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BI2017: GENES AND EVOLUTION (2016-2017)

Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

  • look at how instructions in genes are transformed by natural selection to produce the diversity of life on Earth;
  • learn how species evolve, how we determine evolutionary relationships;
  • why populations change, understand why humans (and other organisms) must carry genetic diseases;
  • meet enthusiastic staff; each teach about areas we are expert on;
  • take 3 Genes & Evolution Practicals to gain hands on experience of approaches used by researchers to map genes, estimate rates of evolution, and determine evolutionary relationships;
  • keep up to speed with in-course tests, understand basic statistics, see why mutations are not the only evolutionary currency

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Leslie Noble
  • Dr Arimantas Lionikas

Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • One of BI1507 The Cell (Passed) or SF1503 The Cell (Foundation) (Passed) or SM1501 The Cell (Passed) or BSc Conservation Biology (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate 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 course explores the fundamental biological processes of genetics and evolution. Evolution is unified by the concept of continual change at the phenotypic level, underpinned by genetic changes of different kinds at the molecular level. The content of the course draws on material at all levels of complexity from the molecular, to the whole organism, to the population. There is a balance between molecular and organismal biology, and broader issues such as human population history. Major topics:
  • The key genetic and evolutionary concepts
  • Evolution at the gene level
  • Evolution at the genome level
  • Evolution at the organism level
  • Evolution at the population level and the origin of species
  • Macroevolution (evolution of major organism groups)

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

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (60%), in-course continuous assessment (40%). Continuous assessment comprises 3 laboratory reports (10% each) and 2 online assessments (5% each).

Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (75%) and in-course assessment (25%).

Formative Assessment

PRS used by some lecturers.


Practical reports will be marked with written comments. Students are given general feedback on performance during PRS sessions. Students receive on-line feedback on completion of the MCQ tests.

Course Learning Outcomes


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