Do you have a clear and specific interest in cancer, stem cells or developmental biology? Our Master’s programme Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology combines research in three areas: oncology, molecular developmental biology and genetics. The focus is on molecular and cellular aspects of development and disease, utilising different model systems (mice, zebrafish, C. elegans, organoids and cell lines). The programme will guide you through the mysteries of embryonic growth, stem cells, signalling, gene regulation, evolution, and development as they relate to health and disease.
Given that fundamental developmental processes are so often impacted by disease, an understanding of these processes is vital to the better understanding of disease treatment and prevention. Adult physiology is regulated by developmental genes and mechanisms which, if deregulated, may result in pathological conditions. If you have a specific interest in cancer, stem cells or developmental biology, this Master’s programme is the right choice for you. Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology offers you international, high ranked research training and education that builds on novel methodology in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics technology applied to biomedical and developmental systems and processes.
In the Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology programme you will learn to focus on understanding processes underlying cancer and developmental biology using techniques and applications of post-genomic research, including microarray analysis, next generation sequencing, proteomics, metabolomics and advanced microscopy techniques. You explore research questions concerning embryonic growth, stem cells, signaling pathways, gene regulation, evolution and development in relation to health and disease using various model systems. As a Master’s student you will take theory courses and seminars, as well as master classes led by renowned specialists in the field. The courses are interactive, and challenge you to further improve your writing and presenting skills.
Compared to most other Master’s programmes in cancer and stem cell biology in the Netherlands, in Utrecht we offer:
As a MSc graduate trained in both fundamental and disease-oriented aspects of biomedical genetics you are in great demand. You’ll be prepared for PhD study in one of the participating or associated groups. Alternatively, leaving after obtaining your MSc degree you will profit from a solid education in molecular genetics, in addition to your specialised knowledge of developmental biology. You’ll find your way to biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry or education.
This MSc aims to provide medical and science students with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the field of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine, specifically human genetics, human embryonic development and fetal medicine. There is a strong focus on the development of key skills and careers advice in the programme.
Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of the field of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine, specifically in the areas of basic genetics and technology, genetic mechanisms, medical genetics, organogenesis and fetal development, gametogenesis and IVF, prenatal diagnosis and screening, fetal and perinatal medicine, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis and developing technology. They gain transferable skills including information technology, analysis of scientific papers, essay writing, seminar presentation, research techniques, peer review and laboratory skills.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of eight core modules (120 credits, full-time nine months, flexible study two to five years) is offered.
There are no optional modules for this programme.
All MSc students undertake a clinical, laboratory, audit or library-based research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical demonstrations in laboratories, observation days in fetal medicine and IVF units, and student presentations. There are a number of peer-led learning activities. Assessment is through essays, patient case reports, critical reviews of papers, online problem booklet, examinations and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine MSc
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
On completion of the programme, all students will have gained knowledge of both the clinical and laboratory aspects of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine. This will enable the science-orientated students to go on to pursue research degrees, further training for careers in prenatal diagnosis or embryology, or other careers in the field or in general science. Medically-orientated students will be able to develop their careers in the field of fetal medicine.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Throughout the MSc programme students learn key skills through peer-led activities, such as evaluating and presenting orally on patient cases and media coverage of scientific papers. Students learn how to write essays and patient case reports and how to critically evaluate papers. They also have the opportunity to take part in debates and ethical discussions and to learn basic laboratory techniques. We offer a comprehensive careers programme involving our alumni, covering job applications, CV writing, general careers in science and specific advice on careers in embryology, clinical genetics, medicine and research degrees.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The UCL Institute for Women’s Health delivers excellence in research, clinical practice, education and training in order to make a real and sustainable difference to women's and babies' health worldwide.
The institute's UCL/UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust collaboration provides an academic environment in which students can pursue graduate studies taught by world-class researchers and clinicians.
Our diversity of expertise in maternal and fetal medicine, neonatology, reproductive health and women's cancer ensures a vibrant environment in which students develop subject-specific and generic transferable skills, supporting a broad range of future employment opportunities.
Academic, practical and research teaching covering all aspects of the latest developments in regenerative dentistry including dental stem cell culture, iPS and ES cells, tooth bioengineering, the role of stem cells in tooth repair and regeneration. A major feature of the course is a research project carried out in one of our research labs and supported by practical demonstrations and evaluation of research publication.
Taught course elements include: Introduction to stem cells, ES and iPS, Dental stem cells, Endogenous dentine repair, Endodontic applications of stem cells, Whole tooth regeneration, Scaffolds and bone regeneration, Salivary gland regeneration, Periodontal ligament restoration, GMP cell culture.
Research and practical elements include a research project, practical demonstrations of dental pulp stem cell culture combined with critical evaluation of research methods and approaches in dental stem cell biology.
Examples of research projects:
Regenerative dentistry is for both dentists and biological scientists who desire to learn more about the latest advances in cell and molecule-based dentistry and also gain experience in carrying out laboratory-based, cutting-edge research in dental stem cell biology.
Written exam, practical tests and written reports, seminar presentation.
This course aims to provide a balance between theoretical and clinical skills and develop participants’ levels of critical enquiry so you can deliver high quality evidence-based care to people with diabetes.
It will also encourage critical thinking through participation in the simulation laboratory, group discussion and presentation.
It will, through an understanding of research methods, encourage the analysis of cutting-edge diabetes research data to develop standards and guidelines for best practice.
The course will develop an enhanced understanding of contemporary approach to diabetes care.
In the UK as elsewhere in the world, the prevalence of diabetes has, according to the WHO and the IDF, reached epidemic proportion and projected to peak to 552 million by the year 2030. A person with diabetes potentially faces a reduced life expectancy of between 6-20 years. The irreversible micro-vascular complications resulting in damage to the eyes (retinopathy), the kidneys (nephropathy), the nerves (neuropathy) and macro-vascular complications namely cardio-vascular diseases (heart attacks and stroke) and insufficiency in blood flow to the legs lead are associated with considerable human, social, and economic costs, and accounts for 10% of the total health care resource expenditure in the UK.
This relentless diabetic epidemic means that its management is becoming a significant healthcare challenge in the UK and as it is worldwide. It is therefore imperative that health care professionals are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver high quality evidence-based care and to empower people with diabetes to self-management.
The MSc in Diabetes Care will enable you to:
This course has both full-time and part-time routes, comprising of four 16-week semesters which you can take within one or three years, allowing you to exit with one of the following awards:
Postgraduate Certificate: two modules
Postgraduate Diploma: four modules
Masters: four modules plus a dissertation over one year
Postgraduate Certificate: two modules
Postgraduate Diploma: four modules
Masters: four modules plus a dissertation over 3 years
Teaching will take a blended format comprising of lectures, tutorials, group discussion, presentation and peer group critiques. Evaluation and debate will be ongoing during the process of information gathering, the testing of theoretical and practical ideas and the honing of all elements towards the end product.
You will be assessed through:
Health care practitioners who graduate from this course would be employed in practice, management, education and research arenas in the UK and overseas.
Evidence suggests that there is an urgent need to match the ratio of Diabetes Specialist Nurses (DSN) to the number of people with diabetes they care for. DSN can be employed in various sectors of the health service both in the UK and overseas while others can potentially progress into research. Others may choose to go into academia working as lecturers or lecturer-practitioners or diabetes nurse consultants.
This course will suit you if you want to acquire a systematic understanding of the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver high quality evidence-based care to people with diabetes, or if you wish to update your skill for a different but diabetes-related career pathway.
Graduates from this course can potentially apply for such promotional posts as Diabetes Specialist Nurse or Nurse Consultant in Diabetes or Divisional Nurse for Long Term Conditions.
Guest speakers from the clinical areas will provide input in to specific modules. The practical experience to be gained from the simulation laboratory will make a valuable contribution to the course content and will bring a real world perspective to the academic delivery of the modules. These guest lectures will allow course participants to mix with professionals from the diabetes clinical settings and to make connections with them particularly when undertaking research project.
Research in the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences is coordinated by Professor Nick Hardiker, Associate Head for Research. There is a pool of fully research-active academic staff and a number of embryonic and early career researchers engaged in a range of innovative and creative projects and in advancing the boundaries of theoretical investigation. Graduates from this course can consider pursuing a Doctorate course of study such as Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Work or the traditional doctoral course.
Find more information about research within the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences.
The only Master’s specialisation in the Netherlands covering the function of our epigenome, a key factor in regulating gene expression and in a wide range of diseases.
Our skin cells, liver cells and blood cells all contain the same genetic information. Yet these are different types of cells, each performing their own specific tasks. How is this possible? The explanation lies in the epigenome: a heritable, cell-type specific set of chromosomal modifications, which regulates gene expression. Radboud University is specialised in studying the epigenome and is the only university in the Netherlands to offer a Master’s programme in this field of research.
The epigenome consists of small and reversible chemical modifications of the DNA or histone proteins, such as methylation, acetylation and phosphorylation. It changes the spatial structure of DNA, resulting in gene activation or repression. These processes are crucial for our health and also play a role in many diseases, like autoimmune diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. As opposed to modifications of the genome sequence itself, epigenetic modifications are reversible. You can therefore imagine the great potential of drugs that target epigenetic enzymes, so-called epi-drugs.
In this specialisation, you’ll look at a cell as one big and complex system. You’ll study epigenetic mechanisms during development and disease from different angles. This includes studying DNA and RNA by next-generation sequencing (epigenomics) and analysing proteins by mass spectrometry (proteomics). In addition, you‘ll be trained to design computational strategies that allow the integration of these multifaceted, high-throughput data sets into one system.
- Radboud University combines various state-of-the-art technologies – such as quantitative mass spectrometry and next-generation DNA sequencing – with downstream bioinformatics analyses in one department. This is unique in Europe.
- This programme allows you to work with researchers from the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life sciences (RIMLS), one of the leading multidisciplinary research institutes within this field of study worldwide.
- We have close contacts with high-profile medically oriented groups on the Radboud campus and with international institutes (EMBL, Max-Planck, Marie Curie, Cambridge, US-based labs, etc). As a Master’s student, you can choose to perform an internship in one of these related departments.
- Radboud University coordinates BLUEPRINT, a 30 million Euro European project focusing on the epigenomics of leukaemia. Master’s students have the opportunity to participate in this project.
As a Master’s student of Medical Epigenomics you’re trained in using state-of-the art technology in combination with biological software tools to study complete networks in cells in an unbiased manner. For example, you’ll know how to study the effects of drugs in the human body.
When you enter the job market, you’ll have:
- A thorough background of epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease, which is highly relevant in strongly rising field of epi-drug development
- Extensive and partly hands-on experience in state-of-the-art ‘omics’ technologies: next-generation sequencing, quantitative mass spectrometry and single cell technologies;
- Extensive expertise in designing, executing and interpreting scientific experiments in data-driven research;
- The computational skills needed to analyse large ‘omics’ datasets.
With this background, you can become a researcher at a:
- University or research institute;
- Pharmaceutical company, such as Synthon or Johnson & Johnson;
- Food company, like Danone or Unilever;
- Start-up company making use of -omics technology.
Apart from research into genomics and epigenomics, you could also work on topics such as miniaturising workflows, improving experimental devices, the interface between biology and informatics, medicine from a systems approach.
Or you can become a:
- Biological or medical consultant;
- Biology teacher;
- Policy coordinator, regarding genetic or medical issues;
- Patent attorney;
- Clinical research associate;
Each year, the Molecular Biology department (Prof. Henk Stunnenberg, Prof. Michiel Vermeulen) and the Molecular Developmental Biology department (Prof. Gert-Jan Veenstra) at the RIMLS offer between five and ten PhD positions. Of course, many graduates also apply for a PhD position at related departments in the Netherlands, or abroad.
- Systems biology
In the Medical Epigenomics specialisation you won’t zoom in on only one particular gene, protein or signalling pathway. Instead, you’ll regard the cell as one complete system. This comprehensive view allows you to, for example, model the impact of one particular epigenetic mutation on various parts and functions of the cell, or study the effects of a drug in an unbiased manner. One of the challenges of this systems biology approach is the processing and integration of large amounts of data. That’s why you’ll also be trained in computational biology. Once graduated, this will be a great advantage: you’ll be able to bridge the gap between biology, technology and informatics , and thus have a profile that is desperately needed in modern, data-driven biology.
- Multiple OMICS approaches
Studying cells in a systems biology approach means connecting processes at the level of the genome (genomics), epigenome (epigenomics), transcriptome (transcriptomics), proteome (proteomics), etc. In the Medical Epigenomics specialisation, you’ll get acquainted with all these different fields of study.
- Patient and animal samples
Numerous genetic diseases are not caused by genetic mutations, but by epigenetic mutations that influence the structure and function of chromatin. Think of:
- Autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Cancer, in the forms of leukaemia, colon cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer
- Neurological disorders, like Rett Syndrome, Alzheimer, Parkinson, Multiple Sclerosis, schizophrenia and autism
We investigate these diseases on a cellular level, focusing on the epigenetic mutations and the impact on various pathways in the cell. You’ll get the chance to participate in that research, and work with embryonic stem cell, patient, Xenopus or zebra fish samples.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/medicalbiology/epigenomics