• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Biology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Ruth Arkell
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

This course focuses on new discoveries in our understanding of human behaviour, evolution and disease.  The course covers the basic principles that underpin the field of human genetics.  We will explore processes of gene mapping and sequencing that comprise the human genome, and the enormous databases that are being generated from this research.  The course also places a strong emphasis on the moral, ethical and legal issues surrounding the application of genetic technology to the diagnosis, treatment and eradication of genetic disease; these issues will be addressed in the context of genetic testing and genetic counselling.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. show a high level of proficiency in navigating relevant leterature, web sites and databases and using information from these sources to develop and test hypotheses in the field of human genetics.

2. describe the layout of the human karyotype and explain the karyological nomenclature used to describe chromosomal rearrangements and the locations of chromosomal markers in chromosomes.

3. explain the bahaviour and evolution of the human chromosomes and their involvement in the determination of sex.

4. explain the importance of model species to our investigation of basic principles in human genetics.

5. explain the mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance and the role of imprinting in normal inheritance and in human genetic disease, including cancer.

6. explain the theoretical and practical basis for the use of modern molecular techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and inherited disease.

7. describe and appreciate the duties, responsibilities and challenges facing professionals whose role is bridging the gap between geneticists and the general public.

8. identify and analyse the ethical issues and dilemmas raised by modern genetic techniques used for screening and fertility treatment in humans.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment is based on:

  • Significant research report on an area of human genetics of interest to the student, and ideally relevant to their chosen area of postgraduate study (% negotiated, LO 1-6)
  • Take-home assignments of lecture and practical material allow students to monitor their progress throughout the course (optional)
  • Final examination to assess students' understanding of the basic principles that underpin the field of human genetics (% negotiated, LO 1-6).  Assessment will examine proficiency in individual research, understanding of the theory and laboratory work.  A sliding scale permits students to focus on areas of interest by designating the weight to be assigned to different items of assessment.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Two to three lectures per week, practicals and tutorials; total workload 55-60 contact hours in semester.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Enrolment in Programs 7609, 7629, 7631 and 7632 only.  Incompatible with BIOL3204

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed text.  Relevant reading will be given to students during the semester.

Assumed Knowledge

Requires Bachelor degree with knowledge of  genetics at second year level, or postgraduate courses BIOL6006 or BIOL6161 (or equivalent).


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1650
2014 $2946
2013 $2946
2012 $2946
2011 $2946
2010 $2358
2009 $2358
2008 $2358
2007 $2358
2006 $2358
2005 $2358
2004 $2160
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3606
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3618
2004 $3618
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4447 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

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