Undergraduate Genetics Study

Why study Genetics at UNE?

UNE offers a large range of units specialising in genetics and others that have a substantial component of genetics ranging from evolution, through molecular biology, ecology, bioinformatics and quantitative genetics all underpinned by relevant research and application.

UNE is a focus of livestock genetics in Australia and in the world with high calibre genetic scientists of international standing.

UNE teaching staff have a reputation for being friendly and approachable.

UNE offers well equipped research and training laboratories.

The university campus provides a safe learning environment with a focus on studies and a high level of support both in and out of the University Colleges.

UNE hosts the headquarters of the National Beef Cooperative research centre, the offices of Sheep Genetics Australia (a unit of Meat and Livestock Australia) and the world class Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit, a joint venture of NSW Department of Primary Industries and UNE. The majority of the cattle breed societies are located in Armidale.

Armidale is set in a scenic regional environment with landscapes ranging from dramatic gorge country to forests and rural scenes and only a two hour drive from the NSW North coast.

What do I get from studying genetics?

Studying genetics will equip you with both relevant knowledge about the various fields in genetics as well as other widely applicable skills related to conducting and managing good scientific research.

Genetics could be described as the information technology of life. Every gene is a piece of biological information, and at the same time geneticists use the tools of information technology to study life.

The tools used for quantitative genetic analysis can be used for a range of applications, which is why graduates in genetics quite frequently find themselves in seemingly unrelated fields, such as pharmaceutical research, where genetic algorithms are used to model the process of drug development or using their mathematical skills for banks detecting fraudulent use of credit cards.

Similarly, molecular genetics techniques have wide-spread use in biological and medical fields, from research to diagnostics. An understanding of molecular processes in biological systems has become indispensable for any life science application.

Is it for me? What skills do I need to study genetics?

The skills you need to have a career in genetics will vary greatly with the field and subject you are working in.

The field of genetics can be divided into four main areas: molecular genetics, population genetics, quantitative genetics, and bioinformatics. Whatever interests you have, and whichever strength you bring with you, there is probably a way to use them!

If you are interested in population genetics or quantitative genetics, then some maths skills are essential, and working on the computer certainly should come easily to you.

If on the other hand, you'd rather find out how things really work in organisms, and you prefer to work with your hands rather than with a keyboard, then molecular genetics might be more to your liking.

If you can't make up your mind yet because it all sounds kind of interesting, all the better, because in most areas a good understanding of both molecular and population genetics, and skills in both bench work and bioinformatics, will really set you ahead.

Where will it take me?

The world of science is truly global. As a qualified scientist you enter that global community.

Collaboration between scientists is critical to the success of the research process and is one of the satisfying opportunities open to people who become scientists. Many geneticists have a successful and fulfilling career in research, others in companies specialising in development of research instrumentation and reagents. Geneticists hold positions in breeding organisations and breeding companies.

Some geneticists have moved into research management and have held positions in some of the world's most influential organisations such as the WHO, FAO and the CGIAR.

How can I study genetics at UNE?

While UNE does not offer a Bachelor of Genetics, internationally competitive study programs in genetics can be built within the Bachelor of Science Degree (including majors in genetics) or within a number of rural science focused degrees offered by the UNE School of Environmental and Rural Science.

Lifelong learning has become part of nearly any career path you might take, and any of the following degree programs from UNE will equip you with the broad set of skills and sound basic knowledge you need to make the best use of future learning opportunities.

Study genetics as part of a Bachelor of Rural Science degree

Degrees in rural science follow a set study plan which ensures balanced and well rounded training to meet the needs of Rural Industries. Genetics is an integral component of the three year (full time) Bachelor of Agriculture and Bachelor of Rural Science degree programs. Degrees with honours offer an ideal opportunity to specialise in genetics by completing a genetics focused honours project in the fourth year of the degree program.

Study genetics as part of a Bachelor of Science degree

The broad foundation of a Bachelor of Science degree ensures a sound basis on which a solid career can be built. Many combinations of units can be chosen from a wide array of up-to-date courses to tailor this degree to suit your interests. As you explore the different areas of genetcis you may find yourself gravitating towards a particular field in genetics that you can further develop in postgraduate study.

UNE offers two separate BSc degrees with combined majors specialising in different fields of genetics:

Combined majors offer the opportunity to combine subjects into a cohesive degree, widening and enriching the training benefits and career prospects considerably. Recommended units for each of these combined majors are outlined below.

Double degrees in Science and Law at UNE

Genetics at UNE can also be studied as part of a double degree in Science and Law. Successful candidates for this double program are awarded the degree of Bachelor of Science and the degree of Bachelor of Laws. A combined degree of Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science is also offered offered.

Recommended Units for a BSc with a major in Genetics

Year 1

BIOL110 - Biology I
BIOL120 - Biology II
CHEM110 - Chemistry I
CHEM120 - Chemistry II

Plus one of the following

MATH101 - Algebra and Differential Calculus
MATH102 - Integral Calculus, Differential Equations and Introductory Statistics
MATH120 - Introductory Mathematical Methods in Science and Economics
STAT100 - Statistical Modelling for the Sciences I

Year 2

BCHM210 - Introductory Molecular Biology and Biochemistry I
GENE210 - Introductory Genetics

Year 3

BCHM330 - Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics

And four from the following

BINF350 - Genomic Analysis and Bioinformatics
GENE322 - Population and Conservation Genetics
GENE340 - Molecular Genetics and Developmental Biology
GENE351 - Introduction to Breeding and Genetics

Recommended units for a BSc with a combined major in Applied and Environmental Genetics

Year 1

BIOL110 - Biology I
BIOL120 - Biology II
CHEM110 - Chemistry I
CHEM120 - Chemistry II

Plus one of the following

MATH101 - Algebra and Differential Calculus
MATH102 - Integral Calculus, Differential Equations and Introductory Statistics
MATH120 - Introductory Mathematical Methods in Science and Economics
STAT100 - Statistical Modelling for the Sciences I

Year 2

BCHM210 - Introductory Molecular Biology and Biochemistry I
ECOL203 - Ecology - Populations to Ecosystems
EVOL211 - Evolution and Biogeography
GENE210 - Introductory Genetics

Year 3

BCHM330 - Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics
GENE340 - Molecular Genetics and Developmental Biology
GENE351 - Introduction to Breeding and Genetics

And one from the following

ECOL307 - Ecology of Plant Populations
GENE422 - Genetic Evaluation and Breeding Program design

Recommended units for BSc with a combined major in Biotechnology and Molecular Genetics

Year 1

BIOL110 - Biology I
BIOL120 - Biology II
CHEM110 - Chemistry I
CHEM120 - Chemistry II
MATH120 - Introductory Mathematical Methods in Science and Economics
STAT100 - Statistical Modelling for the Sciences I

Year 2

BCHM210 - Introductory Molecular Biology and Biochemistry I
BCHM220 - Introductory Biochemistry II
GENE210 - Introductory Genetics
MICR220 - Introductory Microbiology

Year 3

BCHM310 - Proteins - The Machines of Life
BCHM330 - Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics
GENE340 - Molecular Genetics and Developmental Biology
MICR360 - Biotechnology and Industrial Microbiology

Recommended units for a BSc with a combined major in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Year 1

BIOL110 - Biology I
BIOL120 - Biology II
CHEM110 - Chemistry I
CHEM120 - Chemistry II
COMP131 - Introduction to Programming and Professional Practice
COMP132 - Advanced Programming
MATH101 - Algebra and Differential Calculus
MATH102 - Integral Calculus, Differential Equations and Introductory Statistics

Year 2

BCHM210 - Introductory Molecular Biology and Biochemistry I
GENE210 - Introductory Genetics
PMTH212 - Multivariable Calculus
PMTH213 - Linear Algebra
STAT261 - Inference

Plus one from the following over Year 1 and Year 2:

COMP170 - The Linux/Unix Programming Environment

Year 3

BINF350 - Genomic Analysis and Bioinformatics

Plus three from the following

BCHM330 - Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics
COMP315 - Web and Internet Programming
COMP389 - Databases