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University of Glasgow

Understanding Genetic Disorders: How DNA Influences Health

University of Glasgow via FutureLearn


Gain insight into cutting-edge genetics testing technologies and research

This course offers a fascinating insight into how genetics can impact our health and the importance of understanding genetic diseases in order to better manage and treat patients.

Explore the connection between genetics and health

It’s estimated that around 1 in 17 individuals – a significant proportion of the population – are affected by rare disorders, many of which are already known to have a genetic basis.

On this course, you’ll have the chance to study the molecular basis of specific inherited genetic conditions that show the main patterns of inheritance.

Learn how to calculate genetic risk

You’ll learn how to analyse a pedigree to identify the genotypes and phenotypes that predict how a trait will be passed on genetically, and build your knowledge of how to calculate genetic risk.

Discover the latest in genetics testing and technology

As access to DNA testing becomes more widely available, laboratories are able to use cutting-edge genetic technologies to identify the genetic variants leading to a specific condition.

You’ll explore these technologies in detail, and learn how a better understanding of the genetic basis of disease enables professionals to improve therapies to treat genetic disorders.

You’ll also consider ways clinicians can better support patients in understanding the implications of genetic disorders and the options they have.

This course is designed for anyone interested in learning genetics and the clinical impact of differences in our DNA.

The course will be particularly useful for healthcare professionals, patients, and carer groups.


  • Inheritance and Genetic Disease
    • Welcome!
    • Exploring Chromosomes
    • Genetic Traits and Inheritance
    • Genetic Case Study (Part 1)
    • What Have You Learned?
  • DNA, Genes and Variants
    • Genotype To Phenotype
    • Why Are We All Different?
    • How And Why Do Gene Variants Have Different Effects?
    • Genetic Case Study (Part 2)
    • What Have You Learned?
  • Getting a Genetic Diagnosis
    • Test samples and cytogenetics analysis
    • Molecular (DNA) testing of single (or a few) genes
    • Molecular (DNA) testing for whole genome (or many genes together)
    • Genetic Case Study (Part 3)
    • What Have You Learned?
  • What Does Genetics Offer Patients?
    • Genetic Counselling
    • Approaches to genetic testing during (or before) pregnancy
    • Ethics And Genetics
    • Therapy And Management
    • Genetic Case Study: Part 4
    • What Have You Learned?

Taught by

Maria Jackson


4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 12 ratings

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