Award: 5 credits at level 3
Duration: 12 weeks
Start Date: 09/09/2013 (Semester 1)

ENVB30120 Genetics for Environmental Scientists


This module is for students in Semester 1 of the MSc, Graduate Diploma or Certificate in Environmental Sustainability (Negotiated Learning) course.

What will I study?

This module introduces students to basic aspects of genetics and their relevance to environmental studies. Topics include:
  • DNA as inherited and functional information;
  • DNA as a repository of variation among individuals and species;
  • Interactions between environmental agents and DNA;
  • Relevant technologies (e.g. PCR, DNA manipulation and sequencing, genomics);
  • Applications: Population genetics and conservation; genetically modified organisms.

How will I study?

  • Online lectures, online videos
  • Self-directed study using recommended textbooks
  • Interactive learning reinforcement quizzes
  • Online assessed multiple choice quizzes

Expected Commitment

Students are not required to attend any lectures at the UCD campus as part of the module. However, they are expected to spend a total 120 hours workload during the semester consisting of:

  • Lectures, videos and other online learning materials (throughout the semester): 20-30 hours
  • Assessments, and quizzes (throughout the semester): 10
  • Student Autonomous Learning: 80-90 hours

Students are also expected to attend the final module exam on campus (attending for one day at the end of the semester for this purpose).

How will I be assessed?

In-semester assessment: 100%

On successful completion of this module I will be able to

At the end of the course, students will understand:
  • how genetic information is transmitted from generation to generation of living organisms;
  • how this information is decoded in living organisms;
  • how variation in genetic information results in intra-and inter-species diversity;

Students should also appreciate the role of molecular genetics in monitoring and maintaining biodiversity and in other aspects of environmental science.

Am I eligible?

Applicants must hold a minimum of a 2.2 honours level degree in a science, engineering or related discipline. Otherwise, there are no pre-requisites for taking this module.