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Unit information: Genome Biology and Genomics in 2020/21

Unit name Genome Biology and Genomics
Unit code BIOLM0030
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Williams
Open unit status Not open

Scientific programming, Statistics and R



School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


This unit will introduce students to the theoretical and practical aspects of genomic approaches to analysing biological data. These include the design of analyses and use of genomic analysis software. The students will have the opportunity to plan, develop and implement their own genomic analyses to answer a wide variety of biological questions.

The aim of this unit will be to:

  1. Provide students with a detailed understanding of genome organisation and function, and of the evolutionary processes that shape variation in genome structure and content across the tree of life.
  2. Provide students with a detailed understanding of the concepts behind designing and performing genomic analyses.
  3. Provide students with the skills required to use and interact with the pieces of software require to perform such analyses

Intended learning outcomes

The Learning Outcomes (LOs) for this unit are:

A: Knowledge and Understanding:

  1. to understand how genomes are organised and function.
  2. to understand the evolutionary processes which underlie variation in genome size, structure and content across the tree of life
  3. to understand the theoretical aspects and rationale behind methods for genome sequencing, assembly and annotation
  4. To understand the theoretical basis of methods for phylogenetic and comparative genomic inference from genome data
  5. to develop knowledge on the different data types from different genomics experiments, how these data can be manipulated, and the software that can be used to do so

B: Intellectual Skills/Attributes:

  1. to devise the best experimental design to analyse genomics data.
  2. to design pipelines and critically assess their suitability to different analysis types.
  3. to plan the best use of different computational methods to attack different genomics analyses.

C: Other Skills /Attributes (Practical/Professional/Transferable):

  1. to acquire proficiency performing analyses of genomics data.
  2. to demonstrate competence with different software to perform genomics analyses.
  3. To gain strengths in integrating different pieces of software to produce holistic analyses of genomics data.

Teaching details

The unit will be delivered through a mixture of short lectures followed by individual exercises with computers. Blackboard will be used engage students with the unit content.

Assessment Details

A summative computer assessment will consist of a final computer task and a presentation integrating all the learning objectives.

Reading and References

Molecular and Genome Evolution, by Dan Graur

The Origins of Genome Architecture, by Michael Lynch