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 unit is concerned with understanding variation at the individual and population level from an evolutionary perspective. Specifically, the unit will examine the causes of variation, development and changes in the frequency of variation integrating themes of evolutionary biology including population genetics, evolutionary medicine and ecology.

Topics to be included in the unit cover personalised medicine/pharmacogenomics, adaptation (including artificial selection), host-pathogen interactions, behaviour and phenotypic plasticity.

Active lecture modules will be supported by a series of laboratory sessions that will focus on variation and the use of techniques to examine change and adaptation in individuals and populations over-time.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of and define clearly, questions about evolutionary biology, particularly in relation to the processes by which variation can arise and change in frequency over-time within a population; (2) utilise analytical tools to examine genetic information to evaluate diversity and identify disease-related genes, signatures of adaptation and relationships between individuals/populations; and (3) apply skills in independent library research, analytical and synthetic thinking and clear, critical scientific writing.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) essay; (2) laboratory question sets; and (3) oral presentation in a debate format. 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)
Associate Professor Silvana Gaudieri and Associate Professor Debra Judge (Sem 2 only)
Unit rules
Enrolment in
71520 Master of Biomedical Science (ID 359)
or 70550 Master of Bioinformatics (ID 1490)
Advisable prior study
Any level 1 Human Biology
or Biology units.
Contact hours
1 hour lecture
2 hour laboratory (analysis) from week 1-12.
  • 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.