Statistics for Human Genetics

ProfCert Statistics for Human Genetics
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 15)
This programme is an NFQ level 9, UCD level 4 Professional Certificate, comprising 15 European Credit Transfer and accumulation System (ECTS) credits. The duration of the programme is 1 year, during which the student must take both component modules, which are offered completely online.

The explosion of molecular biological research over the past few decades has driven developments in molecular genetic techniques: from manual PCR, to large-scale automated genotyping, and most recently next-generation sequencing (NGS) at a whole exome or genome level. Collection of large scale data sets must be mirrored by an increase in data analytic skills among researchers: this research is increasingly "dry bench" and less "wet bench"-based. It is crucial that the principles of sound epidemiological study design and statistical analysis are understood and applied.

The aim of the programme is to give an introduction to the theory and practice of genetic epidemiology – the study of the genetic determinants of diseases and traits. It will also have a heavy practical element, equipping students with the skills to analyse genetic data. Graduates will be able to design and conduct studies to determine the genetic factors contributing to health and disease with all the methodological rigour expected in the field, and to appropriately evaluate the literature.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
PHPS40870: Statistics for Human Genetics
PHPS40870 - Introduction to Genetic Epidemiology (5 credits)
• An introduction to basic principles of genetics, and genetic epidemiologic study design:
· The concepts underlying the heritability of traits and its estimation: twin, adoption and family studies
· Principles underlying study designs for the mapping of genes with particular emphasis on the genetic architecture of disease: common-disease/common variant, and rare disease / rare variant models
· The role and mechanisms of gene-environment interactions in health and disease, and complex genetic architecture encompassing genetic heterogeneity and epistasis

PHPS40880: Intro to Genetic Epidemiology
PHPS40880 - Statistics for Human Genetics (10 credits)
• Practical development of skills in analysis of human genetic data:
· Theoretical underpinnings statistical analysis of genetic data
· Estimation of heritability, and mapping of disease genes: genetic linkage statistics in families, and genetic association statistics in family-based or case-control samples
· Use of software for data manipulation (UNIX/Cygwin), imputation (e.g. IMPUTE2), linkage (GENEHUNTER2), and association (PLINK2), and use of general statistical software (R)
· Specifying and testing interactions; correcting for population stratification; new methods and resources for rare variant analysis.




1 year part-time.


ProfCert Statistics for Human Genetics (X793) Part Time
EU/ NON-EU fee per year - €1,695

***Fees are subject to change

Fees include tuition and examination fees. The fee schedule for all programmes is shown on the UCD Fees website ( and refers to the fee for a single academic year. Further information regarding fees is available on the UCD Fees website.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2018/2019 January

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  • Qualifications

    Professional Certificate

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