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GENE360 Extension Topics and Research Skills

Guided work and assignments in literature research, evaluation and criticism of published papers, essay writing and data analysis.

GENE 360 is primarily aimed at students who are likely to undertake postgraduate studies in Genetics. The major aims of the paper are to give students experience in what it is like to be a scientist. In this paper, students will be introduced to reading, assessing, writing and talking about the scientific literature in genetics. Students in GENE 360 will have the opportunity to explore selected aspects of modern genetics in depth, visit a research lab and produce a short grant application.

Paper title Extension Topics and Research Skills
Paper code GENE360
Subject Genetics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Schedule C
By invitation. Appropriate for students majoring in genetics wishing to continue with postgraduate studies.

Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.

Teaching staff

Co-convenors: Associate Professor Caroline Beck (Zoology) & Associate Professor Stephanie Hughes (Biochemistry)

Other teaching staff:

Professor Mik Black (Biochemistry)

Associate Professor Tina Summerfield (Botany)

Dr Lynette Brownfield (Biochemistry)

Professor Peter Fineran (Microbiology)

Dr Heather Cunliffe (Pathology)

Dr Sheri Johnson (Zoology)

Dr Louise Bicknell (Biochemistry)

Associate Professor Logan Walker (University of Otago Christchurch)

Associate Professor Phil Wilcox (Mathematics and Stats)

Paper Structure

The lecture course is divided into eight 2-week tutorial blocks, plus five class meetings in which the class is prepared for upcoming assessment tasks. On the second week of each tutorial block, students are asked to participate in presentation exercises or group discussions. Tutorial blocks are focused on current topics of interest in Genetics and, in addition, cover practical aspects of life as a scientist, particularly with a view to postgraduate research. Examples include:

  • Reading and critiquing scientific papers.
  • Presenting research.
  • Ethics and the truth.
  • Grant proposal writing.
  • Scientific debates.
  • Data analysis.
  • Vision Matauranga.

The paper includes an opportunity to visit research laboratories and to hear about the experiences of current Genetics fourth-year students.

Teaching Arrangements

Weekly 1 h 50 min tutorials


Textbooks are not required as students will be reading from the primary literature.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

The objective of GENE360 is to enable students to apply Genetics knowledge post-graduation, with an emphasis on preparation for postgraduate studies. Outcomes include acquisition of:

  • Ability to think critically and creatively.
  • An ability to form and test hypotheses.
  • An understanding of application of practical techniques.
  • An understanding of extension of knowledge based on scientific fact.
  • Teamwork and collaboration skills.
  • Communication skills.

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 12:00-13:50 9-14, 16-22, 28-34, 36-41