Growth and Disease of the Human Skeleton - SE817

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 7 15 (7.5) DR C Deter checkmark-circle


This module will give students an in-depth knowledge of the histological mechanisms underpinning the growth of human bones and teeth. These mechanisms will be linked to diseases processes. This will provide a foundation to identify the surface manifestations of disease that can be seen macroscopically. Students will learn the criteria needed to identify a selection of skeletal diseases. Upon completion, students will have gained theoretical knowledge about the causes of disease, and practical 'hands on' experience identifying and diagnosing skeletal disease, both microscopically and macroscopically. Half of the instruction in this module will be by lecture (as currently taught in SE569 which MSc students will attend). Labs will be specific to students following this module.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours



Autumn term

Method of assessment

Three 15 minute lab quizzes (30%)
3500 word lab report (70%)

Indicative reading

Burr DB, Allen MR. 2014. Basic and Applied Bone Biology. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press.
Glorieux FH, Pettifor JM, Juppner H. 2012. Pediatric Bone Biology and Diseases. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press.
Nanci A. 2013. Ten Cate's Oral Histology. Development Structure and Function, 8th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Year Book.
Mahoney P. 2011. Human deciduous mandibular molar incremental enamel development. Am J Phys Anthropol 144, 204–214.
Mahoney P. 2012. Incremental enamel development in modern human deciduous anterior teeth. Am J Phys Anthropol 147,637–651.
Ortner, D.J. and Putchar, W.G.J. 1985 Identification of pathological conditions in human skeletal remains Smithsonian Institution Press.
Reinhard Dettmeyer. 2011. Forensic Histopathology: Fundamentals and Perspectives. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Schmidt C, Symes R. 2015. The Analysis of Burned Human Remains, 2nd Edition. Academic Press.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will:
1. have a conceptual and advanced knowledge of human skeletal growth and development.
2. have an advanced understanding of enamel and bone histology, and the application of histology in Forensic Anthropology
3. be able to identify, diagnose, and interpret human skeletal disease and trauma.
4. gain advanced understanding of the research themes in Forensic Anthropology.
5. be able to critically evaluate new histolgical and macroscopic research into human skeletal disease.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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