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Masters Degrees (Human Genetics)

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Research profile. The MRC Human Genetics Unit discovers how changes in our DNA impact our lives. We combine the latest computational and experimental technologies to investigate how our genomes work to control the function of molecules, cells and tissues in people and populations. Read more

Research profile

The MRC Human Genetics Unit discovers how changes in our DNA impact our lives.

We combine the latest computational and experimental technologies to investigate how our genomes work to control the function of molecules, cells and tissues in people and populations. For more than half a century our research has been dedicated to understanding human genetic disease.

Today we continue to apply our clinical and scientific expertise, harnessing the power of complex data, to improve health, and the lives of patients and their families. As well as delivering outstanding research, the institute creates a vibrant scientific community and a friendly research environment rich in both scientific and social opportunities.

Our PhD and MSc programmes harness strengths in different research disciplines (genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology) tied to our scientific themes (disease mechanisms, biomedical genomics and genome regulation). Our programmes also provides a strong focus on computational biology, and state of the art imaging as part of the Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging Consortium. Over 30 principal investigators based in the MRC HGU contribute to these cross-disciplinary programmes spanning fundamental to clinical research.

The MRC Human Genetics unit offers 3 and 4 year PhD projects, please visit our programme website for current opportunities, and further details.

Entry requirements are described below and different PhD projects have different funding restrictions. To apply for any of our PhD programmes please select one of the buttons and dates to the right (For 4 year programmes, please select “3-year”).



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The Genetics of Human Disease MSc aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of molecular genetics, quantitative and statistical genetics and human disease and how this can be applied to improve healthcare through the development and application of diagnostic tests and therapeutic agents. Read more

The Genetics of Human Disease MSc aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of molecular genetics, quantitative and statistical genetics and human disease and how this can be applied to improve healthcare through the development and application of diagnostic tests and therapeutic agents.

About this degree

The programme provides a thorough grounding in modern approaches to the understanding of the genetics of disease alongside the cutting-edge research methods and techniques used to advance our understanding of development of disease. Core modules provide a broad coverage of the genetics of disease, research skills and social aspects, whilst specialised streams in Inherited Diseases, Pharmacogenetics and Computational Genomics, in which students can qualify, and the research project allow more in-depth analysis in areas of genetics.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits) and two specialist modules (30 credits) and a research project culminating in a dissertation (90 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of six modules (four core modules in term one and two modules within the selected stream in term two) is offered, full-time nine months.

A Postgraduate Certificate consisting of four core modules in term one (60 credits) is offered, full-time three months.

Core modules

  • Advanced Human Genetics: Research Principles
  • Understanding Bioinformatics Resources and their Applications
  • Human Genetics: Core Skills
  • Basic Statistics for Medical Sciences

Specialist modules

In term two you will take specialist modules depending on the specialist stream you select: Inherited Disease (A); Pharmacogenetics (B); Computational Genomics (C). 

  • Applications in Human Genetics (A)
  • Either Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease or Genetics of Neurological Disease (A)
  • Clinical Applications of Pharmacogenetic Tests (B)
  • Anti-Cancer Personalised Medicine or Pharmacogenomics, adverse drug reactions and biomarkers (B)
  • Applications in Human Genetics (C)
  • Statistics for Interpreting Genetic Data (C)

Dissertation/report

Students undertake an original research project investigating topical questions in genetics and genetics of human disease which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 to 14,000 words and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

Students develop their knowledge and understanding of genetics of human diseases through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations and journal clubs. Taught modules are assessed by unseen written examination and/or, written reports, oral presentations and coursework. The research project is assessed by the dissertation and oral presentation. 

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the UCL Genetics Institute website.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Genetics of Human Disease MSc

Careers

Advanced training in genetic techniques including bioinformatic and statistical approaches positions graduates well for PhD studentships in laboratories using genetic techniques to examine diseases such as heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders. Another large group will seek research jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, or jobs related to genetics in healthcare organisations.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Laboratory Specialist, King Abdullah Medical Complex
  • Non-Clinical Research Associate, University of Oxford
  • Trainee Geneticist, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • PhD in Cardiovascular Science, UCL
  • Genomic Research Technician, Genome Centre

Employability

The MSc in Genetics of Human Disease facilitates acquisition of knowledge and skills relevant to a career in research in many different biomedical disciplines. About half of our graduates enter a research career by undertaking and completing PhDs and working as research associates/scientists in academia. Some of our graduates go on to jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, while others enter careers with clinical genetic diagnosis services, particularly in molecular genetics, in healthcare organisations and hospitals around the world. Those graduates with a prior medical training often utilise their new skills as clinical geneticists.

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is in a unique position to offer both the basic science and application of modern genetics to improve human health. The programme is a cross-faculty initiative with teaching from across the School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS) at UCL.

Students will be based at the UCL Genetics Institute (UGI), a world-leading centre which develops and applies biostatistical and bioinformatic approaches to human and population genetics. Opportunities to conduct laboratory or computational-based research projects are available in the laboratories of world-leading geneticists affiliated to the UGI.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences

82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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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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Translating fundamental biomedical discoveries into applied clinical practice and public health issues. Human Biology is the only specialisation in the Netherlands that combines fundamental human biology with clinical studies. Read more

Translating fundamental biomedical discoveries into applied clinical practice and public health issues

Human Biology is the only specialisation in the Netherlands that combines fundamental human biology with clinical studies. It provides you with an extensive biological knowledge, and experience in working with animal and patient samples. In this way you’ll be trained to bridge the gap between early biomedical research results and clinical practice.

This wouldn’t be possible within the walls of the Faculty of Science. That’s why there’s an extensive collaboration between the Faculty of Science and the Radboud university medical center in the field of Human Biology. You’ll get the best of both worlds: a thorough background in for example molecular oncology, human genetics, physiology and metabolism as well as a clinical view on diseases. This is an excellent background for a medical researcher or a job at the interface of science and society, such as a consultant, policy officer or communications advisor in the area of food or health.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/humanbiology

Why study Human Biology at Radboud University?

- It is the only programme in the Netherlands that bridges the gap between fundamental biomedical research and clinical treatments.

- You’ll get the opportunity to work together with researchers from the Radboud university medical center.

- Radboud biologists and clinicians stand out in the fields of animal and human physiology, human genetics and disease, and molecular and cellular clinical studies.

- Clinical Biology offers internships at multiple related research institutes, such as the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS), the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences (RIHS) and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (DI).

- There are various opportunities to do an internship abroad thanks to our wide network of cooperating research groups.

Career prospects

After graduation, our students quickly take up positions as researchers in government departments, research organisations and medical or pharmaceutical companies. However, many of our graduates also apply their academic background to societal issues, for example as a communications or policy officer. In general, clinical biologists end up as a:

- Researcher in a hospital or a university

- Researcher in a company, either a large or a start-up company

- Supervisor of clinical trials

- Consultant in the area of health or food

- Policy officer in the area of health or food

- Communications officer at a hospital or a governmental organisation, like RIVM

- Teacher in biology or medical biology

PhD positions at Radboud University

Each year, Radboudumc offers PhD positions in this field of research. Of course, many graduates also apply for a PhD position at related departments in the Netherlands, or abroad.

Our approach to this field

- From human biology to clinical treatment

Human Biology at Radboud University connects fundamental biological research to clinical treatments. The courses will provide you with a solid background in human physiology and molecular biology, which you’ll apply in developing clinically-oriented research questions. As there’s an extensive collaboration between the Faculty of Science and the Radboud university medical center, you’ll become familiar with both perspectives.

- Biomaterials

In your internships you’ll work with biomaterials, such as patient and animal samples. This means you’ll apply your biological knowledge to real-life situations. Clinical biologists do not work with patients or clinical treatments directly.

- Three focus areas

This Master’s specialisation focuses on three main topics:

- Molecular Mechanisms of Novel Therapeutics

Which molecular mechanisms lead to cancer? And how can these be translated into clinical practice? These are key questions in the specialisation in Human Biology. For example, we’ll dive into the functioning of epigenetics (heritable modifications of chromosomes without altering the nucleotide sequence), transcription factors, tumour suppressors and immunotherapy.

- Human Genetics and Physiology

This part is about how new developments and discoveries in genetic and molecular fields can help individual patients to improve functionality, independence and quality of life. You’ll study genetic pathways and the functionality of individual organs, organ systems, regulatory mechanisms, and individuals as a whole, in an integrative way.

- Metabolism, Transport and Mobility

The energy balance in our body is one of the most important factors in health and disease. We’ll teach you how energy and metabolites are integrated into the larger cellular networks for metabolism, transport and motility.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/humanbiology



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The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics.

This programme forms part of the quantitative genetics and genome analysis suite of programmes offering specialist routes, which include Animal Breeding & Genetics and Evolutionary Genetics.

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Courses are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer practicals. Assessment is by written examinations, in-course assignments and project work.

Compulsory courses:

  • Population and Quantitative Genetics
  • Genetic Interpretation
  • Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
  • Genetics of Human Complex Traits
  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Research Project Proposal
  • Dissertation.

Option courses:

  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Animal Genetic Improvement
  • Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Learning outcomes

You will gain the knowledge and skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems in the biomedical industry, and to undertake research in quantitative and population genetics and genome analysis.

  • A thorough understanding of general concepts in population and quantitative genetics and genomics
  • In-depth knowledge of complex trait genetics in humans
  • A solid grounding in the statistical methods required for quantitative biology
  • Development of independent research skills through individual mini- and maxi-research projects
  • Development of generic skills (IT skills, experience in writing scientific papers, the ability to work independently)
  • Presentation skills through student seminars, scientific presentation of project work and independent research projects.

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.



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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 revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences has turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences has turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Quantitative Genetics & Genome Analysis is part of a suite of programmes offering specialist routes in Animal Breeding & Genetics, Evolutionary Genetics, or Human Complex Trait Genetics.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics.

Applicants who wish to select their area of specialisation during the programme should apply for this umbrella programme. Applicants with a preferred programme option should apply via the following links:

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Compulsory courses

  • Population and Quantitative Genetics
  • Genetic Interpretation
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
  • Research Proposal
  • Dissertation

Option courses (selected according to degree specialisation):

  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Genetics of Human Complex Traits
  • Animal Genetic Improvement
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.



Read less
The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics.

This programme forms part of the quantitative genetics and genome analysis suite of programmes offering specialist routes, which also include Animal Breeding & Genetics and Human Complex Trait Genetics.

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Courses are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer practicals. Assessment is by written examinations, in-course assignments and project work.

Compulsory courses:

  • Population and Quantitative Genetics
  • Genetic Interpretation
  • Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Research Proposal
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Genetics of Human Complex Traits
  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Animal Genetic Improvement
  • Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Learning outcomes

You will gain the knowledge and skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to undertake research in evolutionary and quantitative genetics, population genetics and evolutionary genomics.

  • A thorough understanding of general concepts in population and quantitative genetics and genomics
  • In-depth knowledge of evolutionary genetics
  • A solid grounding in the statistical methods required for quantitative biology
  • Development of independent research skills through individual mini- and maxi-research projects
  • Development of generic skills (IT skills, experience in writing scientific papers, the ability to work independently)
  • Presentation skills through student seminars, scientific presentation of project work and independent research projects.

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.



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The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires contributions from research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to investigate the causes of, and therefore permit optimal management for, diseases for which alterations in the genome, either at the DNA sequence level or epigenetic level, play a significant role. Read more
The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires contributions from research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to investigate the causes of, and therefore permit optimal management for, diseases for which alterations in the genome, either at the DNA sequence level or epigenetic level, play a significant role. Collaboration between staff from the University of Glasgow and the NHS West of Scotland Genetics Service enables the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics to provide a state-of-the-art view of the application of modern genetic and genomic technologies in medical genetics research and diagnostics, and in delivery of a high quality genetics service to patients, as well as in design of targeted therapies.

Why this programme

◾This is a fully up-to-date Medical Genetics degree delivered by dedicated, multi-award-winning teaching and clinical staff of the University, with considerable input from hospital-based Regional Genetics Service clinicians and clinical scientists.
◾The full spectrum of genetic services is represented, from patient and family counselling to diagnostic testing of individuals and screening of entire populations for genetic conditions: eg the NHS prenatal and newborn screening programmes.
◾The MSc Medical Genetics Course is based on the south side of the River Clyde in the brand new (2015) purpose built Teaching & Learning Centre, at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospitals (we are located 4 miles from the main University Campus). The Centre also houses state of the art educational resources, including a purpose built teaching laboratory, computing facilities and a well equipped library. The West of Scotland Genetic Services are also based here at the Queen Elizabeth Campus allowing students to learn directly from NHS staff about the latest developments to this service.
◾The Medical Genetics MSc Teaching Staff have won the 2014 UK-wide Prospects Postgraduate Awards for the category of Best Postgraduate Teaching Team (Science, Technology & Engineering). These awards recognise and reward excellence and good practice in postgraduate education.
◾The close collaboration between university and hospital staff ensures that the Medical Genetics MSc provides a completely up-to-date representation of the practice of medical genetics and you will have the opportunity to observe during clinics and visit the diagnostic laboratories at the new Southern General Hospital laboratory medicine building.
◾The Medical Genetics degree explores the effects of mutations and variants as well as the current techniques used in NHS genetics laboratory diagnostics and recent developments in diagnostics (including microarray analysis and the use of massively parallel [“next-generation”] sequencing).
◾New developments in medical genetics are incorporated into the lectures and interactive teaching sessions very soon after they are presented at international meetings or published, and you will gain hands-on experience and guidance in using software and online resources for genetic diagnosis and for the evaluation of pathogenesis of DNA sequence variants.
◾You will develop your skills in problem solving, experimental design, evaluation and interpretation of experimental data, literature searches, scientific writing, oral presentations, poster presentations and team working.
◾This MSc programme will lay the academic foundations on which some students may build in pursuing research at PhD level in genetics or related areas of biomedical science or by moving into related careers in diagnostic services.
◾The widely used textbook “Essential Medical Genetics” is co-authored by a member of the core teaching team, Professor Edward Tobias.
◾For doctors: The Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians’ Training Board (JRCPTB) in the UK recognises the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics (which was established in 1984) as counting for six months of the higher specialist training in Clinical Genetics.
◾The Medical Council of Hong Kong recognises the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics from University of Glasgow in it's list of Quotable Qualifications.

Programme structure

Genetic Disease: from the Laboratory to the Clinic

This course is designed in collaboration with the West of Scotland Regional Genetics Service to give students a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Medical Genetics and Genomics which will allow them to evaluate, choose and interpret appropriate genetic investigations for individuals and families with genetic disease. The link from genotype to phenotype, will be explored, with consideration of how this knowledge might contribute to new therapeutic approaches.

Case Investigations in Medical Genetics and Genomics

Students will work in groups to investigate complex clinical case scenarios: decide appropriate testing, analyse results from genetic tests, reach diagnoses where appropriate and, with reference to the literature, generate a concise and critical group report.

Clinical Genomics

Students will take this course OR Omic Technologies for Biomedical Sciences OR Frontiers in Cancer Science.

This course will provide an overview of the clinical applications of genomic approaches to human disorders, particularly in relation to clinical genetics, discussion the methods and capabilities of the new technologies. Tuition and hands-on experience in data analysis will be provided, including the interpretation of next generation sequencing reports.

Omic technologies for the Biomedical Sciences: from Genomics to Metabolomics

Students will take this course OR Clinical Genomics OR Frontiers in Cancer Science.

Visit the website for further information

Career prospects

Research: About half of our graduates enter a research career and most of these graduates undertake and complete PhDs; the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics facilitates acquisition of skills relevant to a career in research in many different bio-molecular disciplines.

Diagnostics: Some of our graduates enter careers with clinical genetic diagnostic services, particularly in molecular genetics and cytogenetics.

Clinical genetics: Those of our graduates with a prior medical / nursing training often utilise their new skills in careers as clinical geneticists or genetic counsellors.

Other: Although the focus of teaching is on using the available technologies for the purpose of genetic diagnostics, many of these technologies are used in diverse areas of biomedical science research and in forensic DNA analysis. Some of our numerous graduates, who are now employed in many countries around the world, have entered careers in industry, scientific publishing, education and medicine.

Read less
The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology. Read more

The revolution in genetic mapping technology and the advent of whole genome sequences have turned quantitative genetics into one of the fastest growing areas of biology.

Based in the internationally renowned Institute of Evolutionary Biology, this MSc draws from the wealth of expertise available there, as well as the teaching, research expertise and facilities of Scotland’s Rural College, the University’s Centre for Genomics and Experimental Medicine, the Medical Research Council’s Human Genetics Unit and the Roslin Institute (birthplace of Dolly the sheep).

Each year the syllabus is fine-tuned to suit current issues in evolutionary, plant, human and animal genetics. This programme forms part of the quantitative genetics and genome analysis suite of programmes offering three specialist routes, which also include Human Complex Trait Genetics and Evolutionary Genetics.

Programme structure

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.

Courses are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer practicals. Assessment is by written examinations, in-course assignments and project work.

Compulsory courses:

  • Population and Quantitative Genetics
  • Genetic Interpretation
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Linkage and Association in Genome Analysis
  • Animal Genetic Improvement
  • Quantitative Genetic Models
  • Research Proposal
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular Evolution
  • Genetics of Human Complex Traits
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics

Learning outcomes

  • An understanding of general concepts in population and quantitative genetics and genomics
  • A solid grounding in the statistical methods required
  • In-depth knowledge of animal improvement and complex trait analysis
  • Development of independent research skills through individual mini- and maxi-research projects
  • Development of generic skills (IT skills, experience in writing scientific papers, the ability to work independently)
  • Presentation skills through student seminars, scientific presentation of project work and independent research projects.

Career opportunities

You will develop the in-depth knowledge and specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems, in both the biomedical and animal science industries, and to undertake research in evolutionary genetics, population genetics and genome analysis.



Read less
The UBC Department of Medical Genetics is an inspiring and productive community of scholars of genetics and genomics; an outstanding provider of knowledge… Read more

The UBC Department of Medical Genetics is an inspiring and productive community of scholars of genetics and genomics; an outstanding provider of knowledge, technical expertise, and compassionate care for our patients. The Department is composed of dozens of faculty members at the forefront of their fields who use cutting edge genetic, epigenetic, genomic, and bioinformatic methodologies to gain insight into diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative and neurological disorders, and other genetic diseases. Research is highly interactive and often involves local, national, and international collaborations which further enrich the research experience.

Individual labs conduct clinical and/or translational research and basic experimental research engaging a wide variety of approaches including the use of model organisms such as mice, flies (D. melanogaster), worms (C. elegans), and yeast (S. cerevisiae).

What makes the program unique?

The mission of the Department of Medical Genetics is to pursue basic and clinical research for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of genetic disease. Our goal is to be a world leader in the research, clinical practice and teaching of Genetic Medicine.

Research focus

Research in the Department of Medical Genetics covers the study of human genetics with areas of focus in mammalian development, regulation of gene expression, genetic diseases due to single gene or complex inheritance, birth defects, reproduction, cancer, immunology, genomics, bioinformatics, ethics and population health.

  • Research Areas of Expertise:
  • Cancer Genetics and Genomics;
  • Developmental Genetics & Birth Defects;
  • Epigenetics, Epigenomics & Chromosome Transmission;
  • Gene Expression, Genomics & Bioinformatics;
  • Genetic Epidemiology & Human Gene Mapping;
  • Neurogenetics & Immunogenetics;
  • Stem Cells & Gene Therapy;
  • Pharmacogenomics;
  • Proteomics; and
  • Clinical Genetics, Genetic Counselling and Ethics & Policy.

Program components

Medical Genetics Rotation Program: MSc and PhD applicants who have applied for the September-start, and who are highest ranked by the Medical Genetics Admissions Committee, will be offered the opportunity to join the Medical Genetics Rotation Program. The four top-ranked applicants offered these positions will also receive one-year Rotation Program Awards. Rotation Program students rotate through three different laboratories before choosing a final, thesis lab. Rotations are for nine-weeks each, from September to April. The Rotation Program is open to Canadians, Permanent Residents of Canada, and international applicants.

Career options

The MSc program in Medical Genetics is a research-based, thesis-based program which generally takes two - three years to complete. Graduates find employment in the public and private sector, and also pursue further studies in the field of Medical Genetics. Following is a brief sample of occupations that our graduates are pursuing:

Training:

  • Genetic Counselling
  • Medical Doctor
  • Clinical Genetics Technology

Industry / Clinical Careers:

  • Molecular Diagnostic Technologist
  • Research Associate
  • Data Management Coordinator
  • Research Program Manager
  • Online Marketing Coordinator
  • Scientific Sales Representative
  • Research and Development Scientist


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The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires close collaboration between research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to deliver a high quality service to patients. Read more

The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires close collaboration between research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to deliver a high quality service to patients. The Clinical Genetics MSc has a specific focus on delivery of the clinical service to patients including risk analysis and application of modern genetic and genomic technologies in medical genetics research and in diagnostics and population screening.

Why This Programme

  • This is a fully up-to-date Clinical Genetics degree delivered by dedicated, multi-award-winning teaching and clinical staff of the University, with considerable input from hospital-based Regional Genetics Service clinicians and clinical scientists.
  • The full spectrum of genetic services is represented, from patient and family counselling to diagnostic testing of individuals and screening of entire populations for genetic conditions: eg the NHS prenatal and newborn screening programmes.
  • The Clinical Genetics MSc Teaching Staff won the 2014 UK-wide Prospects Postgraduate Awards for the category of Best Postgraduate Teaching Team (Science, Technology & Engineering). These awards recognise and reward excellence and good practice in postgraduate education. 
  • The close collaboration between university and hospital staff ensures that the Clinical Genetics MSc provides a completely up-to-date representation of the practice of medical genetics and you will have the opportunity to observe during clinics at the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital laboratory medicine building.
  • The Clinical Genetics degree explores the effects of mutations and variants as well as the theoretically basis of current techniques used in NHS genetics laboratory diagnostics and recent developments in diagnostics (including microarray analysis and the use of massively parallel [“next-generation”] sequencing).
  • New developments in genetics are incorporated into the lectures and interactive teaching sessions very soon after they are presented at international meetings or published, and you will gain hands-on experience and guidance in using software and online resources for genetic diagnosis and for the evaluation of pathogenesis of DNA sequence variants.
  • You will develop your skills in problem solving, evaluation and interpretation of genetic data, literature searches, scientific writing, oral presentations, poster presentations and team working.
  • This MSc programme will lay the academic foundations on which some students with prior MBChB or MBBS may build in pursuing careers in Clinical Genetics.
  • The widely used textbook “Essential Medical Genetics” is co-authored by a member of the core teaching team, Professor Edward Tobias.
  • For doctors: The Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians’ Training Board (JRCPTB) in the UK recognises the MSc in Clinical Genetics (which was established in 1984) as counting for six months of the higher specialist training in Clinical Genetics.

Programme Structure

Genetic Disease and Clinical Practice

This course is designed in collaboration with the West of Scotland Regional Genetics Service to give students a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Clinical Genetics and Genomics which will allow them to evaluate, choose and interpret appropriate genetic investigations for individuals and families with genetic disease. The link from genotype to phenotype, will be explored, with consideration of how this knowledge might contribute to new therapeutic approaches.

Distress or Disorder: Reactions to a medical diagnosis

This course outlines the process of psychosocial adjustment to a diagnosis or test result allowing participants to establish if and when a distress reaction develops into an adjustment disorder. The implications of diagnosis are explored and evidence considered allowing informed decisions about appropriate referrals to other agencies.

Patient Empowerment: Supporting decisions relating to new diagnoses

This course reflects on evidence and experience to explore the psychological and social impact of a diagnosis, or illness, and provides strategies to support resilience and coping in patients. Factors related to lived experience, personal beliefs and values, culture, adjustment processes, decision-making, misconceptions, secrecy and guilt are considered to equip participants in the promotion of patient-centred care.

Effective listening and communication skills

With a focus on experiential learning and student led study, this course outlines the role of counselling skills to facilitate adjustment and to allow an individual to come to terms with change in a safe way to minimise impact. The focus will be on the theory supporting counselling, developing key listening and communication skills and on establishing reflective practice.

Case Investigations in Medical Genetics and Genomics

Students will work in groups to investigate complex clinical case scenarios: decide appropriate testing, analyse results from genetic tests, reach diagnoses where appropriate and, with reference to the literature, generate a concise and critical group report.

Clinical Genomics

This course will provide an overview of the clinical applications of genomic approaches to human disorders, particularly in relation to clinical genetics, discussion the methods and capabilities of the new technologies. Tuition and hands-on experience in data analysis will be provided, including the interpretation of next generation sequencing reports.

Disease Screening in Populations

This course will cover the rationale for, and requirements of, population screening programmes to detect individuals at high risk of particular conditions, who can then be offered diagnostic investigations. Students will work in groups to investigate and report on, a screening programme of their choice from any country.

Dissertation

The course will provide students with the opportunity to carry out an independent investigative project in the field of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

Teaching and Learning Methods

A variety of methods are used, including problem-based learning, case-based learning, lectures and tutorials. These are supplemented by a wide range of course-specific electronic resources for additional learning and self-assessment. As a result, you will develop a wide range of skills relevant to careers in clinical genetics. These skills include team-working and data interpretation. You will use the primary scientific literature as an information resource, although textbooks such as our own Essential Medical Genetics will also be useful. You will have the options of: attending genetic counselling clinics and gaining hands-on experience and guidance in using software and online resources for genetic diagnosis and for the evaluation of pathogenicity of DNA sequence variants.

Career Prospects

This programme would be beneficial for anyone with a previous MBChB or similar degree, and would facilitate a career as a Clinical Geneticist.



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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. Read more

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.

About this degree

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.

Mandatory modules

  • Basic Genetics and Technology
  • Gametogenesis, Preimplantation Development and IVF
  • Genetic Mechanisms
  • Medical Genetics
  • Organogenesis and Fetal Development
  • Prenatal Diagnosis and Screening
  • Fetal and Perinatal Medicine
  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Developing Technology

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

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

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

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

  • Doctor, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Senior Genetic Counsellor, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre
  • Trainee Clinical Embryologist, George's Memorial Medical Centre
  • Clinical Research Nurse, UCL
  • PhD in Prenatal Diagnosis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Employability

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.



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The MSc Forensic Genetics and Human Identification is a comprehensive course on Human Identification and Mass Fatality Incident Analysis incorporating the full methodological repertoire of Forensic Genetics and DNA analysis, Physical Anthropology, Crime Scene Investigation and Human Identification based on biometric assessment of a variety of physical characteristics. Read more

The MSc Forensic Genetics and Human Identification is a comprehensive course on Human Identification and Mass Fatality Incident Analysis incorporating the full methodological repertoire of Forensic Genetics and DNA analysis, Physical Anthropology, Crime Scene Investigation and Human Identification based on biometric assessment of a variety of physical characteristics.

Intensive Course Program

We deliver our masters programmes in two semesters of taught subject materials, followed by a full-time intensive research project over the summer.

Throughout the taught section of the program, current and advanced topics in Human Identification are taught by forensic scientists and practitioners in comprehensive lecture series. Lecture topics are discussed in seminars and reinforced in practical teaching sessions.

During our methods units, students learn advanced research techniques and topic related professional skills. 

Subsequently, students carry out their independent research project (in one of the featured subjects) in collaboration with a member of the Forensic Science department, based upon a comprehensive literature review and project design.

The ten week full-time research project is accompanied by training in scientific writing, project design and oral presentation skills.

Student Services and Guidance

A two week orientation prior to the programme provides assistance and advice for managing the day to day life and familiarisation with the university facilities. The School of Applied Sciences also provides an optional one week transition program for international students. 

Our student support offices, and International Centre provide comprehensive support throughout the entire course of study.

Postgraduate Bursaries:

If you commenced undergraduate study at any University in 2012 you may be eligible for a £10,000 bursary

Why Wolverhampton?

The Masters in Forensic Genetics and Human Identification is a comprehensive course on Human Identification and Mass Fatality Incident Analysis incorporating the full methodological repertoire of Forensic Genetics and DNA Analysis, Physical Anthropology and Human Identification based on biometric assessment of physical characteristics incorporated with advanced research techniques and associated professional skills.

With reference to its structure and combination of key topics, this course is quite unique in the national as well as international market, while being designed to generate a postgraduate level of competence in an important as well as exciting area of Forensic Science.

Career path

This course will be good preparation for graduates looking for a career in the disaster victim identification/ mass disaster victim identification areas

Who accredits this course?

This is a new award and does not have accreditation. We will be seeking accreditation by an appropriate professional body in the near future.



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The Institute of Genetic Medicine brings together a strong team with an interest in clinical and developmental genetics. Our research focuses on the causes of genetic disease at the molecular and cellular level and its treatment. Read more
The Institute of Genetic Medicine brings together a strong team with an interest in clinical and developmental genetics. Our research focuses on the causes of genetic disease at the molecular and cellular level and its treatment. Research areas include: genetic medicine, developmental genetics, neuromuscular and neurological genetics, mitochondrial genetics and cardiovascular genetics.

As a research postgraduate in the Institute of Genetic Medicine you will be a member of our thriving research community. The Institute is located in Newcastle’s Life Science Centre. You will work alongside a number of research, clinical and educational organisations, including the Northern Genetics Service.

We offer supervision for MPhil in the following research areas:

Cancer genetics and genome instability

Our research includes:
-A major clinical trial for chemoprevention of colon cancer
-Genetic analyses of neuroblastoma susceptibility
-Research into Wilms Tumour (a childhood kidney cancer)
-Studies on cell cycle regulation and genome instability

Cardiovascular genetics and development

We use techniques of high-throughput genetic analyses to identify mechanisms where genetic variability between individuals contributes to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. We also use mouse, zebrafish and stem cell models to understand the ways in which particular gene families' genetic and environmental factors are involved in the normal and abnormal development of the heart and blood vessels.

Complex disease and quantitative genetics

We work on large-scale studies into the genetic basis of common diseases with complex genetic causes, for example autoimmune disease, complex cardiovascular traits and renal disorders. We are also developing novel statistical methods and tools for analysing this genetic data.

Developmental genetics

We study genes known (or suspected to be) involved in malformations found in newborn babies. These include genes involved in normal and abnormal development of the face, brain, heart, muscle and kidney system. Our research includes the use of knockout mice and zebrafish as laboratory models.

Gene expression and regulation in normal development and disease

We research how gene expression is controlled during development and misregulated in diseases, including the roles of transcription factors, RNA binding proteins and the signalling pathways that control these. We conduct studies of early human brain development, including gene expression analysis, primary cell culture models, and 3D visualisation and modelling.

Genetics of neurological disorders

Our research includes:
-The identification of genes that in isolation can cause neurological disorders
-Molecular mechanisms and treatment of neurometabolic disease
-Complex genetics of common neurological disorders including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease
-The genetics of epilepsy

Kidney genetics and development

Kidney research focuses on:
-Atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS)
-Vesicoureteric reflux (VUR)
-Cystic renal disease
-Nephrolithiasis to study renal genetics

The discovery that aHUS is a disease of complement dysregulation has led to a specific interest in complement genetics.

Mitochondrial disease

Our research includes:
-Investigation of the role of mitochondria in human disease
-Nuclear-mitochondrial interactions in disease
-The inheritance of mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy
-Mitochondrial function in stem cells

Neuromuscular genetics

The Neuromuscular Research Group has a series of basic research programmes looking at the function of novel muscle proteins and their roles in pathogenesis. Recently developed translational research programmes are seeking therapeutic targets for various muscle diseases.

Stem cell biology

We research human embryonic stem (ES) cells, germline stem cells and somatic stem cells. ES cell research is aimed at understanding stem cell pluripotency, self-renewal, survival and epigenetic control of differentiation and development. This includes the functional analysis of genes involved in germline stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Somatic stem cell projects include programmes on umbilical cord blood stem cells, haematopoietic progenitors, and limbal stem cells.

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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