• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Genetics, Biology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Joseph Brock
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2025
    See Future Offerings
  • STEM Course

Genetics underpins many contemporary social issues in health, technology and agriculture. Modern biology has been transformed by both the DNA sequencing and synthesis of full genomes and the application of gene technologies to a range of problems. These include mRNA vaccine manufacture, targeted gene therapies, novel cancer treatments, the development of resilient high-yield crops and more sustainable food products. Applying and evaluating genetic technologies relies on an understanding of the principles of molecular genetics, which will be covered in this course.


This course introduces the molecular mechanisms involved in the storage and expression of genetic information in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Topics to be covered include genome structure and evolution; DNA structure and packaging; DNA replication and repair; transcription; regulation of gene expression; RNA processing; protein synthesis and the genetic code. These processes will be illustrated with case studies, ranging from the human genome and genetic diseases to genetically modified crops.


The course includes a lab project that reinforces lecture material and introduces students to key strategies and techniques of molecular genetics.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately. For graduate students, there is an extension lab component.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the basic processes involved in the expression of genetic information
  2. Apply knowledge of the roles and functions of the mechanisms of DNA replication to a range of problems and examples
  3. Predict outcomes when DNA replication; DNA repair; mRNA transcription and processing; gene regulation; protein synthesis; genome structure and evolution are perturbed by mutation (genetic disease) or the use of inhibitors and drugs.
  4. Understand and analyse differences in gene organization between prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
  5. Analyse experimental and theoretical problems involving DNA replication; mutagenesis and DNA repair; mRNA transcription and processing; gene regulation; protein synthesis; genome structure and evolution.
  6. Communicate experimental results and conclusions in a scientific manner.
  7. Develop skills in the experimental design of quantitative methods for determining genotypes and analysing DNA sequencing data.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Laboratory quizzes and reports (45) [LO 2,3,5,6,7]
  2. Tutorial tests (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Participation in PeerWise, a web-based activity where students create, answer and rate multiple-choice questions  (5) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Final exam (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7]

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.


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

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour lectures per week (total 36 hours). 7 x 3 hours of practical sessions throughout the semester.
  • Up to 6 hours of tutorials
  • Approximately 67 hours of self-directed study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

No specific inherent requirements have been identified for this course.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible: BIOL2161.

Prescribed Texts

Genetics: a conceptual approach. Pierce, B. 6th or 7th edition

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate knowledge of first year chemistry and biology.


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
3535 17 Feb 2025 24 Feb 2025 31 Mar 2025 23 May 2025 In Person N/A

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