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BC3203 - Bioinformatics

Credit points: 3
Year: 2020
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Public Health, Medical & 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

  • Invigilated > End of semester exam - (40%)
  • Non-Invigilated > Assignments - (40%)
  • - (20%).
Prerequisites: SC2202 or SC2209 or MA2405 or BZ2001 or (BC3101 and HS2402)


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 27-Aug-2020
Coordinator: Dr Ira Cooke
Lecturers: Mrs Melissa Crawford, Dr Roger Huerlimann, Mrs Vanessa Harris, Mrs Kylie Carrigan, Dr Matt Field, <Person not found>, Ms Kerri Trezona, Dr Craig McFarlane, Dr Justin Lee, 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 practicals
  • 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.