Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

Medical Genomics

Module titleMedical Genomics
Module codeCSC4007
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Anna Murray (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

It is now feasible to sequence the entire genome of an individual in just a few weeks, for less than £1000. A step change in technology has enabled the interrogation of whole genome data on a relatively routine basis for the first time. The interpretation of these genomic data is the focus of this module, with particular emphasis on the application of genomics to medical scenarios. You will gain practical hands-on experience of the data available, how it is generated and how it can be used for patients’ benefit.

This is a core module for students on the BSc Medical Sciences (Human Genomics) pathway.

You should have completed CSC2004 Medical Genetics in order to take this module.

This is an optional module for final year students of BSc Biological Sciences and BSc Medical Sciences. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to cover the expanding field of human genomics from a clinical perspective. You will appreciate the technological advances in this field and the wealth of data available and how to handle large ‘omics’ datasets. The module will draw on UEMS world-leading research expertise in genomics, epigenomics and transcriptomics to deliver cutting edge science content. You will gain experience of statistical analysis of large datasets using computer packages such as STATA. Skills in data manipulation and interpretation will be valuable within the genetics field for future employment, but are also easily transferred to other specialties and career paths.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Define a genome, and discuss how it is composed and how it evolved
  • 2. Compare and contrast technologies for genome sequencing and manipulation
  • 3. Evaluate broad strategies for identifying genetic causes of disease
  • 4. Access and manipulate publically available genomic data resources
  • 5. Explain in detail the role of coding and non-coding DNA
  • 6. Explain in detail the role of epigenetic modifications to the genome

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Analyse genetic data in a systematic way including data uploading, data organisation, data pre-processing, data analysis, results summary and data analysis reporting
  • 8. Evaluate in detail approaches to our understanding of genetics with reference to primary literature, reviews and research articles
  • 9. Analyse in detail essential facts and theory in a subdiscipline of the genetics

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. Collect and interpret appropriate data, drawing on a range of sources, with limited guidance
  • 11. Devise and sustain, with little guidance, a logical and reasoned argument with sound, convincing conclusions
  • 12. Communicate effectively arguments, evidence and conclusions using written means in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 13. Manage time effectively and work independently

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:

Students will cover a new topic each week, with a consolidation week to recap their learning in week 11. A case study or research article will form the focus of each topic. Each week will start with a 1 hour tutorial with an academic expert, for which students will have undertaken some preparative reading and exercises. The tutorial will explore the issues in depth and generate a series of learning objectives for further self-directed learning. There will also be a 1.5 hour practical session or workshop every week, where students will have the opportunity to extract and test their own DNA and analyse their own genomic data in conjunction with larger datasets. The workshops will also provide practical experience and interpretation of publically available genomic data.

Tutorial topics:

  1. What is a genome?
  2. Gene modification technologies
  3. The exome
  4. The mitochondrial genome
  5. Whole genome
  6. The regulatory genome
  7. The epigenome
  8. Statistical genetics
  9. Genetic ancestry
  10. Clinical genomics
  11. Consolidation week and Future insights


Practical Sessions:

Week 1  (lab) - extract DNA from salivary cells

Week 2 (lab) – whole genome SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) array on extracted DNA

Week 3 – DNA and sequencing practical workshop

Week 4 (lab) - PCR amplify gene of interest, e.g. AMY gene for determining sex

Week 5 (lab) - analyse PCR products – gel electrophoresis

Week 6 (IT suite) – Analyse SNP array data

Week 7 (IT suite) – ENSEMBL course

Week 8 (IT suite) – data mining

Week 9 – journal club

Week10 (IT suite) – data mining

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities12Tutorials, 10x1 hour +1x2hrs consolidation week
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities1510 x 1.5 hours Practical/workshops
Guided independent study123Guided reading of the literature, literature research and revision


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Online assessment2 x 1 hour1-13Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Project on an aspect of practical/workshop602000 words1-13Written
Short Answer Question Exam401 hour1-13Written (on request)


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Project on an aspect of practical/workshopEssay on an aspect of practical/workshop1-13August Ref/Def
SAQ examSAQ exam1-13August Ref/Def


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Turnpenny P. and Ellard S. (2012) Emery's Elements of Medical Genetics. Elsevier

Strachan T., Goodship J. and Chinnery P. (2014) Genetics and Genomics in Medicine. Garland Science

Strachan T. and Read A. (2010) Human Molecular Genetics. Garland Science

Pevsner J. (2015) 3rd edition. Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics. Wiley

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources:

UCSC genome browser

Ensembl genome browser

Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Genomics, Genetics, Epigenetics, Transcriptomics, Bioinformatics

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

CSC2004 Medical Genetics

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date