• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Medical Science, Genetics, Biomedical Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Ruth Arkell
    • Prof Simon Foote
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course focuses on new discoveries in areas of importance to our understanding of human genetics and disease.  Fuelled by Sequencing of the Human Genome and new methods of investigating biological function, research into the genetic and molecular causes of human disease is advancing at a rapid pace. We will examine not only the genetic abnormalities underlying human disease and disorders but also the breakdown in the physiological and molecular biology caused by the genetic lesion. We will also look at how this knowledge can lead to new treatments for some diseases and explore some of the societal issues raised by new technologies and treatments. We will cover topics including:

•      genomic technologies and their application to human genetics

•      the genetic basis of simple and complex traits

•      animals models for human genetic diseases

•      methods of gene expression control (genetic and epigenetic)

•      potential disease treatments

•      clinical genetics

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.      proficiently navigate relevant literature, web sites and databases for research into human genetics

2.      describe the approaches used to identify the genetic basis of simple, heterogeneous and complex traits

3.      describe the latest advances in genomic technologies and their application to personalised medicine

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

5.      explain how modern molecular techniques can be used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and inherited disease

6.      describe the major types of mechanisms involved in regulating gene expression


7.      identify some of the societal issues raised by new technologies and treatments

Indicative Assessment

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.

  • Research essay (3000 word) on the current state of knowledge and recent advances in an area of human molecular genetics of specific interest to the student (25% to 45%) (1-7 depending on topic)
  • Six short assignments on lecture and practical material (5% each) (LO1-7 depending on practical)
  • Final examination to assess students’ understanding (25% to 45%) (LO2-7)

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 and computer practicals; total workload ~ 45 contact hours in semester. In addition, the research essay requires substantial number of self-assigned (i.e. non-contact) hours.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed BIOL2161. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed BIOL2152 or BIOL6204.

Assumed Knowledge

BIOL2151 is strongly recommended.




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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2016 $3276
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
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
3507 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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