Developmental Genetics

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


The course aims to give fundamental understanding of the processes that control embryonic development.


The course gives an introduction to basic concepts and general principles in developmental biology. The main features of the embryonic development of important animal models (e.g. mouse, frog, fruit flies) will be described to provide a basis for explaining the underlying control mechanisms. The course also introduces genetic and experimental methods that are being used to investigate these mechanisms. Special attention will be paid to explaining the regulation of the early steps of embryonic development. It will also be explained how mutations in such developmental genes can cause malformations. Opportunities to visit in house developmental organisms (Drosophila, Zebrafish as well as some exotic aquatic organisms) will be possible for those interested.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student

  • can explain basic concepts, principles and methods in developmental biology.
  • can describe the main features of embryonic development of important animal models.
  • can explain mechanisms that specify body axes and germ layers.
  • can describe how genetic control mechanisms determine the skeletal pattern along the body axis.
  • can explain how mutations in developmental genes can cause malformations.


The student

  • is able to use basic concepts and principles in developmental biology.
  • is able to analyze and interpret simple data from experimental embryology and developmental genetics.

General competence

The student

  • can communicate basic knowledge in developmental biology.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. The application deadline is Wednesday in week 33 for the autumn semester. Please see this page for more information. You will receive confirmation of whether you received a seat in Studentweb no later than Monday the week after the deadline.

It is compulsory to attend the first lecture/orientation meeting, or you risk losing your seat. If you are unable to attend the first lecture, you must contact the Study Section ( The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on Mitt UiB.

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Basic knowledge of molecular biology (equivalent to MOL100).
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Basic knowledge of molecular biology (equivalent to MOL200, MOL221 and MOL222), cell biology (equivalent to MOL201) and genetics (equivalent to MOL103).
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Teaching and learning methods
A flipped classroom approach is used where the students view the lecture in advance of class. Provide feedback to lecturer via anonymous written web doc which forms the basis for short presentation and opportunity for discussion in class time. Colloquia using exam relevant questions in performed in class room.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
The first lecture/orientation meeting is compulsory.
Forms of Assessment

Written exam (4 hours)

Examination support materials: Non

Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
Reading List
The reading list will be available within July 1st for the autumn semester and December 12st for the spring semester.
Programme Committee
The Programme committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Course Administrator
The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of biological sciences, has the administrative responsibility for the course and program.