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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This is an introductory unit covering background and methods relevant to the analysis of genetic data in epidemiological studies, with emphasis on gene mapping. Topics covered include basic population genetics, linkage analysis, family and population based association analyses, epigenetic and transcriptomic, and integrative genomic study designs for gene discovery in complex human diseases. Students gain exposure to some of the methods and computer tools available for gene mapping and genetic analysis, and begin to read and evaluate genetic epidemiological literature.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) possess an overview of the current state-of-the-art in genetic epidemiology, sufficient to critically interpret the literature on gene discovery in complex human disease; (2) understand the biological and statistical principles underlying modern gene discovery, and the research methods for the study of genetic risk factors in epidemiology; (3) understand sources of error in genetic epidemiology, the difference between confounding and effect modification in genetics, and the strengths and limitations of the available study designs for genetic epidemiological research; (4) perform basic statistical analyses on genetic data including family-based association analyses, and haplotypic analysis; (5) understand the public health applications of complex disease genetics; and (6) write a report on a study in 'genetics' format.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) two take-home essays; (2) in-class presentation; and (3) three in-class practicals. 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 Phillip Melton
Unit rules
Advisable prior study
PUBH4403 Epidemiology I, PUBH4401 Biostatistics I
Contact hours
40 hours during the intensive week
4 hours per week after that
This unit is available even years only, and when available is taught in an intensive mode.
  • 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.