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Genomic Medicine - MSc/Diploma/Certificate

Start date
September
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
Fees

Annual tuition fee for 2023/24:
UK:
MSc: £12,000
PGDip: £8,000
PGCert: £4,000
Module CPD: £1,000

International:
MSc: £21,960
More details for fees and funding

The MSc Genomic Medicine Programme aims to equip students with a multi-disciplinary perspective on genomics and its applications to clinical practice and medical research. The Programme's modular design offers full-time and part-time studies with Postgraduate Masters, Diploma and Certificate options. 

Advances in genomic technologies and understanding are transforming personalised medicine. As genomics increasingly becomes a part of mainstream NHS care, healthcare professionals and research scientists need to have a good understanding of its relevance to the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients, especially in areas such as inherited disorders, cancer and infectious disease. This programme is purpose-designed to follow a curriculum set by Health Education England for training NHS-based healthcare professionals and is also suitable for non-NHS students wishing to learn about the applications of genomics to medical research. 

University of Birmingham is accredited by Health Education England (HEE) to provide genomic medicine training as part of the Genomics Education Programme. NHS-based students may be eligible for HEE sponsorship (subject to availability) for modules running from April 2022 to March 2023.

The course begins with a brief revision of DNA, genes and genetics and updates these concepts to the scale of contemporary, whole-genome information. It will introduce you to the technologies for generating genome-wide data, and the bioinformatic tools that are required for its analysis. You will learn how to interrogate genomic data to identify and investigate the pathogenicity of genetic variants, and relate these to real-life case-studies, providing meaningful information that can be useful for families affected by inherited conditions, or for patients with acquired diseases including cancer and infections.

Core modules such as ‘Genomics in Cancer Pathology’ and ‘Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Healthcare’ emphasise the increasing importance of genomics in stratified medicine - 'the right treatment, for the right person, at the right time’. Additional optional modules include an ‘Introduction to Counselling Skills used in Genomic Medicine’, ‘Epigenetics’ and ‘Economic Models and Human Genomics’.

Finally, you can choose either a 60-credit research project (which could be a computer-based bioinformatics project, a lab-based or clinically-based project, either in Birmingham or at your home institution), or a 30-credit dissertation (combined with additional taught modules), to hone your research skills while exploring a genomics-related project of your choice.

Why study this course?

  • You will be taught by clinicians and scientists who are leading experts in their field from the University of Birmingham, the Birmingham Women’s and Children's Hospitals and University Hospital Birmingham.
  • Many teaching staff are clinical leads or have senior roles in the West Midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory and have the expertise to ensure that the course content remains clinically relevant and up-to-date.
  • The West Midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory and the University of Birmingham have made major contributions to the pioneering 100,000 Genomes Project.
  • You will have opportunities to visit NHS facilities during the course to see examples of different genomic technologies and their applications.
  • You will also meet patient group representatives to learn about the impact of genomic medicine from the patient's viewpoint.

Modules

The full-time one year Masters programme (180 credits) comprises eight taught 15-credit modules plus a three month 60-credit research project (or a 30-credit literature based dissertation combined with two additional taught modules). The Diploma (120 credits) and Certificate (60 credits) programmes consist of eight and four taught modules, respectively.

Masters students must take all four mandatory core modules including either a 60-credit research project or a 30-credit dissertation and a minimum of 3 elective core modules. 

Students registered for the PGDip (120 credits) study eight taught modules, including at least five of the core modules (1-3, 5-8). 

Students registered for the PGCert (60 credits) study any four taught modules. 

All modules are also available as CPD on a stand-alone basis. Note that a requirement of HEE sponsorship is that HEE-funded students must complete the module assessments. 

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. The modules listed below are those currently intended for students starting in 2022. Please ensure you review these modules for updates before applying for this programme.

Mandatory core modules (15 credits each):

Elective core modules (15 credits each):

Optional modules (15 credits each):

Note: Students choosing the 30-credit Literature-Based Dissertation must also take Professional and Research Skills as one of their three optional modules.

Fees

2023/24

UK:
MSc - £12,000
PGDip - £8,000
PGCert - £4,000
Module CPD - £1,000

International:
MSc: £21,960

Self-funding students can pay their tuition fees via the University online shop. Should you need further information in regards to making payment please email ADM-ubonlinesales@adf.bham.ac.uk

Health Education England (HEE) funding

NHS-based students may apply for HEE funding (subject to availability) to cover their full tuition costs for modules running from April 2022 to March 2023. Students can apply for individual modules as CPPD or a PGCert (four modules). Please note: students can only apply up to a maximum of four 15-credit modules in one academic year. Students who successfully complete CPPD or a PGCert can apply for more modules in the following year, subject to the availability of HEE funding. The application process for the HEE-funded modules involves two steps: the individual's university application and their line manager's supporting information. Interested individuals should first contact the Genomic Medicine team to discuss if they wish to apply for CPPD or PGCert, as the application processes are different. We will then notify HEE to begin the process of applying for funding. 

Further information on how to apply for HEE funding can be found on the Genomics Education Programme funding page


Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.

 

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

As a UK resident you can apply for a government loan for postgraduate Masters study. This is a contribution towards the costs of study and whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs will be at the discretion of the student.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Loan.

How To Apply

Application deadlines

International students requiring visas

September 2022 entry: 1st June 2022 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. Applications made after this date will be considered for 2023 entry.

Applying for individual modules for CPD

The modules can be taken as a stand-alone assessed or non-assessed course. To apply, students should have a good honours degree in a life sciences subject, although we will consider applicants with alternative qualifications and professional experience within the health service or other relevant background.

For all queries about the application process, please contact the Programme team (genomics@contacts.bham.ac.uk) or the Programme Lead, Dr Andrew Bell (a.i.bell@bham.ac.uk). 

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Applicants should have a minimum of a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject e.g. biomedical science, genetics or medicine. However we will consider applicants with alternative academic qualifications on the basis of professional qualifications and relevant work experience within the NHS.

We also require evidence of English proficiency from all applicants whose first language is not English (e.g. IELTS Level 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band).

Find out more about entry requirements

International Requirements


As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as from your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

The course combines face-to-face teaching in lectures, tutorials and workshops supplemented with online lectures and pre-recorded material. There are also workshops and student presentations etc. with independent or group learning, using published papers or online resources. The face-to-face teaching of most modules is delivered over five days spread over two weeks. 

Each taught module comprises approximately 30 hours of taught classroom-based learning, self-directed learning and in-course presentations. In addition you are expected to spend approximately 90 hours of self-directed study doing preparatory and follow-up reading and completing assessments for each module. 

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Assessment Methods

Modules are assessed using a variety of methods, including timed, unseen exams typically involving a number of short answer questions and a choice of essay; short answer e.g. case-based problems completed in your own time; essay assignments of typically 3000 words, and by short presentations on a given topic.

The course is especially designed for healthcare professionals working within the NHS to improve their capabilities and support career progression. It could be similarly beneficial for those working or aspiring to work in other healthcare systems.

Students who are not healthcare professionals will acquire knowledge, understanding and skills to help them gain employment or PhD positions especially in the expanding fields of genomics, bioinformatics or other medically-related research and development in either academia or the pharmaceutical industry.

Careers support for postgraduate students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career. We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market. The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. For more information visit the Careers Network website.

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