Unit description

This unit provides an introduction to the principles of genetics — the science of heredity. Humankind relies heavily on the application of genetic principles for the production of food, fibre, timber, animal feed, effective medicines and disease diagnosis. Genetics can also be used to understand evolution and manage threatened species for long term survival. We also explore techniques used to reveal genetic differences between individuals, the genetic basis of evolutionary change and the genetics of populations and the how this can impact on conservation management.

Unit content

Introduction to, and importance of, genetics

Chromosomes, meiosis and sexual reproduction

Mendelian inheritance patterns

Non-Mendelian inheritance patterns

The physical nature of genes - chromosome and DNA structure


Mutation detection

Population genetics

Conservation genetics

Molecular genetics

Evolutionary genetics

Genomics and biotechnology

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Study guide information relates to this textbook only: Benjamin A. Pierce, 2014, Genetics: A Conceptual Approach, Fifth Edition, W. H. Freeman, New York. ISBN: 978-1-4641-0946-1.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 1 hr (24)
Tutorial on-site 1 hr (12)
Residential session 3 days (1)
Exam: closed book40%


Teaching method
Lecture online 1 hr (24)
Tutorial online 1 hr (12)
Residential session 3 days (1)
Exam: closed book40%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2017 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.