BSc Genetics - University College London

Programme title:
B.Sc Genetics
Final award (BSc, MA etc):
(where stopping off points exist they should be
detailed here and defined later in the document)
UCAS code:
(where applicable)
Cohort(s) to which this programme
specification is applicable:
From 2003 onwards
(e.g. from 2015 intake onwards)
Awarding institution/body:
University College London
Teaching institution:
University College London
Life Sciences
Parent Department:
Division of Biosciences (Biological Sciences)
(the department responsible for the administration of
the programme)
Departmental web page address:
(if applicable)
Method of study:
Full Time
Criteria for admission to the
Length of the programme:
3 years
(please note any periods spent away from UCL, such
as study abroad or placements in industry)
Level on Framework for Higher
Education Qualifications (FHEQ)
(see Guidance notes)
Relevant subject benchmark statement
Advanced Level (Level 6)
(see Guidance notes)
Brief outline of the structure of the
(see guidance notes)
BSc: 3 years, 4 CU per year; assessment mainly by written
examination and assessment of coursework/project work; pass mark
for individual course units is 40%
Board of Examiners:
Name of Board of Examiners:
Biological Sciences
Professional body accreditation
(if applicable):
Date of next scheduled
accreditation visit:
To provide students with an education in a wide range of areas of genetics, including such topics as population and
ecological genetics, evolutionary theory, developmental and molecular genetics, human genetics, genome projects.
To foster an understanding of the scientific approach to problem solving.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding,
qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:
A: Knowledge and understanding
Knowledge and understanding of:
Concepts of genetics.
The genetic basis of evolution.
Current research in genetics.
The impact of genetic research
on society.
5. Scientific approaches to research
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Acquisition of knowledge through one-hour lectures and
associated small group tutorials, practical classes,
library work and preparation of coursework. In addition
to attendance at lectures and tutorials, students are
required to study independently.
The optional field course is an intensive ten days of field
work, laboratory study and data analysis.
Much of the teaching/learning in year 3 is by one to one
project supervision. At this level, students are expected
to carry out a great deal of independent learning,
bringing any problems to appropriate staff for
assistance. Lectures in third year courses are usually by
subject specialists and are intended to open the topics
for further independent study. Many courses contain
opportunities for presentation or debate in addition to the
more conventional tutorials and problem solving classes.
Students are assessed by a variety of methods, but
primarily by “unseen” examinations, coursework (which
may include essays, problem solving, debate, group
presentation), a project report and an oral presentation.
Overall understanding is assessed in oral examination.
B: Skills and other attributes
Intellectual (thinking) skills:
1. Reason critically.
2. Apply genetic knowledge in a
variety of different situations
especially in the formulation and
testing of scientific hypotheses.
3. Identify and solve problems;
4. Analyse and interpret numerical
and molecular data.
5. Demonstrate and exercise
independence of mind and
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Intellectual skills are developed through the teaching
and learning programme outlined above. Each course,
whatever the format of the teaching, involves discussion
of key issues, practice in applying concepts to problemsolving, both orally and in writing, analysis and
interpretation of material and individual feedback for
students on work produced.
The variety of assessment methods employed all place
great emphasis (as shown in their assessment criteria)
on the learners' ability to demonstrate skills 1-5 through
the production of logical and coherent written and oral
responses either to problems or tasks set. The
assessment of the research project specifically includes
evaluation of evidences for skills 1-5 in the write-up.
C: Skills and other attributes
Practical skills (able to):
1. Retrieve, sift and select
information from the literature
and form a variety of electronic
2. Plan, undertake and report on an
original piece of scientific
3. Apply knowledge to solving
problems and communicate both
to specialist and non-specialist
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Students receive guidance on location of literature and
database information, including dry-lab computer
demonstrations and practicals. Guidance in appropriate
use of such materials is given pro-actively and as
feedback in essays and other coursework, in particular
during the research or literature projects. Practical skills
in research and in communication are developed
through the research project and through discussion
groups. Application of knowledge in data-handling,
statistical analysis, and problem solving are developed
through tutorials and during research projects.
These skills are assessed in part by coursework, which
includes essays, problem solving and statistical analysis
of data. The project (whether laboratory or literature
based) is assessed by write-up, by performance in the
laboratory (where appropriate) and by oral presentation.
Application of methods learnt is also tested in written
unseen examinations in all other courses.
D: Skills and other attributes
Transferable skills (able to):
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
1. Structure and communicate ideas
effectively both orally and in
2. Manage time and work to
3. Integrate constructively in team;
4. Work in independently;
5. Find information and use
information technology;
6. Be self-reliant;
7. Assess the relevance and
importance of the ideas of others.
Most courses require written work and feedback to
students which develops understanding and the power
of expression. Practice and help in oral presentation is
given in regard to the research/literature project. Skill 2
is learnt through the management of time to meet
various and sometimes conflicting deadlines for
submission of coursework (notified in advance) and for
the completion of the research project. Other skills,
including integration into a research team, are
developed through the research project and by
coursework and field and laboratory work requiring a
group action.
Effective communication is assessed on all courses;
mostly by unseen essay-type exam questions, and in a
number of other courses, as well as the research
project, by write-up and oral presentation. Use of
information technology is tested in assessed practicals
some of which require retrieval of information and
submission of answers through a database, as well as in
research projects. Assessment of all listed transferable
skills forms a defined part of the assessment of the
research project, and is included less formally in the
assessment of other courses.
The following reference points were used in designing the programme:
 the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications
 the relevant Subject Benchmark Statements (;
 the programme specifications for UCL degree programmes in relevant subjects (where applicable);
 UCL teaching and learning policies;
 staff research.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the
learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes
full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes,
content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the
departmental course handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually
by UCL and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.
Programme Organiser(s)
Dr Hazel Smith
Date of Production:
March 2003
Date of Review:
January 2015
Date approved by Head of
Date approved by Chair of
Departmental Teaching
Date approved by Faculty
Teaching Committee
January 2015
January 2015
January 2015
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