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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Epigenomics and Cancer (BIME11188)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course will deliver the fundamentals of epigenetics and epigenetics inheritance, firstly in the context of embryogenesis. Subsequently, the course will deliver a comprehensive module concerning epigenetics in the context of cancer biology; with particular focus on cancer initiation and progression. It will also place emphasis on epigenetic treatments and cancer therapies. The University of Edinburgh is renowned worldwide for being the leading nucleation of epigenetics expertise. This exciting new course will couple this expertise, with the strengths of cancer research at the university.
Course description This SCQF Level 11 distance-learning course is designed to promote a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of epigenetics, epigenetic inheritance, chromatin biology and the impacts of these normal cellular processes on cellular transformation in cancer.

There will be a strong emphasis on the use of cutting edge multi-omics, computational and bioinformatic approaches to understand the contribution of epigenetics to cancer initiation and progression. The course will be delivered using the online Blackboard virtual learning environment with a combination of recorded lectures, written, practical tutorials and discussion boards.

Course materials will cover
1. DNA methylation and histone modifications.
2. Genome organisation.
3. Epigenetic alteration hallmarks of cancer.
4. Bioinformatics in cancer research.
5. Epigenetic drug intervention.

A test dataset of next generation sequencing data will be included within the course materials to bring together the various aspects of the course and provide students with an authentic learning experience. In this journey, students will be encouraged to apply fundamental data analysis of bona fide epigenetic data - thus permitting the students to acquire, reshape, analyse, interpret and make clinical assessments based on cancer patient data.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 08/08/2022
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Online Activities 25, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 53 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) In-course assessment -100%

Written 60%
Online 40%

For example:
A data analysis project
A Discussion board
Feedback An open discussion forum (visible to all students on the course) will be available for each assignment where students can ask questions about what is required of them. They can check they have interpreted the assignment brief correctly and seek guidance on whether their general ideas are appropriate before they complete and submit their work.

Extensive summative feedback will be given for both assignments. The written assignment will be marked up directly in Grademark and additional summary feedback provided. Feedback for the online assignment will be in the form of general comments on the level of engagement, content and quality of postings.

In both cases, feedback will clearly identify both positives and areas for improvement.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of epigenetics and how these processes are defective in cancer.
  2. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the complexities of epigenetic information inheritance which can lead to the acquisition of selective growth advantages.
  3. Acquire skills to analyse and interpret epigenetic datasets using a variety of applications.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The graduate will acquire skills in critical thinking, independent learning, communication, data analysis and time management.
Special Arrangements This course will be taught entirely by distance learning, using the virtual learning environment of Learn as the delivery platform. Course materials are protected by a secure username and password. These access details are made available to registered users only.
KeywordsEpigenetics,DNA methylation,Chromatin Development,Cancer,Multi-omics,Bioinformatics
Course organiserDr Donncha Dunican
Course secretaryMs Deborah Walker
Tel: (0131 6)51 1513
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