Statistical Genetics (Level M) STATS5011

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • 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 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 (80%)

Essay precis of research paper (20%)

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 indicate how current research is addressing one of the topics covered by introducing selected material from the recent research literature.

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;

■ summarise a research paper in the area.

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.