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Studying Genetics at Pt II - a guide for Pt IB students

The Part II Genetics Course Guide for IB students for 2015/16, which  provides detailed information about the course structure, qualifications for admission, and how to apply, is downloadable here.

Why choose Genetics for Part II?

When asked what were the most important aspects of the course for them personally, departing Part II Genetics students tend to cite:

  • The broad coverage of the course, which equips Genetics graduates with the necessary skills to continue either in the same subject area, or in other scientific disciplines
  • The small size of the Department and its friendly nature, which means that the 30 or so Part II students, besides getting to know each other very well, also interact closely with lecturers and other staff members involved in the course, forming useful contacts and picking up helpful information in tea breaks!

Students can take Genetics at Part II in different ways:

  • Single subject in Part II NST

In which case you will study all five modules, and take part in the problem solving/ data handling and journal sessions. You will also complete an assessed essay, and a research project [usually in a lab]. Here are some recent examples of both essays and projects offered.

  • Four paper subject in Part II BBS [BBS code 414]

If you take Genetics as your Major subject for Part II BBS, you can choose any four out of the five Genetics modules, together with another paper subject [your Minor subject] and a dissertation. In addition to your four Genetics modules you will also be expected to attend the 'Social Aspects of Genetics' discussions, and the journal and problem solving / data handling sessions. For your Minor subject you can choose the fifth Genetics module, or from one of 12 other options currently available. Students choosing this route will have Genetics as their 'home' department, and have access to exactly the same facilities as single subject NST students.
For more information about BBS options see

  • One Genetics module taken as a Part II BBS Minor subject

Modules 2 [code 119], 4 [code120] and 5 [code 121] are offered as Minor subjects to Part II BBS students who are not taking Major subject Genetics. In addition to the lectures, you will be expected to attend relevant journal and problem solving / data handling sessions. For more information about BBS options see

More information

More information about Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences, including permissible subject combinations, is available on the Part II BBS website at

Information about the Erasmus Exchange Programme, through which students from participating universities in the EEC can study Part II Genetics is on

Each year the Genetics Department holds an Open Day for IB students. This is usually held around mid-March. You have missed the 2015 Open Day but you can still pick up a brochure from Genetics reception, or find out about the course on this website.

If you have a question that is not answered by the Part II Genetics brochure, please email