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Genetics of Human Disease (MSc)

Course Description

The Genetics of Human Disease MSc aims to provide scientists and clinicians with an in-depth knowledge of the role of genetics in human disease and how this can be applied to improve healthcare through the development and application of diagnostic tests and therapeutic agents.

Key Information

- Application dates
All applicants:
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/life/international/english-requirements .

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/international .

Degree Information

The programme provides a thorough grounding in modern approaches to the understanding of the genetics of disease. Core modules provide a broad coverage of the genetics of disease, research skills and social aspects, whilst specialised modules and the research project allow more in-depth analysis in areas of genetics.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of, five core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits) is offered, full-time nine months.

A Postgraduate Certificate consisting of four core modules (60 credits) is offered, full-time three months.

- Core Modules
Advanced Human Genetics: Research Principles
Human Genetics in Context
Understanding Bioinformatic Resources and their Applications
Core Skills
Basic Statistics for Medical Sciences

- Optional Modules
Genetics of Cardiovascular Related Complex Diseases
Genetics of Neurological Diseases
Statistics for Interpreting Genetic Data

- Dissertation/report
Students undertake an original research project investigating topical questions in genetics which culminates in a dissertation of 16,000 - 18,000 words and an oral presentation.

Teaching and Learning

Students develop their knowledge and understanding of genetics of human diseases through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations and journal clubs. Taught modules are assessed by unseen written examination and/or, written reports, oral presentations and coursework. The research project is assessed by the dissertation and oral presentation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Genetics of Human Disease MSc https://www.ucl.ac.uk/biosciences/masters/msc_genetics


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships .

- Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)
Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Eligibility: Overseas students
Criteria: Based on both academic merit and financial need

GREAT-UCL India Scholarship
Value: £10,000 (1 year)
Eligibility: Overseas students
Criteria: Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships


Advanced training in laboratory genetic techniques as well as bioinformatic and statistical experience positions graduates well for PhD studentships in laboratories using genetic techniques to examine diseases such as heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders. Another large group will seek research jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, or jobs related to genetics in healthcare organisations.

Top career destinations for this degree:
- PhD Student, Division of Biosciences, UCL (2014)
- PhD Student, Wayne State University, Michigan (2013)
- PhD Student, University of Cambridge (2013)
- Data Manager, Queen Mary Centre for Primary Care and Public Health (2013)
- Paediatric Consultant, King Khaled University Hospital, Saudi Arabia (2013)

- Employability
The MSc in Genetics of Human Disease facilitates acquisition of knowledge and skills relevant to a career in research in many different biomedical disciplines. About half of our graduates enter a research career by undertaking and completing PhDs and working as research associates/scientists in academia. Some of our graduates go on to jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, while others enter careers with clinical genetic diagnosis services, particularly in molecular genetics, in healthcare organisations ands hospitals around the world. Those graduates with a prior medical training often utilise their new skills as clinical geneticists.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is in a unique position to offer both the basic science and application of modern genetics to improve human health. The programme is a cross-faculty initiative with teaching from across the School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS) at UCL.

Students will be based at the UCL Genetics Institute (UGI) which is a world-leading centre which develops and applies biostatistical and bioinformatic approaches to human and population genetics. Opportunities to conduct laboratory or computational based research projects are available in the laboratories of world-leading geneticists affiliated to the UGI.

Student / staff ratios › 178 staff › 121 taught students › 289 research students

Application and next steps

- Applications
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

- Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students who wish to progress to a PhD in Genetics of Human Disease or related subjects, those who wish to employ bioinformatics for interpreting genetics data in academia or healthcare organisations and those who wish to enter employment at an advanced level in industry or the public sector in the field of human genetics.

For more information see the Applications page http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply .

Visit the Genetics of Human Disease (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Anood Sohail

"UCL has a lot of facilities that make your educational journey very interesting. The state-of-the-art laboratories, the interactive and scenario-based learning methods, the libraries and the location of the school in the heart of London made it even more amazing than I could ever hope for!"

(Student Profile)

Namrata Saha

"Learning at UCL was one unique experience. The fact that the teaching encompasses real research experiences and current practical problems in the domain of genetics has enabled me to get an insight into what I call 'real science'. The appreciation of one's ideas and the encouragement to go beyond the conventional makes the programme highly desirable."

(Student Profile)

William Baird

"UCL is a leading university in this field, it was the obvious choice to further my education. In addition to this the campus is in a prime location for exploring London."


Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS) - 5 Awards

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom.The aim of the scheme is to assist students from developing Commonwealth countries who are of excellent academic calibre but for financial reasons would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the United Kingdom. The scheme allows them to benefit from postgraduate study at a university in the United Kingdom which will help them to contribute toward the development of their home countries.Awards are for taught Master's programmes only, subjects must be related to the economic, social and technological development of a candidate's country. UCL expects to be able to allocate five awards this academic year.Applicants must:
- Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries);
- Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;
- Be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the programme;
- Have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country;
- Not be employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable);
- Be themselves, or through families, unable to pay for the proposed programme of study in the UK;
- Be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The award will cover tuition fees, a maintenance allowance, economy air travel to and from the UK at the beginning and end of the scholar’s degree programme plus additional discretionary allowances.
- Awards are normally tenable for one year.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)


- Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries);
- Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;

Application Procedure

You must separately apply for admission to UCL for one of the eligible programmes through the standard admissions procedure.
You must apply for the scholarship on the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Electronic Application System (EAS) online following the procedures described on their website.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally, a minimum of an upper-second class Bachelor's degree from a UK university in a relevant discipline such as in biomedical sciences, life sciences or a medical degree (MBBS), or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with an appropriate professional qualification and relevant work experience may also apply.

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