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BC3203 - Bioinformatics

Credit points: 3
Year: 2023
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Public Health, Medical and Vet Sciences

This subject provides an introduction to widely used computational methods in molecular biology. Lectures describe core concepts and techniques required to analyse, visualise and interpret datasets involving many thousands of genes, genomic variants or microbial taxa. Practicals work through concrete examples of methods covered in lectures, and introduce general purpose tools such as the R language and the unix shell to efficiently work with large biological datasets. Topics covered include an introduction to R and the unix shell, differential gene expression, finding and interpreting genomic variants and metagenomics. This subject is suitable for students seeking to equip themselves with the necessary tools to answer questions in molecular biology using large sequencing or expression datasets. For students who do not have the required pre-requisites, please seek advice from the subject coordinator or Discipline Academic Advisor to enrol.

Learning Outcomes

  • to critically evaluate results from widely used bioinformatic tools based on an understanding of their core concepts and assumptions;
  • to solve questions in molecular biology using appropriate statistical and bioinformatic techniques to analyse genomic sequencing data;
  • to apply the results from bioinformatics tools to make inferences on the evolutionary and cellular processes involved in disease or ecological events;
  • to write and debug short computer programs for the purposes of data reformatting, analysis and visualisation.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Examination (centrally administered) - (40%) - Individual
  • Written > Problem task - (20%) - Individual
  • Written > Research report - (40%) - Individual.

Special Assessment Requirements

Achieve an overall percentage of 50% or more; Complete both assignments and achieve an average assignment mark of at least 50%. Complete at least 6 coding assignments (delivered during tutorials) and achieve an average coding assignment mark of 50%. Pass the final exam

Prerequisites: SC2202 or SC2209 or MA2405 or BZ2001 or (BC3101 and HS2402)


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 24-Aug-2023
Coordinator: Dr Ira Cooke
Lecturers: Dr Roger Huerlimann, Assoc. Professor Matt Field, Dr Craig McFarlane, Assoc. Professor Ulf Schmitz, Dr Ira Cooke.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 24 hours lectures
  • 12 hours tutorials
  • 24 hours specialised
  • assessment and self-directed study

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.