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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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The MSc by Research in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences has been designed to offer a range of pathways for you to research your chosen subject interests within Social and Applied Sciences, whilst sharing in the multi-disciplinary nature of the taught component of the course. Read more
The MSc by Research in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences has been designed to offer a range of pathways for you to research your chosen subject interests within Social and Applied Sciences, whilst sharing in the multi-disciplinary nature of the taught component of the course.

You’ll share a breadth of experience – the multi-disciplinary nature of the taught component means you will share a broad experience of methodological and research issues. Allied with subject specific supervision, this will allow you to develop a unique awareness of knowledge and experiences across the natural and social sciences in addition to a focus on your own research topic.

Biosciences pathway:
Students pursuing the bioscience pathway would be expected to have research which falls within the areas of the members of the biomolecular research group (BMRG). The BMRG have specialities in cell and molecular biology, protein science, chemical and structural biology, cancer biology, bioinformatics, metabolomics and evolutionary genetics. A selection of current research projects include:

*Development of fluorescent chemosensors for medical applications, biochemical investigations, environmental monitoring, biotechnology and drug discovery.
*Investigating the protein structure and biological control potential of plant lectins.
*Studying organism development and ageing with respect to environmental stimuli.
*Studying prion protein development and maintenance in yeast.
*Investigating the therapeutic potential of novel animal venoms as anti-microbial, anti-parasitic and anti-cancer agents.
*Computationally investigating the molecular dynamics of cell skeletal components.
*Investigating mammalian embryology and comparative genomic studies in a variety of avian species.
*Investigating the biochemical and biophysical properties of muscle proteins.
*Investigating alternative splicing and the circadian clock in plant stress responses.
*Deployment of molecular techniques an attempt to understand the patterns in the spatial distribution of organisms.

Members also have collaborative interests with external partners including local schools and biotechnology businesses. For more information on member’s research activities or for contact details, please click on a member’s individual Staff Profile.

We are a close-knit community of academics, researchers and students dedicated to the study of Life Sciences. You would be joining an active and dynamic post-graduate community and would have the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from this community.

Find out more about the section of Life Sciences at https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/social-and-applied-sciences/human-and-life-sciences/life-sciences/about-us.aspx. You can also find out more about our research https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/social-and-applied-sciences/human-and-life-sciences/life-sciences/research/research.aspx.

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

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

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