• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Statistics, Bioinformatics, Computer Science, Biology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Gavin Huttley
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2025
    See Future Offerings
  • STEM Course

This course introduces the key methods and technologies of bioinformatics as pertinent to genomics. These are the fastest growing fields of biology and perhaps science. Bioinformatics is a rapidly growing scientific discipline at the interface of genomics, statistics and computer science. It has distinct but overlapping aspects: the development of computational infrastructure (e.g. algorithms, programs, databases) and their use to analyse a wide variety of biological data. Among these data, genes, transcripts, and epigenetic features play a central role. Making sense of the rapid and large-scale data acquisition of today's genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and other -omics projects poses the major challenge of modern biology. Analyses of these data relies on advances in bioinformatics and statistics.

As computer literacy is central to bioinformatics, it is also central to this course. Accordingly, the course includes a brief review of the Python programming language. Other topics covered include techniques for sequence comparison, population and comparative genomics.

Honours pathway option (HPO)

An Enrichment-type HPO is offered. Students in this option must attend 7 additional 1hr workshops, which will help develop skills necessary to undertake further research in this area. We cover a problem related to course material in considerable detail. We will review a published method and independently design and implement computational experiments to evaluate the method. This addresses LO's 3-5.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe and apply a variety of methods in bioinformatics, including computer programming. 
  2. Describe and logically evaluate current research procedures across a range of topics in bioinformatics.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to reason logically about problems to which bioinformatic analysis of DNA sequence data can be applied.
  4. Evaluate research methodology in the context of bioinformatic analysis of DNA sequence data. 
  5. Demonstrate the ability to obtain and interpret quantitative results from mathematical and statistical models through analytical and computational methods. 

Indicative Assessment

  1. Quizzes (6) [LO 1]
  2. Written assignments (approx 2 across the semester) (15) [LO 3]
  3. Coding assignment (5) [LO 1]
  4. Mixed written and coding assignments (approx 3 x assignments across the semester) (74) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 2 x 2 hour computer labs per week (total 48 hours).
  • Approximately 82 hours of self directed study which will include preparation for computer labs and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have previously completed BIOL2151 or BIOL3161 and BIOL2001 or BIOL2202 or STAT1003 or STAT1008. This course is incompatible with BIOL6243.

Prescribed Texts

"Topics in Bioinformatics" written by Prof. Huttley, available online at https://gavinhuttley.github.io/tib/.

Assumed Knowledge

Students are strongly encouraged to take an introductory computer science course, such as COMP1730 or COMP1100.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
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
3291 17 Feb 2025 24 Feb 2025 31 Mar 2025 23 May 2025 In Person N/A

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