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BI2017: GENES AND EVOLUTION (2017-2018)

Last modified: 26 Feb 2018 16:52

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 Arimantas Lionikas
  • Mrs Cath Dennis

Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • Either Programme Level 2 or Programme Level 3
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of BI1507 The Cell (Passed) or SF1503 The Cell (Foundation) (Passed) or SM1501 The Cell (Passed) or BSc Conservation Biology (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)

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • BSc Behavioural Biology
  • BSc Biochemistry
  • BSc Biochemistry (Biobusiness)
  • BSc Biochemistry (Immunology)
  • BSc Biology
  • BSc Biotechnology (Applied Molecular Bio)
  • BSc Conservation Biology
  • BSc Ecology
  • BSc Genetics
  • BSc Genetics (Biobusiness)
  • BSc Genetics (Immunology & Biobusiness)
  • BSc Genetics (Immunology)
  • BSc Immunology
  • BSc Immunology & Pharmacology (Biobus)
  • BSc Immunology (Biobusiness)
  • BSc Immunology and Pharmacology
  • BSc Marine Biology
  • BSc Microbiology
  • BSc Molecular Biology
  • BSc Molecular Biology (Biobusiness)
  • BSc Plant and Soil Sciences
  • BSc Zoology
  • BSc in Biotechnology (Applied Molecular Biology & Biobusines
  • Bachelor Of Science In Microbiology (Biobusiness)
  • Bsc In Immunology And Pharmacology (Biobusiness)
  • MSci Biochemistry (Biobusiness) with Ind Plt
  • MSci Biochemistry with Industrial Placement
  • MSci Biotechnology (Ap Mol Bio & Biobusiness) with Ind'l P'mnt
  • MSci Genetics (Biobusines) with Ind'l Pl'mnt
  • MSci Genetics (Immunology) with Ind'l Pl'mnt
  • MSci Genetics with Industrial Placement
  • MSci Immunology with Industrial Placement
  • MSci Microbiology with Industrial Placement
  • MSci Molecular Biology with Indust Placem
  • MSci in Biotechnology(Appd Molecular Bio) with Ind Placement
  • MSci in Immunology and Pharmacology with Indust'l Placement
  • MSci in Molecular Biology (Biobusiness) with Industri Placem
  • Master In Science In Immunology (Bio Bus) With Ind Pla
  • Master In Science In Microbiology(Biobus) With Ind Pla
  • Msci In Genetics (Immunology & Biobusiness) With Ip

Contact Teaching Time

75 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


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.

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