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Unit Overview


This unit provides an introduction to understanding the principles of inheritance and the analysis of variation in all organisms. Prokaryotic, Mendelian, population, quantitative and evolutionary genetics are considered in lectures and practical exercises. The interactive laboratory classes are also used to examine methods used in genetic research, and are designed to promote experience in practising these methods.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Genetics; Botany; Agricultural Science; Agricultural Science and Technology; Agribusiness and Agricultural Science; Biodiversity and Evolution; Plant Biology major sequences
  • Level 2 core unit in the Genetics specialisation in the Medical Science major sequence
  • Level 2 option in the Zoology major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) discover the theory and concepts underlying the inheritance of traits in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Gain an appreciation of the social and historical context in which genetics has developed

; (2) apply the technical and practical skills used in genetics laboratories through a series of integrated laboratory practicals

; and (3) apply the technical and communication skills of a bench scientist by the critical analysis and data presentation of integrated laboratory sessions.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a laboratory practical component (involving quizzes and a presentation on lab results); (2) tests; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Monika Murcha
Unit rules
Successful completion of
any one BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology
or BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology
or ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human
or ANHX1101 Human Biology 1 (Becoming Human)
or ANHB1102 Human Biology II: Being Human
or ANHX1102 Human Biology 2 (Being Human)
or SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell
or SCIX1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell
Unit(s) GENE2204 Principles of Genetics
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
labs/workshops: 2 hours per week
Recommended and
required texts

Griffiths, A. J. F. et al. Introduction to Genetics Analysis, 11th edn: W. H. Freeman and Co. 2015 (supplementary)

Pierce, B. A. Genetics: a Conceptual Approach, 5th edn: W. H. Freeman and Co. 2014

Additional text

Nicholas, F. W. An Introduction to Veterinary Genetics, 3rd edn: Wiley-Blackwell 2010

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.