Genetics, Biodiversity and Behaviour

Module code: NT2006

This module will introduce you to the patterns of genetic variation/inheritance in families and of genetic variation in populations, and to current applications of genetics into modern medicine, anthropology, biotechnology and conservation. 

You'll explore topics such as Mendel laws of inheritance and genetic analysis of (human) phenotypes and the principles of evolution and population genetics including random mating, mutation, genetic drift and natural selection, demonstrating them with real-life examples. You'll also examine the latest technological advances, how can they be applied to understanding biological systems, and how are they used in more applied fields of genetics. 

This module will also provide an introduction to the vast diversity of plants and animals. You'll investigate the two basic processes of biology, how plants and animals develop from their single cell state through their development and how life has evolved from its simplest stages to the myriad of diverse forms. You'll consider the physiological and behavioural adaptations that organisms have evolved to survive.

Topics covered

  • Phylogeny and the tree of life
  • Basic animal and plant development
  • Animal and plant origins and diversity
  • Biodiversity/ecology and its importance
  • Animal behavioural adaptations
  • Plant physiology and its consequences for the environment and food production
  • Chromosomal inheritance and genetic variation
  • Genetic and statistical analysis
  • Recognition of genetic disease
  • Elements of genetic evolution
  • DNA sequencing technologies
  • Bioinformatics tools
  • Hardy-Weinberg principle

Learning

  • 45 hours of lectures
  • 3 hours of seminars
  • 12 hours of tutorials
  • 30 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 25 hours of supervised time in lab/studio/workshop 
  • 185 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • 2 exams, 1.5 hours each (60%)
  • Report (20%)
  • Coursework (20%)