Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit is concerned with the interplay between genes and the environment in determining the human phenotype, especially from a health perspective. There are several themes. One is the proximate and ultimate causes of the human condition—the immediate cellular, molecular, physiological and anatomical factors together with the consequences of our evolutionary history. Another theme is the impact of the prenatal environment and nutrition on the adult. A third theme is the inevitability of the phenotype as a result of gene–environment interaction. The unit considers these themes in the context of growth and development from conception to old age, focusing on variation at the levels of individuals and populations.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) the ability to understand to define clearly questions about how genes and environment interact; (2) refinement of skills in independent library research, clear critical scientific writing,analytical and synthetic thinking and the public exposition of scientific work; (3) a capacity to learn from peers (1) to develop an independence from 'teachers'; (4) refinement of effective team-work skills; (5) skill and confidence in public verbal communication; (6) comfort in the use of electronic media for communication and the acquisition, analysis and presentation of information; (7) acquaintance with the basic techniques and tools of biomedical scientists working in this area; (8) familiarity with the current state of knowledge of this area of biomedical science; (9) the capacity to critically assess current scientific publications; and (10) the capacity to relate this discipline to the workings of the everyday world.


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 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.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Geoff Meyer and Dr Peter McFawn
Unit rules
ANHB2212 Human Structure and Development
and PHYL2001 Physiology of Human Body Systems and two of the following units: BIOC2203 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell, BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell, MICR2209 Introduction to Infectious Diseases and Immunology, PATH2201 Introduction to Human Disease, PATH2220 Introduction to Human Disease, PHAR2210 Foundations of Pharmacology
ANHB3310 Human Biology: Applications and Investigations I, ANHB3315 Human Evolutionary Ecology, ANHB3316 Human Reproduction, ANHB3320 Human Biology: Applications and Investigations II, ANHB3321 Biological Anthropology: Genes and Society, ANHB3323 Cells, Tissues and Development, ANHB3324 Human Structure and Function, ANHB3304 Human Functional Morphology, ANHB3311 Biological Anthropology, PHYL3001 Physiology of Membranes, Muscles and Signalling, PHYL3002 Physiology of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems, PHYL3003 Physiology of Nutrition and Metabolism, PHYL3004 Physiology of Integrated Organ Function, PHYL3340 Advanced Cellular Physiology, PHYL3350 Physiological Control Mechanisms, PHYL3300 Mammalian Cell Biology.
not compatible with students undertaking either Anatomy and Human Biology
or Physiology within the Biomedical Science double major
  • 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.