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Unit information: Advanced Genes and Behaviour in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Advanced Genes and Behaviour
Unit code PSYCM0065
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Haworth
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

Students must not have taken PSYC30018

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one


School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Unit Information

A surprising finding in genetics is that behavioural traits are just as heritable as physical health conditions. This unit will explore the different statistical methodologies for investigating the importance of genetic and environmental influence on behaviour, including twin and adoption designs, and DNA studies.

The aims of this unit are to provide students with a critical understanding of the methods in behavioural genetics, and how these have been used to investigate the roles of genes and environments in creating individual differences in behavioural outcomes.

Your learning on this unit

On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

  1. Appraise the contribution of behavioural genetics to research disciplines within psychology and epidemiology
  2. Demonstrate and assess contemporary methods used in behavioural genetics
  3. Evaluate how behavioural genetics research contributes to identifying the influence of genes and environment on behaviour
  4. Interpret the implications of finding genetic influences on behaviour

How you will learn

Self-paced online learning materials will be supported with regular live sessions.

These live sessions will take a variety of different forms depending on the focus of the week, but will typically include Q&A based on the weeks' content, student discussion groups and/or Q&A with invited speakers.

How you will be assessed

1 x 2000 word coursework (50%) and 1 x timed assessment (50%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PSYCM0065).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.