What is the course about?
Starting with the basics of cell biology you will learn about how genetic information is carried in our DNA on genes and chromosomes. You will learn how genes influence evolution and how we inherit our physical characteristics. You will also learn how our health may be determined by our genes, and how genes contribute to cancer and other diseases. The course will deliberate the uses of genetic manipulation and its uses in our modern lives – from ‘GM’ foodstuffs, medical research to DNA testing for paternity and forensic analysis.
Peter Humphreys believes that the exciting and rapid developments in Genetics make this an especially important time to understand more about the basics of the subject. He has been making Biology understandable for over 30 years including at the Open University, the University of London and schools as well as adult education colleges. In addition to his MSc, he has a BA in Welsh which he also teaches at Build.
What will we cover?
- Basics of cell biology.
- Where do we find DNA?
- DNA structure and function
- How genes work and how do they carry information?
- Inheritance and evolution.
- Genetic diseases and cancer development.
- DNA testing for genetic diseases, paternity tests, forensic analysis.
- Uses of DNA technology and genetic manipulation for medicine, health and food.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Describe how the structure of DNA is directly linked to its function.
- State what is meant by the terms genes, chromosomes and genetic traits.
- Explain how genetic information is carried from one generation to the next.
- Outline some of the ways in which our genes and the environment govern our health – nature vs nurture.
- Recognise and evaluate genetic manipulation – and its uses.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and is open to all. No prior knowledge of the subject is required. However, you will
need a good grasp of English to keep up with the course and to participate fully in discussions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Classes will be taught through a mixture of illustrated talks and discussions, along with short problem-solving exercises. Materials will include projected images and paper handouts, as well as internet based resources/media.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Bring a notepad and pen. There are no additional costs for the course.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HS132 Guest lecture evolutionary biology: the origins of life in hydrothermal vents
Look out also for science courses in our 2018 summer programme.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details