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BGM1004 : Genetics

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jeremy Brown
  • Lecturer: Mr Gareth Breese, Professor Brian Morgan, Professor Deborah Henderson, Prof. Sir John Burn, Dr Simon Whitehall, Professor T. Martin Embley FMedSci FRS, Dr Damian Parry, Professor Colin Harwood
  • Other Staff: Dr Laura Maringele, Dr Simon Bamforth, Dr Michael Jackson, Dr Catherine Meplan, Dr Alison Day, Dr Helen Phillips, Dr Gavin Hudson, Professor David Lydall
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


The aims of this module are to;
• introduce the fundamental principles of Mendelian genetics, population genetics and current concepts of molecular genetics applied to bacteria and eukaryotes required by all bioscience students;
• provide an opportunity for students to interpret genetic information and work through problems in seminars, and relate their knowledge of genetics to laboratory classes in associated modules;
• increase awareness of human genetic diseases and the application of analytical techniques to their diagnosis and potential treatment.
• introduce some of the molecular and genetic techniques being used in the postgenomic
era of genetics as well as recent advances in genetic analysis including the use of model organisms
• provide sufficient knowledge and understanding of the subject to inform student choice to study genetics in phase 2 of the degree.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures and seminars will cover the following topics:
• Evolutionary genetics: prebiotic chemistry; ribozymes as molecular fossils; molecular phylogenetics and population genetics.
• Molecular genetics: introduction to bacterial genetics; structure of the bacterial chromosome; comparative genomics; DNA replication and fidelity.
• Eukaryote and Human Genetics: model eukaryotic organisms for genetic analysis; organization of eukaryotic genomes; mitosis and meiosis; sex determination, eukaryotic genes and transcripts; inheritance; recombination & genetic diversity; genome evolution & multigene families.
• Developmental and Medical Genetics: genetic analysis of human disease; modern methods of mapping susceptibility alleles; yeast as a human disease model; clinical genetics of complex diseases; ethics in Genetics

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture261:0026:00PIP
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion10:450:45Formative assessment (mid-semester). Online via Canvas
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00PIP - Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1120:15120:15Writing up lecture notes, revision and general reading.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lecture materials will define the scope of the course and communicate basic knowledge as a basis for further study.

2. Seminars will encourage students to develop their understanding of the subject and interpersonal communication skills. They provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and exchange ideas in a small group setting. Skills practiced include critical thinking, numeracy, communication & team working.

3. Private study is used for self-directed learning and includes: reading lecture notes and texts; preparation for seminars; using learning resources on the Web. Skills practiced include critical thinking, active learning, numeracy, planning and organisation and independence.

Public Health Contingency:
All lectures and seminars can/will move to online either as synchronous online or non-synchronous delivery.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A100PIP - Invigilated MCQ exam, 120 questions
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MOnline timed (45 mins) MCQ/fill in the blank exam (remote) via Canvas. Mid-semester
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end of semester MCQ assesses knowledge and understanding of the course material. The formative MCQ questions will help students assess their knowledge and understanding of course material as well as familiarise students with the format of an MCQ exam.

FMS Schools offering Semester One modules available as ‘Study Abroad’ will, where required, provide an alternative assessment time for examinations that take place after the Christmas vacation. Coursework with submission dates after the Christmas vacation will either be submitted at an earlier date or at the same time remotely.

Public Health Contingency:
Written exam can/will move to remote online, timed exam to be completed in 24-hour period (120 questions, expected completion time 90 mins).

Reading Lists