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Students taking this course will develop a deep knowledge in a current area of genome biology and evolution. Students will get to grips with the latest research in this fast moving field, read deeply on a chosen topic, and develop strong critical thinking, writing and debating skills.
Genomics is an integrally important part of biology. Through the sequencing, characterisation, and study of DNA, it is now possible to decode the complete genetic complement of any organism. Genome science is revolutionising almost all fields of biological enquiry. In this course we will look at the genomic technologies that are transforming biology, the biological and evolutionary insights arising from genome research, and the process of genome sequencing, from start to finish.You will learn about genome sequencing, annotation and the analysis of genomes using various types of genomic data and bioinformatics tools: the course will be based around the analysis and interpretation of genomic (bacterial genome), gene amplicon sequencing and gene expression data.Tutorials will be structured around the discussion of assigned papers and practical investigation of genomic data. Seminars will cover topics such as advanced genome annotation and analysis, metabarcoding pipelines and differential gene expression analysis. The course will be project-based and will involve some group workRecommended preparatory course(s): Any of BIOL313, 333, 334, 335 or 300-level BCHM.
As a student in this course, I will develop:An up-to-the-minute knowledge of methods in genomics (assessment task: Projects 1, 2, and 3) Related graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5An understanding of genomics as a tool for answering biological questions (as opposed to a means of generating data for the sake of it) (assessment task: Projects 1, 2, and 3)Related graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5Reading skills required to navigate, understand and question scientific literature (assessment task: Projects 1, 2, and 3)Related graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5Experience in writing in the style of project proposals and scientific papers (assessment task: Projects 1, 2, and 3)Related graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5Experience in scientific collaboration involving data analysis, interpretation and presentation of results (assessment task: Projects 1, 2, and 3)Related graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5Transferable Skills / Pūkenga NgaioAs a student in this course, I will develop the following skills:Understand genomic methods and results presented in research papers and technical reports. The ability to critically evaluate and interpret genomic information is essential in higher level courses and in researchRelated graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5Have the ability to apply advanced genomic analysis concepts. This is important for distinguishing different types of genetic variation and their potential functional impacts and is broadly applicable to multiple research fieldsRelated graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5Basic knowledge of how samples and data are collected for generation of genomic information. This is broadly applicable across multiple research fieldsRelated graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5Knowledge of statistical analysis of genome data, essential for higher level courses and across research and employment sectorsRelated graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5The ability to know which method to apply to which dataset, which is essential in further research in all areas of genomicsRelated graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5Communication skills – the ability to describe what results mean in the context of the problem, and being able to explain the results to someone else is essential for any professional careerRelated graduate attributes: GP1, GP2, GP5
Subject to approval of the Head of School.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
There are THREE project-based assessment items for BIOL459, each comprising 30% of your final grade. 10% of your final grade is reserved for participation and contribution. There is NO final exam for BIOL459, so it is important that you engage and contribute. You will be provided with guidelines regarding the scope and depth of your written report for each of the three assessments. You are expected to work in self-assembled teams to produce your outputs for each assessment, however each student will need to produce their own final assessment for each of the three projects. For each of the three written assessments, each student will be required to submit a statement of who they worked with to produce the outputs for their project. You will need to convey precisely what YOU contributed to the project, and others, and weight everyone’s contribution by percentages. You will be given guidelines around how this will work during the first tutorial. The course coordinators reserve the right to adjust individual student marks to mitigate any disproportionate effects resulting from the self- and peer-assessment of performance.NOTE: All items of assessment, whether individual or group, are marked by at least two members of the teaching staff.Class material on Learn (Ako) & use of TurnitinResources used or referred to will be available on-line on the course link in Learn.Please also note that we will be requesting that you submit written work in both hard copy (for grading) and in electronic form (for assessment of originality using “Turnitin”). Instructions will be given on how you do this via Learn.Guidelines for successful group workThe majority of the course will involve you engaging with research your chosen group and working in your group to analyze the data and prepare your findings to present in your written report. To complete the course successfully, you will need to organise regular work-group meetings: no-one else will do this for you. Your learning and group work will be supported by tutor advice.The group work and problem-based aspects of this course make it unusual, and this may be your first experience with one or more of these situations. Therefore, your expectations of yourself and others need to be adjusted accordingly in an effort to keep them realistic (and reduce stress!). Clear communication (within and between all parties) is obviously a key factor here.We will discuss expectations in class. You must play a full part in your group, or you will attract the attention of the course coordinator. Your expectations of your group, and theirs of you, are also important. Each group should work with the guidance of the allocated staff member. Having said that, the approach to learning is student-centred, with you using the skills you have developed in preceding courses and taking responsibility for your own learning. This means that you as a group will work to clarify your research focus, you will decide (with guidance) how it will best be researched, and then how best to report the results.
Domestic fee $1,084.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
School of Biological Sciences