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.
Months of entry
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.
The course is also suitable for other Home/EU or Overseas students who wish to learn about the advances in genomics and bioinformatics particularly as relevant to medical applications, and the challenges of introducing the technology into a healthcare system.
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 commences 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.
You will be taught by people who are leading experts in their field both from the University of Birmingham and the surrounding NHS Hospitals, including the adjacent Women’s Hospital and University Hospital Birmingham (UHB), which has been a major player in the pilot precursor to the 100,000 Genomes Project. As leader of the West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre (WMGMC, a region-wide consortium of all NHS Trusts), UHB anticipates being a major contributor to the main 100,000 Genomes Project.
Many clinical staff teaching on the course are directly involved with the WMGMC, either as clinical leads or with key roles in the Molecular Pathology Diagnostic Service or the WM Regional Genetics Service, which are both at the leading edge of introducing technologies for stratified medicine (including genomics) into the NHS. You will have opportunities to visit these NHS facilities during the course. Sessions involving patient group representatives in several modules help to keep the patient at the focus of the course.
Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays
If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: www.pg.bham.ac.uk
Fees and funding
For 2015 entry the Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme offers 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups.
The College of Medical and Dental Sciences is offering a number of Global Scholarships for Excellence for outstanding students on our postgraduate taught programmes, providing £2,000 toward tuition fees. Find out more about the MDS Scholarships of Excellence.
For other potential sources of funding, please visit our Postgraduate Funding Database.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Postgraduate Enquiry Service
- 0121 414 5005