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Genetics

Students who wish to study Genetics apply to the Science degree (TR071) and may select Genetics as their specialist area for the 3rd and 4th years.
Junior Freshman (first year) prerequisites: Chemistry CH1101, Chemistry CH1102, Biology 1101 and Mathematics or Mathematical methods.
Senior Freshman (second year) prerequisites: Biology BY2201, BY2203, BY2205 and BY2208.

What is Genetics?
Genetics encompasses both the science of heredity – how phenotypic traits are inherited – and the modern field of molecular biology, which has figured out what genes are and how they work. Genetics provides an approach to studying everything from how cells work to the physiology and behaviour of organisms and the evolution of species. It is central to biology and is increasingly important in modern medicine. Reflecting this, the genetics course covers a wide field and all major groups of organisms.

What will you study?
Courses cover the molecular genetics of bacteria and viruses, man, and other animals and plants. Subjects are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical courses.
• Medical genetics: includes the identification of genes causing various clinical disorders and the development of genetic and stem-cell therapies to treat them.
• Neurogenetics: studies how genes control the development and function of the nervous system and their influences on behaviour and psychiatric disease.
• Molecular and cell biology: explores the control of gene expression and function of genes in various cellular processes in animal or human cells and bacteria, such as cell death, proliferation or differentiation.
• Developmental genetics: investigates how genes in different cells control the development and growth of an organism.
• Bioinformatics and evolutionary genetics: investigates evolutionary relationships between organisms and the processes that drive evolution.
• Population genetics: deals with genetic variation in populations and the role of this variation in evolution.
• Plant genetics: studies the genes that control plant development and physiology.
In the Senior Sophister (fourth) year, you will be able to specialise in areas of particular interest, and will carry out an original research project in an area such as: hereditary blindness, cell death, neural development, bacterial stress responses or plant genetics. Specialist lecture courses include cancer genetics, genetics of vision, behavioural genetics and human evolutionary genetics.

Assessment
You will be assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and end-of-year examinations.

Study abroad
At the end of the Junior Sophister (third) year, you may be able to spend the summer months working in a human genetics research laboratory. This is often in the USA, with some financial assistance provided.

Career opportunities
Graduates have gone on to careers in diverse fields, many in science or areas related to it. Many genetics graduates go on to careers in academic or industrial research beginning with postgraduate study. Opportunities also exist in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, agricultural organisations, medical or clinical diagnostic laboratories, forensics, genetic counselling, public health and epidemiology programmes, and in teaching. Other graduates have gone on to careers such as medicine, patent law or science journalism. Even if you choose a career not directly related to the scientific subject, the skills of critical thinking and problem solving provided by the Genetics degree will put you in high demand.

Further information
www.tcd.ie/Genetics
Tel: +353 1 896 1140


Last updated 9 December 2013 scgenmic@tcd.ie (Email).