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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Postgraduate

Postgraduate Course: Genetics of Human Complex Traits (PGBI11083)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course focuses on genetic and genomic approaches appropriate for the study of human populations. The course will emphasize analyses of both genetic disorders, and complex traits within the normal ranges and in the context of disease. It will identify the practical aspects associated with such analyses in human populations due to the structure and organisation of the human population and the importance of late-onset disorders. There is a strong emphasis on gaining computational skills for data analyses.
Course description Session Topics

Introduction to complex traits and genetic epidemiology

Population structuring of variation and human population diversity

Study design in human populations

Linkage analysis of quantitative traits and binary traits/disorders

Association studies - quantitative traits and case:control designs

Post-GWAS analyses, Mendelian randomization and bioinformatics

Modelling disease: ENU mutagenesis, finding genes and modifiers for cancer

Critical assessment of research publications: how to write a critical essay
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Population Genetics (PGBI11124) AND Quantitative Genetics (PGBI11125)
Students MUST also take: Quantitative Genetic Models (PGBI11085) AND Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis (PGBI11086)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 15, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 73 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One centrally arranged written exam (60%) plus one assignment (40%)
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Genetics of Human Complex Traits1:30
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge and Understanding. The student should know and understand: How the structure of human populations effect genomic variation and how to identify a complex trait. Understand the multiple strategies for gene identification and their strength and weaknesses when applied to complex traits. How to design studies for the identification of genes for both complex quantitative traits and disorders. The principals of quality control for linkage analysis and association studies. How to critically assess scientific publications.
  2. Practice: Applied knowledge, skills and understanding. The student should have practical knowledge and skills enabling the student to: Quality control a genetic dataset Perform parametric and nonparametric linkage analyses Perform association studies on quantitative and binary traits Use bioinformatics to improve the interpretation of the results of genetic analyses
  3. Generic cognitive skills. The student should be able to: Assess potential study designs for their strengths and limitations Integrate multiple public sources of genomic information Critically assess scientific information
  4. Communication, ICT and numeracy skills. The student should be able to: Implement genomic analyse using programs written in C++ and R, plot the results, and be able to interpret their significance. Write a critical essay covering an emerging topic in the field
  5. Autonomy, accountability and working with others. The students are expected to work through the lectures and practicals provided and take part in group discussion/ question and answer sessions. The students are expected to manage their time to ensure that they cover the course work provided and undertake the literature review necessary to complete the written in course assessment.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 10 h of lectures; 15 h of supervised practicals
Course organiserDr Jacob Moorad
Tel: (0131 6)50 5442
Course secretaryMiss Zofia Bekas
Tel: (0131 6)50 5513
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