Course Title: Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics

Credit Points: 12.00



Course Coordinator: Dr Faith Kwa

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7773

Course Coordinator Email: faith.kwa@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: 201.9.14D


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study: BIOL1177 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1 and BIOL1181 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2 (or equivalent courses). Students who have not successfully completed the prerequisites must withdraw and will be withdrawn if they incorrectly enrol in this course


Course Description

This course will allow you to develop your theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of molecular genetics and diagnostics. In particular, the focus will be on genetic/genomic variation in disease and the impact of new technologies in this area. The syllabus is covered in a program of lectures, practical exercises, interactive tutorial workshops and computer based activities designed to promote active learning and facilitate the acquisition of knowledge in the area of molecular genetics and its applications in diagnostics and medical research.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for MC158 Master of Laboratory Medicine:
• PLO 1. Knowledge Capability: Understand fundamental theoretical and practical concepts of molecular genetics and diagnostic tools with the ability to use and apply the knowledge in problem solving and critical analysis.
• PLO 2. Technical Capability: Ability to apply a range of diagnostic technologies and methodologies relevant to the fields of molecular pathology. These methodologies will identify genomic/genetic changes in health and disease, use logical and systematic thinking to solve problems with diagnostic techniques and procedures, and apply analytical skills in data management.
• PLO 3. Professional Work Practices: Contribute to academic and professional work settings through self-directed, independent work and interpersonal skills which support constructive interactions with individuals and teams.
MC111 Master of Biotechnology:
• PLO 1. Understanding Science: Understand fundamental theoretical and practical concepts of molecular genetics and diagnostic tools.
• PLO 3. Application of Knowledge and Skills: Ability to apply a range of diagnostic technologies and methodologies relevant to the fields of molecular pathology and in problem solving and critical analysis of data.
• PLO 5. Personal and Professional Responsibility: Contribute to academic and professional work settings through responsible, self-directed, independent work and interpersonal skills which support constructive interactions with individuals and teams.


On completion of this course you should be able to:
• CLO1: Explain in detail the structure and organisation of genes, chromosomes and the human genome.
• CLO2: Discuss the various mutations and genetic abnormalities which can result in genetic diseases.
• CLO3: Propose the use of appropriate molecular techniques to identify disease genes for the detection of a range of human diseases.
• CLO4: Interpret human genome variation and its impact on disease.
• CLO5: Critique the role of current molecular techniques in diagnostic pathology testing by considering the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques.
• CLO6: Demonstrate competency in executing a range of molecular genetic techniques and critically analyse the experimental results


Overview of Learning Activities

The lectures in this course will provide students with comprehensive coverage of fundamental principles of the various topic areas. The practical program is designed to acquaint you with a number of technologies in the laboratory. The interactive tutorial workshops are designed to assist your understanding of how to use bioinformatics and molecular diagnostic/research tools. They also provide formative feedback to students in an engaging way to promote active learning of course material. In this course, you are required to access independent learning materials on the RMIT Learning Management System.

Total Study Hours

Over the semester, students will participate and engage in lecture sessions, practical classes and interactive tutorial workshops. Independent study will be required during the semester.
The total study hours for this course is 120 hours comprising:
1) 40 face-to-face lectures, interactive tutorial workshops and practical sessions;
2) 40 hours of online activities;
3) 40 hours of self-directed study.


Overview of Learning Resources

You will be encouraged to read widely and to research the various topics using libraries and relevant web sites. In addition, lecture material, practical notes and relevant journal articles will be provided onthe RMIT Learning Management System. You will be required to access genomic databases such as NCBI and Ensembl for bioinformatics activities.


Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.


Assessment Tasks:
Assessment Task 1: Mid-semester test
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 3
Assessment Task 2: Bioinformatics assignment
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3 & 4
Assessment 3: Interactive tutorial/workshop activities
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5
Assessment 4: Practical Report
Weighting 15%
This assessment supports CLO 6
Assessment 5: Final Exam
Weighting 40%
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 5