Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Genetics and Genomics in Agriculture
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Report  The potential of transgenic technology to enhance the sustainability of agricultural systems. 2000 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Interactive Task  20 minute presentation plus interactive task  50%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary Report  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary interactive task  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Evaluate the relative limitations and merits of different technologies for crop and animal improvement.

Demonstrate a detailed understanding of genetic inheritance of traits and the methods utilised for reporting genetic merit.

Discuss in detail the relative importance of genotype and environment in the inheritance of metric traits.

Evaluate scientific, practical and ethical issues in the application of genetics to animal and plant improvement.

Brief description

This module is designed to give those with little understanding of genetics a practical knowledge of the principles and technologies that underpin breeding programmes. It focuses on the challenges facing land-based production in the 21st century and on the roles that emerging technologies
play in meeting these challenges sustainably. After detailing the broad objectives and methods involved in breeding programmes, the module allows you to follow a specific crop or animal breeding pathway. You will gain an understanding of the methodologies applied in molecular and
population genetics, as well as in related disciplines such as proteomics and metabolomics, allowing you to conceptualise and apply these concepts to further agricultural production.


The aim of this module is to consider in detail the principles and practices underpinning the development of animal breeds and new crop varieties. The underlying genetic principles utilised in modern breeding programs will be explored, as well as the use of genetic technologies. Students will benefit significantly from the research being conducted in this area in-house at IBERS and NIAB-TAG and so have the opportunity to learn about the advances at the forefront of agriculture.


This module will comprise 20 hrs of formal input and will cover the following areas:
  • Domestication of agricultural species
  • Basic concepts of genetics
  • Modern breeding methodologies
  • Trait evaluation and reporting
  • Marker assisted selection and next generation
  • Genetic technology
  • Agricultural Genetics and Society
  • Future prospects
  • The module will feature a range of lectures, interviews with key researchers and some film material that will teach students about current advances in animal and crop genetics. The fundamental principles of each of topic will be conveyed to the student in a lecture format. In addition, key research publications and interviews with researchers will form the basis of a 'case study' which will demonstrate how research is driving innovation in each area.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will be required to examine and synthesize quantitative data from a range of publications and databases (eg. FAOSTAT) in their assignments.
Communication Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in their assignments and in forum posts.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assignment work.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication databases.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will provide the students with the latest research into genetics to help them provide the most up-to-date information/advice to their colleagues/clients in the agri-food industry.
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self-study and work towards their assignment and so will develop their literature research skills.
Subject Specific Skills The underlying genetics of both animal and plant breeding programs and the application of genetic technology.
Team work Students will be required to work together to complete the assessed online forum.


This module is at CQFW Level 7