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Unit information: Human Development and Pregnancy in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Human Development and Pregnancy
Unit code MEDIM0012
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Christy Burden
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


Unit aims:

  • To provide a comprehensive understanding of human fetal and newborn development and growth and the factors that influence normal and abnormal development of key body systems.
  • To describe and demonstrate monitoring and screening methods of fetal abnormalities and the management of pregnancies with fetal abnormalities.
  • To explore the course of normal pregnancy and birth and to describe the common complications associated with these processes.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should :

  • be able to explain the process of human fetal and newborn development and growth.
  • be able to describe factors that influence normal and abnormal human fetal and newborn development and growth.
  • be able to identify the routine clinical techniques employed for the measurement of fetal growth and for the identification of common malformations.
  • be able to describe the course of normal pregnancy and birth, and the common complications associated with these processes.

Teaching details

· Lectures/Seminars

· Workshop and web-based practicals

· Self-directed study

· Peer-to-peer learning (group work/presentations)

· On-line discussion forums

Assessment Details

Coursework (contributing a total of 60% to the Unit)

  • Essay (1 x 1500 words) 20%
  • Practical Log Book (4 x tasks)15%
  • MCQs (5x tasks) 25%

Written exams (contributing a total of 40% to the Unit)

  • 1hr MCQ exam contributing 20%
  • 1hr Short essay exam- contributing 20%

The pass-mark for the unit will be 50%. However students will be required to reach a minimum standard in both their coursework and their written exams. As such only 5% compensation between the total coursework element and the total exam element will be allowed.

Reading and References

  • Dewhurst’s Textbook of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (8th Ed) D Keith Edmonds. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012
  • Clinical Obstetrics: the fetus and mother – Handbook (3rd ed). Eds A E Reece & JC Robbins. Wiley Blackwell 2007
  • Langman’s Medical Embryology 12th ed. TW Sadler. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins 2011
  • Emery’s Elements of Medical Genetics, P Turpenny and S Ellard, Elsevier, Churchill Livingstone (14th Ed) 2012
  • Fetal Medicine, Basic Science and Clinical Practice. Eds CH Rodeck & MJ Whittle, Churchill Press, 2000.
  • Maternal-Fetal Medicine (5th Ed). Eds Robert K Creasy & Robert Resnik. Saunders Press, 2003.
  • Larsen’s Human Embryology (4th Ed). Shoenwolf, Bleyl, Brauer and Francis-West. Churchill 2008