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AY5507: PALAEOGENETICS (2022-2023)

Last modified: 31 Jul 2023 11:19

Course Overview

This course provides students with an in-depth overview of the study of ancient DNA. Through extensive training in theoretical concepts and principles, laboratory methods, and bioinformatics, you will attain specialist skills in the analysis of DNA extracted from archaeological remains.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Linus Girdland Flink

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

  • Any Postgraduate Programme

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

Ancient DNA is an increasingly important tool across a wide variety of scientific disciplines. It provides a means of directly observing genetic change across time and space, and has revolutionised our understanding of the genetic and evolutionary history of many species of animals and plants.

The aim of this course is to provide in-depth knowledge and understanding of ancient DNA, with a special emphasis on DNA diagenesis and recent methodological advances in molecular biology and bioinformatics. Students will be introduced to the history of the field and current state-of-the-art theory and practice in a series of research-informed lectures and student-led seminars. The students will also gain specialist practical and analytical skills in a series of laboratory practicals and interactive workshops, by becoming familiar with the workflows and methods involved with working on DNA preserved in archaeological bones samples all the way from a museum collection to a specialist bioinformatics pipeline.

Associated Costs

Laboratory reagents and consumables are estimated to cost some £400 in total/course. GBP 400.00

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

Essay (40%)

Report (40%)

Seminar participation (20%)

Alternative Resit Assessment

Resit of any failed element

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate a systematic and in-depth understanding and critical awareness of key properties of ancient DNA
ProceduralAnalyseAnalyse and critically appraise ancient DNA sequences to ensure data authenticity
ProceduralApplyApply this understanding to ancient DNA laboratory methods and analytical techniques, and interpret and critically evaluate their output
ProceduralEvaluateCritically assess, appraise, evaluate, and critique ancient DNA research and published literature

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