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Masters Degrees (Molecular Genetics)

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

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

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

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

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

Below are examples of project titles from a previous year:

• Molecular engineering of novel ligands with therapeutic potential

• Detection of oxidative damage to DNA in specific gene sequences

• Analyzing human disease genes in yeast

• Single molecule methods for watching the assembly of splicing complexes

• Secretory protein expression in pancreatic β-cells

• The iron responsive regulatory system of Campylobacter jejuni

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

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

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

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

• Alternative lengthening of telomeres in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia


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

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

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Within the Human Molecular Genetics area there is an emphasis on the role of repetitive DNA sequences in health and disease, and in chromosome stability. Read more
Within the Human Molecular Genetics area there is an emphasis on the role of repetitive DNA sequences in health and disease, and in chromosome stability. Research projects include: studies to understand the molecular basis of myotonic dystrophy, the identification of genes involved in human developmental heart disorders; cardiac stem cells; the role of apoptosis in brain tumour development and therapy; artificial chromosomes and chromosome segregation; human genetic diversity; copy number analysis; molecular genetics of muscle disease; mouse models of muscle disorders; and molecular genetic approaches to anthropology and human population genetics.

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 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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About the course. This MSc gives students excellent postgraduate training, and leads to exciting careers in research, industry, the NHS and other clinical institutions. Read more

About the course

This MSc gives students excellent postgraduate training, and leads to exciting careers in research, industry, the NHS and other clinical institutions. Many of our graduates have also gone on to study bioscience at PhD level.

You’ll develop an in-depth knowledge of medical and molecular genetics, and receive clinical genetics training to prepare you for a research project in a modern research facility. You’ll have the chance to collaborate with top genetics research laboratories and clinical partners.

This MSc was developed in partnership with the Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service (SDGS), which is a world-renowned clinical genetics facility. This relationship is unique to this course and gives you the opportunity to be taught by the SDGS Director and the Lead Scientist for Constitutional Genetics.

Where your masters can take you

Our graduates work in health care, pharmaceuticals, food safety and production, brewing and agrochemicals. Many of our masters students go on to do a PhD then pursue a career in research; others have gained entry to the prestigious NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP).

An international reputation

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranks Sheffield No 1 for biomedical research and in the UK top five for biological sciences generally. We have regular seminars from distinguished experts, and our motivated staff undertake collaborative research ranging from biotechnology to medicine.

Teaching and assessment

Our masters courses give you a solid grounding in experimental science, with personal supervision and tutorials by experienced scientists, based in modern and well-equipped labs, leading on to a research project in which you design and conduct your own research.

You will learn cutting-edge science from research leaders, and gain practice in reading the scientific literature and writing reports.

Assessment is based on a combination of coursework, project work, formal examinations and a dissertation.

Core modules

  • Advanced Research Topics
  • Laboratory Techniques in Molecular Bioscience
  • Literature Review
  • Research Project

Optional modules

Choose three from:

  • Genome Stability and Genetic Change
  • The Genetics of Human Disease
  • Human Reproduction and Fertility
  • Genomic Science
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • The RNA World


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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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There is a separate entry on admission to the P.Grad.Dip. in Molecular Medicine. Read more
There is a separate entry on admission to the P.Grad.Dip. in Molecular Medicine.

This course aims to give participants an indepth understanding of the emerging field of molecular medicine which draws together developments in molecular and cellular biology to describe disease processes at a functional level - that of molecular interactions.

The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the molecular basis of human disease and its implications for the practice of clinical medicine and research in the life sciences. The course will ensure that students from all disciplines have the skills necessary to conduct research and critically evaluate the scientific and medical literature.

The course includes lectures on cellular biology and molecular genetics as they apply generally to normal cell and tissue function and to disease processes. Modules on molecular signalling and therapeutics, bioinformatics and ethical-legal aspects of the discipline are included, as well as literature reviews, laboratory practicals and a laboratory project.

The course is available in a one-year, full-time and a two-year, part-time format. It consists of lectures on cellular biology and molecular genetics as they apply generally to normal cell and tissue function and more specifically to disease processes such as cancer, immune dysfunction, and diseases with an inherited component. The course content includes molecular signalling and therapeutics, molecular and population genetics, nanoscience, and high content cell analysis. There is a core, 'Research Skills' module which encompasses bioinformatics and ethical-legal aspects of the emerging discipline, literature reviews, and laboratory practicals in basic molecular and cellular techniques. Candidates will complete a laboratory project of three months (full-time) or six months (part-time) duration. Candidates must also complete the taught module, Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease I. This course provides the applicant with state-of-the-art information and critical analysis of: The human genome at a molecular level, the integration of molecular and cellular biology in relation to human diseases; the molecular basis of human genetic disease; the molecular interactions between microbiological pathogens and the human host; the technology currently employed in researching molecular medicine; the molecular basis of common human inflammatory diseases and malignancies; the utilisation of knowledge on the molecular basis of human disease in planning and design of novel therapies, using pharmacological agents or gene therapy; the ethical and legal aspects of molecular medicine as it impinges on clinical practice. You will also gain a working appreciation of molecular and cellular biology at the practical level and development of the ability to perform independent research with the ability to apply bioinformatic and computational techniques in medical and biological research, and information retrieval. The student is examined on the basis of a submitted critical literature review essay, a written examination, assessment of laboratory practicals and the writing of a dissertation based on a research project. Candidates from health science (medical, dental, veterinary), biological science and other science disciplines (e.g. chemical or pharmacy), are invited to apply.

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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.

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This comprehensive programme is intended for professionals specialising in paediatrics and child health and is based at the UCL Great Ormond Street 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 UCL Great Ormond Street 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.

About this degree

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.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Paediatrics and Child Health: Molecular and Genomic Paediatrics 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

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Great Ormond Street 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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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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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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Molecular biology is a key area underpinning modern biology in the post-genomic era. The science of molecular biology analyses the structure and function of organisms – viral, microbial and eukaryotic – at a molecular level. Read more
Molecular biology is a key area underpinning modern biology in the post-genomic era. The science of molecular biology analyses the structure and function of organisms – viral, microbial and eukaryotic – at a molecular level. The structure and function of nucleic acids, genes, proteins and cell-signalling molecules are also analysed by molecular biology. Molecular biology techniques can be used to investigate errors in cellular systems that are fundamental to an advanced understanding of disease aetiology. In addition, innovations in molecular biology permit sophisticated modification of organisms, and manipulation of their functions, to permit the production of novel products and the development of novel therapeutic technologies. The burgeoning global bioscience sector creates a continuing demand for the education of scientists at postgraduate level skilled in molecular biology.

The MSc Molecular Biology with Professional Experience, is an extended full-time Masters programme with a substantive professional experience component. Within the professional experience modules, students have the option of undertaking an internship with a host organisation or, alternatively, campus-based professional experience. Internships are subject to a competitive application and selection process and the host organisation may include the University.

Internships may be paid or unpaid, and this will depend on what is being offered and agreed with the host organisation. Students who do not wish to undertake an internship or are not successful in securing an internship will undertake campus-based professional experience, which will deliver similar learning outcomes through supervised projects and activities designed to offer students the opportunity to integrate theory with an understanding of professional practice.

WHY CHOOSE THIS COURSE?

This course is intended for life science graduates from both home and overseas courses who wish to develop their knowledge and skills in biosciences with an emphasis on molecular biology. The aim of the course is to produce scientists who will be able to contribute to a range of careers including academic, commercial, industrial and healthcare applications of molecular biology. This course is also an excellent foundation for those wishing to pursue research in molecular biology at PhD level.

You will have the opportunity to study a broad range of Molecular Biology at a theoretical and a practical level. You will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of molecular biology techniques. You will have the opportunity to develop a range of transferrable and research skills that will develop your knowledge and enhance your employment potential.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

The course is focused on the key elements of molecular biology and comprises modules on the following topics:
-Genomes and DNA Technology
-Cell Culture and Antibody Technology
-Mammalian Cell and Molecular Biology
-Molecular Microbiology
-Molecular Biology of Disease

The course will also comprise a Research Skills module. In addition, a Research Project forms part of the MSc course.

Additionally, the understanding gained from these modules will be demonstrated and applied in either the University-based project (12 months full-time or 24 months part-time, on course HLST104), or the professional experience modules giving students the option of undertaking an internship with a host organisation or, alternatively, campus-based professional experience.

HOW WILL THIS COURSE ENHANCE MY CAREER PROSPECTS?

Molecular biology is one of the most buoyant sectors of the biosciences jobs market. Indeed, molecular biology is a key area underpinning modern biology in the post-genomic era. Consequently, many different branches of biology in both the academic and industrial sectors make use of molecular biology skills and rely on analyses at the molecular level to drive developments. It is predicted that growth in the Molecular Biology employment market will be above average over the period 2010–20.

GLOBAL LEADERS PROGRAMME

To prepare students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills Coventry University has developed a unique Global Leaders Programme.

The objectives of the programme, in which postgraduate and eligible undergraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.

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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 80 credits
  • Research Methods in Clinical Sciences 10 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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