as animations, video clips, external websites and databases, activity worksheets, additional histology images.
    • Virtual microscopy - histology slides plus interactive viewing program.
    • Echo 360 lecture recordings. Discussions from practical and tutorial classes will not be recorded; students are required to attend and actively participate in these classes.
    • Assessment items, e.g. quizzes, assignments, and feedback on assessment, e.g. quiz answers, marking rubrics, written comments.
    • Revision materials, e.g. answers to selected tutorial and practical activities, previous year's exams and progress tests.
    Students are encouraged to use the online discussion boards that are set up for support of selected topics.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Teaching and learning in Biology and Development of Human Tissues incorporates both online activities and face-to-face classes. All lectures are online and available to work through at the beginning of each topic. Concepts and content presented in the online lectures is supported by face-to-face tutorial and practical classes, where the emphasis is on assisting students to develop the skill set required to critically analyse and interpret the features shown in histological images and during the rapid, early development of an embryo. In addition, resources, activities and discussions to support learning are provided in the MyUni course environment.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Contact Hours Activity Hours Total Hours

    30 hours (online)
     6 hours
    10 hours

    46 hours
    Exams, tests 60 minute progress test (online)
    150 minute theory exam
    60 minute practical exam
    4.5 hours
    Total Contact Hours 50.5 hours
    Non-Contact Hours Activity Hours Total hours
    Independent study & revision 2 hours/week 24 hours
    Class preparation 1 hour preparation per tutorial = 10 hours
    1 hour preparation per practical class = 6 hours
    1 hour per week lecture quiz/formative assessment completion = 12 hours
    28 hours
    Assessment tasks 25 hours preparation for in-semester summative assessment tasks and final exams
    15 hours to compete online summative assessments (quizzes) and assignments
    40 hours
    Total Non-Contact Hours 92 hours
    Total Workload Hours/Semester
    142.5 hours
    ~12 hrs/wk
    *The expected workload for 3-unit courses is 12 hours per week or 156 hours per semester (includes week 13).
    Learning Activities Summary
    A detailed weekly timetable of topics for face-to-face classes is available on MyUni.

    Topics may include:

    Cardiovascular System
    Functional histology of blood vessels, capillaries & microcirculation
    Functional histology of the heart

    Blood Cells
    Life history of red blood cells
    Life history of leukocytes and platelets

    Lymphoid System
    Lymph circulation, structure-function relationships of lymph nodes
    Distribution and basic functio of T and B lymphocytes
    Features of the thymus
    Structure-function relationships of the spleen

    Endocrine Tissue
    General structural biology of endocrines; immunocytochemical identification of endocrine cells
    Characteristics of hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal and pancreatic islets of Langerhans

    Digestive System
    Generic structure of the gastrointestinal tract
    Regional specialisation including structural basis of digestion, absorption, barrier/immunity
    Regulation and integration of digestive processes, cellular differentiation and division
    Functional histology of the liver

    Reproductive Systems
    Exocrine and endocrine functions of the testis
    Follicular dynamics of the ovary
    Structural and functional changes of the uterus during the menstrual cycle
    Prostate and breast in health and disease

    Reproductive Biology and Early Embryology
    Early embryo development
    Formation of the placenta
    Causes and treatment of infertility

    Respiratory System
    Microstructure and function of upper respiratory tract
    Functional microstructure of lungs

    Overview of renal system
    Microstructural basis of kidney function
    Specialised features of the lower urinary tract
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Final Theory Exam Summative 30% 1, 4
    Practical Activities & Final Practical Exam Summative 15% 1, 2, 3, 4
    Topic Reviews/Quizzes Formative and Summative 25% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Progress Test Formative and Summative 10% 1, 2, 3
    Student Videoclip Presentation Formative and Summative 10% 1, 2, 5, 6, 7
    Analysis of a Histological Slide Formative and Summative 10% 1, 2, 3, 6

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students must attain an aggregated score (i.e. weighted, combined mark across all summative assessments) of at least 50% to be awarded a pass grade in Biology and Development of Human Tissues. While, no minimum score has been set for any individual assessment, students are strongly encouraged to attempt all assessment tasks to maximise their grades. Any assessment task that is not completed by its due date will be awarded a mark of zero (except in cases where an extension has been negotiated with the course coordinator prior to the submission deadline).
    Assessment Detail
    This course utilises both formative and summative assessment. Assessment instructions and submission deadlines are available via MyUni to students enrolled in the course.

    Formative Assessment
    Formative assessment is available throughout the semester to assist students with their learning. Online quizzes with instant feedback are provided in each weekly module. Formative assessment tasks and/or learning exemplars are also provided for the slide analysis and videoclip tasks and detailed feedback is provided for the in-semester progress test, which is redeemable via the end of semester theory examination.

    Summmative Assessment
    • Topic review quizzes assess knowledge and understaining of the concepts and content presented in the online presentations and discussed in tutorial classes. The best 5 of 6 quiz marks contribute to the summative assessment weighting.
    • Slide analysis quiz assesses ability to recognise features in a histological section and link appearances with contributions to organ function. The slide analysis is redeemable via completion of a second analysis quiz on a different histological slide.
    • Progress test assesses level of understanding of concepts and content presented early in the course, and identifies areas where further development or remediation are required - marks are redeemable in the end of semester theory examination.
    • Video clip presentation and peer assessment task provides an opportunity to investigate a specific questionrelated to histology or embryology and present it using visual and oral formats. Each student also assesses the effectiveness of another student's presentation against a set of criteria contained in a marking rubric. 
    • Practical class quizzes, activities and end of semester practical examination develop and examine skills in linking the locations and histological appearances of cells, tissues and organs with their functions as presented in written accounts and textbook descriptions.
    • End of semester theory examination examines knowledge of, and ability to apply, the key concepts and information presented throughout the semester.
    Submission Process
    All assessment tasks (except examinations) must be submitted online via Assignments in MyUni.

    Submission Deadlines
    All submission deadlines are prominently displayed in MyUni; the deadline for each individual assessment task is also included in the task instructions.

    Penalties for Late Submission
    Each assessment task must be received by its advertised due date. Late submissions will be marked, however penalties (a deduction of 10% of the mark allocated for the assessment/per day or part thereof) will be applied up until 7 days post-deadline at which time an automatic 0 mark will apply. Non-submission of any task will result in a mark of 0 for that task.

    Results and Feedback
    Scores for automatically marked quizzes are available immediately upon submission, with feedback on correct and incorrect answers provided no earlier than one week following the submission deadline to allow for submission by students with approved extensions of deadline. The anticipated turn-around for feedback and return of other types of assessment is 10-14 working days after the submission deadline. While every endeavour is made to achieve this, delays may occur due to staff workload.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Semester 1 primary exams will be held from late June to early July. The exam timetable is available mid May.
    For Biology and Development of Human Tissues the practical exam will be held on campus, and may be scheduled in the week prior to The University's official examination period.
    The theory exam will be held at the Adelaide Showgrounds, Wayville during the official examination period.

    Details on replacement/ additional assessment can be found at:

    Semester 1 replacement/ additional assessments are held in the last week of the mid-year break.
    Unless advised otherwise, the replacement/additional assessment theory exam for Biology and Development of Human Tissues is scheduled for a morning exam session, and the practical exam for the afternoon session of the same day.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    More detailed feedback from the previous student cohort to undertake the course is available in the Course Information module in MyUni.

    The best aspects of the course as identified by students are:
    • its interesting content.
    • access to formative learning activities and question banks via MyUni.
    • frequent assessments of content during the semester, most of which are redeemable.
    The guidelines and objectives for practical classes have been revised, with a greater emphasis on the development of recognition skills and relating structural characteristics of cells, tissues and organs, as observed in micrographs, with their developmental state and functions.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.