The Programme aims to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills relating to genomics that will empower you to help lead the holistic integration of genomic technology into patient care within the National Health Service, including via the ambitious Genomics England Ltd (GeL) 100,000 Genomes Project which commenced in 2015.
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 to you the technologies for generating genome-wide data, and how the resulting vast quantities of data can be approached and interrogated to generate meaningful information that can be useful for families affected by inherited conditions, or for patients with acquired diseases including cancer and infections.
You will learn how to interrogate genomic data using bioinformatic tools to identify and investigate the pathogenicity of genetic variants, and relate these to real-life case-studies. The core modules also include consideration of the ethical, legal and social issues that surround genomic medicine, which can be further explored in an optional module. Other options include counselling skills and advanced bioinformatics.
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.
The University of Birmingham has general entry requirements including a minimum of GCSE grade C in Maths and English and evidence of English proficiency from all applicants whose first language is not English (e.g. IELTS Level 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band).
Applicants for the MSc (Genomic Medicine) without prior relevant experience working in healthcare should have a good honours degree (or equivalent), in a relevant subject (e.g. biomedical science or medicine). However we will consider applicant with alternative academic qualifications, on the basis of professional qualifications and experience within the NHS (or other relevant organisations).
The University will consider a candidate’s skills, attributes, motivation and potential for success when making an offer. Students may be contacted to discuss their application or invited for an interview. All applications must have at least one satisfactory reference.
The course is especially designed for healthcare professionals from a range of backgrounds. It follows a syllabus specified by Health Education England (HEE) for training NHS staff in Genomic Medicine, and HEE has ring-fenced funding to allow NHS staff to study for the MSc (Genomic Medicine) at accredited provider institutions, including Birmingham.
Students registered for the MSc in Genomic Medicine will take seven core taught 15-credit modules, combined with:
EITHER, a 60-credit Research Project PLUS one of six optional taught 15-credit modules;
OR, a 30-credit Library-Based Dissertation PLUS three optional modules*
Core modules (15 credits each):
Module 1: An Introduction to Human Genetics and Genomics
Module 2: Omics Techniques and their Application to Genomic Medicine
Module 3: Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases
Module 4: Genomics in Cancer Pathology
Module 5: Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Healthcare
Module 6: Application of Genomics in Infectious Disease
Module 7: Bioinformatics, Interpretation, Statistics and Data Quality Assurance in Genome Analysis
Module 8a: 60-Credit Research Project; OR Module 8b*: 30-Credit Library-Based Dissertation
Optional modules (15 credits each):
Module 9: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Applied Genomics
Module 10: Counselling Skills for Genomics
Module 11: Economic Models and Human Genomics
Module 12: Workplace-Based Learning in Genomic Medicine
Module 13*: Genomic Medicine Professional and Research Skills
Module 14: Advanced Bioinformatics
* Note: Students choosing the 30-credit Library-Based Dissertation must also take Module 13, Genomic Medicine Professsional and Research Skills, as one of their 3 optional modules.
Students registered for the PGDip will study 8 taught modules, including at least five of the core modules (1 – 7), and up to three of the optional modules 9 – 14.
Students registered to the PGCert will study 4 taught modules, including at least two of the core modules (1 – 7) and up to two of the optional modules 9 – 14.
The course is especially designed for healthcare professionals working within the National Health Service, 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 would acquire knowledge, understanding and skills that should 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.
We have gathered some profiles to give you an idea of the breadth of students we have on our programme.
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