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Medical Genetics and Genomics

MSc or PGDip or PGCert

Key facts


Start dates

September 2020

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 12 months

Part time: up to 36 months for all awards

Department

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Overview


Our MSc / PGDip / PGCert Medical Genetics and Genomics course is for graduates aiming for careers in the medical biotechnology, pharma and genomics sectors. As well as for those progressing to research degrees.

With the increase in number of individual genomes being sequenced, this is one of the fastest growing areas of biomedical science.  

You will join a new generation of scientists able to combine genetics and bioinformatics to:

  • understand how genomic changes cause diseases such as cancer
  • enable the development of novel treatments through drugs, gene therapy and prevention strategies. 

Your projects can be linked with specific workplace needs and interests. You can complete these either at Oxford Brookes or within other genomic laboratories with our supervision. You will develop your transferable skills, particularly in communication, organisation and research planning. These skills will assist you when carrying out your research project.

Student conducting an experiment in the lab

How to apply


Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

You should normally hold a UK honours degree at 2.2. or above in the Life Sciences field, OR equivalent overseas degree from a recognised institution in Life Sciences.

Other qualifications may be considered under exceptional circumstances when accompanied by highly relevant professional experience.

You will need to be proficient in the use of internet-based resources and other interactive technologies. You should have reliable and stable access to the Internet. 

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, an Academic IELTS score of 6.5 (with 6.5 in Reading and Writing, and 6.0 in Listening and Speaking) is required.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences

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English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
2020 / 21
Home/EU full time
£9,500

Home/EU part time
£4,750

International full time
£16,650

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2020 / 21
Home/EU full time
£9,500

Home/EU part time
£4,750

International full time
£16,650

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

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.

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, if any, are detailed below.

Learning and assessment


This is a 12 month, full-time course (with part-time places available). 

The following options are available:

  • MSc either on a full or part time basis - 120 credits. Individual CPD modules are included
  • Postgraduate Diploma - 120 credits
  • Postgraduate Certificate - 60 credits.

The modules are listed below.
 

Student typing notes on a laptop in the lab

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 that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

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.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

You will be assessed through a variety of methods during the course. These are based on your learning needs, individual aims and the academic standards expected for the course. And includes access to state-of-art learning technologies via our Moodle platform.  

You will have support from your tutors. They have reputations for excellence and have established links with colleagues, organisations and institutions at national and international levels.

Research


Our lecturers conduct first-class research. In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, 80% of our impact was rated 3* or 4*.

Student conducting research in the lab

After you graduate


Career prospects

Careers

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

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

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.