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Genomic Architecture


Admission requirements

BSc degree


How is genetic information organized in genomes? How many genes do organisms have? What fraction of their genomes consists of genes? Do prokaryotes shop for genes? Why do salamanders have much more DNA per cell than we have? How does the genome of related species differ? How is the DNA of different individuals different? How well can one make predictions on health and personalized medicine from your DNA? With the advance of innovative genome sequencing all those questions about DNA and evolution can, in principle, be answered. Starting from the basics (introns, exons, gene families, recombination, QTLs, sequencing) we address those questions, discuss various examples and ask what all those new insights mean in terms of evolution, development and health of species.

In individual desk assignments you will get acquainted with modern bioinformatics and genomics analysis while solving several genomic questions and puzzles, both at a basic and at a more advanced level.

In a small-group project you will analyze and apply genomic information in the context of an organisms biology, behaviour and ecology; this will be presented by the group via a poster during a mini-symposium at the end of the course.

Course objectives

After completion of this course, students are able to:

  • Understand and apply knowledge and insight in the field of genomics

  • Understand and explain the basics of genetic mechanisms

  • Understand, value and discuss state of the art methodology used in genomics

  • Analyze, compare and organize genomic information for major groups of organisms

  • Analyze and evaluate genomic information for answering scientific questions about evolution, development and health of different species.


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Interactive lectures, reading chapters from Lesk (2017) third edition, individual bioinformatics desk assignments and genome analysis and evaluation project in small groups (last week), including a group presentation and minisymposium.

Assessment method

Formative assessment of individual assignments, digital final exam consisting of multiple choice and open questions (graded), and small group assignment and poster presentation (graded).

Reading list

Advised to buy as support literature for students:

  • Lesk AM (2017) Introduction to genomics. Oxford UP, third edition


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Coordinator: Prof. dr. J.H. de Winde


First 3 weeks: lectures, self study (DNA, RNA, proteins, genomes throughout the Tree of Life, human evolution) and individual assignments. Week 4 small-group project. The detailed schedule will be placed on Brightspace.