Animal Structure and Function

15 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 1BG203

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Biology G2F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 17 October 2022
Responsible department
Biology Education Centre

Entry requirements

Completed courses worth 60 credits in biology including 1) The Evolution and Diversity of Organisms (15 credits) and Physiology (15 credits), or 2) Biology A: Patterns and Processes (22.5 credits), or Biology A: Patterns, Processes and Science Education (22.5 credits), and Physiology (15 credits).

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide advanced knowledge of animals as integrated biomechanical and physiological organisms.

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

  • describe and be familiar with how some selected organisms have been morphologically and anatomically adapted to a certain mode of life
  • describe the most important organ systems and explain their functions
  • draw conclusions about interrelationships and evolution through comparative anatomy and morphology
  • describe and be familiar with different life cycles of selected groups of organisms
  • describe important tissue types, such as muscle, connective tissue, bone, cartilage, kidney tissue, etc., on the basis of histological sections
  • practically carry out detailed dissections of selected groups of organisms
  • identify and discuss ethical aspects related to animal testing and other uses of animals in teaching and research.


The course explores the connections between comparative morphology, histology, biomechanics and physiology. The information is presented within a phylogenetic framework. The focus lies on how structure and function are integrated, and how they differ between animals with different life styles. Invertebrates and vertebrates will be studied, with an emphasis on the latter.

In-depth knowledge of the animals' structure, for example through a systematic overview of different animal groups, their organ systems and tissue types. Overview of reproductive strategies, life cycles and evolution.


The theoretical teaching is given as lectures and seminars. The practical teaching includes a field course and a series of laboratory practicals based on dissections and physiological experiments. Participation in laboratory practical, field course and seminars is compulsory.


Invertebrates: laborations and field course 2 credits, and seminars 4 credits. Vertebrates: labs, excursions, seminars and presentations 3 credits, and written examination 6 credits. All course parts require active participation.

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.