Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Vertebrate Anatomy
Academic Year
Semester 2
BR11520 or BR13320 or BG13320
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 4 x 4 Hour Practicals
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures
Workshop 1 x 4 Hour Workshop


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Answer two questions.  50%
Semester Assessment Portfolio of dissection drawings  25%
Semester Assessment Comparative anatomy essay (1500 words)  25%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Illustrated essay (1500 words)  Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Describe the main organ systems of different vertebrate classes in terms of structure and function

2. Evaluate adaptations of vertebrate organ systems to different living environments (e.g. marine vs. terrestrial)

3. Prepare dissection specimens to display the structures of vertebrate tissues, organs and organ systems

4. Make clear, detailed anatomical drawings of biological specimens

Brief description

Dissection classes involving representative examples of major vertebrate groups. Lectures will describe the evolution, form and function of vertebrate organ systems with reference to these examples. Coursework will allow students to extend discussion of vertebrate anatomical diversity, bringing in examples from their self-directed study.


To enable students to understand the concepts of comparative anatomy and its contribution to our understanding of vertebrate form, function, development and evolution.
To enable students to develop practical skills in dissection and anatomical drawing.


Four dissection classes (timing will vary on University timetable)
Two lectures per week: 1 introduction to comparative anatomy, 1 lecture on dissection and biological drawing, 5 lectures each on fish, amphibians, mammals and birds, 1 revision lecture.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Students must write an essay and produce clear anatomical drawings.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students must undertake independent study for their comparative anatomy assignment.
Information Technology Students must use literature databases (e.g. Web of Knowledge) to prepare for their coursework and exam.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Students must decide upon a taxonomic group to study for their comparative anatomy essays and decide upon the best way to compare and describe the species.
Research skills Students must use the peer-reviewed scientific literature to support their essays and exam answers.
Subject Specific Skills Dissection Anatomical drawing
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 5