Research in the Division of Genetics and Genomics aims to advance understanding of complex animal systems and the development of improved predictive models through the application of numerical and computational approaches in the analysis, interpretation, modelling and prediction of complex animal systems from the level of the DNA and other molecules, through cellular and gene networks, tissues and organs to whole organisms and interacting populations of organisms.
The biology and traits of interest include: growth and development, body composition, feed efficiency, reproductive performance, responses to infectious disease and inherited diseases.
Research encompasses basic research in bioscience and mathematical biology and strategic research to address grand challenges, e.g. food security.
Research is focussed on, but not restricted to, target species of agricultural importance including cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep; farmed fish such as salmon; and companion animals. The availability of genome sequences and the associated genomics toolkits enable genetics research in these species.
Expertise includes genetics (molecular, quantitative), physiology (neuroendocrinology, immunology), ‘omics (genomics, functional genomics) with particular strengths in mathematical biology (quantitative genetics, epidemiology, bioinformatics, modelling).
The Division has 18 Group Leaders and 4 career track fellows who supervise over 30 postgraduate students.
Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute. Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.
All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. The Roslin Institute also has a local PG committee and will provide advice and support to students when requested. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.
Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.
In 2011 The Roslin Institute moved to a new state-of-the-art building on the University of Edinburgh's veterinary campus at Easter Bush. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.
The University's genomics facility Edinburgh Genomics is closely associated with the Division of Genetics and Genomics and provides access to the latest genomics technologies, including next-generation sequencing, SNP genotyping and microarray platforms (genomics.ed.ac.uk).
In addition to the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility’s high performance computing resources, The Roslin Institute has two compute farms, including one with 256 GB of RAM, which enable the analysis of complex ‘omics data sets.
Our programme will give you cross-disciplinary skills in a rare combination of areas of expertise, from bioinformatics and evolutionary inference to computational biology and fieldwork.
You will be taught by researchers who apply genomic methods to a wide range of issues in ecology and evolution, from bat food-webs and genome evolution to microbial biodiversity in natural and engineered ecosystems. For example, Professor Steve Rossiter carries out world-leading research on bat genome evolution; Dr Yannick Wurm has discovered a social chromosome in fire-ants; and Dr China Hanson is using genetic methods to study microbial biogeography. This means that teaching on our programme is informed by the latest developments in this field, and your individual research project can be at the forefront of current scientific discovery.
You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. You will also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.
By choosing to study at a Russell Group university you will have access to excellent teaching and top class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Evolution and Genetics group page.
This MSc programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.
If you have any questions about the content or structure, contact the programme director Dr Christophe Eizaguirre.
Genomic technologies and information will transform practice across the clinical professions over the next decade.
This MSc is a new programme developed by Health Education England and being offered by a network of centres across England. It includes study of the genomics and informatics of rare and common diseases, cancer and infectious diseases, which can be applied to clinical practice and medical research, and enhance knowledge and skills, in this rapidly evolving field.
What does our MSc provide?
This programme, delivered by the Faculty of Medicine, will provide a comprehensive perspective in genomics applied to clinical practice and medical research, with particular emphasis on the 100,000 Genomes Project. It will equip students to bring benefit to their patients through improved diagnosis and personalised treatment, and disseminate knowledge to peers, patients and the public.
Who should study?
This programme is particularly suitable for health professionals as well as students seeking to make the most of genomics as it applies to their current or future career.
Our modular structure and blended learning formats are delivered flexibly as a one year full-time or two year part-time option, or as individual or grouped modules, to facilitate access from as wide as possible a range of healthcare professionals.
Genomic technologies and information will transform practice across the clinical professions over the next decade. Our MSc Genomic Medicine degree is designed to enhance knowledge and skills in this rapidly evolving field. The masters course has been developed by Health Education England and includes study of the genomics and informatics of rare and common diseases, cancer and infectious diseases, which can be applied to clinical practice and medical research. This degree is suitable for health professionals working in the NHS, as well as students seeking to make the most of genomics as it applies to their current or future career.
This MSc Genomic Medicine has been commissioned by NHS England / Health Education England to provide education and training in genomics for health professionals from different professional backgrounds such as medicine, nursing, public health, science and technology, for whom knowledge of genomics will impact on the way they deliver their service to patients and the public.
This programme can be tailored to meet your career aspirations and enables you to choose your module options, plan your programme route, and choose from October or March to begin your studies.
You can study part-time or undertake smaller numbers of, or even individual, modules to fit your study around your other commitments.
Southampton’s MSc Genomic Medicine comprises eight core modules delivered through intensive face-to-face study and independent learning.
Our core modules include an introduction to the genetics and genomics of rare and common diseases, cancer and infectious disease, informatics analysis, and a laboratory research project or dissertation.
Optional modules within the programme include the Ethics, Counselling Skills and Teaching the Teachers to Teach.
Teaching and learning
Using a mix of learning formats, our modules include two groups of two days' intensive face-to-face teaching interspersed with independent study.
The first core module will include an additional day of student contact to incorporate an induction to the University’s facilities and introduction to basic research skills such as literature searching and critical appraisal of scientific literature).
A variety of learning and teaching methods will be adopted to promote a wide range of skills and meet differing learning styles, including seminars, group work, practical demonstrations and exercises surrounding interpretation of data and clinical scenarios.
Experts from a range of academic and health care professional backgrounds are chosen to ensure a breadth and depth of perspective, giving a good balance between theories and principles, and practical management advice.
Independent study is delivered through a virtual learning environment, delivering a library of study materials including uploaded lectures, virtual patients and independent learning tasks, reference materials, links to online tutorials, student fora, and guest lecturer web chats.
A significant component of your research will comprise either an original project or a literature-based dissertation.
What you will gain
Students who complete the programme will be equipped to harness the unprecedented transformation of the 100,000 Genomes Project, bring benefit to their patients through improved diagnosis and personalised treatment, and disseminate knowledge to peers, patients and the public.
The course is especially designed for healthcare professionals from a range of backgrounds. It follows a syllabus specified by Health Education England (HEE) for training NHS staff in Genomic Medicine, and HEE has ring-fenced funding to allow NHS staff to study for the MSc (Genomic Medicine) at accredited provider institutions, including Birmingham.
Further information about HEE funding is now available. You can choose to study for the full Masters, the intermediate qualifications of Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate, or select individual modules as CPD.
The course is also suitable for other Home/EU or international students who wish to learn about the advances in genomics and bioinformatics particularly as relevant to medical applications, and the challenges of introducing the technology into a healthcare system.
The Programme aims to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills relating to genomics that will empower you to help lead the holistic integration of genomic technology into patient care within the National Health Service, including via the ambitious Genomics England Ltd (GeL) 100,000 Genomes Project which commenced in 2015.
The course begins with a brief revision of DNA, genes and genetics and updates these concepts to the scale of contemporary, whole-genome information. It will introduce to you the technologies for generating genome-wide data, and how the resulting vast quantities of data can be approached and interrogated to generate meaningful information that can be useful for families affected by inherited conditions, or for patients with acquired diseases including cancer and infections.
You will learn how to interrogate genomic data using bioinformatic tools to identify and investigate the pathogenicity of genetic variants, and relate these to real-life case-studies. The core modules also include consideration of the ethical, legal and social issues that surround genomic medicine, which can be further explored in an optional module. Other options include counselling skills and advanced bioinformatics.
Finally, you can choose either a 60-credit research project (which could be a computer-based bioinformatics project, a lab-based or clinically-based project, either in Birmingham or at your home institution), or a 30-credit dissertation (combined with additional taught modules), to hone your research skills while exploring a genomics-related project of your choice.
As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as from your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.
The course combines face-to-face teaching in lectures, tutorials, workshops, student presentations etc. with independent or group learning, which can be done remotely, using published papers or online resources. Following a 2-day Induction, the face-to-face teaching of most modules is delivered over 5 days, either consecutive (for the two introductory modules), or spread over 5 weeks for most others.
You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.
The course is especially designed for healthcare professionals working within the National Health Service, to improve their capabilities and support career progression. It could be similarly beneficial for those working or aspiring to work in other healthcare systems.
Students who are not healthcare professionals would acquire knowledge, understanding and skills that should help them gain employment or PhD positions especially in the expanding fields of genomics, bioinformatics, or other medically-related research and development in either academia or the pharmaceutical industry.
We have gathered some profiles to give you an idea of the breadth of students we have on our programme.
Lead academics: Dr Janine Kirby and Dr Dennis Wang
This course draws on expertise from three University faculties – Medicine, Dentistry and Health, Science, and Social Sciences – and the Sheffield Genetics Diagnostic Service (Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust). It’s aimed at students as well as professionals from healthcare and science backgrounds.
The syllabus was developed in partnership with Health Education England (HEE), in order to educate the next generation of healthcare professionals. This covers the scope and application of genomics in medicine and biomedical research as well as the ethical, social and legal issues relating to this field.
The course is taught by academics, scientists and clinicians. Learning methods range from lectures and tutorials to interaction with patients and online activities. You’ll get first-hand experience of hypothesis-driven research by carrying out your own project in Genomic Medicine.
Classes are kept small (15–20 students) to make sure you get the best possible experience in laboratories and in clinical settings.
We have a state-of-the-art biorepository and a £30m stem cell laboratory. The Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) opened in November 2010. We also have microarray, genetics, histology, flow cytometry and high-throughput screening technology, and the latest equipment for bone and oncology research.
At our Clinical Research Facility, you’ll be able to conduct studies with adult patients and volunteers. The Sheffield Children’s Hospital houses a complementary facility for paediatric experimental medical research.
If your course involves a significant risk of exposure to human blood or other body fluids and tissue, you’ll need to complete a course of Hepatitis B immunisation before starting. We conform to national guidelines that are in place to protect patients, health care workers and students.
The MSc Genomic Medicine offers a wide range of delivery methods for providing theoretical knowledge, from lectures, laboratory sessions and tutorials to computer-based analysis workshops as well as the opportunity to gain input from internationally renowned experts in their fields. The inclusion of problem-based learning is embedded within the course and features in combinations of online and in-person interpretive class formats. Tutorials, seminars and individual meetings with staff provide opportunities for discussion and feedback. Each of the departments delivering the programme fosters an environment that provides many opportunities for individual and group learning.
PG Diploma, PG Certificate and Continuing Professional and Personal Development (CPPD) options are available as entry and exit options on both a full-time (over 1 year) or part-time basis (over 2 years).