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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Human Genetics & Cell Biology
Module Code NS233
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Keith Rochfort
Semester 2: Keith Rochfort
Autumn: Keith Rochfort
Module TeachersPatricia Johnson
Keith Rochfort
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination
The reassessment of this module is a formal examination. The resit examination follows the same format as the original assessment of four questions; each of which will ask for detailed discussion on a particular topic from with the course content, which the students have not previously been examined on.

The purpose of this module is to impart an appreciation of the diversity, structure, and relevance of genetics to health and society. In this module, students will develop an understanding of nucleic acids and the structures they can form, in addition to the biological processes and signalling events associated with such in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Students will experience the genetic complexity of biological systems, with aspects such as heredity, evolution, and differential gene expressions detailed in the context of health and disease. Knowledge on the techniques and methods used to measure genetic diversity within a population of samples will also be covered, in addition to the current state-of-the-art approaches for genetic engineering. Underpinning the above, the importance of the role of ethics in genetics is emphasized, and students will cover a number of specific case studies in which the ethical implications of influencing the genetic code will be discussed. Participants are expected to attend lectures, contribute in class, and engage in the formative assessment throughout the module.

Learning Outcomes

1. Show their understanding of the structures of eukaryotic and prokaryotic genetic structure and the processes of transcription and translation.
2. Describe their understanding of the concepts of inheritance (mendelian and non-mendelian).
3. Outline the concepts of developmental genetics and explain how a differentiated state develops from an organism’s genome.
4. Demonstrate their theoretical knowledge gene regulatory mechanisms and evolutionary patterns in genomes.
5. Demonstrate a knowledge of the specific laboratory techniques that have relevance in the investigation of genetics and genetic engineering.
6. Show their understanding of the importance of ethics in modern day applications of genetic engineering.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Students are given specific readings, both book chapters and journal articles for each lecture. They are also expected to review them during their independent learning time.
Tutorial12Students attend the clinical skills lab for instruction and practice in the administration of subcutaneous and intramuscular injections.
Independent Study45Independent self-directed learning
Independent Study44Library reading work
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Overview of module content
The students will be introduced to the structure of NS233, before an overview of the inception and evolution of the field of genetics is examined.

Genetic Structures
This section will introduce students to the key fundamentals and principles of genes, while also introducing cell signaling and events that are related to transcription and translation of genetic information.

This section will focus on mendelian and non-mendelian forms of heredity. A history of the discovery of these processes will be given, whilst highlighting the influence of such in eukaryotic and prokaryotic populations today.

Developmental Biology
The students are introduced to the developmental biology with a focus on the early key experiments and milestones in establishing our understanding of such today. The basic stages of development will be examined with reference to model organisms with a specific focus on Drosophila lifecycle and development.

Health and Disease
The students will experience the influence of genetics across a number of health and disease contexts, with reference to current and future therapeutic approaches.

Genetic Engineering
The current state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies will be examined, with reference to feats and failures of those developing experimental practises involving genetic manipulations. The ethical concerns surrounding the interference with the natural genetic code will also be discussed throughout.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment0% Examination Weight100%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Cooper, G.M.: 0, The Cell: A Molecular Approach, 2nd Edition, Sinauer Associates,
  • Alberts., B., Johnson, A., & Lewis, J: 0, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th Edition, Garland Science,
  • Klug, W.S., Cummings, M.R., & Spencer, C.: 0, Concepts of Genetics, 8th Edition, Pearson,
  • Fletcher, H.L. & Hickey, G.I.: 0, Genetics, 4th Edition, Garland Science,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BHSBachelor of Science in Health & Society

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