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MSc Genomic Approaches to Drug Discovery

University of Sheffield    School of Biosciences

Full time September MSc 1 year full time 31 August 2022

About the course

Train in the latest automated genomics techniques and develop your professional skills in drug screening, gene discovery and the use of pharmacogenomics.

Course description

This unique research-led masters course is designed for students who are fascinated by genomic technologies, providing practical laboratory training in drug screening and gene discovery using the latest automated genomics techniques.

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree in a biomedical-related subject.

We also accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies.

Visit our website for full entry requirements: View Website


Home (2022 annual fee) : £13,000
Overseas (2022 annual fee) : £28,500

 Course Content

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Student Profile(s)

Asma Farhat

"During my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science here at Sheffield I developed a strong interest in laboratory research through summer placements and my final year project within the department and therefore wanted to stay on for a masters. I am currently pursuing the MSc Genomic Approaches to Drug Discovery course based at the RNAi Screening Facility.

"Through this course, I have had the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of drug screening, gene editing, assay development and other functional genomic techniques, not only theoretically but practically as well. I have enjoyed both the lab modules and the coursework, which have been varied and challenging. In this past year alone, I have written a research proposal, developed an assay for a mini-drug screen, done CRISPR editing and RNAi knock-downs, used a state of the art robot and even designed a cell culture machine!

"The MSc also includes regular journal clubs and an ethics course, both of which have been instrumental in helping me become more aware of the scientific world. Through the five month long lab project, I have learned to manage my own research project, right from planning and optimising methods, carrying out assays and analysing and presenting data.

"This year has been a great experience and has completely prepared me to start my PhD project at the Center for Molecular Medicine in Vienna this fall."

Nataya Deans

What made you decide to study this course in Sheffield?

Because of its excellent reputation for high-quality research output. As indicated by its motto, “Rerum cognoscere causas - to know the cause of things”, I am well aware that the University of Sheffield prides itself on its reputation for expanding the forefronts of knowledge in a number of disciplines. Furthermore, I was confident that the course would provide me with the skills and intensive training required to pursue a career in biotechnology.

What have you enjoyed most about the course?

I have really enjoyed using advanced technologies in the RNAi lab, and the diverse discussions facilitated during the ethics and critical analysis module. I am a conversationalist, and I thoroughly enjoy engaging invaluable and meaningful discussions. Therefore, having the ability to connect science and applying that to philosophical theories was a breath of fresh air.

Currently, I am working in the RNAi lab with Dr Stephen Brown. My research project is centred around the coronavirus proteins, NSP1 and ORF6, and their function in triple negative breast cancer. There have been various studies showing these proteins have an impact on STAT signalling. Since the STAT signalling, particularly the STAT3 protein, is important for breast cancer proliferation, migration and apoptosis, we thought to transfect them in the cells to see if there are any downstream or upstream regulatory effects.

What would you say to a prospective student considering studying the MSc?

As an international student, I would be the first to say that things have not been easy - particularly due to the pandemic. However, the University of Sheffield has been really supportive throughout my time here. My academic advisor has been amazing with ensuring that everyone has a meaningful study experience, regardless of their geographic location. She planned virtual coffee mornings to form a sense of community, and sent regular check-up emails to see how everyone was doing. The University Student's Union has been voted as the best in the UK for around a decade, but to actually reap the rewards of the SU is a truly enriching experience. The SU has been great at planning virtual events to keep students engaged, promote mental health awareness, and championing the diverse community of students of Sheffield. Overall, Sheffield is an amazing city with beautiful scenery and lots of fun things to do, which makes life here

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