BME3082 - Fetal and neonatal development - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Tim Moss


Associate Professor Megan Wallace

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis.

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Any two of BMS2011, BMS2031, DEV2011, DEV2022, PHY2011, PHY2021, PHY2032, PHY2042 or with permission.




This unit provides an overview of physiological processes involved in fetal and neonatal development, and the role of the placenta in pregnancy and parturition. The unit will consider the structure, development and maturation of the major organ systems in the fetus, and the means by which the fetus is able to adapt to alterations in its environment. The unit reviews the physiology of parturition (birth), the physiological changes in the fetus and newborn during the transition at birth, and the consequences of prematurity and postmaturity. The major physiological changes occurring in the mother during pregnancy are also dealt with.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Contrast and compare the structure, development and function of body systems before and after birth.
  2. Explain the physiological changes that occur in the fetus during its transition to life after birth.
  3. Discuss and predict consequences of impaired transition at birth for postnatal survival, health and well-being.
  4. Evaluate research experiments in perinatology in regard to their contribution to evidence-based medicine.
  5. Synthesize and critically discuss the literature, then formulate and justify research methodology to address a knowledge gap in perinatology.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Semester-long experimental research project (20%)
  • Practical Reports (30%)
  • End of semester theory exam (50%) (2 hours) (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

5 hours per week.

2 hours of lectures and 3 hours each week attending actual medical research experiments that address current clinical problems in fetal and neonatal healthcare.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study