The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
24 April 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC C56012 Biotechnology,
MSC C74112 Molecular Medicine,
MSC C13312 Cancer Biology,
MSC C45012 Health Genomics,
MSCIC098 Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Including Year Abroad),
MSCIC099 Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Including Placement Year),
MSCICZ99 Biochemistry and Biotechnology,
MSCIC559 Microbiology and Biotechnology

Module description

This module covers the latest developments in genomic technologies: high-throughput sequencing and computational genomics.

The module has a strong practical component to provide a realistic understanding on how a genome project is carried out.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide a general understanding of current genomics approaches, including genome sequencing and comparative genomics.

  • To learn how to study your own genomic data, using state-of-the-art computational resources.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Understand the basics of genome sequencing.

  2. Process high-throughput sequencing data to produce assembled genomes.

  3. Annotate genomic sequences.

  4. Know how prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes are organised.

  5. Analyse re-sequencing data to study genome variation.

  6. Demonstrate the ability to plan and develop a genome sequencing project.

  7. Understand the theoretical basis of sequence similarity search.

  8. Detect evolutionary related sequences and build phylogenetic trees.

Skills for your Professional Life (Transferable Skills)

  1. Computational Analysis of large datasets (Big Data).

  2. Interpretation of high-throughput biological experiments.

  3. Statistics.

Module information

The sequencing of the human genome is one of the biggest achievements of this century. This endeavour resulted from the development of automated sequencing and the use of computers for sequence assembly and annotation. Nowadays, thousands of genomes have been sequenced and the number is increasing exponentially.

Genomics is leading to major advances in biotechnology and molecular medicine, e.g. by allowing genomes from thousands of organisms to be mined for novel traits, which can enhance the design of diagnostic tools, and provide: better vaccines, improved treatments for disease, better detection of pollutants, and over-production of antibiotics.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 1-hour lecture per week.
  • Four 4-hour computer-based practicals.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Genomics Data Analysis Exercises - To be submitted via Moodle - Do Not Submit on FASER    60% 
Coursework   Moodle Quizzes    40% 

Additional coursework information

5 Moodle quizzes spread during term. Each quiz to contain 8 (randomly selected from a bank) questions related to the previous lecture/s.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Antonio Marco, email:
Dr Ben Skinner, Dr Metodi Metodiev, Dr Vladimir Teif
School Graduate Office, email: bsgradtaught (Non essex users should add to create a full email address)



External examiner

Dr Emma Denham
University of Bath
Senior Lecturer in Microbiology
Dr Jess Tyrrell
University of Exeter
Senior lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 1107 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
1107 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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