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Masters Degrees (Dna Profiling)

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The MSc DNA Profiling is a Forensic Science Society UK (FSSoc) accredited course that aims to instruct in current concepts in molecular biology techniques and laboratory management as applied in the field of Forensic DNA Profiling. Read more
The MSc DNA Profiling is a Forensic Science Society UK (FSSoc) accredited course that aims to instruct in current concepts in molecular biology techniques and laboratory management as applied in the field of Forensic DNA Profiling. The various interpretational skills taught in the course follow International Society of Forensic Genetics (ISFG) and SWGDAM guidelines. The course syllabus exceeds the recommendation of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM) USA for the educational requirements for a DNA laboratory technical leader. Intellectually challenging and highly rewarding, the MSc provides excellent hands-on practical learning in various laboratory techniques. It also builds the capabilities to plan and execute a research project. You’ll be well prepared for the forensic DNA profiling sector, including relevant areas like molecular biology, genetics and population genetics.

INDUSTRY LINKS

We have a wide variety of links with local, national and international laboratories and academic institutions, all of which provide valuable contacts for students wishing to enter professions related to DNA profiling. Further details and contacts are available from members of the teaching team.

PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATION

Masters in DNA profiling has received the prestigious accreditation from the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

You will, on average, attend fifteen hours of lectures/seminars/practicals per week and may participate in both workshops and tutorials. Personal study also forms an integral part of the programme. The students are required to complete challenging assessments that are mostly course work, group projects, presentations, moot court and practical assessments. There is only one theory based examination in the course.

We do our best to give our students key employability and transferable skills which will serve them in the various scientific and non-scientific fields thus our students emerge as well rounded individuals.

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Why this course?. The MSc in Forensic Science is the UK’s longest established forensic science degree course, celebrating its . Read more

Why this course?

The MSc in Forensic Science is the UK’s longest established forensic science degree course, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016/2017.

You’ll join a global network of Strathclyde forensic science graduates in highly respected positions all over the world.

In addition to preparing you for life as a forensic scientist, you’ll also graduate with a wide range of practical skills, problem solving and investigative thinking relevant to a wide range of careers.

You'll study

  • crime scene investigation
  • legal procedures and the law
  • evidence interpretation and statistical evaluation
  • analysis of range of evidence types including footwear marks, trace evidence, and questioned documents

Following a general introduction to forensic science in semester 1, you can choose to specialise in either forensic biology or forensic chemistry. As a forensic biologist you’ll study a range of topics including:

  • body fluid analysis
  • blood pattern interpretation
  • DNA profiling
  • investigation of assaults and sexual offences

If you choose to specialise in forensic chemistry, you’ll develop expertise in:

  • analysis of fires and explosives
  • drugs of abuse
  • alcohol and toxicology

The focal point of the course is our major crime scene exercise, in which you are expected to investigate your own mock outdoor crime scene, collect and analyse the evidence, and present this in Glasgow Sheriff Court in conjunction with students training in Strathclyde Law School.

Project

In semester 3, MSc students undertake a three-month project, culminating in the production of a dissertation.

Students may be given the opportunity to complete their project in an operational forensic science provider either in the UK or overseas (subject to visa requirements). Alternatively, students may complete their project within the Centre for Forensic Science itself, under the supervision of our team of academics.

Examples of institutions that previous Strathclyde students have been placed in to undertake their project include: 

  • Scottish Police Authority, Forensic Services
  • Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST)
  • Forensic Explosives Laboratory, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • LGC Forensics
  • Cellmark Forensic Services
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Research, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Institute of Forensic Research, Krakow, Poland
  • Centre of Forensic Sciences, Toronto, Canada

The MSc in Forensic Science runs for 12 months, commencing in September. 

Facilities

Teaching takes place in the Centre for Forensic Science. It’s a modern purpose-built laboratory for practical forensic training, equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for analysis of a wide range of evidence types. This includes a microscopy suite, DNA profiling laboratory, analytical chemistry laboratory, blood pattern analysis room, and a suite for setting up mock crime scenes.

Accreditation

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences is a professional body with members in over 60 countries and is one of the oldest and largest forensic science associations in the world.

Our MSc in Forensic Science is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, demonstrating our commitment to meeting their high educational standards for forensic science tuition.

Assessment

Assessment consists of written coursework, practical work assessments, oral presentations and formal written examinations. Practical work is continually assessed and counts towards the award of the degree. The project is assessed through the completion of a dissertation.

The award of MSc is based upon 180 credits.

Careers

Most forensic scientists in Scotland are employed by the Scottish Police Authority.

In the rest of the UK, forensic scientists are employed by individual police forces, private forensic science providers such as LGC Forensics and Cellmark Forensic Services, or government bodies such as the Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) and the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

Outside of the UK, forensic scientists may be employed by police forces, government bodies or private companies.

Forensic scientists can specialise in specific areas such as crime scene examination, DNA analysis, drug analysis, and fire investigation.

Most of the work is laboratory-based but experienced forensic scientists may have to attend crime scenes and give evidence in court.

Where are they now?

Many of our graduates are in work or further study.**

Job titles include:

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Biology Casework Examiner
  • Deputy Laboratory Director
  • DNA Analyst
  • Forensic Case Worker Examiner
  • Forensic DNA Analyst
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Laboratory Analyst
  • Medical Laboratory Assistant Histopathology
  • Research & Development Chemist

Employers include:

  • Gen-Probe Life Sciences
  • HKSTC
  • Key Forensic Services Ltd
  • Lancaster Labs
  • LGC Forensics
  • Life Technologies
  • National Institute Of Criminalistics And Criminology
  • NHS
  • Seychelles Forensic Science Lab
  • University of Strathclyde

*information is intended only as a guide.

**Based on the results of the National Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (2010/11 and 2011/12).



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The MSc is building a reputation for producing excellent scientists and highly sought after graduates. Our postgraduates have been offered employment in some of the most prestigious companies in the UK and Europe, in fields ranging from analytical toxicology to forensic DNA analysis. Read more
The MSc is building a reputation for producing excellent scientists and highly sought after graduates. Our postgraduates have been offered employment in some of the most prestigious companies in the UK and Europe, in fields ranging from analytical toxicology to forensic DNA analysis.

On this course, you can study a range of specialist areas in analytical and forensic science. It focuses on cutting edge research, the latest analytical techniques, and transferable and professional skills that will prepare you to practise as a professional analytical or forensic scientist. A 60 credit research project of your choice allows you to customise the MSc and specialise in your chosen field.

“Completing this MSc gave me a much more advanced knowledge of analytical instruments and techniques and has been a great help in preparing me for the role that I now have in toxicology. The amount of hands on practical experience in the Masters is much more extensive than in a Bachelors degree and it’s the higher level of practical work that can make the difference. Covering a variety of techniques applied to a wide range of sample types ensures you have an understanding that other graduates will not have, particularly after the completion of your dissertation by spending a considerable amount of time in the lab. The addition of the PRINCE2 qualification also makes you more employable to commercial labs. I have no doubt that without this MSc my chances of gaining a job with a career path would be significantly less.” – Laura Miles, MSc Analytical and Forensic Science graduate.

What You Will Study

You will study the following modules:
- Advanced DNA analysis
- Separation science
- Analytical toxicology
- Interpretation, evalutation and presentation of casework
- Advanced crime scene and evidence analysis
- Project design, management and enterprise
- Laboratory research project

Our tuition offers detailed training in the following areas:

- DNA Analysis
You will gain a thorough understanding of DNA analysis and interpretation techniques. There is practical training in a large range of advanced extraction techniques, quantitation, amplification and electrophoresis of DNA, through simulated case-work using our crime scene house and DNA analysis laboratory.

- Analytical Toxicology and Separation Science
You will gain knowledge of the basis and application of a number of novel analytical and extraction techniques such as chiral chromatography, supercritical fluid chromatography, solid phase microextraction and derivatisation techniques. You will also receive high level practical training in ion mobility mass spectrometry, GCMS/MS, LCMS/MS and ICP-OES. There is a particular focus on hair as a matrix for forensic toxicological analysis. You will also be fully trained in experimental design and effective method development.

- Major crime scene analysis
You will learn how to effectively process major and specialist crime scenes through our simulation facilities, and will study novel mapping techniques such as 3D scanning and LIDAR as applied to crime scene investigation.

- Expert witness techniques
To improve your employment prospects, you will also learn about the law as it relates to the forensic scientist and their relationship with the police, lawyers and courts, and the role of the expert witness. You will receive training from professional case working forensic scientists in how to draft expert witness statements and how to give testimony in court.

- Data analysis and Prince 2 qualification
For added benefit, there will be guest lectures from eminent analytical scientists and forensic practitioners, and you will be encouraged to observe courtroom proceedings and visit analytical laboratories. You will receive training in advanced data analysis techniques which is very desirable for potential employers. You will even complete a PRINCE 2 foundation certificate as part of this course, which will stand you in good stead for the management of major projects in laboratories. The PRINCE 2 award is a prestigious, internationally recognized qualification. Please note additional fees apply.

- Additional Fees:
There is an additional fee of £1,500 for this course which covers the Prince2 Project Management course and laboratory costs.

Learning and teaching methods

Modules are studied sequentially throughout the course. There are periods of self directed learning where you will study online material including journals, research notes and recommended books before engaging in hands on laboratory training, lectures and seminars on campus.

The course is available as a one year full time option, or 2 years part time option. All students complete a research project in your chosen area of specialisation.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

There are many exciting employment opportunities in the analytical and forensic science sector. Key recruitment areas are DNA profiling, analytical chemistry and toxicological analysis. In these competitive fields, a postgraduate qualification will really make you stand out from the crowd. We have had an excellent response to the MSc analytical and forensic science from science companies across the UK. Major national companies have even contacted the University specifically asking for our MSc Analytical and Forensic Science graduates to apply for positions with them.

Our MSc graduates have been offered employment in toxicology, DNA and forensic science companies across the UK. An MSc award in Analytical and Forensic Science will demonstrate to employers the highest level of achievement and training.

Work experience

Students have the opportunity to undertake a work placement with Synergy Health Laboratories where they will undertake laboratory training. There is also an opportunity to conduct your research project in collaboration with Synergy Health with the possibility of working towards developing UKAS accredited methods of analysis -the ultimate standard in analytical science and a huge boost to your C.V.

Assessment methods

You will complete 120 credits of taught modules across the course, and an original laboratory research project (60 credits). For this, you will apply and extend your practical skills and knowledge in a key area of analytical or forensic science that interests you.

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This Masters course will open the door to a fascinating and fast-moving sector of analytical science that will build on your previous undergraduate studies, in chemistry, biology or other appropriate science courses. Read more
This Masters course will open the door to a fascinating and fast-moving sector of analytical science that will build on your previous undergraduate studies, in chemistry, biology or other appropriate science courses. You will gain knowledge and scientific skills that are directly applicable to the field of forensic science, with prospects of employment in forensic science laboratories as well as in other analytical science laboratories.

The course involves a unique combination of forensic chemistry and forensic biology, covering subjects such as trace evidence, toxicology and DNA analysis. Once you have covered the underlying principles of both areas, you can then specialise in your chosen field for your MSc research project.

The course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, which enhances its credibility and currency among potential employers.

This course can also be taken part time - for more information, please view this web-page: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/forensic-science-dtpfrs6/

Learn From The Best

Our teaching team are active researchers who routinely incorporate their expertise and enthusiasm into their teaching. Many of the staff have worked in forensic science laboratories and have been involved in high profile cases such as the Stephen Lawrence, Joanna Yeates, Suffolk strangler and Jigsaw murder cases. Their areas of research include toxicology, the analysis of fibres and their transfer and persistence and the analysis of ancient DNA.

Academic staff include former forensic biologists, forensic toxicologists, and forensic fibre experts. They continue to maintain close links with the industry including the police and practising forensic scientists. Many of them are well-established within professional forensic science societies and organisations, which directly inform policy and practices within the field.

Teaching And Assessment

Our teaching will give you a solid grounding in all the technical areas that are key to forensic science, while simultaneously developing the higher level of independent thinking and advanced interpretation that is expected at Masters level. To support your learning journey, many of the staff have an ‘open door’ policy which makes it easy to ask questions; it’s also possible to book appointments with them so that you can work through queries about lab work, concepts and theories, and any other aspects of the subject.

We use different types of assessments: some will contribute to your final grade while others will be used to provide you with guidance on your progress and reinforce your learning. You can expect both your tutors and your peers to provide useful comments and feedback throughout the course.

Module Overview
AP0700 - Graduate Science Research Methods (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0703 - Subject Exploration (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0708 - Applied Sciences Research Project (Core, 60 Credits)
AP0723 - Practices & Procedures in Forensic Science (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0724 - Forensic Toxicology & Drugs of Abuse (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0725 - Criminalistics (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0726 - Forensic Genetics (Core, 20 Credits)

Learning Environment

You will have access to a dedicated crime scene house to enable you to examine simulated crime scenes. Students can also access Return to Scene (R2S) software which provides a 360 degree interactive scan of a crime scene allowing you to perform further analysis in detail after you have left the scene. Northumbria University has also invested heavily in an impressive suite of analytical equipment allowing you to gain first-hand experience of the techniques used in operational laboratories.

We use a range of technologies to enhance your learning, with tools including web-based self-guided exercises, online tests with feedback, and electronic discussion boards. These tools support and extend the material that is delivered during lectures.

You will have 24/7 term-time access to Northumbria’s library, which was ranked #2 in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for 2015 and has been accredited by the UK Government for Customer Service Excellence since 2010.

Research-Rich Learning

We host the Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science and our research directly impacts on what and how you learn. Northumbria is helping to push the frontiers of knowledge in areas such as:
-Forensic fibre comparisons using statistical and chemometric approaches
-DNA profiling in contexts such as injuries to children and poaching of wildlife
-Human genetic and phenotypic variation
-Analytical toxicology

As part of the course, you will undertake a Masters project that will require you to evaluate relevant literature as well as to develop your ideas within the context of existing research. The project will involve information retrieval, critical appraisal, presentation of aims and strategy, development of advanced analytical and problem-solving skills, the discussion and interpretation of results, and the composition of a written dissertation. Each project will be aligned to an active area of research that is specific to an academic member of staff.

Give Your Career An Edge

This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. This reflects the relevance and rigour of the curriculum, and provides assurance of workplace-ready knowledge and application.

The focus on practical laboratory work, combined with the mix of group work, independent learning and professional practice, will help ensure that you develop skills that are transferable to a range of careers and disciplines.

Throughout your time at Northumbria we will prompt you to reflect on your self-development through the Higher Education Achievement Report process. We will also encourage you to take advantage of the services of our Careers and Employment Service such as CV advice and interview preparation.

Your Future

Forensic science has gained a high profile through TV dramas and, in the years ahead the sector is likely to be further transformed by technological advances in a number of fields. With an MSc Forensic Science you will be well-placed to take up a fascinating and rewarding role in forensic science laboratories.

What’s more, by developing the attributes of a Masters student, including the ability to solve complex problems, think critically, and work effectively with others and on your own, you will enhance your employability in all sectors of the analytical science industry. You will also be well equipped to pursue further studies at PhD level.

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This course is designed for those with a first degree in either forensic science or another science subject (ideally chemistry or biology but other degrees are also acceptable) who want to further their knowledge and experience of forensic science. Read more
This course is designed for those with a first degree in either forensic science or another science subject (ideally chemistry or biology but other degrees are also acceptable) who want to further their knowledge and experience of forensic science.

The full-time distance learning MSc should be completed in 18 months including your dissertation. There is a two-week long residential practical programme, held at our Stoke-on-Trent campus at the end of Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma stages of study. These workshops enable you to put your learning into practice and gain valuable experience in our state-of-the-art laboratories, crime scene house and mock courtroom facilities.

The MSc dissertation completes your study. This is a independent research project which will usually be undertaken, at least in part, in our state of the art specialist facilities.

Course content

This course builds upon your previous experience in the biological, chemical or forensic or other appropriate sciences to develop your ability to analyse evidence in a myriad of forms. The emphasis is on accuracy, accountability and thoroughness, with the ultimate aim of providing results and interpretation for use by a court of law. The theory is delivered using Blackboard, an online virtual learning environment. This provides the flexibility of studying at your own pace and from any location in the world. Whilst using Blackboard, you will interact with other students on the course through online discussion groups and receive excellent support from tutors via e-mail or phone.

The Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma courses are, respectively, the first third and first two thirds of the MSc course. At Postgraduate Certificate level, the emphasis is on the crime scene, specifically the collection, packaging and analysis of evidence such as fingermarks, footwear marks, documents, hairs, fibres and glass. Those continuing on to the Postgraduate Diploma will then change the emphasis of their studies to the chemical and biological analysis of evidence in forensic laboratories. During the Diploma, you will learn about a host of techniques, from the interpretation of blood spatter evidence to the analysis of illicit drugs, and from DNA profiling to the analysis of fire accelerants and drugs. The Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma stages of study each end in a two-week long residential practical programme, held at our Stoke-on-Trent campus. These summer workshops enable you to put your learning into practice and gain valuable experience in our state-of-the-art laboratories, crime scene house and mock courtroom facilities.

MSc students continue their studies beyond the Postgraduate Diploma stage, allowing specialisation in an aspect of forensic science. To complete the MSc, you will undertake a independent research project in an area either suggested by yourself or by choosing a title from a list of topics. In this work, the emphasis is on initiative and originality in the analysis and interpretation of results. The experimental part will usually be undertaken at our Stoke-on-Trent campus but, by agreement, could be based at the learner’s place of work or at a local institute.

Accreditation

This award is accredited by the Forensic Science Society.

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This course will enable you to gain a strong background in the theory of analytical and forensic techniques and how to apply them to complex problems such as those encountered at crime scenes. Read more
This course will enable you to gain a strong background in the theory of analytical and forensic techniques and how to apply them to complex problems such as those encountered at crime scenes. It emphasises the key skills required in this specialised area of science, including good measurement and scientific practice, sample collection and chain of custody, evaluation and interpretation of data, and constructing expert witness reports.

Kingston University has its own scene-of-crime house located on site, which is used to recreate crime scenes and enables you to put your investigative skills into practice. The property's garden is used by the forensic team's archaeologist for field investigations.

Lecturers on the course have wide experience in the forensics sector and many have worked either as forensic scientists or as expert witnesses. They are also actively engaged in forensic research, and are supported by visiting speakers from leading forensic consultancies.

What will you study?

You will explore recent trends in forensic science and learn about the latest analytical devices used, such as atomic and molecular spectroscopic and separation techniques and DNA profiling.

You will look at the role of the forensic scientist and learn how to, for example, investigate and analyse drugs of abuse, fibres and firearms and conduct fire investigation. There is also the opportunity to present expert evidence at a mock courtroom trial in a magistrates' court, examined by Kingston's own trainee lawyers and/or their law lecturers.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to carry out your research project in industry (depending on your results and project availability) or in Kingston University's extensive forensic and analytical laboratories.

Assessment

Exams, laboratory reports, assignments, case studies, oral presentations, poster presentations, practical research project.

Work placement scheme

Kingston University has set up a scheme that allows postgraduate students in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing to include a work placement element in their course starting from September 2017. The placement scheme is available for both international and home/EU students.

-The work placement, up to 12 months; is optional.
-The work placement takes place after postgraduate students have successfully completed the taught portion of their degree.
-The responsibility for finding the placement is with the student. We cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it.
-As the work placement is an assessed part of the course for international students, this is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Details on how to apply will be confirmed shortly.

Accreditation for this course

This course is accredited by the The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences for the component standards in Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Evidence; Laboratory Analysis; and Crime Scene Investigation.

When you graduate you are eligible to apply to be an Associate Member (AFSSoc post-nominals) of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. Having completed appropriate continuing professional development in a forensic science workplace, you can also become a Professional Member (MFSSoc) or Accredited Forensic Practitioner.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Modules
-The Role of the Professional Forensic Scientist
-Separation Science
-Molecular and Atomic Spectroscopy
-Forensic Chemistry and Trace Analysis
-Project

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Our Master of Research (MRes) in Translational Medicine will give you the research skills you need to use state-of-the-art biotechnologies to rapidly translate disease research into improved clinical healthcare. Read more

Our Master of Research (MRes) in Translational Medicine will give you the research skills you need to use state-of-the-art biotechnologies to rapidly translate disease research into improved clinical healthcare.

Our understanding of the molecular basis of disease and drug mechanisms has improved dramatically in recent years, yet there is a distinct shortage of individuals able to apply this knowledge into effective clinical benefit. The core aim is to train the next generation of scientists able to 'fast-track' biological and scientific data into advanced therapies and diagnostics tools.

With advances in technology, graduates are faced with heightened expectations to conduct effective bioscience research. Employers demand skillsets with biological, medical, physical and computational characteristics, and our course is designed to provide this breadth of training.

You will learn omics skills and techniques such as genetics, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. Our training in metabolomic techniques is novel for a UK course, while our teaching on the integration of different omic platforms and data in a systems medicine strategy is also unique.

The MRes course consists of four taught units - which together make up the PGCert - plus an extended 35-week project that can be undertaken at the University, the Manchester Cancer Research Centre or a teaching hospital in Greater Manchester.

You can choose from a range of projects covering areas such as the use of gene expression profiling, proteomics, metabolomics, stem cell research, tissue culture or pharmacogenetics in the biology of cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, stroke or diabetes.

Completing our course will open up a route into PhD research. You may also pursue a career in academia or the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries, or as a clinical academic.

Special features

Extensive research experience

The 35-week research project for the MRes award offers the chance to conduct ambitious projects in areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, mental health, infectious diseases, stroke or diabetes, using methods such as stem cell research, proteomics, metabolomics, tissue culture or pharmacogenetics.

Integrated focus on key topics

Our course has a strong and integrated focus on genetics, genomics, proteomics and metabolomics biotechnology and data interpretation, which are strengths within Manchester and are identified as core areas of bioscience growth.

Teaching and learning

Teaching comprises four taught units delivered using a variety of face-to-face, workshop and e-learning approaches and an extended 35-week research project for the MRes award.

Examples of research projects include the following.

  • Statins in translational cerebral ischemia: systematic review and meta-analysis of pre-clinical studies.
  • Parallel gene expression profiling and histological analysis of tumour tissue microarrays.
  • Development of a New Drug For Alzheimer's Disease by Drug Repositioning.
  • Identification of genetic variants predisposing to autoimmune idiopathic inflammatory myopathies.
  • Effects of differentiating agents on breast cancer stem cells and their sensitivity to DNA-damaging therapies.
  • Molecular characterisation of prostate cancer.
  • Inhibitors of IAPP Aggregation and Toxicity. 
  • New Therapies for Type II Diabetes.
  • Identifying novel monotherapy and combination therapies for the treatment of Glioma.
  • Translation of in vitro to in vivo: investigating the utility of in vitro drug transporter assays to predict inductive effects in the clinic.
  • In vivo mechanistic analysis of cancer drug combination therapies.
  • Using silk as a biomaterial for nerve regeneration.
  • The role of the local tissue environment in immune activation following myocardial damage.
  • Identifying genes that drive Breast Cancer to Bone Metastasis
  • High throughput genetic testing in rare disease: applications of personalised medicine.
  • Drug resistance and heterogeneity in CML following treatment with imatinib and following perturbation caused by nanoparticle delivery of miRNAs.
  • Investigation of a panel of drugs to inhibit the pro-tumourgenic actions of macrophages in breast cancer.
  • 3D anatomical reconstruction and molecular mapping of the atrioventricular ring tissues in human embryonic heart and adult rat heart.
  • Identification of the genetic basis of disorders associated with the presence of intracranial calcification.
  • Species variability in metabolism as a translational factor influencing susceptibility to adverse drug reactions in man.

Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.

Career opportunities

More than 50% of our graduates progress into PhD research at Manchester or other universities such as Cambridge, Imperial College London, Newcastle, Glasgow, Liverpool and Bristol.

Around 15% pursue a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry in the UK or abroad.

Approximately 25% are intercalating medics who complete their medical education. An estimated 10% pursue an undergraduate medical degree.



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We invite postgraduate research proposals in a number of disease areas that impact significantly on patient care. We focus on exploring the mechanisms of disease, understanding the ways disease impacts patients’ lives, utilising new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and developing new treatments. Read more

We invite postgraduate research proposals in a number of disease areas that impact significantly on patient care. We focus on exploring the mechanisms of disease, understanding the ways disease impacts patients’ lives, utilising new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and developing new treatments.

As a student you will be registered with a University research institute, for many this is the Institute for Cellular Medicine (ICM). You will be supported in your studies through a structured programme of supervision and training via our Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School.

We undertake the following areas of research and offer MPhil, PhD and MD supervision in:

Applied immunobiology (including organ and haematogenous stem cell transplantation)

Newcastle hosts one of the most comprehensive organ transplant programmes in the world. This clinical expertise has developed in parallel with the applied immunobiology and transplantation research group. We are investigating aspects of the immunology of autoimmune diseases and cancer therapy, in addition to transplant rejection. We have themes to understand the interplay of the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses by a variety of pathways, and how these can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes. Further research theme focusses on primary immunodeficiency diseases.

Dermatology

There is strong emphasis on the integration of clinical investigation with basic science. Our research include:

  • cell signalling in normal and diseased skin including mechanotransduction and response to ultraviolet radiation
  • dermatopharmacology including mechanisms of psoriatic plaque resolution in response to therapy
  • stem cell biology and gene therapy
  • regulation of apoptosis/autophagy
  • non-melanoma skin cancer/melanoma biology and therapy.

We also research the effects of UVR on the skin including mitochondrial DNA damage as a UV biomarker.

Diabetes

This area emphasises on translational research, linking clinical- and laboratory-based science. Key research include:

  • mechanisms of insulin action and glucose homeostasis
  • insulin secretion and pancreatic beta-cell function
  • diabetic complications
  • stem cell therapies
  • genetics and epidemiology of diabetes.

Diagnostic and therapeutic technologies

Focus is on applied research and aims to underpin future clinical applications. Technology-oriented and demand-driven research is conducted which relates directly to health priority areas such as:

  • bacterial infection
  • chronic liver failure
  • cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.

This research is sustained through extensive internal and external collaborations with leading UK and European academic and industrial groups, and has the ultimate goal of deploying next-generation diagnostic and therapeutic systems in the hospital and health-care environment.

Kidney disease

There is a number of research programmes into the genetics, immunology and physiology of kidney disease and kidney transplantation. We maintain close links between basic scientists and clinicians with many translational programmes of work, from the laboratory to first-in-man and phase III clinical trials. Specific areas:

  • haemolytic uraemic syndrome
  • renal inflammation and fibrosis
  • the immunology of transplant rejection
  • tubular disease
  • cystic kidney disease.

The liver

We have particular interests in:

  • primary biliary cirrhosis (epidemiology, immunobiology and genetics)
  • alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • fibrosis
  • the genetics of other autoimmune and viral liver diseases

Magnetic Resonance (MR), spectroscopy and imaging in clinical research

Novel non-invasive methodologies using magnetic resonance are developed and applied to clinical research. Our research falls into two categories:

  • MR physics projects involve development and testing of new MR techniques that make quantitative measurements of physiological properties using a safe, repeatable MR scan.
  • Clinical research projects involve the application of these novel biomarkers to investigation of human health and disease.

Our studies cover a broad range of topics (including diabetes, dementia, neuroscience, hepatology, cardiovascular, neuromuscular disease, metabolism, and respiratory research projects), but have a common theme of MR technical development and its application to clinical research.

Musculoskeletal disease (including auto-immune arthritis)

We focus on connective tissue diseases in three, overlapping research programmes. These programmes aim to understand:

  • what causes the destruction of joints (cell signalling, injury and repair)
  • how cells in the joints respond when tissue is lost (cellular interactions)
  • whether we can alter the immune system and ‘switch off’ auto-immune disease (targeted therapies and diagnostics)

This research theme links with other local, national and international centres of excellence and has close integration of basic and clinical researchers and hosts the only immunotherapy centre in the UK.

Pharmacogenomics (including complex disease genetics)

Genetic approaches to the individualisation of drug therapy, including anticoagulants and anti-cancer drugs, and in the genetics of diverse non-Mendelian diseases, from diabetes to periodontal disease, are a focus. A wide range of knowledge and experience in both genetics and clinical sciences is utilised, with access to high-throughput genotyping platforms.

Reproductive and vascular biology

Our scientists and clinicians use in situ cellular technologies and large-scale gene expression profiling to study the normal and pathophysiological remodelling of vascular and uteroplacental tissues. Novel approaches to cellular interactions have been developed using a unique human tissue resource. Our research themes include:

  • the regulation of trophoblast and uNk cells
  • transcriptional and post-translational features of uterine function
  • cardiac and vascular remodelling in pregnancy

We also have preclinical molecular biology projects in breast cancer research.

Respiratory disease

We conduct a broad range of research activities into acute and chronic lung diseases. As well as scientific studies into disease mechanisms, there is particular interest in translational medicine approaches to lung disease, studying human lung tissue and cells to explore potential for new treatments. Our current areas of research include:

  • acute lung injury - lung infections
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • fibrotic disease of the lung, both before and after lung transplantation.

Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics

Our research projects are concerned with the harmful effects of chemicals, including prescribed drugs, and finding ways to prevent and minimise these effects. We are attempting to measure the effects of fairly small amounts of chemicals, to provide ways of giving early warning of the start of harmful effects. We also study the adverse side-effects of medicines, including how conditions such as liver disease and heart disease can develop in people taking medicines for completely different medical conditions. Our current interests include: environmental chemicals and organophosphate pesticides, warfarin, psychiatric drugs and anti-cancer drugs.

Pharmacy

Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.



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Our environmental science research is multidisciplinary, including subjects ranging from biology to geography and geosciences. Read more
Our environmental science research is multidisciplinary, including subjects ranging from biology to geography and geosciences. Supported by the global outlook and impact of the Newcastle Institute for Sustainability, you will have access to international experts, the latest facilities and a unique research support package to ensure your future success.

We offer MPhil supervision in the following subjects areas associated with environment science:

Applied and environmental biology

We conduct research on organisms and processes of commercial and environmental importance, embracing experimental approaches that encompass genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology. Our research provides evidence for the underlying molecular and physiological processes that affect animal behaviour and physiology.

Our research is driven by the desire to develop new biological systems that address health, food, energy and water security. The applied nature of our work has led to the launch of successful spin-out companies, such as Geneius. These companies offer graduate employment opportunities and make a substantial contribution to the local economy. The commercial applications that result from our research range from natural products discovery and creation of novel antimicrobials and biopesticides to sustainable methods of reducing food spoilage.

Based in the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), our research laboratories include well-equipped molecular laboratories for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) amplification, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and facilities for the production of novel recombinant proteins, including protein engineering. Microbiological laboratories are equipped to Category 2 standard. We have the latest equipment for profiling plant leaf gas exchange and light use efficiency, high performance liquid chromatography, fluorescence and light microscopy and easy access to central facilities for confocal and electron microscopy, DNA sequencing, microarray analyses and proteomics. We also have a suite of licenced controlled environment rooms for growing transgenic plants and for housing quarantine invertebrate pests.

Applied and environmental biology research is based in the School of Biology and led by academic staff with international reputations.

Environmental change and management

We study long-term system evolution and change, developing knowledge relating to the Earth's surface and the processes that form its structure and function. We also study how human behaviour impacts on these systems and influences sustainable management.

Based in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, you will be part of an active research community of nearly 200 social science researchers. We pride our research on being the highest academic quality with an international focus, underpinned by a concern for informing public debate and contributing to public policy formulation.

Research in physical geography is supported by a number of laboratories:
-Newcastle Cosmogenic Isotope Facility
-Geomorphology Laboratory
-Chemical, paleoecology and organic chemistry laboratories
-Spatial Analysis Laboratory

We have over 90 academic and research staff and we will ensure that your project is supervised by experts in your field.

Geosciences

Geoscience research at Newcastle is focused on:
-Biogeochemistry, with particular strength in microbial ecology, mineralogy, organic, inorganic and isotope geochemistry
-Geoenergy, reflecting a balance between fossil fuels as a critical energy resource and the move towards a lower carbon global economy

Our biogeochemistry and geoenergy research forms a strong multi-disciplinary group. We also have links to the engineering community through our work on microbial processes of significance to oil and gas production such as reservoir souring.

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The MSc in Nutrition and Genetics aims to educate students in molecular biology principles that explain the interactions between human DNA and nutrition. Read more
The MSc in Nutrition and Genetics aims to educate students in molecular biology principles that explain the interactions between human DNA and nutrition.

Why study Nutrition and Genetics?

The degree provides students with the knowledge and understanding of the progress, advantages and limitations of personalised nutrition. Finally, the programme will provide students with the necessary practical skills associated with molecular nutrition techniques.

NHS England states that “the shift to personalised medicine is already underway” and the NHS National Genetics and Genomics Education Centre has developed specific learning outcomes that need to be achieved by currently practising and future dietitians.

Freelance dietitians and nutritionists already feel the need to include elements of genetics and personalised nutrition in their consultations. An extensive market analysis on consumer trends (DataMonitor) showed that one of the main food-consumer “mega” trends is that people of all ages are more proactively addressing their health in a more personalised manner. The UK is one of the leading countries in consumer rates who consider the idea of using genetics in nutritional advice.

Why St Mary's?

St Mary’s University, Twickenham is the first and only university in the UK that offers a degree in Nutrition and Genetics. Teaching staff at St Mary’s have great experience teaching Nutrition and they also conduct research in the field of Nutrition and Genetics. St Mary’s University has been ranked as the top London university for student experience and we are proud of the excellent tutoring support we offer. The specific programme offers the opportunity for students to carry out their Research Project at the University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain) as part of the Erasmus exchange programme.

Course Content

What you will study
-Principles of molecular biology
-Genetics in health and disease
-Nutrient-gene interactions
-Genetics and personalised nutrition
-Applied personalised nutrition
-Genetic tests in nutrition
-Research Project

Please note: All information is correct at the time of publication. However, course content is regularly updated and this may result in some changes, which will be communicated to students before their programme begins.

Career Prospects

Graduates of the MSc in Nutrition and Genetics will have gained an expertise in incorporating elements of genetic profiling in nutritional and dietary assessments and regimes. Also, graduates of this programme will be in a unique position to work for (or with) companies that offer genotyping services; such companies are becoming increasingly popular, creating the need for such expertise.

Finally, the specific degree is the ideal platform for a career in research considering that graduates will be in the advantageous position to combine two distinct scientific disciplines (Nutrition and Genetics).

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Our environmental science research is multidisciplinary, including subjects ranging from biology to geography and geosciences. Read more
Our environmental science research is multidisciplinary, including subjects ranging from biology to geography and geosciences. Supported by the global outlook and impact of the Newcastle Institute for Sustainability, you will have access to international experts, the latest facilities and a unique research support package to ensure your future success.

We offer MPhil and PhD supervision in the following subjects areas associated with environment science:

Applied and environmental biology

We conduct research on organisms and processes of commercial and environmental importance, embracing experimental approaches that encompass genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology. Our research provides evidence for the underlying molecular and physiological processes that affect animal behaviour and physiology.

Our research is driven by the desire to develop new biological systems that address health, food, energy and water security. The applied nature of our work has led to the launch of successful spin-out companies, such as Geneius. These companies offer graduate employment opportunities and make a substantial contribution to the local economy. The commercial applications that result from our research range from natural products discovery and creation of novel antimicrobials and biopesticides to sustainable methods of reducing food spoilage.

Based in the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), our research laboratories include well-equipped molecular laboratories for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) amplification, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and facilities for the production of novel recombinant proteins, including protein engineering. Microbiological laboratories are equipped to Category 2 standard. We have the latest equipment for profiling plant leaf gas exchange and light use efficiency, high performance liquid chromatography, fluorescence and light microscopy and easy access to central facilities for confocal and electron microscopy, DNA sequencing, microarray analyses and proteomics. We also have a suite of licenced controlled environment rooms for growing transgenic plants and for housing quarantine invertebrate pests.

Applied and environmental biology research is based in the School of Biology and led by academic staff with international reputations.

Environmental change and management

We study long-term system evolution and change, developing knowledge relating to the Earth's surface and the processes that form its structure and function. We also study how human behaviour impacts on these systems and influences sustainable management.

Based in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, you will be part of an active research community of nearly 200 social science researchers. We pride our research on being the highest academic quality with an international focus, underpinned by a concern for informing public debate and contributing to public policy formulation.

Research in physical geography is supported by a number of laboratories:
-Newcastle Cosmogenic Isotope Facility
-Geomorphology Laboratory
-Chemical, paleoecology and organic chemistry laboratories
-Spatial Analysis Laboratory

We have over 90 academic and research staff and we will ensure that your project is supervised by experts in your field.

Geosciences

Geoscience research at Newcastle is focussed on:
-Biogeochemistry, with particular strength in microbial ecology, mineralogy, organic, inorganic and isotope geochemistry
-Geoenergy, reflecting a balance between fossil fuels as a critical energy resource and the move towards a lower carbon global economy

Our biogeochemistry and geoenergy research forms a strong multi-disciplinary group. We also have links to the engineering community through our work on microbial processes of significance to oil and gas production such as reservoir souring.

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