University of Sydney Handbooks - 2018 Archive

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Genetics and Genomics

About the major

Genetics and Genomics will provide you with knowledge that can be applied to improving our understanding of evolution (past and present) and of many aspects of the biology of all living organisms. This knowledge can also be applied to the development of novel biotechnology products, to improving the health of humans and animals, to forensics, to the conservation and management of plants and animals, to the diagnosis and control of pests, parasites and harmful micro-organisms, and to improving the means by which plants and animals can sustain the feeding and clothing of humanity.

Genetics is the science of biological inheritance and variation. Its fundamental principles are embraced by genomics, molecular genetics, 'Mendelian' genetics, epigenetics, cytogenetics, population genetics, and quantitative genetics.

Genomics is a relatively new discipline that has been developed through the need for geneticists and genome scientists to manipulate very large data sets determined by biological inheritance through DNA.

Requirements for completion

A major in Genetics and Genomics requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level selective units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(iii) 18 credit points of 3000-level core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level selective units

A minor in Genetics and Genomics is available and articulates to this major.

Pathway through the major

The requirements for a major in Genetics and Genomics are spread out over three years of the degree (possibly four years if students are completing a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree).

A sample pathway for the Genetics and Genomics major (over three years of a degree) is listed below.

Sample pathway: Genetics and Genomics major (48 credit points)



Units of study


Semester 1

Selective: 1000-level units listed for major

Semester 2

Selective: 1000-level units listed for major


Semester 1

Selective: 2000-level units listed for major

Semester 2

Selective: 2000-level units listed for major


Semester 1

Core: BIOL3X18 Gene Technology and Genomics

Semester 2

Core: BCHM3X92 Proteomics and Functional Genomics

Semester 1 or 2

Core: GEGE3X04 Computational Genomics

Semester 1 or 2

Selective: 3000-level units listed for major


Please Note. This sample progression is meant as an example only. Depending on unit prerequisites, students may be able to complete these units in a different sequence from that displayed in the table above.

For details of the core and selective units of study required for the major or minor please refer to the Genetics and Genomics section of the unit of study table, Table S, in this handbook.

Fourth year

The fourth year is only offered within the combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

Advanced coursework
The Bachelor of Advanced Studies advanced coursework option consists of 48 credit points, which must include a minimum of 24 credit points in a single subject area at 4000-level, including a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points. Space is provided for 12 credit points towards the second major (if not already completed). 24 credit points of advanced study will be included in the table for 2020.

Requirements for Honours in the area of Genetics and Genomics: completion of 36 credit points of project work and 12 credit points of coursework.

Honours units of study will be available in 2020.

Contact and further information


T +61 2 9036 5417

Professor Claire Wade
T +61 2 9351 8097
Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Genetics and Genomics will be able to:

  1. Understand the genetics of populations.
  2. Understand genomic structure and organisation of the genome.
  3. Understand the relationship between genotype and phenotype for simple and complex traits.
  4. Understand the relationship between DNA sequence, RNA transcription and translation of proteins.
  5. Use skills in management and analysis of genomic data.
  6. Understand the application of genomic biotechnologies.
  7. Map genes associated with complex and simply inherited phenotypes.