• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Genetics, Biology
  • Specialisation code GENE-SPEC
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Genetics Specialisation

Genetics is the science of heredity, including: the structure, expression and regulation of genes, the genetic basis of traits, and the interaction between genes and the environment at the population and species level which underpin the evolutionary process. The growing availability of completely sequenced genomes, computational analysis and molecular analytic tools has revolutionised genetics, leading to discoveries in areas as diverse as medicine, agriculture, conservation biology, evolution and biotechnology. The genetics specialisation will place students in an excellent position to pursue higher studies in medical, ecological and evolutionary biology. Familiarity with genetic principles and techniques is also an asset in careers as diverse as law, medical science, agriculture and environmental management.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Describe and explain, in depth, the nature of genetic variation and the factors that influence gene flow, evolutionary change and the genetic structure of populations.

2. Use experimental and quantitative methods to identify, quantify and statistically analyse genetic variation within populations, and apply these strategies to evolutionary, forensic and medical problems.

3. Describe and explain, in depth, the molecular basis for inheritance and the way in which genetic information is expressed in cells.

4. Apply genetic reasoning to different experimental problems and communicate the results obtained.

5. Be able to effectively communicate and discuss the impact of modern genetics on the way our society deals with medical problems.


Advice to students: 

Students should complete BIOL1003 and BIOL1004 in first year. Some later year genetics courses also require CHEM1101.  Students should also complete BIOL2161 and/or BIOL2151 in second year.

For students taking BIOL3208 or BIOL3209 as part of this specialisation, the research project must be in the field of genetics.

Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of this specialisation.

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This specialisation may only be undertaken in conjunction with one of the following majors:


Cell and Molecular Biology

Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology

Human Biology

This specialisation requires the completion of 24 units, which must consist of:

6 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL2151 Genetics 6
BIOL2161 Genes: Replication and Expression 6

18 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL3108 Hallmarks of Cancer 6
BIOL3109 Ecological and Evolutionary Developmental Biology 6
BIOL3157 Bioinformatics and its Applications 6
BIOL3161 Genomics and its Applications 6
BIOL3193 Bacteria and Health: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective 6
BIOL3204 Genetics of Human Disease 1 6
BIOL3205 Genetics of Human Disease 2 6
BIOL3206 Macroevolution and Macroecology 6
BIOL3208 Biology Research Project 6
BIOL3209 Biology Research Project 12
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