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Molecular Genetics MSc

1 year, full-time

This is for you if... you want to study the molecular genetics at an advanced level and develop a dynamic career in biological research.

Molecular Genetics MSc, 1 year, full-time

This is for you if... you want to study the molecular genetics at an advanced level and develop a dynamic career in biological research.

Course information

UK fee £10,700

International fee £23,650

Contact
Dr James Higgins, MSc Convenor
CLSPGT@le.ac.uk

School of Biological Sciences website

Course description

Course description

Join an internationally-recognised centre for pioneering research into genetics with specific expertise in patterns of human inheritance, identification of genetic determinants of human diseases, cancer genetics, circadian rhythms and microbial pathogenesis. Our renowned research includes the discovery by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys of the technique of DNA fingerprinting and, more recently, for the identification of the bones of Richard III. We are proud of our cross-organism approach, which emphasises the fundamental importance of genetics as a common language for understanding the biology of organisms as diverse as bacteriophages, bacteria, yeast, fruit flies, insects, plants and humans.

The MSc in Molecular Genetics is a one-year full-time degree for biological sciences graduates to learn and develop an understanding of current concepts in modern molecular genetics and how to apply these techniques to research. The course is divided into a taught phase (semester 1) and an extended research project (semester 2) within the College of Life Sciences. 

The taught phase comprises of three months of intensive lectures and taught laboratory work, which will provide you with scientific knowledge underpinning the basis of modern techniques. 

A key component of the course is the six month research project, which will give you the opportunity to study and research one of the department’s key research areas in much greater depth. As well as developing your understanding of the processes and techniques used in molecular genetics, you will learn how to critically analyse data and research papers whilst contributing to the world-leading research that each laboratory undertakes.

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

Starting in September 2024

  • £10,700

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

Starting in September 2024

  • £23,650

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

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.

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.

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. 

Related courses

Course structure

Modules

Modules

The first semester, the taught phase of the MSc degree will comprise of intensive taught laboratory classes alongside a series of lectures.

This part of the course is organised in two modules:

Plus your MSc Research Project

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.

Project

Project

One of the most valued features of this course is the MSc Research Project, in which you will put your newly acquired practical skills and knowledge to the test. For up to six months, you will work as a member of a dedicated research team, designing and conducting your own research, culminating in the production of a dissertation. You will choose your laboratory research placement from projects covering a broad range of disciplines involving molecular genetics and a variety of organisms.

Recent research project titles offered include:

  • Effect of Genetic Variation on Campylobacter Virulence Phenotypes
  • Characterisation of human RAB39B mutation in fruit fly model
  • Seeing is believing: Spatial expression of photo pigments in mosquito brains
  • Investigating expression of highly selected genes in the social region of an ant
  • Developing Y chromosome markers in Saudi Arabian hamadryas baboons
  • Analysing Arabidopsis meiotic recombination mutants
  • Expression of mucin genes in lung cells in response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Killing the killer: Isolation of bacteriophages against the pathogenic Vibrio spp

During your project you will learn how to design and conduct hypothesis-driven research using state-of-the-art techniques. You will also gain experience of how to critically interpret scientific literature and how to use effective written and oral communication to present your data.

Assessment of the MSc 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.

Project titles shown represent choices available to current students. The range of projects available will vary depending on research demands.

Publications

Many of these projects have led to publication in highly respected scientific journals:

  • Swaih AM, Breda C, Sathyasaikumar KV, Allcock N, Collier MEW, Mason RP, Feasby A, Herrera F, Outeiro TF, Schwarcz R, Repici M, Giorgini F. Kynurenine 3-Monooxygenase Interacts with Huntingtin at the Outer Mitochondrial Membrane. Biomedicines. 2022 Sep 15;10(9):2294. doi:10.3390/biomedicines10092294
  • Algady W, Weyell E, Mateja D, Garcia A, Courtin D, Hollox EJ. Genotyping complex structural variation at the malaria-associated human glycophorin locus using a PCR-based strategy. Ann Hum Genet. 2021 Jan;85(1):7-17. doi:10.1111/ahg.12405
  • Muinde JM, Chandra Bhanu DR, Neumann R, Oduor RO, Kanja W, Kimani JK, Mutugi MW, Smith L, Jobling MA, Wetton JH. Geographical and linguistic structure in the people of Kenya demonstrated using 21 autosomal STRs. Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2021 Jul;53:102535. doi:10.1016/j.fsigen.2021.102535
  • Lall GM, Larmuseau MHD, Wetton JH, Batini C, Hallast P, Huszar TI, Zadik D, Aase S, Baker T, Balaresque P, Bodmer W, Børglum AD, de Knijff P, Dunn H, Harding SE, Løvvik H, Dupuy BM, Pamjav H, Tillmar AO, Tomaszewski M, Tyler-Smith C, Verdugo MP, Winney B, Vohra P, Story J, King TE, Jobling MA. Subdividing Y-chromosome haplogroup R1a1 reveals Norse Viking dispersal lineages in Britain. Eur J Hum Genet. 2021 Mar;29(3):512-523. doi:10.1038/s41431-020-00747-z
  • Louzada S, Algady W, Weyell E, Zuccherato LW, Brajer P, Almalki F, Scliar MO, Naslavsky MS, Yamamoto GL, Duarte YAO, Passos-Bueno MR, Zatz M, Yang F, Hollox EJ. Structural variation of the malaria-associated human glycophorin A-B-E region. BMC Genomics. 2020 Jun 29;21(1):446. doi:10.1186/s12864-020-06849-8

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?

Leicester was recently ranked 2nd in the UK for its world-leading research in clinical Medicine (2021 Research Excellent Framework - REF).

The University of Leicester is home to the prestigious Leicester Cancer Research Centre that conducts pioneering research

The University of Leicester is at the forefront of molecular genetics research. Researchers are working on model species such as yeast, bacteria, fruit flies and Arabidopsis and are translating these findings into humans, biotechnology, and agriculture.

Our history of genetic achievements includes the invention of DNA fingerprinting by Prof Sir Alec Jeffreys and the genetic identification of the remains of King Richard III, the last king of England to die in battle.

Teaching and learning

In Semester 1, the taught phase of the course, you will study modern concepts of molecular genetics through intensive laboratory classes. You will be trained in laboratory techniques and will develop your proficiency in experimental design through hands-on laboratory experiments.

Alongside the laboratory classes, you will have a core lecture programme, which is shared between our various postgraduate laboratory-based courses and will develop your specialist knowledge. There are also optional lectures in fields related to your own, which will allow you to increase your understanding of the interdisciplinary aspects of your speciality.

The taught modules are assessed by in-module assessments, essays and exams. Successful completion of the taught phase is required to proceed to the MSc research project stage in semester 2.

In semester 2, you will put into practice the laboratory skills from the taught phase by conducting a 6-month MSc research project, which comprise two-thirds of the credits for your degree. You will have the opportunity to choose a laboratory research project 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 solve significant research questions.

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.

The project is an ideal preparation if you are wishing to proceed to a PhD in the fields of Molecular Genetics, and offers a great opportunity to enhance your employability as a molecular scientist.

Independent learning

In addition to attending lectures and laboratory sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • Academic writing
  • Presentations
  • Dissertations
  • Numerical data skills
  • Referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Key dates

September 2024 start

  • Application deadline: 9 September 2024 (Please note if you require a visa to study you will be required to submit your course application by 26 July 2024)
  • Deposit payment deadline: 9 August 2024
  • CAS request deadline: 6 September 2024
  • 70% tuition payment deadline: 6 September 2024

Apply now

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