• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Health Medicine and the Body
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Celeste Linde
    • Prof Rodney Peakall
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces the principles of population, evolutionary and quantitative genetics. We do this by asking: what can we learn from DNA? In answering this question we focus on the practical applications of the theory illustrated by human forensic DNA analysis, conservation genetics and evolutionary genetics. In the practical component of the course, students will gain hands on experience in human forensic DNA profiling in the laboratory, as well as statistical analysis skills across a range of genetic topics. Other topics covered include epigenetics and next generation sequencing.

Note:  Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately

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 understand and critically evaluate scientific and media reports on genetic technology and genetic breakthroughs as they effect our day to day lives. They will also have a thorough understanding of the principles underlying population genetics, and how this relates to the use of modern genetic markers in population and forensic studies. From their research project, students will learn to apply advanced statistical procedures in the analysis of codominant markers in forensic studies, and ecological studies involving relatedness estimates and paternity studies. Specific expected learning outcomes are:
  1. A thorough understanding of the basic principles of DNA structure, replication, transcription and translation
  2. An understanding of basic chromosome structure, and the significance of chromosomal change in evolution and illness
  3. Development of the ability to carry out  genetic analyses on data sets comprised of codominant genetic markers such as allozymes, microsatellites and SNPs, in order to quantify variation, gene flow and evolutionary divergence
  4. The ability to carry out complex genetic tests on genetic data for the purposes of forensic study

Other Information

This course is an excellent accompaniment to postgraduate courses specialising in genetics, ecology, evolution or molecular biology.

The Biology Teaching and Learning Centre is located in Building 116. Alternatively you can email rsb.studentadmin@anu.edu.au to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment topics will include genetic theory covered in lectures and laboratory skills and analysis taught in practical and lab project classes. This will be done via formal examination, and the submission of assignment completed throughout the semester. A report prepared in-part based on the laboratory component will emphasise the application of modern statistical techniques in the analysis of genetic variation for forensic study. Assessment is discussed with students and tailored to each individual student's needs. Theory is generally tested using formal examination and emphasis given to one major assignment.

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.


Three lectures per week, and up to nine practical/tutorial sessions of three-hour each.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with BIOL2151

You will need to contact the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.


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
2017 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4878
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
4515 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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