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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


Course organiser: Kristian Franze (


This is a course which incorporates the previous CVB " Option " taken by all veterinary students with an additional component entitled Head and Neck. The latter brings together a number of related topics which were previously present in disparate parts of the veterinary anatomy course. Although the two components are quite distinct, they run concurrently throughout the last seven weeks of the second year and are linked particularly in the areas of respiration, feeding and the special senses. The entire course consists of 20 lectures and 14 practicals roughly divided between the two components.


A sound knowledge of the structure and development of the head and neck is essential to gain an accurate understanding of neurology, ophthalmology, ear, nose and throat medicine, respiratory medicine, anesthesia, gastroenterology, endocrinology, dentistry and some aspects of orthopedics. The developmental parts of the Head and Neck course will be of considerable value in understanding jaw structure and feeding mechanisms in non - mammalian vertebrates. Although the Vertebrates course is dominated by a study of domestic birds, the other major vertebrate groups - fish, amphibia, reptiles - are also considered in some detail.


Head and Neck begins with two lectures outlining cranial development from a comparative point of view dealing with such topics as sensory placodes, somites and pharyngeal arches. Subsequent lectures cover teeth and feeding, nasal cavities and sinuses, larynx and hyoid, mouth and pharynx, and some applied aspects of the eye and ear. The Vertebrates course takes a systems approach and also presents opportunities to handle normal, live animals.


The vertebrate and head components are examined together in a 1.5 hour written paper (2 essays, 1 on head, 1 on vertebrates) and a 1.5 hour steeplechase. Important note: remember that the steeplechase counts for Tripos and Vet MB exemptions.