Taught course

Molecular Medicine

University of Sheffield · Faculty of Health

Entry requirements

You'll need at least a 2:1 undergraduate honours degree including a substantial element of human or animal biology.

We also accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies.

We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

Lead academic: Dr Martin Nicklin

This course brings together the biggest recent advances in biology so you can understand human disease in detail, at the most fundamental level. It covers the cellular, molecular and genetic factors behind a wide range of illnesses, and how new technologies are revolutionising scientific discovery, diagnosis and treatment.

You will study diseases that are caused by a single gene defect, and the more complex molecular mechanisms that lead to cancer, as well as chronic diseases with overlapping causes that primarily affect ageing populations. You will also learn about the role of the immune system and, in the laboratory, you will examine models of the immune system in healthy and diseased states.

There is training on RNA and DNA sequencing, mass spectrometry techniques, and how these are used to process huge volumes of bioinformatic data to better understand disease. In computational laboratories, you will learn how to map genetic sequences, design PCR reactions that allow you to study your data in more detail, and identify genetic variations in a patient, for example. There is also an optional introduction to the programming language R, which can be used to analyse and present complex data sets.

The course also explains how studying disease at a molecular level can lead to new treatment options for patients. You can learn about a variety of biologic therapies developed in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and how potential new drugs are identified, designed and tested.

You will also complete a research skills training programme and, after all other teaching has been completed, you will spend 20 weeks working full-time on your own research project. Working as part of a team of professional scientists, you will have the opportunity to test a hypothesis, design experiments, analyse your results and present your findings.

Example research projects

Research projects are usually lab-based and a range of topics are available each year. Projects completed by previous students include:

  • Stability control – how mRNA stability regulates inflammation resolution
  • Targeting P2X7R to overcome hypoxia-mediated progression of breast cancer
  • Identifying new targets for pancreatic cancer treatment
  • Beta-1-integrin control of mammary tissue morphogenesis and cancer
  • Precision therapy in NBAS-related disorder
  • Exploiting the DNA Damage Response (DDR) in osteosarcoma
  • Modulating neutrophil cell death mechanisms to treat chronic inflammatory disorders
  • Improving efficacy of immunotherapy in cancer-induced bone metastasis through targeting TGFB
  • Targeting breast cancers with the novel checkpoint inhibitor Tim3 and an oncolytic virus
  • Utilising qPCR for the simultaneous detection of common skin infections present among children in the Gambia


We accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies. Find out more on the School of Medicine and Population Health website.

Information for international students

English language requirements

Clinical applications pathway:

Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

All other pathways:

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

For more information about entry requirements for international students, please visit https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/international/applying/postgraduate-taught

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
+44 (0)114 215 9553