VET40470 Bioinformatics

Academic Year 2023/2024

This two-week course (from Monday 24 July to Friday 4 August 2023) is designed for graduate students and researchers in veterinary and animal sciences. It will be delivered by a team of internationally renowned Bioinformaticians including Prof Gavin Conant (North Carolina State University). Entry requirements for the course include an undergraduate degree in Agriculture, Life Sciences or Veterinary Medicine. It will cover basic scripting, an introduction to next-generation sequencing, protein structure modelling and analysis, molecular evolution and phylogenetics, and network biology. A 2h examination (part 1 short answer questions (1h) and part 2 MCQ (1h) will take place the last day of the course, Friday 4 August 2023.

Course objectives include:
Knowledge and understanding of
• Scripting, annotation, next generation sequencing, protein structure modelling, molecular evolution and genetics, SNP data and use in GWAS
• Application of knowledge to genomic data sets
• Critical analysis and evaluation of data
• Communication of conclusions and knowledge
• Implementation of experimental design to future projects

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding: This certificate enabled attendees to learn and demonstrate specialist knowledge and understanding in advanced bioinformatics techniques including scripting, next generation sequencing, protein structure modelling and analysis, molecular evolution and phylogenetics, network biology, SNP data and use in Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).

Applying knowledge and understanding: This certificate course enabled attendees to apply the knowledge and understanding to manipulate large genomic data sets from animal studies to generate meaningful results.

Making judgement: The course allowed attendees to critically analyse and evaluate large data sets from animal studies and develop new hypotheses within the field of animal and veterinary sciences.

Communications and working skills: Attendees improved their ability to communicate their conclusions and knowledge obtained from the large datasets and rationale underpinning these to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Learning skills: The course allowed attendees to manipulate and critically analyse data sets and implement successful experimental design in the future with a high degree of autonomy.

Indicative Module Content:

Topics to be covered include:
- Genome structure, sequencing, assembly and annotation
- Next-generation sequencing LINUX/UNIX
- Biostatistics and exploratory data analysis in R
- Intro to evolutionary selection Population genomics
- Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)
- Scripting for evolutionary simulation
- Population genetics, drift and selection
- Refining evolution Sims
- Tree-thinking/Darwin’s big idea Phylogenetics
- Network biology—Theory and Cytoscape
- Metabolic modelling/FBA Protein structure prediction

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Computer Aided Lab




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Computer based active/task-based learning; peer and group work. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to 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
Examination: Two-hour exam on Brightspace, Friday 4 August 2023.
Part 1 has short answer questions (one hour) and part 2 is an MCQ (one hour).
Grading: Alternative semi-linear scale 50% pass mark Vet Med
Unspecified Yes Other Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Gavin Conant Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Nicola Fletcher Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Rafael Guerrero Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Denis Shields Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

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