Teaching undergraduate students is central to the activity of the Department of Genetics.
Each Department in the School of Biological Sciences contributes to the degree programmes offered by teaching in their specialist areas of interest and research. The Department of Genetics runs and teaches two degree courses, the BSc Biological Sciences (Genetics) and the BSc in Medical Genetics.
The emphasis of the genetics taught to Biological Sciences (Genetics) and Medical Genetics students is tailored to the interests and higher level course requirements of each group of students. Students taking the Biological Sciences (Genetics) course focus more on the organisation, inheritance, expression, and evolution of genes in a wide range of organisms from bacteria and fungi to humans and plants. Medical Genetics students focus more closely on the application of genetics to medicine, in particular, the application of genetics to the diagnosis and management of genetic disease and the social and ethical issues raised by recent advances in the topic.
Whilst the emphasis of the genetics taught in the first year differs between the degrees, both streams take additional modules in biochemistry, physiology, chemistry and microbiology.
To provide background to the subject areas that can be chosen in the second and final years. Biological Sciences students take modules in plant and animal diversity and physiology, cell and developmental biology, and environmental and evolutionary biology. Medical Genetics students take an extended genetics module that includes topics of specific interest to the subject of their course and an additional, more medically orientated physiology module.
In both degrees, the aim of the first year is to provide students with a strong and rounded foundation in modern biological and medical sciences upon which the more specialised second and final years can be built.
Second and Third Years
Students have a choice of modules in the second and final years so that they can focus on the aspects of genetics that most interest them.Genetics modules available in the second and final years include those that cover human genetics, bioinformatics, genomics, medical genetics, microbial genetics, chromosome biology mutagenesis, developmental genetics, evolutionary genetics and current issues in genetics.
Students can further tailor their course to their interests by choosing to take modules in physiology and pharmacology, microbiology, biochemistry and zoology.
One third of the final year is devoted to either carrying out experimental laboratory work on exciting, state-of-the-art research in the laboratories of Departmental academic staff or working supervised by the academic staff on an analytical project involving data and ideas in the genetics research literature. Recent projects have included ‘Tackling the Trots’ - the Molecular Genetic Basis of the Virulence of Bacteria Causing Diarrhoeal Diseases; The Molecular Evolution of Biological Clock Genes; and the Y Chromosome and Human Genetic History. Final Year students are encouraged to become involved in departmental activities by attending discussion sessions and seminars by visiting scientists.
Further information about the courses can be found here: