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Course content

About the course

Whole genome sequencing has opened up a new era of studies into the molecular and cellular basis of human disease. This unique research-led masters course provides training to future scientists in the production and use of animal models for basic research into disease mechanisms and for therapeutic studies.

The new molecular genetic and cellular approaches to understand human disease and disease processes in model systems are well established in our department, with some of the world’s foremost research in these areas being conducted in Sheffield. As the research base broadens and industry begins to adopt new technologies, the demand for this type of specialist training is strong across the healthcare industry and academia. As a graduate, you will gain high-level employment opportunities.

Where your masters can take you

Graduates with skills in stem cell and regenerative medicine are in demand. Your degree will prepare you for a career in research in academia or industry, or in a clinical-related field. Our graduates are working all over the world – from the UK to China, India and the USA – and over half go on to doctoral study.

Learn from the experts

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rates us No 1 in the UK for research in this field. Our international reputation attracts highly motivated staff and students. Sheffield is a vibrant place to take a masters based on pioneering research.

Regular seminars from distinguished international experts help you to connect your studies to the latest developments. We’re also part of collaborative research groups for developmental biology, cell biology, physiology, pharmacology, neuroscience, models of human disease, stem cell science and regenerative medicine.

Our three research centres focus on translating laboratory research to the clinical environment: Bateson Centre, the Centre for Stem Cell Biology, and the Centre for Membrane Interactions and Dynamics.

Leaders in our field

We have a long track record of groundbreaking discoveries. These include breakthroughs in human stem cells for hearing repair, and the generation of animal models for Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, muscular dystrophies and their use for therapeutic studies.

Labs and equipment

We have purpose-built facilities for drosophila, zebrafish, chick and mouse genetics and for molecular physiology. Other facilities provide all the tools you’ll need to examine and analyse a range of cellular structures. We have an electron and a light microscopy centre, a PCR robotics facility, a flow cytometry unit and an RNAi screening facility.

Teaching and assessment

There are lectures, practical classes, tutorials and seminars. In small group teaching classes you’ll discuss, debate and present on scientific and ethical topics. Laboratory placements within the department provide you with one-to-one attention, training and support to do your individual research project. Assessment is by formal examinations, coursework assignments, debates, poster presentations and a dissertation.

Our teaching covers ethics, practical scientific skills and an overview of the current literature. You’ll also develop useful career skills such as presentation, communication and time management.

Core modules

  • Literature Review
  • Practical Research Project
  • Analysis of Current Science
  • Ethics and Public Understanding

Examples of optional modules

  • Practical Cell Biology
  • Practical Developmental Genetics
  • Cancer Biology
  • Modelling Human Diseases
  • Epithelia in Health and Disease

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

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