ENVB30120 Genetics for Environmental Scientists (On-line)

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module is delivered online for students of the MSc, Graduate Diploma or Certificate in Environmental Sustainability (Negotiated Learning) course. It is also suitable as an elective module for undergraduate students who haven’t studied genetics before.

*Please note this module is not available to undergraduate science students.

This module introduces students to basic aspects of genetics and their relevance to environmental studies. Topics include:
1. DNA as inherited and functional information.
2. DNA technology (e.g. PCR and RT-PCD, DNA manipulation methods, DNA sequencing) and its practical applications.
3. DNA as a repository of variation among individuals and species.
4. Interactions between environmental agents and DNA.
5. Conservation genetics and biodiversity.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course, students will:
1. Understand how genetic information is decoded in living cells and how it is transmitted from one generation to the next.
2. Understand how variation in genetic information is reflected by intra-and inter-species diversity and be familiar with concepts of natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow and adaptive evolution.
3. Get an overview of available DNA technology and molecular genetics tools and have a general understanding of how they are applied in areas relevant to environmental research.
4. Get familiar with themes of ongoing genetic research at UCD, which are relevant to environmental studies.

Indicative Module Content:

DNA as inherited and functional information
DNA technology
DNA as a repository of variation among individuals and species
Interactions between environmental agents and DNA

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Critical writing, reading scientific literature, lectures; online discussions/debates 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

There are no pre-requisites for taking this module.

Learning Recommendations:

There are no pre-requisites for taking this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Participation in discussions on relevant topics with student peers (online) Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: 2500 word essay Week 12 n/a Graded No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: Online, open book MCQ exam Week 6 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

MCQ - individual/group feedback and automated feedback. Participation in discussion boards - individual/group feedback Final essay - individual feedback

Name Role
Mr Rory Burke Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Jens Carlsson Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Graham Hughes Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Carl Ng Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Elke Eichelmann Tutor
Dr Susanne Schilling Tutor