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Masters Degrees (Structural Biology)

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This course offers both taught components and extensive research experience for students with backgrounds in biological, chemical and physical sciences. Read more
This course offers both taught components and extensive research experience for students with backgrounds in biological, chemical and physical sciences. It is particularly suitable for those who wish to gain both theoretical and practical research experience in the techniques of structural biology or biocomputing.

Our research areas include:

Molecular chaperones, amyloid fibrils, pore-forming toxins
M. tuberculosis, cytoskeletal proteins
Signal transduction, bacterial pathogenesis and DNA replication
Electron microscopy, cytoskeletal dynamics and function
Electron cryo-microscopy; electron tomography and image processing; development of methods for recognition and separation of heterogeneous molecular complexes; bacteriophage assembly; structural analysis of the transcription factor p53
Hsp90, the kinetochore
DNA repair
Protein folding and misfolding, in particular at the point of synthesis on intact ribosomes
Viral protein-nucleic acid interactions.

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Chemical biology is the application of chemical tools and ideas to biological and medical problems. Read more

Chemical biology is the application of chemical tools and ideas to biological and medical problems. This programme is designed to build on an existing knowledge of chemical structure and reactivity to give you a thorough grounding in contemporary chemical biology and drug discovery as well as introducing you to topics from the research frontier.

You’ll be taught by experts from across the Astbury Centre in chemical biology, biophysics and medicinal chemistry using a "problem-based" approach. Visiting lecturers from the pharmaceutical industry will share their expertise in industrially-relevant applications of chemical biology and drug design with you.

Bridging the gap between your undergraduate degree in a core subject, and interdisciplinary research in chemical biology, you’ll develop the skills to solve real-life research problems, benefitting from a multi-million pound investment in fantastic research facilities. Rather than focusing on a single discipline, you’ll learn to use either chemical or biological approaches to tackle the problem in hand.

Accreditation

Royal Society of Chemistry Accreditation

The University of Leeds launched the first taught MSc degree in Chemical Biology in the UK. The course was one of the first two MSc courses in the UK to receive accreditation from the Royal Society of Chemistry; graduates from the programme with an appropriate first degree in chemistry satisfy the academic requirements for the award of Chartered Chemist (CChem) status.

Course content

In the first half of the year you’ll cover a core range of modules designed to build on an existing knowledge of chemical structure and reactivity to give you a thorough understanding of chemical biology and the techniques required for drug design. In the second half of the year you’ll spend the majority of your time working on an interdisciplinary research project which will allow you to work with and gain advice from two supervisors with complementary expertise.

This project will contribute 50% of the mark for your degree. The School will help you to select the project that is right for you, in an area that interests and motivates you. The project will provide you with key research experience to take your career forward. With the core modules behind you, you’ll be ideally positioned to choose an exciting problem to investigate.

The breadth of expertise available at Leeds means that you will be able to combine a wide range of techniques from computational ligand design to synthesis, protein engineering and laser spectroscopy. These techniques might span one of more of the following general areas;

  • Synthesis of biologically active molecules
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Enzymology and directed evolution
  • Biophysical chemistry
  • Chemical genetics

You’ll receive training in the generic skills that are required for the module, including scientific writing and giving oral presentations. You’ll select your project at the start of the second semester,undertaking a programme of directed reading before writing an initial report. You’ll then spend over four months in your supervisors' research laboratories working alongside PhD students and experienced postdoctoral researchers. During the research project, you’ll have access to the outstanding research facilities in chemical biology that are available in Leeds.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Foundation of Chemical Biology 10 credits
  • Drug Discovery and Development 15 credits
  • Emerging Topics in Chemical Biology 25 credits
  • Extended Laboratory Project for Chemistry-based MSc courses 90 credits

Optional modules

  • Practical Bioinformatics 10 credits
  • Molecular Diagnostics and Drug Delivery 10 credits
  • Advanced Topics in Chemical Biology (40 Credit) 40 credits
  • Advanced Topics in Chemical Biology (30 Credit) 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Chemical Biology and Drug Design MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You will be taught by experts across the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, meaning you’ll learn from both chemists and biologists to gain the skills and knowledge to work in a multidisciplinary environment. You’ll be taught through a series of lectures, small group workshops and practical lab sessions. You will also get involved in student led activities such as literature presentations.

Assessment

The wide range of continual assessment formats will allow you to improve your generic skills, and to hone your ability to solve problems. As part of the continual assessment of modules, you will give a wide range of oral presentations; prepare short articles, essays and research reports; perform computational exercises; and undertake group-based problem solving activities. Your research project will be assessed through your practical work and a written research report.

Career opportunities

On graduation, you’ll be ideally placed to undertake interdisciplinary research in academia and the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry. You’ll also be in a strong position to pursue a science-related career, such as patent work, scientific publishing or scientific administration.

In addition, this course will leave you well-placed to forge a career at companies working at the interface between chemistry and biology. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are increasingly seeking researchers with a strong interdisciplinary background.

Further study

Many of our graduates have secured positions on Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry PhD programmes in the UK and internationally. The Astbury Centre hosts a wide range of PhD programmes incorporating Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, offering many opportunities for students graduating from the MSc course. The MSc provides tailored training at the interface between chemistry and the biological sciences, and will enhance your prospects of securing a place on one of these highly competitive postgraduate programmes.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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Programme description. The rapid transformation in the nature of drug discovery means that knowledge of related disciplines, and the technologies used, is essential for those considering a career in commercial or academic research. Read more

Programme description

The rapid transformation in the nature of drug discovery means that knowledge of related disciplines, and the technologies used, is essential for those considering a career in commercial or academic research.

This MSc will help you explore the latest methods of developing drugs and therapeutic compounds for humans and animals and disease control agents for plants.

You will learn about marketing, licensing and regulations, which are all part of the development process. Our multidisciplinary approach links structural biology, bioinformatics, chemistry and pharmacology.

You will investigate the fundamental scientific problems and techniques of drug discovery and design, alongside the challenges of developing principles for new therapeutic strategies.

You will have hands-on experience of crystallographic computer programming and computation for bioinformatics.

You will consider the moral and ethical aspects of the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries through case studies, seminars and discussions.

Programme structure

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

Compulsory courses:

  • Applicable Mathematics
  • Molecular Modelling and Database Mining
  • Quantitating Drug Binding
  • Protein Structure Determination
  • Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery
  • Project Proposal and Literature Review
  • Preparative Methods for Structural Biology
  • Drug Discovery

Option courses:

  • Biochemistry A & B
  • Bioinformatics 1
  • Chemical Medicine
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Biophysical Chemistry for MSc Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Scientific Programming
  • Practical Skills in Biochemistry A & B
  • Introduction to Website and Database Design for Drug Discovery;
  • Detailed Characterisation of Drug or Ligand Interactions Using Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR);
  • Bioinformatics Programming & System Management
  • Bioinformatics Algorithms
  • Information Processing in Biological Cells
  • Bioinformatics 2
  • Protein Molecular Modelling Practical Skills
  • Tools for Synthetic Biology

Career opportunities

This MSc is designed to help you pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry or relevant government agencies, and it will provide a good background for managerial or technical roles in research, design and development. It is also a solid basis from which to continue your studies to PhD level.



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This masters programme is designed to prepare you for a career in research in molecular and cellular biology and its applications. Read more
This masters programme is designed to prepare you for a career in research in molecular and cellular biology and its applications.

It comprises a year of intensive training and research experience leading to the award of an MRes degree which will give you a ‘flying start’ to a subsequent PhD programme, if this is your chosen career path.

This programme is designed to prepare you for a career in research in molecular and cellular biology and its applications. It comprises a year of intensive training and research experience leading to the award of an MRes degree which will give you a ‘flying start’ to a subsequent PhD programme, if this is your chosen career path.

The programme aims to provide training in the practical aspects that underlie research science in this field. To achieve this aim the course contains a very high level of hands-on research, as it is our view there is no better training than lab experience.

Programme content

Two-thirds of the programme is taken up by two approximately 18-week research projects, which are undertaken in different laboratories and with different supervisors. A very wide range of research topics falling within the scope of molecular and cellular biology is available within the School; this range extends from structural biology at one extreme to multicellular systems at the other.

In addition to this direct research experience, there are two compulsory taught modules which provide training in:

- Science Funding and Enterprise Skills in Biosciences
- Techniques in Molecular and Cellular Biology
These modules cover the basic principles underlying scientific research methods and the design of biological/biochemical experiments, and discussion of modern techniques in molecular and cellular biology. In addition, the science funding and enterprise module provides the skills required to obtain funding for sciences. This includes grant and business case writing and scientific presentation skills. You can also take courses to develop general research skills arranged through the Biosciences Graduate Research School.

The taught modules consist of a combination of seminars and lectures. The lab work that is carried out during the course is student-led. You will be able to choose areas of molecular and cellular biology that fit with your career aspirations.

Assessment

The two taught modules are assessed via examination, essays and oral presentations. The two research projects are assessed via written thesis and an oral examination.

Skills gained

This programme offers the following advantages:

Broad training in the skills and techniques of contemporary research in molecular and cellular biology
The opportunity to experience research in at least two different areas
Increased breadth and experience, which will enhance subsequent employability
The course will also enable you to:

Conduct and fund independent research
Present research results in an appropriate manner both written and orally
Have an appreciation and knowledge of the use of modern techniques in molecular and cellular biology
Build and develop scientific research projects in the public and private sector
Careers

Those who perform effectively in the MRes often continue at Birmingham to a PhD; however, the MRes also provides a very good qualification to move into research and a wide range of professions.

About the School of Biosciences

As one of the top biosciences departments in the UK, our research covers the entire spectrum of cutting-edge biosciences. We are home to the Institute of Microbiology and Infection and part of the University’s Systems Science for Health initiative.
Our research focuses on a number of important themes that run through modern biological and biochemical research: Biosystems and Environmental Change; Microbiology and Infection; Molecules, Cells, Signalling and Health; and Plant Science.
Our postgraduate students join a diverse international community of staff and students. For students on research degrees, the annual Biosciences Graduate Research Symposium, organised by PhD students, is an example of an event where the whole School comes together to talk about science.
We have extensive high-technology facilities in areas such as functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, including a world-class Advanced Mass Spectrometry Facility. Our cutting-edge facilities extend to protein structure determination and analysis, confocal microscopy, drug discovery, horticulture, structural biology and optical imaging. The £8 million Phenome Centre Birmingham is a large metabolic phenotyping facility led by internationally recognised metabolomics and clinical experts at the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with Birmingham Health Partners.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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This postgraduate programme provides you with a theoretical background for the techniques commonly used in structural biology. Read more
This postgraduate programme provides you with a theoretical background for the techniques commonly used in structural biology. It has been designed for scientists wishing to update their knowledge, or as part of the background studies of research students, particularly those whose undergraduate studies were in a different area.

Structural biology allows you to understand how macromolecules work at the atomic level of detail. This is important particularly in designing drugs which act at the molecular level to affect macromolecules. Increasingly, research uses a range of complementary biophysical and structural techniques to study protein-protein interactions. This requires that researchers have some understanding of what all these techniques can achieve. This programme is designed to give the theoretical background required to use this range of methods.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Study by distance learning, wherever you are in the world, with our internet-based teaching.
May be taken as a stand-alone award or as part of our innovative distance learning MSc Structural Molecular Biology.
Part of the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, a joint initiative with University College London.

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Research in the School of Biosciences centres around four interlinked groupings, which focus on multi and interdisciplinary research. Read more
Research in the School of Biosciences centres around four interlinked groupings, which focus on multi and interdisciplinary research.

Each theme represents areas of research excellence in human, animal, plant, microbial, cell and molecular biology, and these areas integrate with systems biology and structural biology.

Research students at the School are members of the Biosciences Graduate Research School, and receive training in many generic and transferable skills in addition to those that are specific to their research discipline. We give special emphasis to postgraduate student research training, including regular monitoring of progress and the provision of an induction programme and short courses in core and specialised techniques.

About the School of Biosciences

As one of the top biosciences departments in the UK, our research covers the entire spectrum of cutting-edge biosciences. We are home to the Institute of Microbiology and Infection and part of the University’s Systems Science for Health initiative.
Our research focuses on a number of important themes that run through modern biological and biochemical research: Biosystems and Environmental Change; Microbiology and Infection; Molecules, Cells, Signalling and Health; and Plant Science.
Our postgraduate students join a diverse international community of staff and students. For students on research degrees, the annual Biosciences Graduate Research Symposium, organised by PhD students, is an example of an event where the whole School comes together to talk about science.
We have extensive high-technology facilities in areas such as functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, including a world-class Advanced Mass Spectrometry Facility. Our cutting-edge facilities extend to protein structure determination and analysis, confocal microscopy, drug discovery, horticulture, structural biology and optical imaging. The £8 million Phenome Centre Birmingham is a large metabolic phenotyping facility led by internationally recognised metabolomics and clinical experts at the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with Birmingham Health Partners.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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This programme is offered by the UCL Division of Medicine and the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research and is designed for the more research-oriented student, complementing Drug Design MSc. Read more
This programme is offered by the UCL Division of Medicine and the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research and is designed for the more research-oriented student, complementing Drug Design MSc. Conducting cutting-edge research within the drug industries and UCL's academic group, it offers opportunities for networking and future career development.

Degree information

This programme teaches students the latest methodologies and approaches and covers all aspects of drug design: drug discovery, computational and structural biology, screening, assay development, medicinal chemistry, and most importantly the industrial practices involved in modern drug design technology.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation/report (105 credits).

Optional modules - students will select three from the following Drug Design MSc modules:
-Bioinformatics and Structural Biology as applied to Drug Design
-Biological Molecules as Therapeutics
-Biophysical Screening Methods, X-ray Crystallography, Protein NMR and Phenotypic Screening
-Cheminformatics and Modelling for Drug Design
-Fragment-based Drug Design
-Target Selection – Commercial and Intellectual Property Aspects
-Target Selection – Scientific Grounds

Core modules - plus two taught transferable skills modules delivered by CALT (UCL Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching):
-Investigating Research
-Researcher Professional Development

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 to 20,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and problem classes, critical journal clubs and a research project. Assessment is through coursework, practicals, laboratory work, examination, dissertation and oral presentation.

Careers

We expect students graduating from this programme to take leading roles in drug discovery and development worldwide or to undertake further PhD level research. The first cohort of students on the Drug Design MRes graduating in 2015 have found jobs in the pharmaceutical industry as well as PhD studentships in leading universities.

Employability
The advanced knowledge and skill set acquired by taking this programme will enable students to find employment in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries in a global market.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The division hosts research groups in the areas of medicine, pharmaceutical research, cell cycle, neurobiology, mitochondrial function, stem cells and cancer. Underpinning the translational aspects of the biomedical research, we have a medicinal chemistry group which conducts research where chemistry and biology intersect, using the latest techniques and developing new ones for the study of biological systems.

The division collaborates extensively within industry and academia to develop biological tools and therapeutic agents. There are plenty of opportunities to conduct translational research that has an impact on drug discovery.

Pharmaceutical and biotech companies, well established in the West, have been transferring their research and development to the East. Given these substantial developments, particularly in China and India, the programme will have a broad international appeal.

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This MSc offers a comprehensive guide to all aspects of modern day drug design. It is taught by research scientists, clinicians and industry experts. Read more
This MSc offers a comprehensive guide to all aspects of modern day drug design. It is taught by research scientists, clinicians and industry experts. Our graduates have progressed to undertake or obtain PhDs or medical studentships, or have found employment in both the private and public sector.

Degree information

The programme covers all aspects of drug design, including genomics, bioinformatics, structural biology, cheminformatics, molecular modelling and fragment-based drug design, drug target selection, intellectual property and marketing. New therapies and research areas such as antibodies, siRNA, stem cells and high throughput screening are covered. Students will develop essential skills such as research methods and techniques of drug design.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is also offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is also offered. There are no optional modules for this programme.

Core modules
-Bioinformatics and Structural Biology
-Target Identification and High Throughput Screening
-Cheminformatics and Computer Drug Design
-Biological Molecules as Therapeutics - Antibodies, siRNA, and Stem Cells
-Biophysical Screening Methods, Protein NMR and Phenotypic Screening
-Fragment Based Drug Design (FBDD)
-Target Selection - Scientific Grounds
-Target Selection - Commercial and Intellectual Property

Dissertation/report
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which can take the form of a literature project, wet lab/computer modelling based project or an external project with an industrial sponsor.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, self study, practical sessions and discussion groups. The research project forms one third of the programme. Each of the taught modules is assessed by unseen written examination (50%) and coursework (50%). The research project is assessed by the dissertation and viva.

Careers

The programme will provide a good background for students looking to establish a career in drug design/discovery and related industries (biotech, pharma, national research laboratories and NHS agencies), and for industry professionals seeking to gain a greater understanding of new methodology. The knowledge and transferable skills delivered will also be useful for those intent on further PhD or medical studies.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Industrial Chemistry, University of Oxford
-PhD Researcher (Molecular Biology), EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory)
-Cancer Research, Imperial College London
-PhD Drug Design, University College London (UCL)
-PhD Oncology, Tianjin University

Employability
Graduates from this programme have progressed to PhD/medical studentships at different universities and research institutes around the world, including Oxford, UCL, Grenoble, EMBL, and in the USA and China. Many alumni have secured positions in research teaching and technical sales in the private and public sectors.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is listed among the top five universities in the TImes Higher Education QS World University Rankings 2015/16 and is located in the centre of one of the world's finest cities. UCL is one of Europe's best and largest centres for biomedical research.

At the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, we have pioneered multidisciplinary research with a particular emphasis on translating that research into useful clinical benefit. Our research expertise includes: medicinal chemistry, computational drug design, neuronal development and signalling, cell cycle control, intensive care medicine, stem cells, mitochondrial biology and cancer.

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How do genes regulate the development and functioning of cells, tissues and organisms? How do molecules, cells and tissues function and communicate with each other, and how are their functions studied? These are the key issues for understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms, whose disruption can contribute to the onset and progression of various diseases. Read more
How do genes regulate the development and functioning of cells, tissues and organisms? How do molecules, cells and tissues function and communicate with each other, and how are their functions studied? These are the key issues for understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms, whose disruption can contribute to the onset and progression of various diseases. Researchers in the fields of genetics, genomics, cellular and developmental biology, biochemistry, structural biology, and biosciences of health are searching for the answers to these questions.

Upon completing the Master’s Programme in Genetics and Molecular Biosciences:
-You will have in-depth knowledge of genetics and molecular biosciences and of the experimental methods used in them.
-You will understand the characteristics and functions of genes and biomolecules at the cellular, tissue and organism levels.
-You will be able to analyse scientific knowledge critically and communicate it to different audiences.
-You will have the ability to produce new scientific information about the properties of genes, biomolecules and cells by means of experimental studies.
-You will be able to take advantage of existing research data and biological databases.
-You will have mastered good scientific practice and know how to act accordingly.
-You will have the capacity for independent project management and problem solving, as well as for maintaining and developing your own expertise.
-You will have the ability to work in multi-disciplinary and multicultural communities.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees: https://studyinfo.fi/wp2/en/higher-education/higher-education-institutions-will-introduce-tuition-fees-in-autumn-2017/am-i-required-to-pay-tuition-fees/

Programme Contents

The Master's programme is based on basic scientific research. In the programme you will acquire knowledge and skills in modern genetics and molecular biosciences, which you will deepen in your chosen field of specialisation. The programme is tightly integrated with the experimental research carried out at the University of Helsinki in genetics, genomics, biochemistry, structural biology, and cellular and developmental biology. By combining course units, you will be able to acquire a broad-based understanding of biological phenomena and of the molecules that have an effect on health, including their interactions and functions at the levels of cells, tissues and organisms.

Courses include a variety of working methods: seminars, lectures, laboratory work, oral and written presentations, project work in small groups, independent studies and study circles formed by the students. The instruction will utilise digital learning environments.

These diverse teaching methods require active involvement from you. They will develop your ability to search, structure and present new information, as well as to draw conclusions. You will learn about the principles and methods of research during laboratory exercises, and about practical work in research groups and when writing your Master's thesis. In addition to academic excellence, you will acquire general working life skills such as fact-finding, problem solving, communication, project management and teamwork. You will acquire competence both for post-graduate studies in a Doctoral Programme and for expert positions immediately after gaining your Master's degree.

Programme Structure

You will need 120 credits (ECTS) for the Master’s degree, according to your personal study plan. The degree consists of:
-60 credits of advanced studies, including your Master’s thesis (30 credits).
-60 credits of other studies chosen from your own programme or from other programmes (such as Translational Medicine, Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology or Neuroscience).

You will be able to complete the Master’s programme in two years. The degree always includes a personal study plan as well as studies in labour market orientation, career planning, and possibly also international activities. If you are aiming for qualification as a biology teacher, you will need 60 credits of teacher’s pedagogical studies in your degree (this applies only to Finnish or Swedish speaking students).

Career Prospects

After graduating from the Master’s programme in Genetics and Molecular Biosciences, you will be well-prepared to move on to a career or to continue your studies at the postgraduate level for a PhD degree (see Postgraduate study opportunities). Doctoral studies are a prerequisite if you wish to become a researcher in the academic sector, for example.

The Master of Science (MSc) is a generalist degree, giving you the ability to work in basic and applied research and to act as an expert in public administration, the private sector and biotechnology companies. Your choice of specialisation and optional courses allows you to profile your skills in the direction you aim to follow for your future career. You can also take courses from other Master’s programmes at the University of Helsinki or other universities in Finland or abroad.

The professional titles of graduates in molecular biosciences include senior researcher, entrepreneur, forensic chemist, research and development chemist, product manager, senior officer, editor and teacher, so your future profession and employment can be as unique as you are. The teaching in the Master’s programme is based on cutting-edge research, so your education will be closely related and applicable to emerging fields such as bio-economy, nanotechnology, personal health and biological drugs. Some hot development areas in biotechnology include renewable energy and environmental technology. These sectors will require new kinds of specialists, who possess a wide and comprehensive understanding of molecular life sciences. After graduation, you could act, for example, in health life sciences as a quality manager or a laboratory specialist, scientific writer, clinical research monitor, or as an expert in administration.

Internationalization

The Master's programme in Genetics and Molecular Biosciences has a multidisciplinary and international teaching staff and research environment, giving you an excellent opportunity to create interdisciplinary and international contacts which will be of great importance for your future career. The Master's programme enables you to participate in international research projects from the beginning of your studies. You will communicate in English, allowing for a smooth transition between international research and specialist environments.

You can carry out the research and internship periods included in the Master's programme abroad. You will also have the possibility to take courses for the Master’s degree as an exchange student in foreign collaborating universities.

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

MSc Bioinformatics

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

Programme summary

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

Thesis tracks

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

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

Your future career

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

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

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

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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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If you want to pursue a research career in academia or industry, our MSc Cancer Biology will provide you with the essential advanced skills and knowledge for a role in biopharma, healthcare or cancer research. Read more
If you want to pursue a research career in academia or industry, our MSc Cancer Biology will provide you with the essential advanced skills and knowledge for a role in biopharma, healthcare or cancer research. We offer many opportunities for you to explore medically relevant research in the School of Biological Sciences including hospital-based sessions through our collaboration with local cancer specialists and clinicians.

An important and exciting part of your programme is an extensive independent research project, based in one of our academic research groups using advanced laboratories facilities and bioinformatics tools. There are also opportunities for research projects to take place within an industrial or clinical setting.

Throughout the course, you develop your knowledge in the essential areas of molecular and cellular biology which complement your specialist modules in cancer biology. You gain expertise in areas including:
-Specific cancer types (including breast, prostate, pancreatic and colon cancer)
-Clinical aspects of cancer
-Emerging trends in cancer research

You are also trained in modern research methods and approaches which will develop your skills in complex biological data analysis and specific techniques in cancer research.

Within our School of Biological Sciences, two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you will learn from and work alongside our expert staff as you undertake your own research.

Our expert staff

We have a very strong research team in the area of cancer biology, who are well placed to deliver the specialist teaching on this course.

The team includes the course leader Professor Elena Klenova (molecular oncology and cancer biomarkers), Dr Ralf Zwacka (apoptotic and survival signalling in cancer), Dr Greg Brooke (steroid hormone receptor signalling in cancer), Dr Metodi Metodiev (clinical proteomics and bioinformatics), Dr Pradeepa Madapura (cancer epigenetics), Dr Vladimir Teif (computational and systems biology), Professor Nelson Fernandez (tumour immunology) and Dr Filippo Prischi (structural biology and biophysics of novel drug targets).

External experts also input to your teaching, including guest speakers from hospitals and research institutions, who deliver classes both on-campus and within the hospital environment.

As one of the largest schools at Essex, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high-quality teaching, and you benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research.

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:
-Study in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Carry out your research project in shared lab space, alongside PhD students and researchers engaged in cutting-edge cancer research
-Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities, including an advanced microscopy suite, proteomics laboratory, cell culture, bioinformatics and genomics facilities, modern molecular biology laboratories, and protein structure analysis

Your future

Graduates who are skilled in the research methods embedded into your course are in demand from the biotechnology and biomedical research industries in this area of the UK and beyond.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for a PhD, and there are many opportunities within our school leading to a career in science.

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

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

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The MSc in Biosciences enables students to customise their course according to their needs and future career ambitions by selecting diverse topics and projects under the guidance of the Director of Studies who advises on suitable taught units and laboratory projects. Read more
The MSc in Biosciences enables students to customise their course according to their needs and future career ambitions by selecting diverse topics and projects under the guidance of the Director of Studies who advises on suitable taught units and laboratory projects.

The MSc programmes in Biology & Biochemistry are designed for students who wish to specialise further in a particular field or wish to change direction from their first degree (in a related area).

If you already have extensive and relevant research experience and would like to specialise, you might consider an MRes programme (http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/mres-biosciences/).

The aim of each of our MSc programmes in Biology and Biochemistry is to provide professional-level training that will develop highly skilled bioscientists with strong theoretical, research and transferable skills, all of which are necessary to work at the forefront of modern biosciences.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/msc-biosciences/

Why study Biology and Biochemistry with us?

- Biology & Biochemistry ranked 2nd in the Sunday Times University Guide 2013
- 90% of our research judged to be internationally recognised, excellent or world-leading
- Our current research funding portfolio stands at £14 million, supporting internationally excellent research in the biosciences

What will I learn?

The aim of each of our MSc programmes in Biology and Biochemistry is to provide professional-level training that will develop highly skilled bioscientists with strong theoretical, research and transferable skills, all of which are necessary to work at the forefront of modern biosciences.

For further information please see our department pages (http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/)

Programme structure

This programme can be customised to fit the career aspirations of an individual student and be designed from a choice of over 50 taught units and 70 lab projects, to cater for research interests as varied as structural biology through to animal behaviour.

Career opportunities

Since graduating, our students have gone on to employment or further research at institutions in the US, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.

Recent employers include:

Morvus-Technology Ltd
Janssen-Cilag
Royal United Hospital, Bath
Ministry of Defence
State Intellectual Property Office, Beijing
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford University
AbCam
Salisbury Foundation Trust Hospital
BBSRC
Lonza

Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/

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Our modular distance learning programme provides you with a grounding in the structure of proteins, and the main techniques that are used to study protein structure. Read more
Our modular distance learning programme provides you with a grounding in the structure of proteins, and the main techniques that are used to study protein structure.

Structural biology allows you to understand how macromolecules work at the atomic level of detail. This is important, particularly in designing drugs which act at the molecular level to affect macromolecules. Increasingly, research uses a range of complementary biophysical and structural techniques to study protein-protein interactions. This requires that researchers have some understanding of what all these techniques can achieve. This programme is designed to give the theoretical background required to use this range of methods.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Study by distance learning, wherever you are in the world, with our internet-based teaching.
Graduates are well placed to study for PhDs, start professional research careers, or change disciplines to encompass this important area of modern molecular biology.
Part of the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, a joint initiative with University College London.
Birkbeck houses state-of-the-art equipment for X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy and tomography and associated image processing. We have excellent facilities for UV and CD spectroscopy, calorimetry, fluorescence spectroscopy, ultracentrifugation, and protein expression and purification in the biochemical and molecular biology laboratories. We have a 158 processor cluster for intensive data processing. All areas have specialised computer equipment for data analysis, molecular graphics and molecular modelling and programming.

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This research-based course provides a highly specialised biochemical education and practical training. It will give you the fundamental skills to enable you to enter a research career in modern biochemical research in industry or academia. Read more
This research-based course provides a highly specialised biochemical education and practical training.

It will give you the fundamental skills to enable you to enter a research career in modern biochemical research in industry or academia.

There is considerable flexibility and you will be able to focus on specialist subjects consistent with your interests and career intentions.

This course will be of great benefit to graduates in biochemistry, biology, structural biology and related disciplines

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