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Pharmacogenetics and Stratified Medicine (MSc)

Course Description

This programme brings together the academic and clinical strengths of pharmacology and genetics at UCL in this rapidly growing area of science. Students develop a body of knowledge about the genetic variation between underlying differential responses to drugs and how this can be applied to prevent adverse drug reactions and improve healthcare.

See the website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/degrees/pharmacogenetics-stratified-medicine-msc

Key Information

- Application dates
UK/EU applicants:
Open: 1 January 2016
Close: 29 July 2016
Overseas applicants:
Close: 29 July 2016
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.

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

Students gain an in-depth knowledge of the pharmacology of drugs; the consequences of drug treatment; the analysis and statistical methods used to study population groups and how this knowledge can be applied to improve human health, drug efficacy and alleviate human disease, and develop the skills necessary for independent research.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), optional modules (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma comprising three core modules (60 credits) and four optional modules (60 credits) is offered full-time nine months.

A Postgraduate Certificate comprising five modules (75 credits) is offered full-time three months.

- Core Modules
Clinical Applications of Pharmacogenetic Tests
Drug Design and Development
Molecular Pharmacology
Basic Statistics for Medical Sciences
Human Genetics in Context
Principles of Human Genetics (Henry Stewart online lectures)
Core Skills

- Options
Pharmacology of Inflammation
Anticancer Personalised Medicines
Pharmacogenetics, Adverse Drug Reactions and Biomakers
Computational and Systems Biology
Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease
Genetics of Neurological Disease
Statistics for Interpreting Genetic Data

- Dissertation/report
Students undertake an original laboratory or computer-based research project investigating topical questions in pharmacogenetics which culminates in a dissertation of up to 12,000 words and an oral presentation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations and journal clubs. Taught modules are assessed through an 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 UCL Genetics Institute website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ugi/education .

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Pharmacogenetics and Stratified Medicine MSc http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ugi/education/mscphx


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


Students emerge well versed in the different tools and scientific disciplines which will allow them to make full use of the wide-ranging genetic discoveries that have happened over the past decade and increasingly inform our understanding of human biology and disease. This positions them well for 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 and healthcare organisations, where an advanced training in laboratory genetic techniques as well as bioinformatic and statistical experience will be of value.

Top career destinations for this degree:
- PhD Student, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford (2012)
- Founder and Director, Geneix (2013)
- PhD Student, University of Cambridge (2013)
- Business Development Manager, Informative Genomics, London (2013)
- Research Assistant, Shanghai University (2014)

- Employability
This programme covers a broad spectrum and opens avenues for careers in biomedical sciences, the biotech industry, the industry of manufacturers of analytical instruments, clinical laboratories and clinicians interested in moving towards a scientific career. Students will obtain a thorough grasp of the role that human genetic variation has on the drug design and the drug development pathway and methods for the discovery and testing of relevant pharmacogenetic variants. We expect graduates to move on to PhDs, and/or build careers in industry or in the context of clinical trials. Some of our graduates enter a research career by undertaking and completing PhDs and working as a research associate or scientist in academia and the pharmaceutical industry, while others enter careers with clinical genetic diagnostic services. Those of our graduates with a prior medical training often utilise their new skills as clinical geneticists.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL conducts internationally recognised research in the fields of pharmacology, biochemistry and human genetics and is in a unique position to offer both the basic science and application of pharmacogenetics to improve human health, including multi-disciplinary outreach across the university. The teaching is provided by academics from the UCL Division of Biosciences, the School of Pharmacy and the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science.

The Division of Biosciences offers tuition, research opportunities in internationally recognised laboratories and an appreciation of the multi-disciplinary nature of Biosciences research.

Students have the advantages of studying in a multi-faculty university with a long tradition of excellence, situated within the heart of one of the world's greatest cities.

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 designed for those with undergraduate qualifications in the life sciences, individuals from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, scientists and clinicians. The knowledge and transferable skills developed in the programme will be suitable for those working in an industrial or healthcare setting, as well as those contemplating further PhD studies.

What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Pharmacogenetics and Stratified Medicine at graduate level
- why you want to study Pharmacogenetics and Stratified Medicine at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a this rigorous programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

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

Visit the Pharmacogenetics and Stratified Medicine (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

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 in biomedical sciences or related subject area, or medical discipline from a UK university 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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