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Genomic Architecture


Admission requirements

BSc degree


How are we genetically different from Neanderthalers? How many genes do organisms have? What fraction of our genome 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 genome sequencing all these questions about DNA and evolution can, in principle, be answered. Starting from the basics (introns, extrons, gene families, recombination, QTLs, sequencing) we address these questions and ask what these new insights mean for ideas about evolution and health of species. In the practical you will solve several genomic puzzles, both at a basic and at an advanced level.

Course objectives

After completion of this course, students are able to:

  • List an overview of the field of genomics

  • Explain basic genetic mechanisms

  • List and discuss technical terms used in genomics

  • Determine and organize genomes of major groups of organisms

  • Use genomic information for answering a suite of scientific questions about evolution and health.


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

Lectures, reading chapters from Lesk (2017) third edition, individual project (last week), presentation.

Assessment method

Two multiple choice tests and presentations of group projects.

Reading list

Strongly advised to buy as backup 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 practicals. Week 4 group projects. The detailed schedule will be placed on Brightspace.