Genetics is a rapidly-progressing science, a central theme of modern biology, and an indispensable component of most biological research.
The Genetics programme at Otago draws together the departments of Anatomy, Biochemistry, Botany, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Women's and Children's Health, and Zoology.
This allows staff and students to interact and share ideas across a broader sphere than is possible in any one department.
Can I combine my Genetics degree with other subjects?
Yes! Genetics and almost anything is a marketable and desirable combination.
Popular subjects include various business subjects, Law, Bioethics, Mathematics, Statistics, Information Science, and Computer Science.
You can combine Genetics with other biological sciences such as Anatomy, Biochemistry, Botany, Microbiology, and Zoology; and other science subjects such as Anthropology, Geology, and Psychology.
It is also possible to take Genetics papers as part of a BBiomedSc degree. In particular, Genetics is an integral component of the Reproduction, Genetics and Development major.
How will I study?
Genetics is an experimental science with a strong theoretical background, so you will have a combination of lectures and lab-based practicals.
The lab classes in second and third year are extremely varied. You'll examine everything from viruses and bacteria through to fruit flies, worms and humans. For example, in second year you create genetically-modified bacteria and test for genetically-modified organisms in supermarket products.
During third year, you'll have the opportunity to look at your own chromosomes, and to analyse a portion of your own DNA to determine which 'Daughter of Eve' you are descended from.
You also get to design and carry out your own group projects.
Computer simulation labs enable you to study evolutionary genetics.
Postgraduate study options
A Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Genetics can lead to a Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci), a Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)), Master of Science (MSc), or PhD degree. You can apply to enter these postgraduate programmes during the third year of your BSc.
If you have a degree with a major other than Genetics, but wish to study postgraduate Genetics, you can study for a Diploma for Graduates endorsed in Genetics.
You need to have an interest in the world around you!
Year 13 Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics are strongly recommended (but not essential).