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MB5523: HUMAN GENETICS (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Human genetics has undergone a revolution over the last decade, driven by technological innovations that have given us an unprecedented insight into the genetic diversity of our species. This course will explore how this information is used to determine the role of genetic variation in human health and disease.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Foresterhill Sustained Study No
  • Dr Jonathan Pettitt

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

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

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 following topics will be covered: Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium; Genetic Drift; Linkage Disequilibrium; Selection; Admixture; Inbreeding; Genome Wide Association Studies; Common Versus Rare/Unique Genetic Variants in Disease; Archaic Human Genomes.

The aim of this course is to provide an in-depth understanding of human genetics, with a special emphasis on recent findings from molecular population genetics. The course demonstrates how new insights into human biology and medicine have been obtained through the availability of multiple human genome sequences, and how these are shedding light on the evolution of important human traits. The student will understand the importance played by genome sequence data derived from human populations and individuals, including insights into how this has impacted our understanding of disease susceptibility, environmental adaptions, and the role of introgression between anatomically modern humans and other hominins. The student will gain an appreaciation of the forces, both directed and random, that shape the formation and reformation of the human genome.

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

  • 3 Lectures during University weeks 25, 27
  • 2 Lectures during University weeks 26, 28
  • 1 Lecture during University weeks 29 - 34
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 26 - 30, 33
  • 1 Workshop during University weeks 25 - 26

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 consists of an essay-based examination (50%), a set of online problems (20%) and a workshop report (30%).


Resit will be oral exam - examiners = course coordinator plus a programme coordinator

Oral exam will assess whether the student has achieved the learning outcomes of the course.

Formative Assessment

There will be two formative assessments based on the lecture material to allow students to monitor their performance.


Written feedback will be provided for the in course, summative assessments and formative assessment exercises.

Course Learning Outcomes


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