Evolutionary Genetics

Module code: BS3000

Module co-ordinator: Professor Charalambos Kyriacou

In this module you will study the genetic basis for the evolution of genes, genomes and phenotypes and their role in the diversity and maintenance of different life forms.

Topics covered

  • Evolution of life
  • The RNA world and beyond
  • Constructing phylogenies and their uses in the analysis of interesting evolutionary questions such as sexual selection
  • Neutral theory and its implications
  • Evolvability via capacitance and gene duplication
  • Evolution of gene regulation with particular reference to developmental and behavioural genes
  • Human evolution and genetic history
  • Use of ancient DNA to address evolutionary and historical questions
  • Genetic basis of domestication
  • Effects of spontaneous and environmentally-induced mutation on genetic variability


  • 36 one-hour lectures
  • 1 three-hour practical


  • Exam, 3 hours (70%)
  • Essay (21%)
  • Poster presentation (9%)