GENETICS 2510 - Genetics IIA: Foundation of Genetics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Genetics IIA aims to provide a broad understanding of some of the foundation concepts of genetics. We begin with examining different patterns of inheritance and the nature of genetic linkage and recombination, and discuss mutations and the connection between genotype and phenotype. Further topics include the regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The practical component for this course draws from the MBS Prac A, Prac B and Prac C series. Refer to Study With Us_Student Support_Enrolment Help information at for further information.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GENETICS 2510
    Course Genetics IIA: Foundation of Genetics
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 8 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites BIOLOGY 1101/1101ND or BIOLOGY 1401 or BIOLOGY 1001, & BIOLOGY 1201 or BIOLOGY 1202 - Students who enrolled in BIOLOGY 1101, 1101ND or 1401 or 1001 only should contact the Course Coordinator to request permission to enrol
    Assessment Exam, tutorial and practical component assessment
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Michelle Coulson

    Lectures presented by:
    Michelle Coulson
    Michael Lardelli
    Iain Searle
    (Department of Molecular and Biomedical Science)
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    See Course Planner for lecture and tutorial times. The practical component (laboratory) is listed separately for timetabling and enrolment purposes - search the Course Planner for the pracs relevant to your enrolment. Read the Practical A, B & C (2016) document found at to tell you which practicals to enrol in (Practicals for Level II BIOCHEM, GENETICS and MICRO courses). Contact for more information.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1. Readily understand and communicate using appropriate terminology and nomenclature

     2. Explain mode of inheritance of traits based on results of appropriate genetic crosses, and predict or explain classes and ratios of progeny for given genetic situations

     3. Analyse linkage and interpret linkage maps

     4. Understand how mutations arise, apply or interpret different types of mutation, and connect these with phenotype

     5. Understand the principles of gene regulation, and to apply these principles to specific examples

     6. Apply specific knowledge gained in one context to explain new situations in different contexts

     7. Have an appreciation for, and understanding of, core recombinant DNA techniques and methodologies

    8. Obtain hands-on experience in performing fundamental molecular and cellular biology techniques, including working safely and efficiently in a modern laboratory setting

    9. Correctly analyse and interpret experimental results within the limitations of the experimental design

    10. Communicate results and conclusions of experiments using recognised scientific communication frameworks (e.g. written report, oral presentation, poster)
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 6, 9
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    6, 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lab coat and safety glasses are to be supplied by student and worn in every prac class.
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended textbook:
    Genetics: A Conceptual Approach 5th edition by Benjamin A. Pierce, Freeman publishers
    The Barr Smith library has multiple copies of this book in the Reserve section.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The contact time for Genetics IIA consists of:
    • Two lectures of 50 minutes each per week
    • One tutorial of up to 1hr50min per fortnight (see Course Planner for details of tutorial weeks)
    • Practical class contact of 4hr per week for up to five weeks during semester, as required according to the MBS Practical ABC system (see Course Planner for details, under SCIENCE 2100/2101/2102 as required)
    Student learning is further supported by provision of additional questions to help focus independent study during non-tutorial contact weeks, plus extra resources on MyUni for some topics.

    Student's revision of key concepts from pre-requisite courses is encouraged and facilitated by provision of material to guide and aid revision on MyUni, plus formative online revision quizzes.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average, 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecture topics:

    a) Basic principles of inheritance (Mendelian genetics)

    b) Chromosome behaviour and transmittance of traits

    c) Extensions to Mendelism

    d) Linkage, recombination and mapping genes

    e) Molecular model of recombination and gene conversion

    f) DNA damage, repair and mutation

    g) Different sorts of mutation and how genotype explains phenotype

    h) Regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes

    i) Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes


    The tutorials aim to apply the principles and knowledge discussed in lectures to simple problems. Tutorials are structured around multiple questions that together address all levels of Bloom's taxonomy.


    The practicals aim to introduce central molecular and cell biology techniques, and require thorough analysis and interpretations of results obtained. Core topics include: laboratory safety, liquid handling skills, maintenance of bacterial cell cultures, recombinant DNA methodology and theory, basic principles of experimental design. Further, optional topics include: bioinformatics, further principles of experimental design, further molecular and cell biology techniques.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    ssessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Take-home assignments

    Assessment of practicals 20%
    Shorts tests + "Aspergillus Cross" 10%
    Exam Summative 60%

    Assessment Detail
    The exam is worth 60% of the final mark and is held during the end-of-semester examinations period.

    Assessment of content of practicals takes various forms and together comprises 20% of the total mark.

    There will be a total of three assignment termed "Question Papers" (which are past exam questions that students complete in their own time). These will be equally weighted and together contribute 10% of the final mark.

    Three of the tutorials will begin with a short test. Each test will be a single past exam question. The
    tutorial tests aim to give students feedback on their understanding of the lecture material throughout the semester as assessed under closed-book test conditions. They are also a strong incentive to keep up to date with the lecture material. One tutorial will involve analysis of progeny of a cross of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. The fourth test/assignment will require analysis of these data. A student's best three marks (equally weighted) of the three tests and Aspergillus Cross assignment will contribute 10% of the final mark.

    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted,then a penalty for late submission
    will apply.  A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.