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Course description

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 not only to be taught by the SDGS Director and the Lead Scientist for Constitutional Genetics but also to complete a clinical work placement with the service.

Read student stories.

Current modules:

Core modules – all students will study:

  • Advanced Research Topics (15 credits): Hear from visiting experts from leading universities across the globe through research seminars to gain a unique perspective on the latest research across molecular biology.
  • Laboratory Techniques in Molecular Bioscience (30 credits): Develop and practice core genetic and biochemical techniques, including CRISPR genome editing, ready for your research project.
  • Literature Review (30 credits): Conduct an in-depth survey of the current literature relevant to your research project.
  • Research Project (60 credits): Receive extensive training in human chromosome analysis, human cell line culture and maintenance, and microscopy and spend six months conducting a medical genetics research project.

Optional modules – students choose three from:

  • Genome Stability and Genetic Change (15 credits): Examine in detail the mechanisms that generate genetic variation and maintain genome integrity.
  • The Genetics of Human Disease (15 credits): Address the ways in which genetic factors influence our lifetime health including the real-life ethical and social issues that arise during genetic counselling.
  • Human Reproduction and Fertility (15 credits): Understand the processes underlying fertility and consider reasons for infertility, assisted conception, cryopreservation of gametes and embryos, and cloning and stem cells.
  • Genomic Science (15 credits): Learn in detail how genome sequencing can be used to understand the structure of human populations, to profile microbial diversity and to trace the origins of disease outbreaks.
  • Stem Cell Biology (15 credits): Understand the biology of stem cells and regenerative medicine, with special reference to the molecular and genetic control of cell fate specification and differentiation.
  • The RNA World (15 credits): Analyse the vital roles that RNA plays in the life of a cell and how RNA is increasingly used as a tool to understand biology. 

Learning, 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 scientific literature and writing reports. Assessment is based on a combination of coursework, project work, formal examinations and a dissertation.

After your degree

Through professional laboratory training and the opportunity to build clinical competence recognised by diagnostic facilities across the UK, MSc Human and Molecular Genetics graduates will be well equipped to pursue a career in healthcare diagnostics, working for healthcare providers such as the NHS, or companies allied to the provision of healthcare such as pharmaceutical companies.

Previous graduates are now working in roles including:

  • NHS Scientist Training Programme in Genomic Counselling, Cancer Genomics and Genomics at various NHS Trusts
  • Research Assistant, Wellcome Trust and Cell Guidance Systems
  • Lab Technician, Lisbon University
  • Medical Technical Officer, UK NEQAS

Students have also gone on to PhD training in:

  • Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Bioinformatics

Funding and scholarships

Funding is available, depending on your fee status, where you live and the course you plan to study. You could also qualify for a repayable postgraduate masters loan to help fund your studies.

Find out more.

How to apply

To apply for this course, complete the University of Sheffield's postgraduate online application form.

Online application form

Early applications are encouraged. Any applications received after all places have been filled will be deferred for entry the following year.


Visit the MSc Human and Molecular Genetics page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!

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