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BIO2219 Genetics

Semester 2, 2020 Online
Short Description: Genetics
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 010900 - Biological Sciences
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Ursula Kennedy


Pre-requisite: (BIO1100 or BIO1101 or BIO1204)


Genetics is the study of inheritance or how organisms use and transfer biological information during their lifetimes. An understanding of the principles of genetics is important for an informed awareness of many human problems related to genetic dysfunction. Furthermore, knowledge of genetics is necessary for students whose future professions involve the physiology, pathology, nutrition, microbiology and biotechnology fields.


The course presents the scientific basis of heredity. The course commences with a review of mitosis and meiosis, an overview of Mendelian genetics and introduces complex genetic traits and the effects of inbreeding. Next, the impacts of gene frequency changes on the evolution of populations are considered. Mapping the location of genes on chromosomes, chromosomal variation and the effects of mutations on gene expression are studied. Aspects of medical genetics are explored in detail including the genetic basis of human disease, DNA testing, genetic counselling, biotechnology and gene therapy.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the science of genetics and its relation to inheritance (All assessments)
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the field of population genetics (All assessments)
  3. understand the process of gene mapping, chromosomal variation and the impacts of mutagens on chromosome structure (All assessments)
  4. demonstrate an appreciation of the implications of inheritance in human health (All assessments)
  5. understand and explain practical problems in genetics (All assessments)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Classical Genetics: gene & chromosome transmission 30.00
2. Population Genetics: genetic variability within populations 10.00
3. Molecular Genetics: mapping, expression & mutation of genes; the genetic basis of human disease 60.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Pechenik, JA 2016, A short guide to writing about biology, 9th edn, Longman, Boston.
Snustad, DP & Simmons, MJ 2016, Principles of genetics, 7th edn, Wiley, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Brooker, RJ 2019, Genetics – Analysis and Principles, 6th edn, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Hartwell, LH, Hood, L, Goldberg, ML, Reynolds, AE & Silver, LM 2017, Genetics – from Genes to Genomes, 6th edn, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Nero D 2011, Study Guide – solutions manual to accompany Genetics - from Genes to Genomes, 4th edn, McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Online Lectures 26.00
Online Tutorials 26.00
Private Study 93.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 20 18 Aug 2020 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 20 06 Oct 2020 (see note 2)
Online Exam 120 60 End S2 (see note 3)

  1. The examiner will advise the requirements for assignments.
  2. The examiner will advise the requirements for assignments.
  3. This will be an open examination. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are:
    writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination);
    calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination).
    Students whose first language is not English, may take an appropriate unmarked nonelectronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are:
    The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date.

    Requirements after S2 2020:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Date printed 6 November 2020