ANHB2216 Human Reproductive Biology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Anatomy and Human Biology major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
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.
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.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Caitlin Wyrwoll and Dr Jeremy Smith
Unit rules
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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.