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Genetics and evolution for biology teachers, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Genetik och evolution för biologilärare

This syllabus is valid: 2021-07-26 and until further notice

Course code: 6BI026

Credit points: 15

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Biology: First cycle, has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2021-03-03


With a primary focus on eukaryotic organisms, this course deals with genetics at cellular and organismal levels, population genetics and microevolutionary processes. The genetics section deals with the structure and function of the DNA molecule and the flow of genetic information from genes to products, genome structure and organization, mitosis, meiosis and transmission genetics: inheritance of qualitative characters and linkage. The evolution section deals with population genetics: Hardy-Weinberg law, basic micro-evolutionary processes, quantitative genetics and speciation. Basic molecular evolution at whole genome level, and methods for studying genetic variation in natural populations are included in the course. The knowledge from theoretical aspects of the course will be consolidated and exemplified in problem solving exercises, group discussions and laboratory work.
In addition, an individual specialization is made within a selected part of the course's subject area that connects to the central content of the syllabus for biology in upper secondary school. The course is very relevant and valuable for teachers in the coming working life.
The course is divided into the following modules:

Module 1, Genetics, 5 hp
The Genetics section deals with the structure and replication of the genetic material (DNA, RNA, proteins, genetic code, replication, transcription, translation, chromosomes, mitosis / meiosis), control of gene expression, the creation of genetic variation (mutations), and the transfer of genetic information between generations (inheritance of qualitative and quantitative characters and linkage). Lessons learned from whole genome data, e.g. genome size and coding versus non-coding DNA, are also examined.

Module 2, Evolution, 7.5 hp
The Evolution section covers population genetics - genetic variation and Hardy-Weinberg's law as well as models for micro-evolutionary processes that alter allele and genotype frequencies over generations, within and between populations (mutation, migration, genetic drift, natural selection, mating systems, sexual selection). Speciation models are introduced to gain an understanding of the roles played by different evolutionary processes in facilitating reproductive isolation. Principles of macroevolution, and an overview on human evolution are presented. Methods and models used to detect and analyze the variation at genomic, genotypic and phenotypic levels, within and among individuals, populations and species are introduced.
Module 3, Individual investigative project, 2,5 hp
During this part, an individual specialization is made within a selected part of the course's subject area that is linked to the central content of the syllabus in biology for upper secondary school. The choice of sub-subject and focus of the work must be approved by the responsible teacher. The work with the task includes literature search, source evaluation and handling of references. The in-depth assignment is presented orally and in writing.

Required Knowledge

Biology 30 credits

Form of instruction

Learning is facilitated through lectures, problem solving, laboratory work, group discussions, project work, and report writing. Exercises, labs, group discussions and project work are compulsory. Skills acquired through these learning approaches are invaluable in the workplace.

Examination modes

Performance is assessed through written examinations and laboration reports at the end of module 1 and 2, and through written and oral presentations of Module 3. The grades for all modules as well as for the course as a whole are Fail (U), PSS (G), and Pass with Distinction (VG). For the grade Pass, the student must fulfill all expected study outcomes for the grade Pass. For the grade Pass with Distinction, the student must also fulfill  all of the expected study outcome for the grade Pass with Distinction. Students who fail have the right to retake examinations. Students who pass may not retake the examination to obtain higher grades. Students who have failed an examination or other assignment twice are entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are special circumstances (HF Chapter 6. § 22). Requests for new examiners are made to head of the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science.

Departures from the form of examination can be made for a student who has a decision for educational support due to a disability. Individual adaptation of the examination form must be considered based on the student's needs. The form of examination is adapted within the framework of the syllabus's expected study results. At the request of the student, the teacher responsible for the course, in consultation with the examiner, must quickly decide on a suitable examination form. The decision must then be notified to the student.

Students have the right to have their previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in the profession tested whether it can be credited for the corresponding course at Umeå University. Application for credit is submitted to the Student Centre / Examinations. For more information on credit transfer available on Umeå University's student web,, and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A refusal of accreditation may be appealed against (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 12) to the University Appeals Board. This applies to the whole as well as part of the application if accreditation is refused.

Other regulations

In the event that the course plan ceases to apply or undergoes major changes, students are guaranteed at least three exam opportunities (including regular examinations) according to the rules in the syllabus that the student was originally registered for, for a maximum of two years from the date of expiry of the previous course plan or the course ceased being offered.