Studying online

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Unit Overview


This unit builds on Level 1 human biology to develop the structural and functional basis of human reproduction including structure and function of the reproductive organs, gametogenesis, fertilisation, early embryogenesis, fetal development and preparation for birth, maternal adaptations to pregnancy and reproductive ageing. Particular emphasis is placed on the hormonal control of reproduction. This information is then used to examine social issues including human sexuality, infertility, birth control, the cause and prevention of malformation and the impact of new techniques in reproductive biology. The unit provides students with a sound understanding of human reproduction in light of our evolutionary history, culture and society.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Human Sciences and Data Analytics major sequence
  • Level 2 core unit in the Human Biology specialisation in the Medical Science major sequence
  • Level 2 option in the Anatomy and Human Biology; Human Sciences (Anatomy and Physiology) major sequences
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) recall and integrate key knowledge and concepts about (a) the structure and function of the male and female reproductive tracts including embryological development and the changes associated with age; (b) the hormonal control of reproductive processes across the lifespan; (c) the process of fertilisation, implantation and early embryonic development including the preparatory events that occur in both the male and female; (d) the pattern of normal fetal growth and its regulation throughout gestation; (e) maternal adaptations to pregnancy, birth and lactation; and (f) social issues in reproductive biology including population growth, abortion, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, infertility and reproductive technologies; (2) identify and critically assess relevant scientific literature in human reproductive biology; (3) present clear and reasoned argument in oral and written work; (4) cooperate with other students to complete tasks and solve problems; (5) appreciate the use of different research approaches to study issues in human reproductive biology; (6) use and understand the language of science and terminology specific to the discipline; and (7) correctly operate a light microscope.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a two-hour end-of-semester examination; (2) continuous assessment (quizzes); and (3) continuous assessment (group project). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Katherine Sanders and Dr Jeremy Smith
Unit rules
Successful completion of any one Unit(s)
ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human
or ANHX1101 Human Biology 1 (Becoming Human)
or ANHB1102 Human Biology II: Being Human
or ANHX1102 Human Biology 2 (Being Human)
or BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology
or BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology
or SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell
or SCIX1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell
or IMED1108 Issues in Women's Health Across the Lifespan
Advisable prior study
12 points from ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human.
ANHB1102 Human Biology II: Being Human.
BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology (formerly BIOL1130 Core Concepts in Biology).
BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology.
SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell.
Human biology units are strongly recommended.
Students who have not passed ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human must contact the unit coordinator for prescribed pre-reading.
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
labs/tutorials: 2 hours per week

Heffner, L. J. and Schust, D. J. The Reproductive System at a Glance, 3rd edn: Blackwell Publishing 2010 or

Johnson, M. H. Essential Reproduction, 7th edn: Wiley-Blackwell Science 2013 or

Pinon, R. Biology of Human Reproduction: University Science Books 2002

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.