Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)


Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap 240 Location Durham


  • 'A' Level Biology OR Chemistry.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce how genes are inherited and interact in both individuals and populations.
  • To show the relationship between genes and chromosomes.
  • To show how genes function, are regulated and replicated in simple model systems.
  • To introduce the concepts of genetic engineering.


  • Elementary Mendelian and bacterial genetics.
  • Introduction to population genetics.
  • Gene structure, function and regulation.
  • DNA replication in prokaryotes.
  • Cell division, cell cycle and meiosis.
  • Recombination, mapping and linkage.
  • Introduction to genetic engineering.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Describe and rationalize the means by which genes are inherited, function, are regulated and manipulated in simple model systems.
  • Be able to produce simple genetic maps from sample data.
  • Understand the processes of cell division and meiosis.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Perform simple experiments in genetics.
Key Skills:
  • Data handling and interpretation.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures deliver core knowledge.
  • Workshops and Tutorials reinforce the knowledge and understanding gained from lectures and the development of key and subject-specific skills.
  • Lab work allows students to utilise the knowledge gained from lectures, and support the development of key and subject-specific skills.
  • MCQs sample the broad base of knowledge.
  • Essays assess key communication skills but are also used to examine a students learning of subject specific knowledge.
  • Unseen exams measure knowledge and the application and interpretation of that knowledge. They also test key skills in ability to present arguments and communicate them effectively in a concise written form.
  • Data handling exercises assess data handling, numeracy, critical thinking and presentation skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 38 Weekly 2 hours p/w 38
Practicals 3 Termly 4 hours 12
Workshops 1 1 hour 1
Tutorials 2 1 Mich/1 Epip 1 hour 2
Preparation & Reading 147
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Unseen formal examination 2 hours 100%
Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Practical report 37.5%
Practical report 37.5%
MCQ Departmental Test 25%

Formative Assessment:

Practical report. Workshop.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University