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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biology

Undergraduate Course: Molecular Genetics 3 (BILG09002)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA core course in molecular genetics. The course covers chromosome structure and organisation; gene expression and RNA processing in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; genetic engineering; genetic stability and instability; transposable elements and DNA rearrangements; genetic analysis; mouse genetics and transgenesis. The lectures are complemented by tutorials and by practical sessions that provide hands-on experience of genetical and molecular genetical manipulations.
Course description A basic understanding of Molecular Genetics is essential to many areas of scientific study. This junior honours course aims to extend the knowledge gained in previous courses, particularly Genes and Gene Action 2, and to promote a more detailed understanding of this field of Biology. Molecular Genetics 3 is a requirement for Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Development, Regeneration and Stem Cells and Biotechnology senior honours programmes and also provides an advanced background to several other courses.

The major topics covered by the course are:
- regulation of gene expression and RNA processing
- chromosome structure, organisation and segregation
- genetic stability and instability
- genetic engineering
- mouse genetics and transgenesis

The course will run based on an hybrid model, comprising a series of lectures and tutorials online, as well as in-person practical sessions that provide hands-on experience of many of the molecular manipulations used in modern genetics and molecular biology. All students, irrespective of whether attending in-person or not, will interact fully with the practicals using the videos, resources, discussion, activities and live-streamed or recorded material available. The tutorial sessions are important towards developing the skills required for data interpretation, problem solving and group working, while the assessed essay will develop your scientific critique and writing skills. The course will be assessed by continuous assessment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Genes and Gene Action 2 (BILG08003)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed The Dynamic Cell 2 (BILG08009)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Lab coats will be supplied but students should provide a notebook and marker pen.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesEquivalent of the courses listed above
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 12, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8.5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 154 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course is fully assessed by weekly in-course work. In-course components of assessment:
- 1000 word essay (25%)
- Lecture quizzes (5%)
- Practicals quizzes (10% total: 7% Block 1 Lab and 3% Block 2 lab)
- Data Handling Test (15%)
- Tutorials (5%)
- Final Exam (40%)

Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:30
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:30
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Be able to explain chromosome structure, organisation and segregation, and the major processes involved in the regulation of gene expression.
  2. Be able to explain the mechanisms involved in genetic recombination and transposition, and to understand their importance in maintaining and disrupting genome stability and in genome modification.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to critically analyse molecular genetic data.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to research and compose an essay on a defined scientific topic in molecular genetics, using primary research sources..
  5. Be able to explain experimental design and interpret laboratory experiments in molecular genetics.
Reading List
General textbooks:
'Introduction to Genetic Analysis' 11th ed., Griffiths et al. Publisher: Freeman, 2015.
'Lewin's Genes XI', Krebs et al. Publisher: Jones and Bartlett, 2014 or perhaps more
accessible; 'Lewin's Essential Genes' 3rd ed. Krebs et al. Publisher: Jones and
Bartlett, 2012
'Molecular Biology of the Gene' 7th ed., Watson et al.. Publisher: CSHL Press; 2013.

Excellent books on aspects of the course:
'Gene Cloning and DNA Analysis: An Introduction', 7th Edition. T.S. Brown.
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016
'Genetic Recombination', D. Leach. Publisher: Blackwell Science; 1996.
'Human Molecular Genetics' 4th ed., Strachan and Read. Publisher: CRC Press,
Garland Science; 2010.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry

Personal and intellectual autonomy


Personal effectiveness

Additional Class Delivery Information 21 recorded lectures
5 tutorials
8 practicals
11 Q&A sessions
Course organiserDr Sara Buonomo
Tel: (0131 6)50 5161
Course secretaryMiss Janna James
Tel: (0131 6)50 8649
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