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MSc Molecular and Cellular Basis of Human Disease

Course Description

About the course

This course blends theory and practice to help you develop the skills required for a career in molecular and cellular biology. Our teaching focuses on integrated mammalian biology and animal models of human disease, drawing on our pioneering biomedical research.

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

Integrated Mammalian Biology; 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!

Student Profiles

MRC Scholarship - Single Award

MRC Scholarships available to UK resident UK/EU nationals only. Full details will be posted at a later date.

Value of Scholarship(s)



MRC Scholarships available to UK resident UK/EU nationals only. Full details will be posted at a later date.

Application Procedure


Further Information



Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme - No. of awards TBC

The University of Sheffield is offering a number of Postgraduate Taught Scholarships to self funded full and part time students who are liable to pay fees at the home rate and starting their studies in 2014. You do not need to wait for your undergraduate degree classification to apply for a scholarship.This is part of a Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) initiative aimed at removing barriers to postgraduate education for students from under-represented groups such as those from low income backgrounds and who wouldn’t ordinarily consider going onto postgraduate study for reasons such as access to finance, have caring responsibilities or who come from areas where it is not usual to go to university at all. The University welcomes applications from recent graduates and students who graduated several years ago. Each applicant will be considered for all awards that are applicable but will only be eligible to receive one.The Faulty of Science has a number of Scholarships available. We’re offering postgraduate scholarships of up to £10,000 for UK and EU students starting masters courses in 2014. If you’re eligible, you could take your masters at Sheffield for FREE.The deadline for applications is 6th June 2014.Benefactors Scholarships20 awards each worth £7,500 available to University of Sheffield graduatesIf you’re a current Sheffield student or a graduate of the University, and you received a maintenance grant for your undergraduate degree, you can apply. These scholarships aren’t course-specific. All taught postgraduate courses are eligible. The money can be used towards tuition fees and living costs.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Up to 10,000


Applicants must meet one or more of the following widening participation criteria: - Entered University from a Care background.
- Carer for an ill or disabled family member.
- Have been in receipt of Disabled Students Allowance.
- Were in receipt of a Maintenance Grant whilst an undergraduate.
- Come from one of the most deprived areas of the country as defined by the government's IMD (Indices of Multiple Deprivation) database. For more information about your postcode IMD NB. this information only covers England and the postcode we will use is that of your home address in your last year of school or college.

Application Procedure

Please visit our website for more details - https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/finance/pss

Further Information


Entry Requirements

You’ll need a first class honours degree in a biomedical-related subject. English language requirements Overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or TOEFL iBT overall grade of 95 with 24 in reading and writing, or equivalent.

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Recipient: University of Sheffield
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