Graduate Course 9560

Human Anatomy & Embryology

Course Director:

Dr. M Johnson , MSB 487, ext 86756,

Course Description:

A study of human anatomy, embryology and imaging for MSc Clinical Anatomy, MSc Laboratory Assistant & PhD students.  The course consists of dissection and tutorials in gross anatomy, as well as tutorials in embryology.  Students should expect to spend at least 6 hours/wk in the lab and 2-4 hr/wk in tutorials.


Jeremy Roth and Dr. Wilson: Intro, early embryology and intro to imaging – September 9 - 20
Jeremy Roth:  Back and Thorax – September 23 - October 28
Dr. Charles Rice: Upper and lower limb– Nov 4 - December 20
Dr. Kat Willmore: Head and neck -  January 6 - February 28
Dr. Johnson: Abdomen, Pelvis & Perineum  – March 3 - April 30


*Lecture/tutorial (M447) – Mon 3-5pm and Wed 12:30-2:30pm
Labs (M482) - Wed and 8:30-11:30am and Thurs 3-5:30pm
Please refer to the course web site for a detailed schedule of lectures and labs
*Some of these sessions may be used for labs.

Evaluation of Student Performance:

Assessment is by formative (not for marks) lab quizzes, and summative (for marks) end of block oral exams and on-line quizzes/assignments. Attendance is not taken but students must maintain an overall 80% in the course (see student handbook and all components of the course must be completed to pass.

End of block oral exams – 19.5% each:
Back & Thorax Thurs., ~ Oct 24th
Limbs, Wed., ~ Dec 19 tentative
Head & Neck.,  ~ Wed., Feb 28
Abdomen & Pelvis ~ Mon April 29

Early Embryology 2%
Back & Thorax 5%
Head & Neck 5%
Limbs 5%
Abdomen & Pelvis 5%

Policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness :

Students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory sessions.  If a student must be absent from regularly scheduled class times he/she is expected to contact the course instructor or coordinator and excuse himself/herself from that class or lab.  A student requiring academic accommodation due to illness, should use the Student Medical Certificate when visiting an off-campus medical facility or request a Record's Release Form (located in the Dean's Office) for visits to Student Health Services.
The form can be found at:

Documentation for medical or non-medical reasons, according to the Policy on

Accommodation for Medical Illness is required for absences from tests or exams.  Documentation is not required for work worth less than 10% of the total course grade. When documentation is required for missing an exam or test, such documentation must be submitted by the student directly to the instructor.

  • The date and nature of a make-up test/exam will be determined by the instructor, in consultation with the student.  Generally, students who miss a lab test will be given a verbal 1:1 lab test.   Written tests/exam will be made up by a written test/exam.

Course weight:


Textbook Requirements
(or equivalent):

1. Essential Clinical Anatomy, 4th ed. Moore,  Agur & Dalley, 2011: ISBN 978-0-7817-9915-7, or an equivalent text of your choice

2. An atlas of your choice. Atlases are available in the lab. Dissectors will be required and are also supplied in the lab.

3. Langman’s Medical Embryology, 11th ed., Sadler, 2006: ISBN 0-7817-9485-4


1. The following are mandatory in the lab:
i. Lab coat - should be reserved for use in the dissecting room only. It must be reasonably clean at all times;.
ii. Disposable gloves for handling cadaveric material;
iii. Safety glasses - if you wear prescription glasses, these will be sufficient.
iv. Close-toed footwear - sandals must not be worn.

2. For health reasons, NO FOOD OR DRINKS can be taken into the dissecting room.


4. You are not permitted to take anyone into the dissecting room without the special permission of the
course instructor, or the Chair of the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology.

5. Cameras are not allowed in the dissecting room.

6. Report any injuries acquired in the lab to a faculty or a staff member as soon as possible. First aid materials are available.

7. Handle specimens and models with care. When not in use, please ensure that specimens are covered up or placed in their correct containers.

What it Means to Work with Cadaveric Specimens

During the year you will have the privilege of working with cadaveric specimens. You must treat them with respect at all times.

Understandably, many students feel uneasy about the prospect of working with cadaveric material.  In order to prepare you for the experience, there will be a short, multi-faith memorial service, held in the lab and run by the University chaplains.  It is a time to thank the donors and to reflect on what their gift means to your education.  For some students, this will be their first experience of death and dying and many have found the service very useful in coming to terms with mortality and dealing with it.

At the end of the year, there will be a second memorial service to which families and friends of the donors are invited.  This is very much a student-centred service, with readings and personal reflections from students about what the gifts of the donors have meant to them.  Medical, dental and health sciences students take part in the service and it has proven to be an incredibly moving and meaningful experience for both the families and the students.

Statement of Academic Offences:
Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site: .

Senate regulations require ALL instructors to include the following statements on plagiarism, cheating and proficiency in English in the course outline:

“Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea or passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Plagiarism is a major academic offence (see Scholastic Offence Policy in the Western Academic Calendar).”