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This Master's degree in Cell and Gene Therapy provides an in-depth education in this cutting-edge and rapidly developing field. Read more
This Master's degree in Cell and Gene Therapy provides an in-depth education in this cutting-edge and rapidly developing field. It is delivered by scientists and clinicians researching, developing and testing new treatments for genetically inherited and acquired diseases using gene delivery technology, stem cell manipulation and DNA repair techniques.

Degree information

The degree covers all aspects of the subject, including basic biomedical science, molecular basis of disease, current and developing technologies and clinical applications. Students also receive vocational training in research methodology and statistics, how to perform a research project and complete a practical laboratory-based project.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months or flexible up to five years) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, part-time nine months, or up to two years flexible) is offered.

Core modules
-Molecular Aspects of Cell and Gene Therapy
-Clinical Applications of Cell and Gene Therapy
-Research Methodology and Statistics
-Stem Cell and Tissue Repair

Research Methodology and Statistics is not a core module for the PG Certificate. Students of the PG Certificate can choose an optional module.

Optional modules
-Foundations of Biomedical Sciences
-Applied Genomics
-HIV Frontiers from Research to Clinics
-Molecular and Genetic Basis of Paediatric Disease
-Understanding Research and Critical Appraisal: Biomedicine
-Laboratory Methods in Biomedical Science
-Research Methodology and Statistics

Dissertation/report
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation.

Teaching and learning
Teaching includes lectures, seminars, problem classes and tutorials. Assessment varies depending on the module, but includes written coursework, multiple-choice questions, written examinations, a practical analysis examination and the dissertation.

Careers

The majority of our graduates have gone on to secure PhD places. Please see our programme website to read testimonials from past students which include their destinations following graduation.

Employability
This novel programme aims to equip students for careers in research, education, medicine and business in academic, clinical and industrial settings. Examples of potential careers could include academic research and/or lecturing in a university or other higher education setting, conducting clinical trials as part of a team of clinicians, scientists and allied health professionals, monitoring and analysing the results of clinical trials as part of a clinical trials unit, developing new therapies or intellectual property in the pharmaceutical industry or other business ventures.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Institute of Child Health (ICH), and its clinical partner Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), is the largest centre in Europe devoted to clinical, basic research and post-graduate education in children's health, including haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and gene therapy.

The UCL School of Life & Medical Sciences (SLMS) has the largest concentration of clinicians and researchers active in cell and gene therapy research in Europe. This is reflected by the many groups conducting high-quality research and clinical trials in the field including researchers at the Institute of Child Health, the Division of Infection and Immunity, the Institute of Ophthalmology, the Institute for Women's Health, the Institute of Genetics and the Cancer Institute.

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Molecular genetics is the study of genes at the molecular level. It focuses on the processes that underlie the expression of the genetic information from the DNA into the functional proteins that execute the genetic programme. Read more
Molecular genetics is the study of genes at the molecular level. It focuses on the processes that underlie the expression of the genetic information from the DNA into the functional proteins that execute the genetic programme. Within the School of Life Sciences research in molecular genetics is concentrated in the Human Genetics, Fungal Biology, and Developmental Genetics and Gene Control groups. In the Human Genetics group research in this area includes studies of the molecular basis of myotonic dystrophy and the identification of genes involved in cardiac development; the molecular genetics of muscle disease; mouse models of muscle disorders and molecular genetic approaches to anthropology and human population genetics. In the Fungal Biology group there are studies on the molecular events that determine stress responses during polarised growth, protein folding and secretion in yeasts and filamentous fungi; the molecular and cellular effects of stress on yeast cells and the genetic mechanisms that control sex in fungi. The Developmental Genetics and Gene Control group focuses on the mechanisms of eukaryotic gene expression and the genetics of vertebrate embryonic development. Developmental studies are focussed largely upon the mechanisms that control stem cell fate. Projects on the control of gene expression address the machinery used by cells to achieve appropriate levels of functional transcripts. These studies include control of transcription and the mechanisms of RNA maturation.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES
After identifying which Masters you wish to pursue please complete an on-line application form
https://pgapps.nottingham.ac.uk/
Mark clearly on this form your choice of course title, give a brief outline of your proposed research and follow the automated prompts to provide documentation. Once the School has your application and accompanying documents (eg referees reports, transcripts/certificates) your application will be matched to an appropriate academic supervisor and considered for an offer of admission.

COURSE STRUCTURE
The MRes degree course consists of two elements:
160 credits of assessed work. The assessed work will normally be based entirely on a research project and will be the equivalent of around 10 ½ months full-time research work. AND
20 credits of non-assessed generic training. Credits can be accumulated from any of the courses offered by the Graduate School. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gradschool/research-training/index.phtml The generic courses should be chosen by the student in consultation with the supervisor(s).

ASSESSMENT
The research project will normally be assessed by a dissertation of a maximum of 30,000 to 35,000 words, or equivalent as appropriate*. The examiners may if they so wish require the student to attend a viva.
*In consultation with the supervisor it maybe possible for students to elect to do a shorter research project and take a maximum of 40 credits of assessed modules.

The School of Life Sciences will provide each postgraduate research student with a laptop for their exclusive use for the duration of their studies in the School.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/international-applicants/scholarships-fees-and-finance/scholarships/masters-scholarships.aspx

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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. Read more

Master's specialisation in Medical Epigenomics

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.

Health and disease

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.

Big data

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.

Why study Medical Epigenomics at Radboud University?

- 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.

Career prospects

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;

PhD positions at Radboud University

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.

Our approach to this field

- 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

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The Biotechnology MSc within the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) provides you with key skills, specialist knowledge and essential training for a career in industrial or academic bioscience. Read more

Overview

The Biotechnology MSc within the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) provides you with key skills, specialist knowledge and essential training for a career in industrial or academic bioscience. Increasingly, biotechnology companies are recruiting Master’s students with specialised skills to perform jobs previously the reserve of Doctorate level scientists https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/features/2012/01/wanted-bs-and-ms-scientists-life-sciences-industries.

At the end of the course you will be able to meet the challenges of biotechnology, demonstrate critical thinking and solve problems, exploit opportunities, and know how ideas can be turned into viable businesses or a successful grant application.

Why study Biotechnology at IBERS?

• You want specialist experience and knowledge in biotechnology research and commercial application to give you a competitive edge in the job market and underpin your successful career.
• IBERS has the credentials to deliver these goals.
• With 360 members of staff, 1350 undergraduate students and more than 150 postgraduate students IBERS is the largest Institute within Aberystwyth University, and we regard teaching as particularly important to our mission https://youtu.be/gU5Kd-vlglQ. Our excellence in teaching was recognised by outstanding scores in the National Student Satisfaction Survey 2016 https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/ibers/ug-study/ugrad-courses/nss/, with three courses recording 100% student satisfaction and a further 10 scoring above the national average. The latest employability data shows that 92% of IBERS graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University.
• IBERS is internationally-recognised for research excellence and works to provide solutions to global challenges such as food security, sustainable bioenergy, and the impacts of climate change. IBERS hosts 2 National bioscience facilities: The National Plant Phenomics Centre https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qBsVP0j70k&feature=youtu.be is a state of the art automated plant growth facility that allows the high throughput evaluation of growth and morphology in defined environments, and the BEACON Centre of Excellence for Biorefining http://www.beaconwales.org/ is a £20 million partnership between Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities set up to help Welsh businesses develop new ways of converting biomass feedstocks and waste streams into products for the pharmaceutical, chemicals, fuel and cosmetic industries.
• IBERS has a track record of working with academic and industrial partners to develop and translate innovative bioscience research into solutions that help mitigate the impacts of climate change, animal and plant disease, and deliver renewable energy and food and water security. The economic and social impact of IBERS research was recognised in 2011when the institute won the national BBSRC Excellence with Impact.

Course Content

In the first 2 semesters the course focuses on 2 key areas of biotechnology: industrial fermentation (manufacturing processes, feedstock pretreatment, fermentation, and the biorefining of low cost feedstocks to high value products) and plant biotechnology (synthetic biology, gene editing, precision genome modification, transformation technologies, up and down gene regulation and silencing, and gene stacking). In addition you will receive practical training in state of the art molecular and analytical bioscience techniques and technologies, you will learn of marine, food and health biotechnology, and sustainable use of bio-resources and bioscience to help meet the needs of an ever growing human population. All course modules are delivered by academics and professional practitioners at the forefront of activity in the field.
In the final semester you will work on your own research project with your dissertation supervisor. This could be a project of your own design and will focus on an aspect of biotechnology that you found particularly interesting; it may even be something that you want to develop as a business idea in the future. During your dissertation project you will use the knowledge and the skills that you gained during the first 2 semesters. Your dissertation project will give you an opportunity to become an expert in your topic and to develop research skills that will prepare you for your future career in biotechnology. Your tutor will mentor you in hypothesis driven experimental design, train you in analytical techniques e.g. gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, vibrational spectroscopy, fermentation, product isolation, biomass processing, the analysis of complex experimental data, and the formation of robust conclusions. You will also be guided in writing your dissertation.

Examples of past dissertation topics

1. Optimisation of ethanol production, xylose utilisation and growth of Candida shehatae 661 on absorbent hygiene product sourced cellulosic material using Taguchi methodology
2. Bioactive compounds in invasive species
3. Designing a system for industrial production of recombinant protein using grass juice as a fermentation medium

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Lead academic 2016. Dr Martin Nicklin. This flexible course focuses on the molecular and genetic factors of human diseases. Understanding those factors is crucial to the development of therapies. Read more

About the course

Lead academic 2016: Dr Martin Nicklin

This flexible course focuses on the molecular and genetic factors of human diseases. Understanding those factors is crucial to the development of therapies. Core modules cover the fundamentals. You choose specialist modules from the pathway that interests you most. We also give you practical lab training to prepare you for your research project. The project is five months of invaluable laboratory experience: planning, carrying out, recording and reporting your own research.

Recent graduates work in academic research science, pharmaceuticals and the biotech industry.

Our study environment

You’ll be based in teaching hospitals that serve a population of over half a million people and refer a further two million. We also have close links with the University’s other health-related departments.

Our research funding comes from many sources including the NIHR, MRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, the Department of Health, EU, and prominent charities such as the Wellcome Trust, ARC, YCR, Cancer Research UK and BHF. Our partners and sponsors include Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Eli Lilly.

You’ll also benefit from our collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

How we teach

Classes are kept small (15–20 students) to make sure you get the best possible experience in laboratories and in clinical settings.

Our resources

We have a state-of-the-art biorepository and a £30m stem cell laboratory. The Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) opened in November 2010. We also have microarray, genetics, histology, flow cytometry and high-throughput screening technology, and the latest equipment for bone and oncology research.

At our Clinical Research Facility, you’ll be able to conduct studies with adult patients and volunteers. The Sheffield Children’s Hospital houses a complementary facility for paediatric experimental medical research.

Hepatitis B policy

If your course involves a significant risk of exposure to human blood or other body fluids and tissue, you’ll need to complete a course of Hepatitis B immunisation before starting. We conform to national guidelines that are in place to protect patients, health care workers and students.

Core modules

From Genome to Gene Function; Human Gene Bioinformatics; Research Literature Review; Human Disease Genetics; Modulating Immunity; Laboratory Practice and Statistics.
You choose: six optional pathways

1. Genetic Mechanisms pathway:


Modelling Protein Interactions; Gene Networks: Models and Functions.

2. Microbes and Infection pathway:


Virulence Mechanisms of Viruses, Fungi and Protozoa; Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenicity; Characterisation of Bacterial Virulence Determinants.

3. Experimental Medicine pathway:


Molecular and Cellular Basis of Disease; Model Systems in Research; Novel Therapies.

4. Cancer pathway:

Molecular Basis of Tumourigenesis and Metastasis; Molecular Techniques in Cancer Research; Molecular Approaches to Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment.

5. Cardiovascular pathway:

Vascular Cell Biology; Experimental Models of Vascular Disease; Vascular Disease Therapy and Clinical Practice.

6. Clinical Applications pathway:

Apply directly to this pathway. Available only to medical graduates. Students are recruited to a specialist clinical team and pursue the taught programme (1-5) related to the attachment. They are then attached to a clinical team for 20 weeks, either for a clinical research project or for clinical observations. See website for more detail and current attachments.

Teaching and assessment

Lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory demonstrations, computer practicals and student presentations. Assessment is continuous. Most modules are assessed by written assignments and coursework, although there are some written exams. Two modules are assessed by verbal presentations.

Your research project is assessed by a thesis, possibly with a viva.

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The two-year MSc Bioinformatics concerns a new scientific discipline with roots in computer science, statistics and molecular biology. Read more

MSc Bioinformatics

The two-year MSc Bioinformatics concerns a new scientific discipline with roots in computer science, statistics and molecular biology. Bioinformaticians apply information technology to store, retrieve and manipulate these data and employ statistical methods capable of analysing large amounts of biological data to predict gene functions and to demonstrate relationships between genes and proteins.

Programme summary

DNA contains information about life, but how is this information used? Biological data, such as DNA and RNA sequence information produced by next-generation sequencing techniques, is accumulating at an unprecedented rate. Life scientists increasingly use bioinformatics resources to address their specific research questions. Bioinformaticians bridge the gap between complex biological research questions and this complex data. Bioinformaticians use and develop computational tools to predict gene function(s) and to demonstrate and model relationships between genes, proteins and metabolites in biological systems. Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that applies computational and statistical techniques to the classification, interpretation and integration of large-scale biological data sets. If different data types are joined then complex interactions in biological systems can be studied. The use of systems biology methods to study complex biological interactions offers a wealth of possibilities to understand various levels of aggregation and enables control of biological systems on different scales. Systems biology approaches are therefore quickly gaining importance in many disciplines of life sciences, such as in applied biotechnology where these methods are now used to develop strategies for improving production in fermentation. Other examples include bioconversion and enzymatic synthesis, and in the study of human metabolism and its alterations where systems biology methods are applied to understand a variety of complex human diseases, including metabolic syndromes and cancer. The Wageningen Master programme focuses on the practical application of bioinformatics and systems biology approaches in many areas of the Life Sciences. To ensure that students acquire a high level of understanding of modelling and computing principles, the students are trained in the fundamentals of database management, computer programming, structural and functional genomics, proteomics and systems biology methods. This training includes advanced elective courses in molecular biology and biostatistics.

Thesis tracks

Bioinformatics
The bioinformatics track focuses on the practical application of bioinformatics knowledge and skills in molecular life sciences. It aims at creating and using bioinformatics resources to address specific research questions. The knowledge and skills gained can be applied in many life science disciplines such as molecular & cell biology, biotechnology, (human) genetics, health & medicine and environmental & biobased technology.

Systems Biology
The systems biology track focuses on the study of the complex interactions in biological systems and on the emerging properties derived from these. Systems biology approaches to complex biological problems offer a wealth of possibilities to understand various levels of aggregation. It enables control of biological systems on completely different scales, ranging from the molecular cellular level to marine, plant, or animal ecosystems to a desired state. The knowledge and skills gained can be applied in many life science disciplines including molecular & cell biology, applied biotechnology, genetics, medicine and vaccine development, environmental and biobased technology.

Your future career

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology are new fast growing biology based interdisciplinary fields of research poorly served by the traditional curricula of Life Sciences. As demand has outpaced the supply of bioinformaticians, the first job after graduation is often a PhD project at a research institute or university. It is expected that five years after graduation, about one third will stay employed as a scientist at a university or research centre, while the others choose for careers at research-oriented pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies.

Alumnus Tom van den Bergh.
"It is sometimes difficult for doctors to diagnose genetic diseases caused by missense mutations. A missense mutation does not necessarily mean that you have the gene-associated disease and will become ill since not all missense mutations lead to appreciable protein changes." Tom created a database for Fabry’s disease for his final thesis. He wrote a computer programme that reads publications and stores all information about Fabry mutations in its database. Genetic researchers can, in turn, quickly access this database to determine if the mutation they found in a patient has already been addressed in literature and what the effects were.

Related programmes:
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Plant Biotechnology

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Normal growth of an animal, from the fertilised egg through to end of life maturity, requires concerted action of all the genes found in the animal genome. Read more

Research profile

Normal growth of an animal, from the fertilised egg through to end of life maturity, requires concerted action of all the genes found in the animal genome. Not all genes are active at any one stage or in any one cell type. Gene expression is dynamic yet programmed. Sometimes this programming goes awry and disease ensues. Research in the Division of Developmental Biology aims to characterise, understand and ultimately exploit the ever changing profile of gene expression found in mammals. This will allow the development of a better understanding of biology which in turn will enable new biotech, agricultural and biomedical advances to become reality.

We believe that a supported, active and innovative post-graduate student community is essential if we are to deliver our goals. This community represents the scientists, entrepreneurs, communicators and regulators of the future.

Research in the Division of Developmental Biology aims to enhance fundamental knowledge of the control of cellular growth and differentiation aiming to underpin the development of better disease intervention strategies.

We will advance our understanding of function in these essential biological processes through mechanistic studies at the cell, tissue and whole animal level with particular focus on:

animal biotechnology and stem cells
tissue and organ development
tissue damage and repair
regulatory networks in development

Within the Division of Developmental Biology we have 19 Group Leaders plus 2 Career Track Fellows who supervise about 30 students at any one time.

Training and support

Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute. Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.

All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. The Roslin Institute also has a local PG committee and will provide advice and support to students when requested. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.

Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.

Facilities

In 2011 The Roslin Institute moved to a new state-of-the-art building on the University of Edinburgh's veterinary campus at Easter Bush. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.

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This intense course focuses on the molecular and genetic factors of human diseases. Understanding those factors is crucial to the development of therapies. Read more
This intense course focuses on the molecular and genetic factors of human diseases. Understanding those factors is crucial to the development of therapies.

After you've completed the non-clinical elements of the MSc in Molecular Medicine, you’ll spend 20 weeks with a clinical team, working on a particular health or disease area.

You could work primarily with either a clinical research team or a clinical practice team – depending on your preferred choice and the availability of attachments.

The course will give you a critical understanding of how molecular medicine is being applied to real problems in a particular clinical area. It is assessed mainly through written coursework and dissertations.

Core modules

From Genome to Gene Function
Human Gene Bioinformatics
Human Disease Genetics
Modulating Immunity
Literature Review
Laboratory Techniques
Clinical Attachment Presentation Module

Examples of optional modules

A wide choice of pathways (related to the field of your clinical attachment) which includes:

Virulence Mechanisms of Viruses and Fungi (Microbes and Infection)
Molecular and Cellular Basis of Diseases (Experimental Medicine)
Vascular Cell Biology (Cardiovasular)
The Molecular Basis of Tumorigenesis and Metastasis (Cancer)
Modelling Protein Interactions (Genetic Mechanisms)

Special options for the clinical attachment are:

Clinical Attachment
Clinical Research Project

Teaching

Lectures
Tutorials
Seminars
Clinical Attachment

Assessment

Essays
Portfolio work
One Statistic Exam
Dissertation

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The Department of Molecular Genetics is administered from the Medical Sciences Building and has nearly 100 faculty members whose labs are located within… Read more
The Department of Molecular Genetics is administered from the Medical Sciences Building and has nearly 100 faculty members whose labs are located within the Medical Science Building, the Best Institute, the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, the FitzGerald Building, the Hospital for Sick Children, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Princess Margaret Hospital.

The Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs in Molecular Genetics offer research training in a broad range of genetic systems from bacteria and viruses to humans. Research projects include DNA repair, recombination and segregation, transcription, RNA splicing and catalysis, regulation of gene expression, signal transduction, interactions of host cells with bacteria and viruses, developmental genetics of simple organisms (worms and fruit flies) as well as complex organisms (mice), molecular neurobiology, molecular immunology, cancer biology and virology, structural biology, and human genetics and gene therapy.

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How can biological processes and organisms be used in the development of new technologies? Biotechnology enables us to improve practices in diverse fields including genetics, agriculture, bioremediation, immunology, diagnostics, energy production, and age-assisted living. Read more
How can biological processes and organisms be used in the development of new technologies? Biotechnology enables us to improve practices in diverse fields including genetics, agriculture, bioremediation, immunology, diagnostics, energy production, and age-assisted living.

Our course provides you with knowledge, understanding and hands-on experience in modern biotechnology, and with practical insights into current commercial applications. It creates access to a broad range of career opportunities in this rapidly growing key technology.

You will learn about and appraise the approaches that can be used to address the challenges facing our planet, including:
-The development of biofuels, pharmaceuticals and crops to support and feed the growing human population
-Industrial, plant and medical biotechnology
-Gene and protein technology
-Synthetic biology
-Bioinformatics

The course has a very high proportion of practical work that provides valuable experience for your career, and in addition to this, our optional module Creating and Growing a New Business Venture challenges you to think creatively. This increases your value to organisations, including small enterprises, which are a growing part of the biotechnology sector.

Your research project is a major component of this course, for which you perform novel laboratory and/or bioinformatic research in one of our academic laboratories, or (subject to approval) carry out research in an industrial or hospital setting.

Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology, and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Conduct your research alongside leading academics and PhD students in shared labs
-Learn to use state-of-the-art equipment

Your future

Our graduates are well placed to find employment in the ever-growing bio-based economy, and postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and to work in some public bodies or private companies.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Biotechnology - MSc
-Research Project: MSc Biotechnology
-Protein Technologies
-Gene Technology and Synthetic Biology
-Genomics
-Professional Skills and the Business of Biotechnology
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Industrial Biotechnology: Enzymes, Biochemicals and Biomaterials (optional)
-Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology (optional)
-Plant Biotechnology (optional)
-Rational Drug Design (optional)

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Designed to appeal to both clinical and basic scientists, the course provides a comprehensive, theoretical and practical training using state-of-the-art techniques in molecular and cellular biology as applied to medicine. Read more
Designed to appeal to both clinical and basic scientists, the course provides a comprehensive, theoretical and practical training using state-of-the-art techniques in molecular and cellular biology as applied to medicine.

The practice of clinical medicine is currently being revolutionised by rapid and extraordinary technological advances in molecular biology in areas such as gene discovery, cancer, inherited diseases and gene therapy.

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The MSc Molecular Genetics course aims to provide instruction in current concepts and techniques of molecular genetics as applied in modern research. Read more
The MSc Molecular Genetics course aims to provide instruction in current concepts and techniques of molecular genetics as applied in modern research. The MSc offers practical experience of experimental techniques and provides a framework to develop skills to plan research and devise strategies to achieve specific goals. The MSc acts as a springboard for graduates who want employment in molecular, biomedical or biotechnological research, or for entry to PhD programmes.

The MSc was established in 1988 and has been developed over the years to reflect the research strengths within the Faculty. Our students find the course to be demanding and challenging but also exciting, stimulating and rewarding.

The MSc consists of 180 course credits and is split into two phases:
Taught Phase 60 credits September - January
Research Project 120 credits January - August

Taught Phase
The taught phase is based around a series of taught practical experiments that introduce a variety of modern molecular techniques and research strategies. The experiments are run Tuesday-Friday of each week in the period September-December, with the Monday being reserved for a supporting lecture programme. The practical experiments are intensive and are used to help students develop analytical and reasoning skills as well as to learn how to plan and execute experimental investigations. There are some weeks set aside for students to complete written assignments and prepare for exams.

Research Project
For the research project students become part of an active research group and choose from a broad range of projects offered by departments of the Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences, the MRC Toxicology Unit, or collaborating research institutes or industrial partners (when available). The spread of projects covers a wide variety of disciplines involving molecular genetics and a variety of organisms.

Below are examples of project titles from a previous year:

• Molecular engineering of novel ligands with therapeutic potential

• Detection of oxidative damage to DNA in specific gene sequences

• Analyzing human disease genes in yeast

• Single molecule methods for watching the assembly of splicing complexes

• Secretory protein expression in pancreatic β-cells

• The iron responsive regulatory system of Campylobacter jejuni

• Non-recombining segments of the human genome as tools to study evolutionary history

• Analysis of telomere length dynamics in mice that lack telomerase by the amplification of single mouse telomeres.

• Molecular mechanisms underlying antisense-RNA mediated CpG island methylation in mammalian cells

• Mutations in the LMNA Gene in Emery Dreyfuss Muscular Dystrophy – consequences for in vitro differentiation of muscle cell cultures

• Alternative lengthening of telomeres in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia


Assessment of the research project is based on:
• Research performance (60 credits)
• A written report on the research (50 credits)
• A research seminar (10 credits).

Students submit the project report in August and the research seminars are held near the end of August.

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Molecular medicine is transforming the way we understand and treat human diseases, from cancers to neurodegenerative disorders. Read more
Molecular medicine is transforming the way we understand and treat human diseases, from cancers to neurodegenerative disorders. Combining contemporary medical studies with biochemistry and molecular biology, this rapidly advancing area creates a bridge between the subjects, and draws on other fields such as physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

This course examines how normal cellular processes are affected by disease. You gain an understanding of the core foundations of molecular medicine, studying the topics most relevant to the real world, and how this science may be used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.

You learn about and appraise the approaches that can be used to address global health problems, including cancer as well as genetic and infectious diseases. The foundations that support investigations of molecular disease mechanisms and the search for new diagnostic tools and treatments will be laid, as you explore topics including:
-Gene and protein technology.
-Synthetic biology
-Bioinformatics
-Genomics

This course has a very high proportion of practical and bioinformatic work that provides valuable experience for your career. This includes our optional module Creating and Growing a New Business Venture, which challenges you to think creatively and increases your value to organisations, including small enterprises, which are a growing part of the biopharmaceutical sector.

Your research project is a major component of your course, in which you perform novel laboratory and/or bioinformatic research in one of our academic laboratories or (subject to approval) carry out research in an industrial or hospital setting.

Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Conduct your research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
-Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities, from protein purification, to cell culture and imaging, to molecular modelling

Your future

Contribute to a growing industry and gain the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in biomedical research and industry, or continue your studies further in postgraduate science and medical degrees.

Advances in molecular medicine will continue to drive growth of new services and products in health care, biomedical and pharmaceutical organisations and companies, and our graduates are well placed to take advantage of employment opportunities in the life science, biotech and pharmaceutical industries and hospitals.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Research Project: MSc Molecular Medicine
-Protein Technologies
-Gene Technology and Synthetic Biology
-Professional Skills and the Business of Molecular Medicine
-Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology
-Genomics
-Advanced Medical Microbiology (optional)
-Human Molecular Genetics (optional)
-Cancer Biology (optional)
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Rational Drug Design (optional)
-Molecular and Developmental Immunology (optional)
-Cell Signalling (optional)
-Mechanisms of Neurological Disease (optional)

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The science of human genetics has been transformed in the past decade. Following the sequencing of the entire human genome, a wealth of resources is now available to researchers aiming to identify the genetic variants that influence human health. Read more
The science of human genetics has been transformed in the past decade. Following the sequencing of the entire human genome, a wealth of resources is now available to researchers aiming to identify the genetic variants that influence human health. These findings will shed light on the underlying molecular pathology of many diseases that are poorly understood at present, eventually paving the way for novel treatment and prevention strategies. The speed at which these discoveries are being made is accelerating, and it is likely that molecular genetics will soon underpin much of modern medicine.

Career Pathways:
The MSc in Human Molecular Genetics programme is designed to prepare you for a genetics research career, either in human gene function and genetic disease, or molecular approaches to diagnosis and health care biotechnology. It provides a broad grounding in Human Genetics, with emphasis on molecular aspects, to give a solid basis for subsequent academic or industrial research, or for entry to NHS Genetics training. Approximately 40% of our students go on to do a PhD, 40% become research assistants/associates, while others go on to jobs in industry or further studies (bioinformatics/computing medicine). One or two students every year enter the NHS in clinical genetics training posts.

Programme Structure:
You will study the fundamentals of human and molecular genetics, models of inheritance for rare and common/ complex polygenic diseases, cytogenetics, analytical methods in human genetics and genomics, animal models and transgenesis, gene therapy, epigenetics, cancer genetics and an introduction to clinical genetics and genetic counselling services.

There are four weeks of intensive laboratory practical sessions, as well as computer science practicals applied to problems in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics, regular research seminars on site, student seminar and journal presentations, study group activities and a six-month full-time research project in the summer.

The programme is based on an average 20 hours contact time per week. This will vary between 15 hours in most weeks and approximately 40 hours during intensive practicals and projects. Private study time is included within the schedule: you are expected to contribute an additional 10-15 hours private study per week to the course. We do not recommend you try to support yourself by taking a part-time employment whilst studying as your work may suffer.

Assessment:
There are 3 x 3-hour written papers in late February, coursework assessments (poster presentation, analytical methods in genetics, oral presentation), a project report and a viva examination in September.

Programme Location:
The programme is primarily based at Hammersmith Campus in West London although some teaching modules are held at St Mary's Campus and the Northwick Park Campus.

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Do you want to focus your scientific career on one of the fastest moving sectors of science? The UK has hundreds of biotech companies and is a leader in innovating specialist products from living organisms. Read more
Do you want to focus your scientific career on one of the fastest moving sectors of science? The UK has hundreds of biotech companies and is a leader in innovating specialist products from living organisms. Biotech applications are enhancing food production, treating medical conditions, and having a significant impact on the global future.

Given the common expectation for job candidates to have some form of postgraduate qualification, this Masters course offers a route to careers in biotechnology as well as the broader life sciences industry. If your first degree included the study of genetics and molecular biology, and a research module, you’re well-placed to join us.

This course can also be started in January (full time 21 months) - for more information please view this web-page: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/biotechnology-dtfbty6/

Learn From The Best

The quality of teaching in life sciences at Northumbria has been recognised by strong performance in student-led awards, Further evidence of academic excellence is the number of invitations to members of our team to join the editorial boards of scientific journals.

Our teaching team maintains close links with biotech companies and research labs, including via on-going roles as consultants, which helps ensure an up-to-date understanding of the latest technical and commercial developments. Several academics are involved in biotech ventures that make use of the University’s facilities: Nzomics Biocatalysis develops enzyme alternatives to chemical processes, and Nu-omics offers DNA sequencing services.

Teaching And Assessment

We aim for interactive teaching sessions and you will engage in discussions, problem-solving exercises and other activities. Teaching can start in the lab or classroom and then you make the material your own by exploring and applying it. Technology Enhanced Learning makes this easier; each module has an electronic blackboard site with relevant information including electronic reading lists and access to websites, videos and other study materials that are available anytime, anywhere.

You will undertake assignments within small groups and we provide training in communication skills relevant for scientific communication. The course aims to foster your ability to work at a professional standard both individually and as part of a team.

Module Overview
AP0700 - Graduate Science Research Methods (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0701 - Molecular Biology (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0702 - Bioinformatics (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0703 - Subject Exploration (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0704 - Industrial Biotechnology (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0705 - Current Topics in Biotechnology (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0708 - Applied Sciences Research Project (Core, 60 Credits)

Learning Environment

The technical facilities at Northumbria University are excellent. We are fully equipped for molecular biology manipulations and imaging – techniques include RT-PCR to show whether or not a specific gene is being expressed in a given sample. We also have pilot scale bioreactors so that we can scale up experiments and processes.

For cell biology and immunology, we have two multi-user laboratories. Technologies include assays for measuring immune responses at the single-cell level, and for monitoring the functioning of cells in real time. Further capabilities include biomarker analysis, flow cytometry, chemical imaging and fluorescence microscopy. For genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, our capabilities include genomic sequencing, mass spectrometry, 2D protein electrophoresis and nanoflow liquid chromatography.

All our equipment is supported up by highly skilled technical staff who will help you make the best use of all the facilities that are available.

Research-Rich Learning

In fast-moving fields like biotechnology, it’s particularly important for teaching to take account of the latest research. Many of our staff are conducting research in areas such as molecular biology, bio-informatics, gene expression and micro-biology of extreme environments. They bring all this experience and expertise into their teaching.

As a student, you will be heavily engaged in analysing recent insights from the scientific literature. You will undertake a major individual project in molecular and cellular science that will encompass all aspects of a scientific study. These include evaluation of relevant literature, design and set-up of experiments, collection and processing of data, analysis of results, preparation of a report and presentation of findings in a seminar.

Give Your Career An Edge

Many recruiters in the biotech industry expect candidates to have studied at postgraduate level so our Masters qualification will help you get through the door of the interview room. Once there, your major project and other assignments will help ensure there is plenty to catch their attention. Employers are looking for the ability to solve problems, think critically, work with others and function independently – which are exactly the attributes that our course develops to a higher level.

During your time at Northumbria, we encourage you to participate in the activities organised by the Career Development Service. We also encourage you to apply for associate membership of the Royal Society of Biology, with full membership becoming possible once you have at least three years’ postgraduate experience in study or work.

Your Future

The biotech industry has made huge progress in the last few decades and the years ahead promise to be even more transformational. With an MSc Biotechnology, you will be ready to contribute to the changes ahead through a rigorous scientific approach and your grasp of the fundamental knowledge, insights and skills that underlie modern biotechnology.

Scientific research is at the heart of the course and you will strengthen pivotal skills that will enhance your employability in any research-rich environment. By developing the practices, standards and principles relevant to becoming a bioscience professional, you will also prepare yourself for success in other sectors of the life sciences industry and beyond.

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