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GN4310: HONOURS GENETICS - OPTION 2 (2017-2018)

Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

  • the sequencing of the human genome, genome wide association studies (GWAS) and next generation sequencing have permitted an understanding of genetic variation and epigenetics in health and disease that would have been inconceivable 10 years ago; 
  • this course will encourage student access to the latest advances in human molecular genetics and will highlight the availability of genomic information currently available and how this information was derived; 
  • the course will permit a balanced understanding of the role of human genetic and epigenetic variation in the maintenance of health and disease and will examine the future of personalised medicine.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Alasdair MacKenzie

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

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

  • One of Intercalating (Studied) or MB3005 The Molecular Biology of the Cell (Passed) or MB3006 The Molecular Biology of the Cell (Passed)
  • 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

Course Aims: The course aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of the forces that shape genetic variation within a population, using examples from recent studies of human and animal populations. The course will critically assess the methods used to determine genetic variation and relate it to variation in phenotypic traits. Main Learnig Outcomes: The student will understand how population genetic composition is controlled by mutation rates and selection, how human genetic disease incidence is directed by genetic epidemiological factors including gene polymorphism-phenotype association; describe the relationship of population structure to evolutionary history. The student will be able to analyse the progress in identifying genes responsible for complex disease phenotypes, and discuss the role of new sequencing techniques in the treatment of disease. Content: Population genetics, genetic epidemiology, immunogenetics, insights from genetically tractable model organisms, genetics of complex diseases and progress towards personal medicine.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • BSc Biotechnology (Applied Molecular Bio)
  • BSc Genetics
  • BSc Genetics (Biobusiness)
  • BSc Genetics (Intercalating)
  • BSc in Biotechnology (Applied Molecular Bio) (Intercalating)
  • BSc in Biotechnology (Applied Molecular Biology & Biobusines
  • MSci Biotechnology (Ap Mol Bio & Biobusiness) with Ind'l P'mnt
  • MSci Genetics (Biobusines) with Ind'l Pl'mnt
  • MSci Genetics with Industrial Placement
  • MSci in Biotechnology(Appd Molecular Bio) with Ind Placement

Contact Teaching Time

26 hours

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

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written paper (70%), in-course assessment consisting of one essay (2000 words) (30%). Resit: 1 three-hour written paper (75%), plus previous in-course assessment essay (2000 words) (25%).

Formative Assessment

- Mock exam with personal tutor allows students to practice for essay based exams and receive feedback on their performance. - Practice exam questions on MyAberdeen - Problem-solving sessions with personal tutor


- Essays will be marked with written comments. - Tutorial sessions will provide feedback on course content. - Comments will be provided on the mock exam question.

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