MSc Genomic Medicine
This course covers all aspects of genomic science and medicine, and will equip you with the knowledge and skills to be able to interpret and understand genomic data that increasingly impacts on service delivery to patients and the community.
This course is open for applications for 2017 entry. Although this course will remain open until it is filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply before 1 August 2017.
About the MSc
This course is aimed at students from a wide range of backgrounds, from basic scientists to all levels of healthcare professionals, and will provide a flexible, multi-disciplinary and multi-professional perspective in genomics, applied to clinical practice and medical research.
It is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills to be able to interpret and understand genomic data that increasingly impacts on service delivery to patients and the community.
The training provided covers all aspects of genomic science and medicine (not merely DNA sequencing or detection of genetic variation), undertaken in one of the most cutting-edge scientific environments.
The course includes collaborations with:
- the Institute of Cancer Research (providing the core Cancer Genomics Module)
- Buckinghamshire New University (collaborating on the optional Workplace-Based Module)
- Brunel University London (providing the optional Economic Evaluation in Human Genomics Module)
The Institute of Cancer Research and Brunel University London may also co-supervise research projects.
The course is flexible and modular, and available as a full- or part-time MSc, delivered over one or two years respectively.
Full-time students should register for the qualification they wish to exit with, either PG Cert, PG Dip or the MSc. Part-time students should register for the PG Cert in the first instance and progress to the other awards should they so wish.
All MSc students are required to take 8 taught modules plus an independent research project. In total you will complete:
- seven core modules
- one optional/elective module from a choice of six
The modules will be taught using a blended approach (direct teaching and online distance learning) to provide flexibility for health professionals to combine their study with NHS and Public Health service duties.
Most modules will consist of one week of face-to face teaching and up to three weeks of eLearning and independent study.
The modules are offered on a cycle of 12 months, so that all modules become available at least once in each 12 month cycle.
Core taught modules
- Core Concepts in Human Genetics and Genomics will provide all of the basic genomic science knowledge required by later modules, including genomic architecture, regulatory systems, genetic variation, function, and how this impacts upon disease processes and clinical outcomes. This module is offered twice in each 12-month cycle.
- Omics Technologies and their Application to Genomic Medicine will provide an in-depth description of the genomic techniques that are used to assess genomic variation in clinical problems. It will allow you to critically evaluate which techniques might be used, and their limitations in analysing different disease states.
- Application of Genomics in Infectious Disease will explain how pathogen genomics can inform the epidemiology of infections, impact upon drug development and resistance, lead to novel diagnostics/therapeutics/stratified healthcare, and provide insights into host susceptibilities to infection.
- Molecular Pathology of Cancer and Application in Cancer Diagnosis, Screening and Treatment (delivered by the Institute of Cancer Research) will explain the principles of cancer genomics, including predisposition, diagnosis, classification, treatment and patient monitoring with particular emphasis on how genomic analysis impacts these factors and the ethical issues relevant to cancer.
- Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Applied Genomics will explain the principles and subtleties of ethics in evaluating genetic/genomic data with an emphasis on emerging genomics technologies and the ways that ethical issues are handled in various countries.
- Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases will explain different types of genetic variation, their contribution to rare and complex disease, how they are detected (with particular emphasis upon the 100,000 Genomes Project), interpreted and communicated.
- Either: Bioinformatics, Quality Control, Analysis & Interpretation of Genome Sequencing Data, providing the principles of computational DNA sequence analysis, including sequence alignment methods and statistical tests, to identify and correctly communicate pathogenic mutations and assess possible functions through database and network programs); OR the less computationally-intense Genomics and the Patient module, which will concentrate on the identification and interpretation of final Next Gen DNA sequencing reports with an emphasis on calculating genetic risk and ethical considerations.
Optional taught modules
- Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Medicine will explain how genomic approaches can be used to understand the mechanisms of differential drug responses and reactions, and to inform patient stratification. An emphasis will be placed upon the current limitations and future prospects of pharmacogenomic studies.
- Economic Evaluation in Human Genomics (delivered by Brunel University London) will explain the methods, assumptions, decision models and interpretation of cost estimate analysis for healthcare interventions and health outcomes, with a particular emphasis on genomic medicine
- Laboratory Skills for Genomics will be a hands-on wet lab course on how to develop a good experimental design, carry out a genomic analysis project, identify and critically analyse sequence variants and determine the implications for patients.
- Genome-Based Therapeutics will cover key concepts in developing gene and nucleic acid-based therapies from genomic studies including efficacy and toxicity.
- Professional and Research Skills (eLearning module) will teach the differences between audit, research, qualitative, quantitative and systematic review methods, how to conduct literature searches, appraise published data, conduct appropriate statistical tests and understand the data management, ethical and reporting requirements in research studies, with a particular emphasis on the 100,000 Genomes Project and translational research.
- Workplace-Based Module (all distance learning, co-delivered with Buckingham New University) will be conducted with a clinical mentor and a genomics expert. It will focus upon developing a learning contract and a proposed change in clinical practice enabled by genomic medicine approaches and the integration of new knowledge. It will incorporate an evaluation of personal/organisational issues, the application of genomic methods to a range of cases and an evaluation of their utility. You will complete this module in your own workplace therefore it will only be available to students who work in an appropriate healthcare setting (to be approved by the module co-leads).
Core research project
This is the final core requirement for the MSc course and will involve identifying a novel and important research question; designing, planning and undertaking the project; and critically analysing and drawing statistically substantiated conclusions from the data.
We offer four types of project:
Assessment is by written dissertation, oral presentation, viva and supervisor mark.
Minimum academic requirement
2.1 Honours degree in a relevant medical, biomedical or healthcare subject.
This course is aimed at all healthcare professionals who will increasingly need to be able to interpret and understand genomic data as part of their role, as well as at biomedical scientists.
For those who do not hold a first degree at the required level, a special case may be made if you have demonstrated aptitude for the course through at least three years of high quality work experience in a relevant field, and successful completion of a ‘Special Qualifying Exam’.
The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.
We accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.
If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying for then please contact the relevant admissions team.
English language requirements
All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.
For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification.
For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.
Fees and funding
Home and EU students
- £12,000 full-time
- £6,000* per year part-time
Islands and overseas students
- £30,600 full-time
- £15,300* per year part-time
* Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.
The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.
If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government for programmes beginning in October 2016. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.
Funding from Imperial
We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.
For more information on the Postgraduate Master's Loan scheme and other funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.
Find out more about our Genomic Medicine courses.
How to apply
All applicants must apply online.
For full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.
You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.
Although courses will remain open until they are filled, applicants for this course are strongly encouraged to apply by 1 August 2017. Early applications allow us to communicate important information around key dates with applicants directly.
If you need a visa to study in the UK, we advise that you apply by 1 July 2017 to ensure that your visa is processed and approved prior to the start of the course.
You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.
Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.