Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Statistical Genetics (Level M) STATS5011

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus 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 11 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

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; 

to expose students to published research in the area related to what they have seen in the rest of the course

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ describe basic notions of genetics;

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

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

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

■ perform simple linkage analyses in pedigrees;

■ explain and use the coalescent process;

■ critically assess a published research output in the field.

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.