COVID-19 information and resources
Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Human Reproductive Biology

Course Code: BIOL 4103
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Biology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Tutorial
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course explores human reproduction and related topics. Topics include an overview of the anatomy of the female and male reproductive systems, menstrual cycle, ovarian cycle, fertilization, implantation and embryonic development. Reproductive disorders and abnormalities, fetal disorders, teratology, placental complications, parturition, and lactation are also discussed. Special topics may include infertility and the examination of current assisted reproductive technologies.

Course Content

1. Overview of Human Reproduction

  • Introduction to the male and female reproductive systems
  • Overview of menstrual and ovarian cycles
  • Fertilization and implantation

2. Overview of Embryonic and Fetal Development

  • Introduction to basic principles of development
  • Fetal development throughout gestation
  • Role of placenta throughout gestation

3. Maternal Reproductive Disorders and Abnormalities

  • Pre-existing diseases and conditions that become complicated during pregnancy
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preeclampsia and eclampsia

4. Pregnancy Abnormalities and Complications

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Miscarriages and stillbirths
  • Preterm births
  • Polyhydramnios and oligohydramnios
  • Placenta previa
  • Erythroblastosis fetalis
  • Other less common complications

5. Principles of Teratology

  • Common birth defects and pathophysiology
  • Genetic mechanisms underlying birth defects
  • Common teratogens

6. Parturition

  • Process of parturition
  • Complications during parturition
  • Placental complications
  • Lactation and pathophysiology of breast

7. Infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technologies

  • Pathophysiology of female and male reproductive systems
  • Environmental causes of infertility
  • Artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, fertility medications and advancements in techniques
  • Risks and controversies surrounding assisted reproductive technologies and future outlook

Methods of Instruction


Discussion groups


Projects (e.g. case studies, group presentations)

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following:

Evaluation Marks
Quizzes and assignments   20-30
Group presentations  15-25
Midterm examination 20-30
Final examination 25-35

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Explain the basic principles of human reproduction and reproductive systems

  2. Explain the basic concepts pertaining to fetal development and the events between fertilization and parturition

  3. Describe reproductive disorders and abnormalities that affect mother and fetus during pregnancy

  4. Explain and discuss the principles of teratology and underlying genetic mechanisms of birth defects

  5. Explain current advancements in assisted reproductive technologies and their ethical implications

  6. Apply the knowledge gained from this course in a biomedical or medical workplace setting

course prerequisites

BIOL 2103 OR ((BIOL 1103 or 1109) AND (BIOL 1203 or 1209))



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.