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Masters Degrees (Molecular Diagnosis)

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Laboratory medicine is facing an exciting era in the transforming Molecular Pathology landscape that aims to foster the delivery of high-impact innovation on the bases of complex informatics, for benefits to patient care, academic research and UK industry. Read more
Laboratory medicine is facing an exciting era in the transforming Molecular Pathology landscape that aims to foster the delivery of high-impact innovation on the bases of complex informatics, for benefits to patient care, academic research and UK industry. With a vision of creating the next generation of leaders in Molecular Pathology, this programme will provide the state of the art training programme for Molecular Pathology, in order to facilitate the pathologists, clinical scientists, trainees, and to those in the related health professions, to acquire essential knowledge, skills and attributes in the current and future diagnosis that incorporates molecular knowledge.

Why this programme

● In August 2014, MRC published a review of the UK Molecular Pathology Landscape, in which the critical needs and challenges are pin downed in the delivery of improved diagnostics incorporating the molecular approaches.

● With a vision of creating the next generation of leaders, this programme provides state of the art training for Molecular Pathology

● We are one of the few centres where molecular pathology and diagnostic histopathology are amalgamated on one site, permitting the delivery of a clinically relevant molecular pathology course.

● The areas of main focus include diagnostic molecular pathology, clinical trials and translational research in molecular pathology, pathology bioinformatics and digital pathology. The core courses (PgCert) are designed to cover the intended learning outcomes within Royal College of Pathologists curriculum for Specialty Training in Histopathology 2015.

● The programme is led by the national leaders directly engaged in the various molecular pathology initiatives. Students are kept up-to-date with information and the current needs identified by the professional societies, research councils and charity organizations.

● You will be trained at the purpose-built Laboratory Medicine Building at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, which provides services to 52% of the Scottish population. This is one of the largest NHS department of pathology in Europe, accommodating about 50 consultant pathologists.

● The courses will be delivered by a range of professionals with expertise from geneticists, pathologists, clinical, lab scientists and academics, informaticians and clinicians provided across hospital practice and primary care. They are experts based in QEUH and those nationally and internationally recognized experts of molecular pathology.

Programme structure

The main aims of the MSc Molecular Pathology programme are to enable students:

• to fully provide a high quality service in molecular pathology diagnosis
• to participate in research in the area of molecular pathology
• to participate in the training of future generations of molecular pathologists

The "Blended Learning" programme offers the maximum flexibility for students who wish to study Molecular Pathology while on clinical duties and pathology training. "Moodle-Based Learning" sessions offer an advantage allowing clinicians to study within their own schedule. "In person review" sessions will enable active interactions with the course contributors and other students. Case-based and "hands-on" sessions facilitate the knowledge and skills acquired in clinical diagnosis as the programme proceeds, so it is easy to keep motivated throughout the course.

Core Courses

– 3 x compulsory, 20-credit courses; 1 per semester

• Fundamentals of Molecular Biology and Genetics for Histopathology (20 credits)
• Molecular Tests and Techniques for Histopathology (20 credits)
• Multidisciplinary Approaches to Molecular Pathology (20 credits)

The first three core components will provide the minimum requirement for students to apply molecular knowledge and skill in pathology diagnosis currently on-going and in the immediate future.

These courses will form the PgCert.

Advanced Courses

- Courses must be selected from the following options to obtain a total of 60 credits.

• Translational Medical Research Approaches (10 credits)
• Medical and Research Ethics (10 credits)
• Molecular Pathology (20 credits)
• Omics technologies for biomedical sciences: from genomics and metabolomics (20 credits)
• Frontiers in Cancer Science (20 credits)
• Disease Screening in Populations (10 credits)
• Governance and ethics in education research (10 credits)

In the advanced component, students will further their training of Molecular Pathology to acquire the knowledge needed to get involved in research, or development and improvement of diagnostics. There are options for learning of advanced technologies, wider disease areas, research methods, in-depth bioinformatics, and health professional education.

Successful completion of core and advanced courses will be awarded with the PgDip.‌

Dissertation

- 1 x 60-credit project-based course assessed by a dissertation of approximately 8,000 words followed by an oral presentation.

The Masters dissertation project gives students the opportunity to conduct research in an area of Molecular Pathology with supervisor(s) assigned to each project. For example, the opportunity to conduct an independent research project, audit or critical review of the literature in selected topics in the area of Molecular Pathology, current and future diagnosis, clinical and scientific research.

Successful completion of all core and advanced courses and the dissertation will lead to the award of the MSc.

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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 MSc in Molecular Medicine gives you the opportunity to develop as a scientist or scientifically-literate clinician through an advanced understanding of the molecular basis of many diseases and their treatments. Read more

The MSc in Molecular Medicine gives you the opportunity to develop as a scientist or scientifically-literate clinician through an advanced understanding of the molecular basis of many diseases and their treatments.

You’ll study how to apply molecular approaches to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of a range of cancers, chronic, autoimmune and genetic diseases. You’ll also carry out a research project in one of these areas within a research group at the forefront of the field. Project supervision is assured by outstanding academics and clinicians working on cutting-edge research.

This flexible programme allows you to develop core scientific skills and follow your professional interests with a choice of optional modules. You'll be part of a world-renowned School and will be taught by internationally recognised scholars.

The MSc programme comprises 180 credits. You may choose to exit the programme at an earlier stage, with either a PG Certificate (60 credits) or a PG Diploma (120 credits).

Course content

You’ll build core scientific skills through four compulsory modules studied over two terms. Alongside these, your optional modules (two each term) allow you to tailor your study to your interests. Modules typically last 11 weeks.

Throughout the programme you will:

  • gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the principles, application and potential of molecular medicine
  • learn techniques in the field of molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and chemistry
  • develop the ability to carry out molecular, biological and bioinformatics research for investigation of human diseases
  • be able to engage in research projects using the latest technologies that generate results with scientific impact and the potential for improving patient health
  • learn to critically evaluate current issues in molecular medicine, translate research findings into clinical applications, and recognise commercial opportunities.

Research project

You’ll spend approximately half of the programme on your individual research project, which usually runs from April to August. The research project allows you to work as part of a research team in a cutting edge discipline.

You will have a wide choice of research opportunities in Applied Health Research, Cancer and Pathology, Cardiovascular, Genes and Development and Musculoskeletal Research. You select your project from a range of research projects offered to MSc Molecular Medicine students.

The research project is based in one of the research laboratories at the St James’s University Hospital campus.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Research Informatics and Dissemination 15 credits
  • Preparing for the Research Project 15 credits
  • Research Project 75 credits
  • Research Methods 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Introduction to Genetic Epidemiology 15 credits
  • Human Molecular Genetics 15 credits
  • Immunity and Disease 15 credits
  • Animal Models of Disease 15 credits
  • Stem Cell Biology: A Genomics and Systems Biology Approach to Haematopoiesis 15 credits
  • Cancer Biology and Molecular Oncology 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Molecular Medicine MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

The taught components of the programme provide a perfect knowledge background and research training to get the best out of your research project.

You’ll be taught by active scientists and clinicians who are world-leading in their research fields, through lectures, workshops, laboratory practicals, seminars and tutorials. All our students judged the programme as “intellectually stimulating” in 2014 student survey.

Teaching is mainly at St James's University Hospital, a busy research facility with research laboratories and a teaching laboratory, computer cluster, library and meeting rooms. You can easily get to and from the University campus with the free NHS shuttlebus.

We encourage you to participate in the School of Medicine Institutes’ activities, such as the invited speaker seminar series. You also have access to all the wider University of Leeds facilities.

Assessment

A major objective of the programme is to train you to formulate your own ideas and express them logically, and this will be tested in every module assessment.

A typical module will be assessed by two assignments. Assessments include written assignments, as well as delivering presentations and posters, and leading discussions.

The MSc programme comprises 180 credits. You may choose to exit the programme at an earlier stage, with either a PG Certificate (60 credits) or a PG Diploma (120 credits).

Career opportunities

This exciting programme provides excellent training for:

  • science graduates looking for an opportunity to go on to do doctoral research, enter academic medicine or pursue a career in industry, clinical service




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The MSc Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics is suitable for graduates in life sciences, biomedical sciences and allied subjects, as well as people already employed in related fields who wish to improve and update their knowledge and gain valuable experience. Read more
The MSc Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics is suitable for graduates in life sciences, biomedical sciences and allied subjects, as well as people already employed in related fields who wish to improve and update their knowledge and gain valuable experience.

The course is designed to explain the technology, theory and practical approaches of molecular genetic methods to the diagnosis and understanding of human disease.

The course has a start date in September,

The course aims to:

• Provide an advanced course of study in the theoretical and practical aspects of the genetic basis and diagnosis of human disease
• Allow students adequate time to integrate into an active research laboratory where they are able to develop the skills which are essential when considering a career in research
• Train students to carry out critical evaluation of published scientific papers so that they develop the ability to report and interpret results

The academic staff involved with the course are recognised at an international level for their work on the genetic basis of complex diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Alzheimer's disease and infectious disease caused by clinically relevant microbial pathogens such as Pseudomonas spp., Yersinia spp. and Staphylococcus spp. Colleagues working in Molecular Diagnostics and Clinical Genetics within the NHS also contribute to the teaching on the course.

Key Facts

• The MSc Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics was previously known as the MSc Molecular Diagnostics, and has been running since 2004
• One of the many strengths of the course is the five-month research project that is conducted in the laboratory with a member research staff within the School
• The latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) confirmed The University of Nottingham's position as a world class research-led institution. Over 60% of the University's RAE scores identified research as being of a level of international excellence.
• This achievement has helped put Nottingham in the world’s top 1% of Universities internationally according to the latest (2014) QS World University Ranking.
• The peer-reviewed research carried out within the Human Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Bacteriology groups is recognized as being of either international or world-class standard.
• The MSc Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics is coordinated by academic staff within the Molecular and Cellular Bacteriology Research Group, part of the School of Life Sciences. Staff are based either within the Centre for Biomedical Science, a new state of the art research and teaching centre, the adjacent medical school which itself is located in the Queen’s Medical Centre or the Nottingham City Hospital.
• Extensive IT facilities are available across all campuses, including several computer rooms within the medical school.
• The University library service provides access to more than a million books and journals. The Greenfield Medical Library houses a broadly-based collection of biomedical, nursing and healthcare-related books and periodicals and holds current subscriptions to 780 journals, reports and series titles. In addition to the print versions housed in the library, the majority of journals can be accessed electronically.

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This course enables you to study cutting edge molecular methods employed for the understanding of molecular mechanisms of diseases and for their diagnosis and treatment. Read more
This course enables you to study cutting edge molecular methods employed for the understanding of molecular mechanisms of diseases and for their diagnosis and treatment. Your studies will be underpinned by essential knowledge in genetics, cell signalling and molecular medicine.

You will be offered the flexibility to select option modules that reflect your own interest in molecular biology and these will be combined with core modules and an independent research project. The course is suitable for newly qualified graduates, those employed in related work and those with medical qualifications.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules
-MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR THERAPEUTICS
-MOLECULAR SCIENCE AND DIAGNOSTICS
-PRINCIPLES OF MOLECULAR MEDICINE
-POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH METHODS
-POSTGRADUATE PROJECT

Optional module
-CELL SIGNALLING AND GENETICS
-EXTENDED POSTGRADUATE PROJECT
-IMMUNOPATHOLOGY
-IMMUNOTHERAPY
-MOLECULAR BIOINFORMATICS
-SYSTEMS BIOLOGY

Associated careers

You will develop a range of course-specific and transferable skills that will enhance your employment prospects, career progression and research opportunities in the UK and/ or overseas. It is anticipated that a significant number of graduates will go on to pursue a career in research after registering for a higher degree. Others will seek employment in healthcare laboratories, industry, research laboratories, government laboratories or academia in the UK or worldwide. One of the strengths of this degree is the mixture of backgrounds/ experience and career aspirations of the students recruited.

Professional recognition

The course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

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Medical Molecular Biology is the application of modern molecular biology and genetics in medical research, medical sciences and the clinic has led to huge advances in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Read more
Medical Molecular Biology is the application of modern molecular biology and genetics in medical research, medical sciences and the clinic has led to huge advances in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Students choosing to study the Medical Molecular Biology with Genetics program will enjoy a modular, but highly integrated course that delivers the theoretical knowledge and extensive practical laboratory experience required for progress on to PhD studies in medical molecular research and/or employment in molecular diagnostics or medical sciences industries.

Successful graduates will also have attained transferable skills required to independently adapt and optimize scientific methodologies, critically interpret and evaluate self-generated and published scientific literature and data and undertake a predominantly self-reliant approach to laboratory based work, study and research.

Modules:

Research Skills
Medical Biotechnology
Human Molecular Genetics
Human Immunology & Disease
Laboratory Molecular Research
Stem Cells, Disease & Therapy
Applied Anatomy & Histopathology
Research projects are run in the Robert Edwards laboratory and the laboratories of the North West Cancer Research Institute.

Semester 3 consists of a 60-credit laboratory based research project and dissertation.

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This comprehensive programme is intended for professionals specialising in paediatrics and child health and is based at the Institute of Child Health, which sits in a unique position in UK paediatrics because of its strong links to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and UCL. Read more
This comprehensive programme is intended for professionals specialising in paediatrics and child health and is based at the Institute of Child Health, which sits in a unique position in UK paediatrics because of its strong links to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and UCL.

Degree information

Students on this pathway gain an understanding of the principles of evidence-based paediatrics, and of the impact of molecular genetics on diagnosis and management of the child and family. They will build an awareness of current and future developments in paediatric medicine and child health and gain the skills necessary to critically appraise practice and policy, and undertake independent research if the full MSc is taken.

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 dissertation/report (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time 9 months, flexible 2-5 years) is offered. The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits) and four optional modules (60 credits). A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, part-time 1 year, flexible 1-2) is offered. The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits).

Core modules
-Evidence-based Child Health
-Research Methodology and Statistics

Students must also choose at least two further core modules from the following:
-Molecular Biology of Normal Development and Birth Defects
-Molecular and Clinical Aspects of Childhood Cancers
-Clinical Genomics, Genetics and Rare Diseases

Please note: those modules not taken as core will still be available as options

Optional modules - students must take at least two modules from those available across the other pathways of the Paediatrics and Child Health MSc, with the following modules particularly recommended for students in this area:
-Stem Cells and Tissue Repair
-Molecular Aspects of Cell and Gene Therapy
-Clinical Applications of Cell and Gene Therapy
-Applied Genomics

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent 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 and research project supervision. Assessment is through a combination of multiple choice questions and short answer questions, essays, posters, presentations, reflective portfolios, critical appraisal of the literature and, for the full MSc, a dissertation and oral presentation.

Careers

The programme provides an ideal foundation for further doctoral research in this field and/or a career in research and evidence-based practice in paediatrics.

Employability
The first cohort of students on the Paediatrics and Child Health: Molecular and Genomic Paediatrics MSc will graduate in 2016, therefore no information on graduate destinations is currently available.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Institute of Child Health pursues an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to enhance understanding, diagnosis, therapy and prevention of childhood diseases. Our research and our educational portfolio covers a broad range of paediatric issues, from molecular genetics to population health sciences, and our structure facilitates interdisciplinary work and follows flexibility for the development of new areas of investigation.

Our close relationship with the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children means that much of our research and teaching is combined.

Students benefit from excellent facilities in both laboratory and non-laboratory subjects.

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This programme aims to respond to a national and international need for clinicians, scientists and allied health professions who can apply a molecular approach to the investigation, diagnosis and management of clinical disease. Read more
This programme aims to respond to a national and international need for clinicians, scientists and allied health professions who can apply a molecular approach to the investigation, diagnosis and management of clinical disease.

We will provide you with theoretical and practical knowledge of modern molecular technologies as applied to human disease, with an emphasis on cancer, and train you in the application and interpretation of advanced molecular technologies.

Compulsory Modules

• Basic Pathology
• Cancer Biology
• Cancer Prevention & Screening
• Genomic Approaches to Human Diseases
• Molecular Diagnostic & Therapeutics
• Molecular Pathology of Solid Tumours
• Research Lab Skills
• Research Methods

Elective Modules

• Introduction to Bioinformatics
• Biological Therapies
• Molecular Targeted Therapies and Immunotherapy for Blood Cancers

Core Modules for MSc

• Lab project



Barts Cancer Institute is a Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence and one of the leading cancer institutes in the country.
Based in the heart of London, our programmes are all taught by experts in the field.

Find out more about the BCI at http://www.bci.qmul.ac.uk/study-with-us

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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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Molecular Biology with Biotechnology (MSc). This taught MSc course in the School of Biological Sciences provides intensive training in this important area of Biology and is designed both for fresh graduates and for those wishing to develop and extend their expertise in this area. Read more
Molecular Biology with Biotechnology (MSc)

This taught MSc course in the School of Biological Sciences provides intensive training in this important area of Biology and is designed both for fresh graduates and for those wishing to develop and extend their expertise in this area. The course has a strong practical emphasis and will provide the advanced theoretical and practical background necessary for employment in the Biotechnology industry, as well as equipping students with the knowledge required to pursue advanced studies in this area.
Course structure

The course consists of a taught component and a Research project. During the taught phase of the degree, you will take modules in Marine Biotechnology, Molecular and Medical Laboratory Techniques, Techniques of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology; Systems Biology; Plant Biotechnology, Environmental Biotechnology and Medical Biotechnology.

Topics covered in these modules will include Agrobacterium Ti plasmid based plant transformation vectors and the development of transgenic crops; the use and interpretation of microarrays and proteome systems; the development of transgenic fish and the diagnosis of fish diseases using molecular markers; bioremediation, biomining and the use of bacteria to degrade novel organic pollutants; stem cell technologies and the diagnosis of genetic disease using single nucleotide polymorphisms. image of students in the labDuring this part of the course, you will also take part in intensive laboratory exercises designed to introduce you to essential techniques in molecular biology and biotechnology including nucleic acid and protein extraction, PCR and QTL analysis, northern, southern and western blotting etc. In addition, most of the taught theory modules will have an associated practical component. The Research project will take place during the summer and will be conducted under the direct supervision of one of the staff involved in teaching the course. Students will be able to choose their Research project from a wide range of topics which will be related to the taught material.

Career options

The 21st century post genomics era offers a wide range of job opportunities in the agricultural, medical, pharmaceutical, aquaculture, forensics and environmental science areas. The rapidly developing economies of China and India in particular have recognised the enormous opportunities offered by Biotechnology. Job openings in sales and marketing with companies who have a science base are also common. Some graduates will also choose to extend their knowledge base by undertaking PhD programmes in relevant areas.

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Lead academic. 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: 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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Our Clinical and Health Sciences with Molecular Pathology course offers you the ability to tailor your educational needs to your professional interests. Read more
Our Clinical and Health Sciences with Molecular Pathology course offers you the ability to tailor your educational needs to your professional interests. Designed for busy professionals, this online course offers a flexible, bespoke way for you to develop your career in Molecular Pathology.

The course is ideal for health professionals, clinical research support staff and people working in education and industry who wish to enhance their knowledge of contemporary methods of laboratory-based diagnosis and their applications in personalised and translational medicine. It will also be of interest to candidates who aspire to become independent researchers, clinical academics or clinical researchers.

This innovative course is aimed at those who already have a primary qualification (eg MBBS, BDS, BSc) and are working in health or life sciences field. It has been developed to provide a flexible approach, making it sustainable and compatible with modern career pathways whilst addressing the needs of a modern health service.

The courses are taught online, so you can choose to study anytime and anywhere. This flexibility means that you can fit your studies around your other commitments, plus develop your online literacy as a transferable skill. You can pick from over 30 modules in a diverse range of subjects to create your own bespoke course of study. You can choose to complete a single module for professional development or a full masters, working at your own pace in your own environment.

The e-learning course has been developed by Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust working in partnership under the MRC/EPSRC Molecular Pathology Node.

Delivery

You will be taught by academic staff with experience and expertise in Pathology and Molecular Pathology such as Dr Yvonne Bury, Consultant Histopathologist and Dr Julie Irving, Reader in Experimental Haematology.

You will be given an email address and an account on Blackboard, our managed learning environment. Blackboard is accessible across a variety of operating systems and browsers. Our materials and supporting reading are accessible across a variety of devices including desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

No campus attendance is needed, but you must have reliable access to a computer, internet connection, webcam, headset and printer. Recommended specifications:
-Operating system: Windows 7 and above (32 and 64 bit) or Mac OSX 10.6 and above
-Processor: Intel Pentium, Intel Celeron, Intel i3, Intel i5, Intel i7, or recent AMD processor
-RAM: At least 2GB
-Connectivity: broadband or mobile broadband
-Screen resolution: at least 1024 x 768 px

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Medical Life Sciences is an English-taught two-year Master’s programme in molecular disease research and bridges the gap between the sciences and medical studies. Read more
Medical Life Sciences is an English-taught two-year Master’s programme in molecular disease research and bridges the gap between the sciences and medical studies. You will get to know clinical research from scratch; you will learn how to investigate diseases/disease mechanisms both in ancient and contemporary populations, how to translate research results into prevention, diagnosis and therapies of diseases.
From the basics of medical science to lab experiments for the Master’s thesis, individual scientific training takes first priority. Experimental work in state-of-the-art research labs is essential in Medical Life Sciences; clinical internships, data analysis, lectures, seminars and electives complement the Medical Life Sciences curriculum.
Evolutionary biology will train you in thinking from cause to consequence. Molecular paleopathology and ancient DNA research tell you a lot about disease through human history. These insights help to fight disease today, which is why evolutionary medicine is becoming a cutting-edge research field. Whether you want to focus on ancient populations and paleopathology or on specific disease indications nowadays, here you get the tools and skills to do both.
To lay the foundation for working in medical research, Medical Life Sciences includes courses on clinical manifestations of diseases, molecular pathology and immunology. Hands-on courses in molecular biology, bioinformatics, clinical cell biology, medical statistics, and human genetics broaden your knowledge and make the interfaces between medicine and the sciences visible. You will learn how to acquire knowledge, verify and use it.. That biomedicine has many facets to discover is the great thing that keeps students fascinated and well-equipped for finding a job in academia or the industry.

Focus Areas

From the second semester, you additionally specialise in one of the following focus areas:

INFLAMMATION takes you deep into the molecular mechanisms of chronic inflammatory diseases, the causal network between inflammatory processes and disease, genetics and environment. New research results for prevention, diagnosis and therapy will be presented and discussed. An internship in specialised clinics helps to see how “bed to bench side”, i.e. translational medicine, works.

EVOLUTIONARY MEDICINE looks at how interrelations between humans and their environment have led to current disease susceptibility. Why do we suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity? Is our lifestyle making us sick? Why are certain genetic variants maintained in populations despite their disease risk? Evolutionary medicine focuses on bridging the gap between evolutionary biology and medicine by considering the evolutionary origins of common diseases to help find new biomedical approaches for preventing and treating them.

ONCOLOGY delves deep into molecular research on malignant diseases, the interplay of genetics and environment, cell biology of tumours, and many other aspects. You will achieve a better understanding of unresolved problems and opportunities of current research approaches.

LONGEVITY focuses on molecular mechanisms that seem to counteract the detrimental effect of ageing. The disease resilience and metabolic stability of extraordinarily fit people well over 90 years of age are of special interest. This research is complemented by experiments on model organisms. You will also look at the molecular pathways of ageing, and which role genes and the environment play. How the intricate web of counteracting effects triggering ageing and/or longevity works stands as the central focus of this area.

Scientists and clinicians will make you familiar with these topics in lectures and seminars. You will discuss different research approaches, perspectives and the latest developments in medical research. Lab practicals in state-of-the-art research labs, a lab project, and the experimental Master's thesis will provide ample opportunity to be involved in real-time research projects.

Electives

To widen your perspective, you choose one of three electives designed to complement the focus areas. The schedules are designed so that you can take part in more than one elective if places are available. Tracing Disease through Time looks at disease etiology by analysing biomolecules, diets and pathogens in archaeological specimens. You may opt for Epidemiology to immerse yourself in epidemiological approaches with special emphasis on cardiovascular diseases, one of the greatest health threats in modern societies. Another option is Molecular Imaging, which gives you insight into the world of high-tech imaging in medical research.

Additional electives such as Neurology, Tissue Engineering or Epithelial Barrier Functions and Soft Skills courses such as Project Management, Career Orientation and English Scientific Writing are integrated into the curriculum.

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Whether you are a new graduate or already employed and seeking to further your career prospects, this course offers a solid career development path. Read more

Whether you are a new graduate or already employed and seeking to further your career prospects, this course offers a solid career development path. You can also choose this course if you wish to pursue research in biotechnology at PhD level.

Biotechnology is the application of biological processes and is underpinned by • cell biology • molecular biology • bioinformatics • structural biology. It encompasses a wide range of technologies for modifying living organisms or their products according to human needs.

Applications of biotechnology span medicine, technology and engineering.

Important biotechnological advances including

  • the production of therapeutic proteins using cloned DNA, for example insulin and clotting factors
  • the application of stem cells to treat human disease
  • the enhancement of crop yields and plants with increased nutritional value
  • herbicide and insect resistant plants
  • production of recombinant antibodies for the treatment of disease
  • edible vaccines, in the form of modified plants
  • development of biosensors for the detection of biological and inorganic analytes

You gain

  • up-to-date knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of biological processes
  • an advanced understanding of DNA technology and molecular biotechnology
  • knowledge of developing and applying biotechnology to diagnosis and treatment of human diseases
  • practical skills applicable in a range of bioscience laboratories
  • the transferable and research skills to enable you to continue developing your knowledge and improving your employment potential

The course is led by academics who are actively involved in biotechnology research and its application to the manipulation of proteins, DNA, mammalian cells and plants. Staff also have expertise in the use of nanoparticles in drug delivery and the manipulation of microbes in industrial and environmental biotechnology.

You are supported throughout your studies by an academic advisor who will help you develop your study and personal skills.

What is biotechnology

Biotechnology is the basis for the production of current leading biopharmaceuticals and has already provided us with the 'clot-busting' drug, tissue plasminogen activator for the treatment of thrombosis and myocardial infarction. It also holds the promise of new treatments for neurodegeneration and cancer through recombinant antibodies.

Genetically modified plants have improved crop yields and are able to grow in a changing environment. Manipulation of cellular organisms through gene editing methods have also yielded a greater understanding of many disease states and have allowed us to understand how life itself functions.

Course structure

You begin your studies focusing on the fundamentals of advanced cell biology and molecular biology before specialising in both molecular and plant biotechnology. Practical skills are developed throughout the course and you gain experience in molecular biology techniques such as PCR and sub cloning alongside tissue culture.

Core to the program is the practical module where you gain experience in a range of techniques used in the determination of transcription and translational levels, for example.

All practicals are supported by experienced academic staff, skilled in the latest biotechnological techniques.

Research and statistical skills are developed throughout the program. Towards the end of the program you apply your skills on a two month research project into a current biotechnological application. Employability skills are developed throughout the course in two modules.

The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.

The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.

The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits. 

Core modules:

  • Cell biology (15 credits)
  • Biotechnology (15 credits)
  • Plant biotechnology (15 credits)
  • Molecular biology (15 credits)
  • Applied biomedical techniques (15 credits)
  • Professional development (15 credits)
  • Research methods and statistics (15 credits)
  • Research project (60 credits)

Optional modules :

  • Human genomics and proteomics (15 credits)
  • Cellular and molecular basis of disease (15 credits)
  • Cellular and molecular basis of cancer (15 credits)

Assessment

As students progress through the course they are exposed to a wide range of teaching and learning activities. The assessment strategy of the postgraduate course considers diverse assessment methods. Some modules offer dedicated formative feedback to aid skills development with assessments going through several rounds of formative tutor and peer feedback. Summative assessment methods are diverse, with examinations present in theory-based modules to test independent knowledge and data analysis. Several modules are entirely coursework-based, with a portfolio of skills such laboratory practical's and research proposals generated throughout the course forming the summative tasks. In all cases, the assessment criteria for all assessed assignments are made available to student prior to submission. 

Employability

The course is suitable for people wishing to develop their knowledge of molecular and cell biotechnology and its application to solving health and industrial problems.

You can find career opportunities in areas such as

  • biotechnology research
  • medical research in universities and hospitals
  • government research agencies
  • biotechnology industry
  • pharmaceutical industry.

Students on this course have gone on to roles including experimental officers in contract research, research and development in scientists, diagnostics specialists and applications specialists. Many of our graduates also go on to study for PhDs and continue as academic lecturers.



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The MSc Clinical and Molecular Microbiology course is ideal for biomedical scientists pursing a career in diagnostic medicine, or students wishing to enter a research career and gain high-level skills in molecular medical microbiology. Read more
The MSc Clinical and Molecular Microbiology course is ideal for biomedical scientists pursing a career in diagnostic medicine, or students wishing to enter a research career and gain high-level skills in molecular medical microbiology.

The course aims to provide training in theoretical and practical aspects of medical microbiology with a focus on clinical methods for diagnosis and patient management and molecular biological techniques in research and diagnostic labs. You will gain basic and advanced knowledge of important viral, bacterial and parasitic infections and how these infections are diagnosed and treated in the clinic.

The course has full accreditation of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), which is a professional acknowledgement of the quality and relevance of the course to individuals employed as biomedical scientists. It helps career progression of biomedical scientists already employed and state registered, allowing those BMS1 technical officers to apply for promotion and higher grades.

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