Current Topics in Genetics 4X core BIOL4211

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is intended to introduce students to current research in selected topics in Genetics, and thereby to research strategies, data interpretation and hypothesis generation and testing. The course is intended to be based mainly on student-centred, active learning, supplemented with some didactic lectures. Our aim is for students to develop a deep understanding of the state and practice of Genetics research.


There is normally one 3-hour session on Mondays. 

Requirements of Entry

Normally, only available to final-year Life Sciences students in a Genetics programme. Visiting students may be allowed to enrol, at the discretion of the Life Sciences Chief Adviser and the Course Coordinator. 

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (70%) and an in-course assessment involving the critical analysis of a research paper, analogous to the examination (30%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to facilitate and support students in developing a deep understanding of Genetics research via studying selected current topics in Genetics and the key research papers in each area. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

■ Summarize the key concepts in a Genetics/Molecular Genetics research paper;

■ Explain the basis for genetic and molecular genetic experimental techniques and strategies;

■ Explain the application of genetic and molecular genetic experimental techniques and strategies;

■ Interpret experimental data resulting from the use of genetic and molecular genetic experimental techniques;

■ Generate plausible hypotheses from available data;

■ Propose appropriate experimental strategies to address a topical and advanced Genetics problem;

■ Discuss the current state of the Genetics topics covered in the option.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.