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MSci Anatomical Sciences

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Anatomy of the Special Sense Organs

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL21402
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


You will study the anatomy of the head and neck with a particular focus on the special sense organs. The emphasis is ‘hands-on’ practical anatomy rather than teaching through lectures. There will be a series of seminars using prosections and models.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Human Anatomy & Histology BIOL21291 Co-Requisite Compulsory
BIOL21402 Pre- & Co-requisites are BIOL21291


This unit focuses on the anatomy of the head and neck with a particular focus on the special sense organs. The aim is to provide students with a good foundation in these topic areas.

NOTE: Assessments will be carried out during the anatomy workshops. These assessments cannot be rescheduled and you should avoid arranging any appointments or extracurricular activities on the dates of the assessments (the dates will be announced at the beginning of the course).

Learning outcomes

The students will be able to:

•       describe the anatomy and histology of the skull/CNS and the special sense organs

•       explain the topological disposition and functional organisation of craniofacial organs

•       explain the nerve and blood supply of craniofacial organs

•       discuss the development of these structures

•       describe the neural pathways from/to the special sense organs

•       identify all the above structures on prosections and models


The course will include a series of lectures which are supplemented by a number of anatomy workshops. These workshops will provide a greater morphological insight into craniofacial structures.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Anatomy of skull
  • Overview of brain and cranial nerves
  • Overview of craniofacial development
  • Anatomy/histology of vision (layers of eyeball, extraocular muscles, retina)
  • Anatomy/histology of taste (oral cavity)
  • Anatomy/histology of smell (nose) and paranasal sinuses
  • Anatomy/histology of hearing and balance (outer, middle, inner ear)
  • The neural pathways from/to the special senses

eLearning Content

Four eLearning modules will be constructed which will reinforce anatomy learnt in the seminars. These are on: brain/CNs/skull, eyes, nose/tongue and ears.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analytical skills of anatomical/histological structure will be obtained through interactive teaching.
Group/team working
Examinations of models/specimen with colleagues in a small group.
Problem solving
The anatomical knowledge/skills are assessed by anatomy workshops
Written communication
eLearnings and short essay questions in examination.
The understanding of the relationship between shapes and functions will be important not only for biology. The students will obtain this intellectual skill through the interaction and handling with human anatomical specimen. This unit will also provide an anatomical foundation for future career such as opticians, speech therapists or medical/clinical professions.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 5%
Written exam 50%
Practical skills assessment 45%

X4 eLearning Modules


Written exam


X3 on-line spotter exam


(Essay exam, 1.5 hours, 50%; x3 spotter examination, 45%; x4 eLearning modules,5%)

Feedback methods

Feedback will be given after completion of each of the eLearning modules. Oral feedback will be given during each anatomy workshop while students handle specimens and try to find structures.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment practical exam 0.5
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Stefan Gabriel Unit coordinator

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