Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit provides students with the basic principles of the role of genetic factors in the causation of human disease. The emphasis is on molecular genetics, especially in the areas of diagnosis, prognosis, prevention of disease and their application to clinical medicine. Incorporating the principles of chromosome structure and function, patterns of inheritance, population genetics, single gene disorders, multifactorial diseases, chromosomal and somatic cell genetic disorders, mitochondrial diseases and pre-natal diagnosis the unit delivers practical skills focused on screening methods for genetic abnormalities, assessment of risk status and coverage of the basics of clinical cytogenetics, pharmacogenetics and those aspects of immunogenetics that relate to tissue transplantation programs. Analysis and interpretation of data drawn from routine clinical laboratory practice enables students to demonstrate their understanding of these subject areas.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) discuss the organisation of genomes and other important genetic structures; (2) explain genomic variation and inheritance; (3) conduct specific genetic tests relevant to clinical practice; (4) explain the role of pharmacogenetics in personalised medicine; (5) interpret the results of analytical techniques used for mutation detection; and (6) demonstrate an understanding of biochemical and cancer genetics.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) practical reports; (2) a seminar; and (3) examinations. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Clayton Fragall
Unit rules
Enrolment in
the Master of Clinical Pathology 92510
or other relevant postgraduate degree as determined by the Faculty.
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials/labs/workshops: 4-5 hours per week
  • 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.