Genetics is the study of the behaviour of the genes that are fundamental to all living organisms. In humans and all other species, genes influence every characteristic, from chemistry to appearance to behaviour to disease. Genes interact with one another and with the environment, to develop and maintain whole organisms.

Because genes affect every characteristic of every organism, each new development in genetics has had far-reaching consequences, sometimes hotly debated. The combination of molecular and more traditional genetics has allowed us to solve problems in applications ranging from molecular genetics, to human disease, plant breeding, microbiology, and conservation biology.

The student will develop an understanding of:
  • molecular and cellular processes which generate and maintain genetic differences
  • genomic approaches to identify and locate genes, including disease genes
  • how genes are inherited and expressed
  • how genes can be manipulated
  • the similarities and differences of genomes from various species
  • mobile genetic elements
  • genetics of cancer
  • natural selection, ecological and evolutionary genetics.
The major also gives perspectives on issues such as race, ethics, eugenics, forensics, and the history and future of genetics.

Geneticists find work in hospitals, biomedical labs, forensic science, bioinformatics, food and agricultural industries, as well as environmental and conservation agencies. Combining genetics with law or commerce opens opportunities such as genetics patent law and policy.

Studying Genetics at UNSW.

The study of Genetics at UNSW is primarily through the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. At an undergraduate level students can specialise in Genetics within the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours), and the Bachelor of Medical Science programs. Please refer to the table below for related dual degree programs and opportunities for study in this discipline. Other programs / plans and specialisations offered by the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences are also shown in the tables below.

Genetics can be studied as 

Specialisation Stream Type Stream
Genetics Major BIOCC13987
Molecular and Cell Biology Major BIOCM13987

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