Syllabus for Evolution and Development

Evolution och utveckling

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1BG397
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Biology A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2012-03-08
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2019
  • Entry requirements:

    150 credits including (1) 60 credits in biology and 30 credits in chemistry or 30 credits in earth science, or (2) 90 credits in biology, or (3) 60 credits in earth science, including Principles of Palaeobiology, 15 credits. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

  • Responsible department: Biology Education Centre

Learning outcomes

The general aim of the course is to illustrate the interactions between molecular patterning, ontogeny and morphology in an evolutionary perspective. These interactions are studied in detail in selected examples from invertebrates and vertebrates.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • explain how genomic, developmental biological, morphological and palaeontological data can be connected in a phylogenetic framework to illustrate macroevolutionary issues
  • use basic genomic and developmental biological concepts such as paralogy, orthology, gene expression, cell populations and "cell fate choice"
  • account for the detailed morphological structure and evolution of the examples that are discussed during the course
  • review and evaluate scientific papers critically
  • present research results based on critical evaluation of scientific papers
  • identify and discuss ethical aspects related to animal testing.


The course includes examples from invertebrates and vertebrates, as well as an overview of underlying common principles. We study among others the common body plan and patterning of bilaterians, the evolution of the head and the origin and evolution of paired extremities in vertebrates and arthropods. We discuss these questions in a genomic, developmental biological, morphological and palaeontological perspective, within a phylogenetic framework where questions as character polarity are taken into consideration.


Teaching includes lectures, seminars and laboratory practicals.


Parts of the course: Theory 10 credits; Seminars 2 credits; Laboratory session 3 credits

The theoretical course is examined in a written examination of basic concepts and theories. The seminars require active participation. The laboratory sessions require active participation and laboratory reports.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

Scientific articles

Last modified: 2022-04-26