BIOSCI 202 : Genetics


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The basic principles of mutation, recombination and genetic mapping are established in this course. These principles are developed in a variety of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Laboratory work uses molecular, microbial and eukaryotic material to explore the key features of heredity.

Course Overview

In this course we will explore the physical and biological properties of heredity in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Special attention will be given to genetic analysis, in which phenotypic characteristics of organisms are used to make inferences about complex cellular and subcellular processes. This will occupy approximately two thirds of the paper, and the remaining third will examine a number of specific genetic issues of contemporary interest. The course is one of four core stage II biology courses and provides the foundation for stage III and graduate teaching in this topic. The course is recommended to all students wishing to progress in biological sciences. A remote version of the course can be provided to students located overseas because of border restrictions.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 101 and 15 points from BIOSCI 106-109

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Develop the ability to form a hypothesis about a genetics question, and work out how to test the hypothesis. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  2. Develop the practical skills associated with genetics research in a group-based learning environment. Use these practical skills to answer genetics problems and questions and communicate the answers in the form of a lab report. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  3. Explain the the structure, organization and functioning of eukaryote and prokaryote genomes. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Describe how linkage and how recombination can be used to calculate genetic maps of eukaryote chromosomes. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  5. Describe the types and causes of genetic variation, and the relationship of genetic variation to phenotypic variation. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  6. Explain the major mechanisms through which eukaryotes and prokaryotes are able to regulate gene expression. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  7. Describe how to find, clone, express, transfer and characterize gene variants. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  8. Review the range of molecular technologies and model organisms that can be used to understand gene function, including human disease. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  9. Describe the genetic processes that influence populations, including neutral and adaptive evolutionary change, and be able to calculate population genetic parameters. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  10. Interpret phylogenetic trees and molecular systematics using inherited DNA variation data. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 25% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 10% Individual Coursework
Test 30% Individual Test
Final Exam 35% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Final Exam
Students must pass the practicals (laboratories) and the theory (module quizzes, test and exam) independently to pass the course overall. 


Biological Science Stage 2 Tuakana hold tutorials for this paper. For more information please see:

Key Topics

Module 1: Genome organisation and chromosome structure

Module 2: Gene expression and mutation

Module 3: DNA technology and genetic engineering

Module 4: Population genetics and phylogenetics

Learning Resources

Course guide
Recommended textbook: An Introduction to Genetic Analysis (11th ed), Griffiths, Wessler, Carroll and Doebley, Freeman.
Additional textbook: Genetics: A Conceptual Approach (6th ed), Pierce, Freeman.

Special Requirements

Lab coat, safety glasses and calculator required.
Students must pass the practical (laboratories) and the theory (quizzes, test and exam) independently to pass the course overall. 
Additional tutorials held in mid-semester break and exam study break. 
Evening test 6.30-8.00 pm

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures per week, 3 hours of labs per fortnight, 66 hours of reading and thinking about the content including work on laboratory assignments, practice genetics questions, quizzes and test/exam preparation. This is a minimum of 5.5 hours per week outside lectures and labs. 

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

If you choose to not attend lectures you miss out on active learning, handouts and discussions held in the lectures.  In addition you will need to be doing 8.5 hrs minimum study at home to stay on track with the course. 


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 28/07/2020 05:08 p.m.