Molecular Genetics MSc

1 year, full-time

Molecular Genetics MSc, 1 year, full-time

Course information

UK/EU fee £9,500

International fee £21,000

Dr James Higgins, MSc Convenor
+44 (0)116 223 1296

School of Biological Sciences website

This is for you if... you want to study molecular genetics at an advanced level.

Course description

Course description

This MSc in Molecular Genetics is a one-year full-time course for biological sciences graduates to learn and develop an understanding of current concepts in modern molecular genetics, and how to apply these techniques. The course is divided into a taught phase and extended research project within the College of Life Sciences. The taught phase provides the scientific knowledge underpinning the basis of modern techniques and the research project provides a unique opportunity to put these skills into practice. 

By studying this MSc, you will be learning in a challenging but exciting, stimulating and rewarding environment. You will form strong working relationships with the other students and meet people from many different countries; our students make friendships that last many years.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

2:2 degree (or equivalent) in a biological science.

Significant relevant work experience may be considered.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK Students

This is the total course fee.

Starting in September 2022

  • £9,500

If you are resident outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland, you will need to pay a deposit of £3,000 to secure your place. This will be subtracted from your total tuition fee.

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Did you know you can apply for a Government Postgraduate Loan? Find out if you’re eligible.

If you are a University of Leicester alumni, you may be eligible for the Centenary Alumni Discount which offers a 20% fee reduction.   

International Students

This is the total course fee.

Starting in September 2022

  • £21,000

You will need to pay a deposit of £3,000 to secure your place. This will be subtracted from your total tuition fee.

From 2022 onwards, EU nationals will pay the International fee. If you are an EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, you may qualify for the UK fee (subject to criteria).

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

If you are a University of Leicester alumni, you may be eligible for the Centenary Alumni Discount which offers a 20% fee reduction.   

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

International students who study at the University of Leicester may be eligible for a Graduate Visa which grants permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after successful completion of their course.

The course is ideally suited for students aiming to gain further experience in experimental protocols for a career in laboratory science. As the techniques are broadly applicable to a range of organisms and samples, the course provides career opportunities in various laboratory settings and stages of research or practical application.

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Related courses

Related courses

Course structure



The taught part of the degree is based on eight, week-long experiments that you undertake in a fully equipped laboratory dedicated to the Molecular Genetics MSc. These are not like experiments you may have done before in your degree studies; here you will perform sophisticated molecular analyses yourself from start to finish. You will receive expert guidance from academic staff throughout the experiments and they will also make you think about what you are doing and why you are doing it.

This part of the course is organised in two large modules which also include lectures and tutorials:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.



You will choose your laboratory research placement from projects covering a broad range of disciplines involving molecular genetics and a variety of organisms. You will become part of an active research group employing modern approaches and technologies to solving significant research questions.

Projects undertaken by Molecular Genetics students have included:

  • Characterising actively transducing L1 retrotransposons in humans
  • DNA methylation and photoperiodism in the wasp N. vitripennis
  • Recombination hotspots in the human genome
  • Mitochondrial stress and autophagy in a Parkinson's model
  • Genetic variation during persistent Meningococcal carriage
  • Third generation sequencing for complex genomes
  • Effects of folic acid deficiency on genome stability in mice
  • Characterisation of the PapsFIL gene in the opium poppy
  • Effect of bottleneck on phase variable genes of Campylobacter jejuni
  • Functional genomics of Bak1 polymorphisms and human platelets
  • An advanced model of Huntington's Disease in Drosophila

Assessment of the Masters Research Project is in three parts: your research performance, a dissertation you write about your research and a seminar you will present at the end of the project.


The project work of some MSc Molecular Genetics students is published in high quality journals, as shown in these examples:

  • Armstrong CA, Jones GD, Anderson R, Iyer P, Narayanan D, Sandhu J, Singh R, Talbot CJ, Tufarelli C. (2012) DNMTs are required for delayed genome instability caused by radiation. Epigenetics 7, 892-902. doi:10.4161/epi.21094
  • Borg M, Rutley N, Kagale S, Hamamura Y, Gherghinoiu M, Kumar S, Sari U, Esparza-Franco MA, Sakamoto W, Rozwadowski K, Higashiyama T, Twell D. (2014). An EAR-dependent regulatory module promotes male germ cell division and sperm fertility in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 26,1-17. doi:10.1105/tpc.114.124743
  • Huang Y, Hidalgo-Bravo A, Zhang E, Cotton VE, Mendez-Bermudez A, Wig G, Medina-Calzada Z, Neumann R, Jeffreys AJ, Winney B, Wilson JF, Clark DA, Dyer MJ, Royle NJ. (2014) Human telomeres that carry an integrated copy of human herpesvirus 6 are often short and unstable, facilitating release of the viral genome from the chromosome Nucl. Acids Res. 42, 315-327 doi:10.1093/nar/gkt840
  • Kourmpetli S, Lee K, Hemsley R, Rossignol P, Papageorgiou T, Drea S. (2013) Bidirectional promoters in seed development and associated stress/hormone responses. BMC Plant Biology 13, 187. doi:10.1186/1471-2229-13-187
  • Mason RP, Casu C, Butler N, Breda C, Campesan S, Clapp J, Green EW, Dhulkhed D, Kyriacou CP, Giorgini F (2013) Glutathione peroxidase activity is neuroprotective in models of Huntington's disease Nature Genetics 45, 1249-1254 doi:10.1038/ng.2732
  • Pegoraro M, Noreen S, Bhutani S, Tsolou A, Schmid R, Kyriacou CP, Tauber E. (2014) Molecular evolution of a pervasive natural amino-acid substitution in Drosophila cryptochrome. PLoS ONE 9(1): e86483 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086483
  • Riddell CE, Lobaton Garces JD, Adams S, Barribeau SM, Twell D, Mallon EB. (2014) Differential gene expression and alternative splicing in insect immune specificity BMC Genomics 15, 1031 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-1031
  • Vosnakis N, Maiden A, Kourmpetli S, Hands P, Sharples D, Drea S. (2012) A filamentous flower orthologue plays a key role in leaf patterning in opium poppy. The Plant Journal 72, 662–673 doi:10.1111/j.1365-313X.2012.05112.x
  • Watkins RJ, Patil R, Goult BT, Thomas MG, Gottlob I, Shackleton S. (2013) A novel interaction between FRMD7 and CASK: evidence for a causal role in idiopathic infantile nystagmus. Hum. Mol. Genet. 22, 2105-2118 doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddt060

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Why Leicester?

Teaching and learning

In the first part of the course between September and December, you will study modern concepts of molecular genetics. Hands-on lab experiments and small group teaching sessions which will introduce you to a variety of modern molecular genetics techniques and research strategies.

Once you have learned how molecular genetics data are generated you will progress onto the extended research project in an area of your choice and the project that will be designed by the supervisor but will provide flexibility for you to explore your interests.

The taught modules are assessed by in-module assessments and by exams. Your research project will involve generating and analysing your research data and is assessed on your independence, initiative and understanding whilst performing the project, as well as submission of a final dissertation and project presentation.

Key dates

Applications for September 2022 are now closed to international applicants due to the length of time required to complete the visa process. September 2023 is the next available intake and applications will open no later than 1 September 2022. Please note that UK students wishing to apply for September 2022 may continue to do so until 2 September 2022.

  • Application deadline: 25 July 2022 (Please note this deadline is subject to change dependant on course capacity. If the capacity limit of this course is met before the deadline, applications will be closed early.)
  • Deposit payment deadline: 8 August 2022
  • CAS request deadline: 2 September 2022 
  • 50% payment deadline: 2 September 2022 

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Course Molecular Genetics Qualification MSc Duration 1 year full-time Start Dates September each year Availability

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