Research course

Genetics and Molecular Medicine

University of Edinburgh · College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
PhDMSc by research

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for our research programmes is an undergraduate degree, with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK). For some non-UK applicants the entry requirement is a Masters degree. Please check the entry requirements by country. If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English. IELTS Academic module: 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each section); TOEFL-iBT: 92 (with at least 20 in all sections); PTE: 61 (with no score lower than 56 in each of the 'Communicative Skills' sections - 'Enabling Skills' section scores are not considered); CPE: Grade B; CAE: Grade A.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

The Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) forms part of the University of Edinburgh and is a large, integrated research institute composed of the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, the MRC Human Genetics Unit, and the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre. The IGMM’s priorities are basic biomedical research through to clinical research across a wide range of themes.

Programmes of work include the following list of themes: genetics of common and complex human diseases, epigenetics, developmental biology and pediatrics, brain biology and disease, cancer biology and biomedical systems analysis/computational biology. There are currently well over a hundred PhD students in training across the IGMM, with a thriving postgraduate society.

Training and support

Within the IGMM there are over a hundred PhD students, overseen by a well-established Graduate School structure, embedded within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

There is a Postgraduate Studies Committee (PGSC) chaired by the Director of the Graduate School which is responsible for student training and assessment. The role of the PGSC is to develop and implement guidelines for optimal student training and to ensure best practice in monitoring and assessment. These assessments are carried out by student-specific, carefully selected, thesis committees who stay with the student throughout their PhD project. The committees are made up of the supervisors, an external member (often with particular expertise that relates to the student’s project) and an experienced Chair.

We run training sessions for new PhD students that cover issues such as student-supervisor working relationships, research ethics and assessment mechanisms.

We also have a strong four-year PhD programme within which we provide training workshops on technologies and issues such as tissue governance; all of these workshops are made available to three year students too, who have their own dedicated handbook.

The students also have a thriving postgrad society which runs career talks and social events and an annual scientific retreat.


A principal aim of the IGMM is develop fully integrated, multi-disciplinary research programmes across the whole spectrum of basic, clinical and translational research. We have state of the art imaging, DNA sequencing and drug discovery units, a bioinformatics service and excellent lab facilities.

Department specialisms

Genetics of common and complex human diseases, epigenetics, developmental biology and pediatrics, brain biology and disease, cancer biology and biomedical systems analysis/computational biology.

Information for international students

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months

MSc by research

part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Administrator
+44 (0)131 651 5771