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Module

Introduction to Genetics

Module titleIntroduction to Genetics
Module codeNEU1007
Academic year2023/4
Credits15
Module staff

Dr Patrick Hamilton (Convenor)

Dr Dominic Wiredu Boakye (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11

Number students taking module (anticipated)

80

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Genetics and the control of gene expression is the source of diversity both within the body and between individuals; they fundamentally shape a wide range of biological processes.

In this module you will be introduced to the fundamental genetic components of the cell and explore how genetic information is stored in eukaryotic cells. You will consider how this information is replicated, how gene expression is regulated, how hereditary patterns arise and how population genetics and evolution contribute to human diversity. These genetic processes will be illustrated wherever possible with Neuroscientific examples. Modern techniques in gene editing, DNA sequencing and the exploration of gene diversity will be introduced, with examples from humans and other organisms.

To complement the theory of genetics covered in the lectures, you will also observe laboratory demonstrations and have opportunities to explore experimental results.

This is a core module for the first year students on the BSc Neuroscience programme.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module introduces you to core concepts in genetics and complements this theory with appropriate laboratory demonstrations. The module will discuss topics including DNA structure and organisation, DNA replication, gene regulation, genetic engineering, evolution, the origins of DNA variation and hereditary patterns.

The theory of various techniques used to study genetics will be discussed to complement the laboratory demonstrations.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Identify techniques used to study genetics.
  • 2. Describe the structure of DNA and how it is replicated.
  • 3. Explain how gene expression is regulated.
  • 4. Illustrate the principles of genetic engineering.
  • 5. Illustrate the origin of genetic variation and how genetics is used to understand evolution.
  • 6. Demonstrate hereditary patterns and describe how these relate to human genetics.
  • 7. Examine how DNA sequence relates to protein function

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 8. Illustrate genetics and how this applies to neuroscience
  • 9. Illustrate genetics and how this applies to neuroscience
  • 10. Begin to utilise appropriate techniques to analyse molecular genetics and interpret experimental results

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 11. Communicate ideas effectively by written and oral means
  • 12. Begin to identify appropriate information from various relevant sources including teaching material, books and the internet
  • 13. Develop skills for independent study

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:

We will cover topics including:

  • DNA and chromosomes
  • DNA to protein
  • Control of gene expression
  • Genetic technologies
  • Mutagenesis and DNA damage repair
  • Genetic variation
  • Genetics patterns and principles of heredity
  • Linkage and mapping
  • Chromosome variations and sex determination
  • Population genetics
  • Evolution

These will be covered through lectures; data analysis sessions; laboratory practicals/demonstrations; and question and answer sessions. Knowledge and application of the course content will be assessed by an exam with both multiple-choice questions and questions with numerical answers (62%), practical problem sets, and through quizzes based on practicals and computer workshops.

Learning and teaching

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

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
231270

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities11Synchronous learning including lectures and activities/workshops related to lecture content (may be in-person or virtual) (11x 1h)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities6Computer workshops: analysis of genetic data
Scheduled learning and teaching activities6Laboratory practicals including analysis of genetic data (2 x 3h)
Guided independent study16Videos recordings of bite-size lectures
Guided independent study63Lecture consolidation and reading
Guided Independent Study48Revision

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Exam style MCQ quizzes 1.5 hr1-9, 11-13Online model answers
Genetic practical problem sets4 x 1 hours1-11 Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
38620

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practical problem set 1. To be submitted online 10Problems based on the laboratory sessions and workshop, each involving data analysis & ~2-3 questions (~200 words per question) 1-11Written feedback
Practical problem set 2. To be submitted online 10Problems based on the laboratory sessions and workshops, each involving data analysis & ~2-3 questions (~200 words or equivalent per question)1-11Written feedback
Quizzes based on practical problem sets and workshops 183x1 hour1-11 Verbal feedback on request
Examination with both MCQ questions and questions with numerical answers 621.5 hours1-9, 11-13 Mark; verbal on request
0
0

Re-assessment

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Practical problem set 1 (10%). Practical problem set 11-11August referral/deferral period
Practical problem set 2 (10%). Practical problem set 21-11August referral/deferral period
Quizzes based on practical problem sets and workshops (18%), 3x1 hour One combined quiz based on practical problem sets and workshops.1-11August referral/deferral period
Examination with both MCQ questions and questions with numerical answers (62%); Examination with both MCQ questions and questions with numerical answers (1.5 hours) 1-9, 11-13 August referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

In case of referral for the quiz assessment, a student would take a single combined quiz based on all practicals during the ref/def period. If a student misses two or more in-class quizzes with mitigation, then the student will be deferred to take the single combined quiz during the ref/def period. If a student misses a single in-class test, with mitigation, their overall mark for this element will be based on the mean percentage score of the quizzes taken.

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Emery’s Elements of Medical Genetics (15th Edition) Elsevier. – Chapter 1 of this book provides a concise introduction into the history and impact of genetics in medicine. 

Russell PJ (2014) iGenetics: Pearson New International Edition: A Molecular Approach – This book explains key concepts from this course at the right level.

Alberts B et al. (2015) Molecular Biology of the Cell (7th Edition) – This enormous book goes into great depth - more than is required for this course - but the explanations and diagrams are excellent. Chapter 1, “Cells and Genomes” from page 10 brings together key concepts covered in this course in an accessible way.

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Gene regulation, genetic variation, genome, mutagenesis, hereditary, evolution, bioinformatics

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

N/A

Module co-requisites

N/A

NQF level (module)

4

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

01/02/2021

Last revision date

13/04/2022