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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

The course will develop the student’s awareness of how molecular genetic techniques, including modern ‘omics technologies, can be used to inform our understanding of aspects of ecology, evolution, population biology and conservation science. The course will describe the underlying central dogma of molecular biology that explains how genetic diversity arises and can be harnessed as molecular markers. It will then review the contribution of molecular genetics in individual, population and species level studies.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 7.5 credits (3.75 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Stuart Piertney

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of MRes Ecology & Environmental Sustainability or MRes Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology or MSc Ecology & Environmental Sustainability or MSc Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology or Master Of Science In Ecology & Conservation or MSci Biological Sciences
  • Either Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied) or BI4015 Grant Proposal (Passed)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • EK5402 Ecological Laboratory Techniques (Studied)
  • EK5403 Advanced Ecological Techniques (Studied)
  • (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The central dogma of molecular biology.

Molecular markers and PCR.

Microevolutionary processes and the Hardy-Weinberg paradigm.

Molecular markers in 1) population genetics; 2) phylogenetics; 3) relatedness and parentage

Genomics and transcriptomics.


By the end of the course students will be equipped with the knowledge and experience of a range of techniques currently used in molecular ecology, and appreciate emerging topics that will dictate how the field develops.  The course will also provide direct experience of data analysis, interpretation and presentation.

Associated Costs


Further Information & Notes

This course is taken by students registered for the MSc programmes based in the School of Biological sciences. Everyone attending lectures must be registered for the course and complete all assessments

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

The course will be assessed based on a practical report write-up that combines across sessions (75%) and a poster presentation on a paper from the peer-reviewed molecular ecology literature (25%).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Students will receive written, oral and peer-to-peer feedback on their work.

Course Learning Outcomes


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