MSc students working in the lab

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2017
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 July 2017.

This flexible course provides a broad grounding in human genetics, with the emphasis on its molecular aspects, particularly in relation to human disease.

About the course


This course provides a broad grounding in human genetics, with the emphasis on the molecular aspects of human genetics, particularly in relation to human disease.

It is aimed mainly at science graduates who seek research careers in areas such as fundamental human molecular genetics, genetic factors in human health and disease, or molecular and cytogenetic approaches to diagnosis.

The course is flexible, and updated regularly to reflect important advances in human genetics.

Teaching covers a wide range of topics, including fundamental human genetics, clinical genetics and statistical genetics, together with advanced human genetics, which covers areas of human disease, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and rare monogenic disease.

In addition to four weeks of laboratory teaching, the research part of the course comprises a six-month project where students undertake novel research within an active research group environment.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

There are three 3-hour written papers in late February, coursework assessment (poster presentation, statistics, oral presentation), a research project and a viva voce examination in September.

The final mark is made up as follows:

  • Coursework - 15%
  • Written Examinations - 45%
  • Project - 30%
  • Viva voce examination - 10%

Course content

You will study:

  • the fundamentals of human and molecular genetics
  • basic cytogenetics
  • approaches to the analysis of human monogenic disease
  • complex polygenic diseases
  • statistical genetics
  • computing
  • quantitative genetics
  • animal models and transgenesis
  • an introduction to clinical genetics and genetic counselling services
  • gene therapy
  • immunogenetics
  • cancer genetics

There are up to four weeks of intensive laboratory practical sessions, as well as computer practicals in statistical genetics and bioinformatics, regular research seminars on site, student seminar and journal presentations, study group activities and a six-month full-time research project in the summer.

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in biochemical sciences, genetics or a related subject.

International qualifications

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 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 higher 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

2017 entry:


Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:


Government funding

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.

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 July 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.

ATAS Certificate
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.