Research course

Medical Genetics

The University of Manchester · School of Medical Sciences

Entry requirements

We require applicants to hold, or be about to obtain, an Upper Second class Honours degree, or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK, in a related subject area for entry to a PhD programme. A Lower Second class Honours degree may be considered if applicants also hold a Master's degree with a Merit classification.

Months of entry

January, April, September

Course content

Our PhD/MPhil Medical Genetics programme enables you to undertake a research project that will improve understanding of Medical Genetics.

The field of genomic medicine integrates basic and clinical research. At a genetic level, the aim is to identify the genetic basis of both single gene and complex disorders.

This includes studying the normal role of the genes and proteins that have been identified, as well as understanding the functional consequences of pathogenic genetic variants.

Ultimately, the aim is to translate this research knowledge into healthcare benefits, including improved diagnosis and management, as well as, ultimately, into new treatment methods for the conditions investigated.

The University of Manchester has internationally-recognised expertise in several areas of genomic medicine that include the following:

  • Biochemical genetics: Diagnosis, research and development of treatmentsof a range of metabolic and lysosomal diseases, including mucopolysaccharide diseases.
  • Developmental genetics: The main aim is to understand the cellular and molecular processes behind both normal development and genetic disease and to improve diagnosis and management of human genetic disorders and birth defects. Manchester leads the European Reference Network for this group of disorders. Major programs of work include studies on the genetic basis and molecular treatment of visual impairment; chromatin remodelling disorders, including Kabuki syndrome.
  • Health services research in genetics: Qualitative and quantitative programmes focused around the evaluation of genetics clinical services and the psychosocial impact of genetic disease.
  • Cancer genetics: Includes research into the inherited forms of breast and colorectal cancer. We also have specific interests in neurofibromatosis and schwannomatosis linked to nationally commissioned clinical services.
  • Neurogenetics: Includes conditions encountered in paediatric neurogenetic practice, with the aim of improving the diagnosis, management and, ultimately, treatment of these disorders. Particular expertise has been developed in the study of Aicardi-Goutières syndrome.
  • Inflammatory disorders: rare Mendelian forms of inflammation can provide insight into common disorders including systemic lupus erythematosis.
  • Renal genetics: studies on the lower urinary tract include characterising bladder disorders including urofacial syndrome and bladder exstrophy. Expertise is considerable in renal cystic disease and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) modelling.
  • Cardiac Genetics: Studies on the rare inherited heart rhythm disorder catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia include variant characterisation and treatment modelling using iPSC.
  • Pharmacogenetics: study of how genetic variation can result in different responses to medication and how to avoid adverse reactions in clinical practice and the effects of medication taken in pregnancy on the developing fetus.
  • Ophthalmic genetics: studies on Mendelian and complex conditions including retinal and corneal dystrophies and age-related macular degeneration. Expertise in bioinformatic analysis of next generation sequencing data, and functional and treatment modelling using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).

State-of-the-art genomic technologies including exome and genome sequencing are employed in the centre to facilitate the work.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    72-96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    full time
    12-24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
+44 (0)161 275 5608