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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

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 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Stuart Piertney

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

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


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.

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

  • 2 Computer Practicals during University weeks 13 - 15
  • 1 Computer Practical during University weeks 16 - 18
  • 3 Lectures during University weeks 13 - 18

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

1st Attempt: Lab Report: Individual (75%), Poster (25%)

Resit: Resubmission of failed individual elements of continuous assessment

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Lab report: individualised, written feedback; formative feedback during practical session.  Poster: verbal feedback during presentation, written individualised feedback on poster

Course Learning Outcomes


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