Welcome to the UNE genetics subject area page. On our page you will find information related to undergraduate and postgraduate training in genetics offered at UNE. Please contact us if you have any queries.

On this page you will find a general definition of genetics, the undergraduate and post graduate courses for which you can enroll to study genetics and good reasons for studying genetics at UNE.

The field of genetics is in fact multifaceted covering animal and plant breeding, molecular genetics, population and evolutionary genetics, assessment of biodiversity and breeding systems as well as the management and conservation of total genetic resources. UNE offers a full range of units covering these areas.

Genetics: What is it?

Genetics is a field of research where a number of different investigative approaches are applied to determine the basis of heredity; that is, how traits or genes are passed on from parents to offspring; and the variation in the way these traits are differently expressed between individuals or populations of individuals.

In more recent times our substantive understanding of the molecular basis of heredity and gene expression and the increased application of high throughput and microchip technologies requiring new computer based approaches to research, data storage and analysis, has broadened the scope of the field of genetics research into a dynamic, multidisciplinary approach to scientific discovery. Where once we would have investigated the inheritance and expression patterns of a single or few genes, we now have access to whole genome sequence databases and can investigate the expression of 1000's of genes simultaneously. The opportunity for characterisation and analysis of the genetic data that has been generated by these high throughput technologies has given rise to the whole new field of bioinformatics. The tools of bioinformatics are allowing us to find exciting new ways to investigate and manage all of life's genetic resources.

UNE continues to invest and build on its world renowned reputation in genetics research and training. Training in genetics is shared across various science disciplines at UNE.

More information on genetics

Why Study genetics at UNE?

  • Units of study cover a wide range of approaches to genetic investigation and analysis. All of our teaching is underpinned by relevant research and application. Areas covered include:
    • Animal and plant breeding, conservation genetics, population genetics and quantitative genetics;
    • Evolutionary genetics, assessment of biodiversity, reproductive biology in plants, taxonomy and systematics;
    • Molecular biology and biotechnology; and
    • Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.
  • Units are offered for both internal and external modes of study.
  • 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.



Bachelor of Agriculture
Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Business
Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Animal Science
Bachelor of Rural Science
Bachelor of Science (Genetics)
Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Laws
Diploma in Sciences

Bachelor Honours

Bachelor of Science with Honours

Postgraduate Coursework

Graduate Certificate in Science (Genetics)
Graduate Diploma in Science (Genetics)
Master of Science in Agriculture
Master of Scientific Studies (Genetics)

Postgraduate Research

Master of Rural Science
Master of Science
Doctor of Philosophy

Course data provided by the UNE Course and Unit Catalogue.

Finding a degree that fits your interests

UNE offers a Genetics major in the BSc degrees which can be completed as a single major or as part of a double major in combination with, for example, a Biochemistry/Biotechnology major or a Botany major.  alternatively, the Genetics major can be completed with a minor chosen from Business or Communications or Statistics.

A double major offers the opportunity to combine subjects into a cohesive degree, widening and enriching the training benefits and career prospects considerably.

Genetics is also a key component of our rural science and agriculture degrees and can be built into a range of other single or joint degrees.

Further information


Introductory Genetics

GENE210/410 - Introductory Genetics

Molecular Genetics

BCHM210/410 - Introductory Molecular Biology and Biochemistry I
BCHM220/420 - Introductory Biochemistry II

Evolution, Conservation and Biodiversity

EM353/553 - Conservation Biology
EVOL211 - Evolution and Biogeography
GENE322 - Genetics of Populations
GENE500 - Special Reading topic

Quantitative Genetics, Animal and Plant Breeding

GENE251/351 - Introduction to Breeding and Genetics
GENE422/522 - Genetic Evaluation and Breeding Program Design
GENE352/552 - Genomic Analysis and Bioinformatics
GENE500 - Special Reading topic


The world of science is truly global. As a qualified scientist you enter that global community. To study genetics is to study the blue print of life and it will help you enter into almost any walk of life.

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 government and industry research, others have joined companies specialising in development of research instrumentation and reagents. Many geneticists hold positions in plant, animal and aquaculture breeding organisations and breeding companies. Others 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. Many others have used the analytical skills gained through studying genetics to move into commerce, business, law, banking, government, development, health and service sectors.


For information on our research activities, please visit the UNE Genetics research page.


For general and administrative enquiries, AskUNE.

Quantitative Genetics and Animal Breeding
Professor Julius van der Werf

School of Environmental and Rural Science
Phone: +61 2 6773 2092
Fax: +61 2 6773 3275

Biomedical Science
Dr Mary McMillan
School of Science & Technology
Phone: +61 2 6773 2118

Natural Resource Management and Biodiversity
Professor Caroline Gross

School of Environmental and Rural Science
Phone: +61 2 6773 3759
Dr David Backhouse
School of Environmental and Rural Science
Phone: +61 2 6773 2341

Dr Sam Clark
School of Environmental and Rural Science
Phone: +61 2 6773 3328