Human Genetics and Evolution | Arts and Science ONLINE

Human Genetics & Evolution

BIOL 110/3.0

Introductory genetics and evolutionary processes as they relate to the human condition - genetic diseases, medical techniques, inheritance and ethical issues such as cloning and genetically modified foods.

Please note: This course is typically offered in the fall term

Learning Outcomes

Students completing BIOL 110 will have the ability to:

• identify and define basic concepts in genetics such as inheritance, gene, and chromosome

• apply genetic concepts in the understanding of human evolution

• appreciate the role of genetics in contemporary issues such as stem cell research, longevity research, genetic testing, and cancer

• distinguish between “older-school” research approaches and cutting edge approaches

• evaluate how life might be affected by new technologies in the Genomics Age.


  • The Human Genome
  • Cell Biology/Chromosomes
  • Meiosis and Development
  • Mutation/Single-Gene Inheritance
  • Beyond Mendel's Laws
  • Sex and Genetics
  • Multifactorial (Complex) Traits
  • Genetics of Behavioural Traits
  • Human Evolution
  • Cancer
  • Genetic Technology/Genetic Testing
  • Genomics



Biology 110, Human Genetics, is intended as an elective course for students from all academic disciplines with the exception of biology majors. No scientific backroad is required for enrollment. The course will provide an overview of the most basic concepts in genetics and how they apply to humans. The goal is to provide non-biologists with sufficient understanding of the field of genetics to support a basic understanding of many topical issues in modern society.

The course combines directed readings, independent investigation of topics of interest, and interaction with peers and instructors. Participants will be expected to learn basic concepts through the readings and to engage at a deeper level with a topic of choice and produce an essay. In a series of roundtables involving small groups, students will interact with peers by contributing actively to online discussions of assigned topics.


Fall 2020
Course Dates: 
Sept. 8 - Dec. 7, 2020
Exam Dates: 
Dec. 10 - 23, 2020


15% - Quizzes (x3)
20% - Discussion Forums (x2)

5% - Paper Proposal
25% - Final Essay
35% - Proctored Final Exam

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Final Examination
Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.

Examity Statement

When you enroll in this online course, you are agreeing to write tests, quizzes, and block theory exams online with remote proctoring. The benefits of this are that you can complete the exam in your own space using your own computer. For each assessment, you will be using exam software developed at Queen’s, which is integrated with an online proctoring system. To ensure a successful exam experience, you are responsible for ensuring that your computer meets the Evaluation and Grading Policies.

8 minimum technical requirements, as described on the course web page, and that you are located in an area with sufficient high speed internet at the time of the exam. You will be given the opportunity to practice the exam initiation process in advance of any quizzes, tests or exams that require the use of this software.


Professor Tim P. Birt (

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10-11 hours a week (118 hours term total) in study/practice and online activity for BIOL 110.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.