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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Undergraduate Course: Sex Determination (BIME10047)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to provide an overview of the anatomy of male and female reproductive systems, how they develop from bipotential tissues and the pathology of disorders of sex development, while incorporating the latest research in sex determination. It examines in detail the key cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal gonadal development.
Course description This course will give students knowledge and understanding of how the reproductive systems develop in humans and between species, the underlying genetic and molecular mechanisms of sex determination, as well as the disorders that can occur following abnormal reproductive development.

This course is designed to give students a knowledge and understanding the mechanisms of sex determination in the developing foetus, the development of the reproductive organs and their anatomy.

There will be approx. 10 one hour lectures which will draw on the research expertise of the teaching staff, most lectures will be followed by group discussion sessions or practical classes. The course will cover the anatomy of normal adult male and female reproductive systems. The course will then provide a deeper understanding of the underlying genetic factors involved in sex determination during fetal development, and how sex developmental disorders may occur as a result of abnormal gonadal development. Furthermore, the course will outline differences in methods of sex determination across different species. Lectures will be complemented by practical classes and tutorials. The first in course assessment will involve researching a chosen are within sex determination, with the aim of delivering an oral presentation. The second in course assessment will involve a literature review of a chosen research topic, with the aim of producing an in course essay. This will allow students to develop a deep understanding of the current research focus in this field. The formative assessment for the written assignment will include a one page essay plan. For the oral presentation the formative assessment will involve a practice presentation session. Practical classes will involve examination of reproductive organs in cadaveric specimens, as well as a session examining the development of the reproductive organs in the mouse model, allowing students to observe the development of gonads at different stages from the indifferent gonad in the mouse fetus.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Anatomy and Pathology 2 (MSBM08001) OR Anatomy and Development 3 (BIME09013) OR Reproductive Biology 3 (BIME09006)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements OR MUST have passed MBChB Y1 and Y2
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Gain an understanding of the male and female reproductive organs and systems
  2. Understand how bipotential tissues are directed to develop into male or female gonads, with a broad understanding of the key cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal gonadal development.
  3. Develop your understanding of how sex determination can vary between species.
  4. Develop analytic abilities and critical thinking skills by critically reviewing and consolidating scientific literature within this subject area, with the confidence to make judgments where information is limited or controversial.
  5. Effectively communicate concepts in the discipline area of research, both in writing and orally.
Reading List
Recommended further reading will be advised by the Course Organisers and contributors throughout the course.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will allow students to develop transferrable skills in the following areas:
Interpretation of scientific data
Critical review and consolidation of knowledge
Oral & written communication of a complex field
Discussion and critical appraisal of the work of others
KeywordsAnatomy,Developmental Biology,Reproduction,Sex Determination,Disorders of Sex Development
Course organiserDr Agnes Stefansdottir
Tel: (0131 6)50 2924
Course secretaryMrs Amy Collier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3161
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