Statistical Genetics STATS4074

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to applications of probability and statistics in the field of modern genetics.


2 1-hour lectures per week for 10 weeks

4 1-hour tutorials

Requirements of Entry

Some optional courses may be constrained by space and entry to these is not guaranteed unless you are in a programme for which this is a compulsory course.

Excluded Courses



Examination (100%)

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

to introduce some of the applications of probability and statistics in the field of genetics;

to provide applications of approaches to inference using likelihood in a variety of genetics setting;

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ to describe basic notions of genetics;

■ to estimate gene frequencies, using a variety of methods, including the EM algorithm;

■ to apply Bayes' theorem in order to solve problems in genetic counselling and in DNA fingerprinting;

■ to explain how genes that might cause disease can be located in the genome;

■ to perform simple linkage analyses in pedigrees;

■ to explain the coalescent process, a stochastic model of ancestry, and its relationship to the Wright-Fisher model;

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.