BIOSCI 202 : Genetics


2023 Semester Two (1235) (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 nature of heredity and variation in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes to provide a foundation for understanding how genotype determines phenotype. The course will also cover modern molecular genetic techniques and DNA sequence analysis approaches, including genetic engineering and genome editing. Finally, we will examine specific genetic issues of contemporary interest, including the application of genetics to disease. 

The course provides the foundation for Stage III genetics and beyond. It is a requirement for students in Genetics pathways or specialisations and is a prerequisite for BIOSCI 351 and 355. 

Course Director: Austen Ganley;  Course Coordinator: Suzanne Reid

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 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
As per BSc regulations, students must pass Theory (Quizzes, Test, Exam) and Practical (Laboratories) components independantly in order to pass the course overall. 


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

The School of Biological Sciences has an active Tuākana programme. For more information and to find contact details for the Biological Sciences Tuākana coordinator, 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

Special Requirements

Students are required to supply a calculator plus supply and wear a lab coat and safety glasses while in the teaching lab.
The course assessment includes an evening test (6.30-8.00 pm); the date and time for the test is published in the BIOSCI 202 Canvas course. 

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. 

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at labs to complete practical components of the course. We strongly recommend lecture attendance, but they will also be available as recordings. Other learning activities including labs will not be available as recordings. The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning 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.

Course guide:
A laboratory guide is available for purchase through UBIQ or can be downloaded for free via Canvas. You will need to bring the relevant pages from the laboratory manual to each of your practical sessions. 
Recommended textbook: An Introduction to Genetic Analysis (12th ed),  Griffiths, Doebley & Peichal (2020)

Health & Safety

Students will be advised of basic lab safety requirements prior to attending labs and will need to wear appropriate clothing in lab sessions.

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.

Staff welcome feedback on the course throughout the semester, including the SET evaluations. Please contact your course coordinator or student representative at any time with your feedback

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.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


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.

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

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.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 31/10/2022 09:27 a.m.