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Unit information: Genomic Data Science in 2021/22

Unit name Genomic Data Science
Unit code SSCM30005
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Gibran Hemani
Open unit status Not open

This is part of an intercalated BSc for Medical, Veterinary or Dental students



School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


Having been introduced to the landscape of molecular characteristics of the cell over the course of Unit 1, we now focus on how those characteristics differ between people in the population. In particular, we will learn how to infer the extent to which variation is due to genetic difference; how to identify specific positions in the genome that influence different diseases and complex traits; and how these findings can be exploited. Essential programming and data analysis skills will be taught throughout the unit to re-enforce these messages and to equip the students for practical work for subsequent modules and projects.

Intended learning outcomes

  1. Interpret heritability estimates and recall the heritability estimates of some key phenotypes
  2. Discuss the core objectives of genome wide association studies and critically evaluate this study design
  3. Perform genome wide association studies on large scale population genetic data
  4. Interpret genetic association using a range of bioinformatic tools
  5. Critically evaluate the features and applications of different types of genetic data capture
  6. Apply Linux command line tools and the R programming language for basic data analysis

Teaching details

Methods of Teaching

This unit will adopt a blended learning approach, including a mix of interactive synchronous and asynchronous sessions. Where practical this will include some on-campus teaching, but all material will also be available for online learning.

Student input

20 hours scheduled activities, 20 hours independent coursework, a proportion of an end-of-programme assessment, 150 hours independent study

Assessment Details

50% of the unit is assessed through an end of year assessment.

50% of the unit is assessed through a summative in-unit project.

There will be one formative assessment prior to the summative coursework.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SSCM30005).