Medical Genetics and Genomics

MSc or PGDip or PGCert

Find out more by joining a live webinar

Start dates: September 2023 / September 2024

Full time: 12 months

Part time: up to 36 months for all awards

Location: Headington

Department(s): Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

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Do you dream of working in the medical biotech, pharma, or genomics sectors? Or maybe you want to continue in academia, progressing on to a research degree? Our MSc (Hons) Medical Genetics and Genomics prepares you for these exciting futures.

Through a mix of academic and practical learning, you’ll develop vital skills for the workplace. These include lab techniques, data handling, computing, report writing, oral presentations, and teamwork. Your communication, organisation, and research abilities will be prized by employers.

Out in the world of work, you’ll join a new generation of bioscientists. You’ll have a detailed knowledge of genetics and bioinformatics. You’ll also grasp how genomic changes cause diseases such as cancer. Crucially, this will enable you to develop new treatments through drugs, gene therapy, and prevention strategies.

By the end of the course, you’ll find a new respect for the power and importance of information and how it links to our understanding of medicine and diseases.

Attend an open day or webinar Ask a question Order a prospectus

Student conducting an experiment in the lab

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Research excellence

    We offer opportunities to conduct outstanding and inspiring research. 95% of our research is internationally recognised.

  • Course flexibility

    There are 3 different pathways you can follow: MSc either on a full or part time basis, postgraduate diploma, or postgraduate certificate.

  • Strong industry links

    Students go on to work for local hospitals and research institutions. We also regularly welcome guest lecturers from industry.

  • Preparation for industry

    You’ll learn skills that are essential for quality practice. Opportunities to complete a research project will help you transition from student to professional.

  • Laboratory experience

    Practical exercises bring key academic lessons to life. Using state-of-the-art technology and equipment, you’ll sharpen key skills.

Course details

Course structure

Our understanding of the genome is always growing. Recent discoveries have led to the different “omics” areas of modern research and application. These include genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics.

In the past, we used to start looking at the individual gene. On the MSc degree, we’ll look at whole genomes and mine huge datasets, drawing information from the sequencing from thousands of genes and genomes.

Key modules will include advanced molecular techniques, advances in medical genetics, bioinformatics, and more. You’ll also have the exciting opportunity to complete a research project. This tutor-supported, individual computational-based (or lab project), will give you the chance to showcase your creativity and expertise.

Whatever your next step is after you graduate, we’ll support you.

Student typing notes on a laptop in the lab

Learning and teaching

Throughout the course you will learn skills that are essential for quality outcomes for genomic medicine in practice. This will culminate in the research project, which will enable you to: 

  • undertake research
  • evaluate new findings to implement in patient diagnosis, treatment and care
  • carry out problem-based learning
  • carry out work-based learning
  • develop inter-professional learning for working in specialist and interdisciplinary teams. 

A key outcome of the course is the development of skills in bioinformatics and use of genomic data. So the course includes a large proportion of hands on experience.


Your assessments will be diverse and will support different learning styles; you’ll have a real opportunity to showcase your strengths. Your learning may be assessed by a combination of individual or group coursework, examinations, and presentations. The assessment methods chosen will be based on your learning needs, individual aims and the academic standards expected for the course.

Study modules

The modules listed below are for the master's award. For the PGDip and PGCert awards your module choices may be different. Please contact us for more details.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Molecular Techniques (20 credits)

    Our understanding of basic concepts in molecular biology has given rise to the different ‘omics’ areas of modern research and application (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics etc.). This module will begin by refreshing your understanding of topics such as DNA structure, replication, mutation and repair, and gene expression.  We will also explore how the biological concepts have been exploited by scientists to derive and apply the wide array of methodologies that have come to be known collectively by the term “molecular biology”, such as DNA cloning, PCR, quantitative PCR, microarrays and RNA interference. This expanding collection of technologies provides scientists with a fundamental basis for studying biological processes and various aspects of human disease.  Several of these techniques will be used, through laboratory-based practical work, to deepen your understanding and illustrate potential applications.

  • Advances in Medical Genetics (20 credits)

    This module aims to consider the cutting-edge genomic technologies now being used in clinical settings and we hope to include a hospital genetics lab hospital tour.  Topics explored will include methods in medical genetics and the application of molecular and genetic tools to the use of information banks such as Personal Genomes and Big Data, and we will look at the role of collaborations such as Genomics England in the expansion of genomic information.  The module will also introduce the application of genomic data to the development of biomarker diagnosis, personalised medicine, patient surrogate treatment models, self-monitoring and infectious disease evolution.

  • Clinical Genetics and Diagnostics (20 credits)

    This module offers the opportunity to study how genetic and genomic technologies can be used to identify, characterise and diagnose diseases in three subject areas: molecular oncology, chronic and congenital diseases and infectious disease.  Clinical case studies and research seminars will introduce current topics in the field allowing students to identify topics that particularly interest them, for further independent reading. Students will be taught to critically explore concepts and subject areas through journal clubs and discussion sessions leading to a final essay assessment. The skills learnt in this module include the integration of information from various sources across subject areas, the application of understanding in an analytical setting, the individual exploration of a chosen subject area and the critical analysis of research material.

  • Functional Genomics and Research Skills Analytical Techniques (20 credits)

    The module introduces basic genetic and population genetic concepts that form the basis of genome analysis.  There is an emphasis on hands-on approaches and students will learn skills during weekly computer-based workshops, structured to offer the opportunity to practice new skills independently with tutor support. Workshops will focus around database command-line interrogations and genomic analysis, and use a structured workbook to guide the student through all the computational components. 

  • Genome Science (20 credits)

    The module examines the current trends in high-throughput genome sequencing methods, strategies for sequence assembly and the use of such data for phylogeny analysis and gene taxonomy. The relationship between genome structure and protein function will be studied in detail through the use of a wide range of bioinformatics tools, with a focus genome analysis in health and disease. The practical element of this module consists of weekly bioinformatics workshops that introduce key tools in genome science and that will be important in other modules and in your research project.

  • Molecular basis of Human Genetic Disease (20 credits)

    This module will look at the molecular pathology of a selection of monogenic and polygenic diseases using experimental evidence, with the aim of understanding how changes at a genetic level result in the disease phenotype.  Examples of monogenic diseases include blood diseases such as sickle cell disease, thalassaemias and haemophilia, and cystic fibrosis. Examples of polygenic diseases include diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers.

Final project

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project (triple) (60 credits)

    Students will undertake a tutor-supported, individual computational based or laboratory research project, either within the university or through an alternative research laboratory.  The research project is an essential requirement for an MSc award and must show originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in a specialism of healthcare science.   The project provides an opportunity for students to show individual research skills and creativity: it also gives them an opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired throughout the course to a particular research problem.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) found that 97% of research at Oxford Brookes was internationally recognised or higher. It also found that 70% was judged to be of ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ quality.

The REF 2021 had an increased focus on 'impact' - research that demonstrates wider benefits beyond academia, including how it brings tangible changes to aspects of society and life, and the public value it delivers. Research carried out by 416 academics across Oxford Brookes was reviewed, nearly 40% up on the number of academics who submitted research to the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Student conducting research in the lab


Our MSc (Hons) Medical Genetics & Genomics prepares you for a career at the cutting edge of medical science. Alongside training you in theory and practice, we’ll help you transition from student to professional.

Through on-the-course training, contact time with academics, and internship opportunities, we’ll arm you with the skills you need to be successful in the workplace. Many of our graduates have gone on to work in bioscience companies, diagnostic labs, diagnostic clinics, or to complete PhDs.

Popular areas of work include:

  • research degree/PhD
  • pharmaceutical industry
  • biomedical industry
  • NHS scientist 
  • medical research
  • academia.

Oxford provides excellent work opportunities with Oxford Nanopore Technologies and Milton Park. Many organisations are right on our doorstep, including BacktoHealthcare, Abbott Diabetes Care, Oxford Biomedica, Oxford Science Park, and Abingdon Science Park. Many bioscience companies have spun out of Oxford Brookes and Oxford universities.

Our Staff

Dr Dianne Newbury

I am a Senior Lecturer on the MSc Medical Genetics and Genomics programme and I am principal investigator of a research lab in the Department of Health and Life Sciences.

Read more about Dianne

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.