GEN2041 - Foundations of genetics - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Biological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Coral Warr


Associate Professor Coral Warr (Clayton)
Dr Jasmine Hue (Malaysia)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


BIO1011 and either BIO1022 or BIO1042.

Recommended: MOL2011 or MCB2011 (complementary units)




The principles, concepts, organisms and techniques of genetics are covered in this unit. Topics include: patterns of inheritance; structure and organisation of genes, chromosomes and genomes; gene regulation, mutation and gene function; relationship of genotype to phenotype; genetic linkage and gene mapping; chromosome variation and its role in both evolution and human disease. Examples are drawn from a range of organisms, including humans.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain the central role of genes in the inheritance of traits and describe the complex variations in inheritance patterns due to interaction of genes with each other and with the environment;
  2. Illustrate the common chromosomal and molecular mechanisms that underlie inheritance and the structure of DNA, genes and chromosomes;
  3. Explain what genes are, how they are regulated, how they control phenotypes, and how they can be altered by mutation;
  4. Describe a range of organisms used in studying genetics (viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates, including humans) and explain their common and unique features;
  5. Convey to a non-specialist audience the relevance and value of genetics to human society;
  6. Demonstrate skills in basic laboratory techniques, in genetics problem-solving and experimental design, and in data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation;
  7. Demonstrate and recognise the value of working with peers.


Examination (2.5 hours): 50%

Practical work (practical reports, mapping project, mid-semester and end-of-semester tests, weekly assignments): 50%

Workload requirements

  • Two 1-hour lectures
  • One 3-hour combined tutorial/laboratory session

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study