MSc/PgDip/PgCert Genomic Medicine 2018/19 entry

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
Discipline
  • Healthcare and Medicine
LocationExeter (St Luke‘s)
Start date September or January

Overview

Medical practice and practice in the clinical professions will be transformed by genomic technologies and information within the next decade.

This MSc is a new programme developed by Health Education England and aligned with their vision to prepare for the legacy of the 100,000 Genomes Project.

This will be achieved through transformational education and training that is focused on developing the capability and capacity of the NHS to apply genomic medicine for patient benefit.

The programme is offered by a network of centres across England and includes study of the genomics and informatics of rare and common diseases, cancer and infectious diseases, which can be applied to clinical practice and medical research, it enhances knowledge and skills, in this rapidly evolving field. Each module runs over a 4-5 week period with a mixture of face-to-face and online material. You will be required to attend teaching sessions in Exeter for 3-4 days per module and for some modules teaching will also occur simultaneously in Bristol.

Full funding is available to NHS employees from Health Education England, for full details and to apply for funding please see the Health Education England website.Full funding is available to NHS employees from Health Education England, for full details and to apply for funding please see the Health Education England website.  For more information on NHS funded places please contact Dr Leigh Jackson  for the South West region, and Melanie Watson for West of England region.

The ethos of the programme is anchored within its educational aims, delivery format and learning outcomes and supported by the expertise, values and behaviours of the faculty.

You will learn from, with and about your peers, developing a mutual understanding and respect for the positive contributions that each will bring to Genomic Medicine. Students are likely to be clinical practitioners, diagnostic service providers, scientists and researchers and those aspiring to specialise within an academic career pathway. In addition to the full masters, students can opt to study for a 60 credit PG certificate or 120 credit diploma, by selecting a combination of any of the modules on offer. Individual modules will be of appeal to those who wish to enhance their CPD portfolio but do not need a formal academic award.

How to apply

Please go to the Apply button and register. Select 'Taught' in the first box and enter Genomics in the Keyword free text box. You will then be offered a list of 8 study options, please select your programme. You will be asked to select the modules you want to take as part of your chosen programme on a subsequent screen. Information on the modules on offer is given on the ‘Structure’ tab. Not all fields are compulsory, only those marked with an *.

Programme structure 2018/19

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Structure

The full MSc course comprises eight core modules: seven taught modules of 15 credits each and one research module of either 60 or 30 credits.

A range of optional modules is available for you to design your own learning experience to complement your career needs, and to complete the full programme of 180 credits.

Awards

The programme structure allows you to start the MSc programme and complete either a Postgraduate Certificate, a Postgraduate Diploma, or the full MSc.

You will be able to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate on successful achievement of 60 credits from the choice of any of the modules on offer.

You will be able to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma on successful achievement of 120 credits including the 30 credit research dissertation plus any of the other modules on offer.

Tailored content

This programme can be tailored to meet your career aspirations and enables you to choose your module options, plan your programme route, and choose from September or January to begin your studies.

You can study part-time or undertake smaller numbers of, or even individual, modules to fit your study around your other commitments.

Modules

MSc Genomic Medicine comprises eight core modules delivered through intensive face-to-face study and independent learning.

Our core modules include an introduction to human genetics and genomics, techniques and their application, the genetics and genomics of common and rare inherited diseases, molecular pathology of cancer and application in diagnosis, screening and treatment, bioinformatics interpretation and a laboratory research project or dissertation.

Optional modules within the programme include the ethics, counselling skills and advanced bioinformatics of genomics, epigenetics and professional and research skills.
The modules shown below are based on Health Education England’s curriculum for genomic medicine but could be subject to change in future years.

Core Modules

(15 credits each)

Module number Module name Start and end dates Contact days
HPDM035 An Introduction to Human Genetics and Genomics

27 Sept 2017 - 9 Nov 2017

4, 5, 18, 19 October 2017

HPDM035B An Introduction to Human Genetics and Genomics 3 Jan 2018 - 21 Feb 2018 Weds 10, 11, 30 and 31 Jan 2018
HPDM036 "Omics" Techniques and their Application to Genomic Medicine 1 Nov 2017 - 14 Dec 2017 8, 9 and 23 November 2017
HPDM037 Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases 17 Jan 2018 - 13 March 2018 7, 8 and 20 February 2018
HPDM038 Molecular Pathology of Cancer and Application in Cancer Diagnosis, Screening, and Treatment 29 Nov 2017 - 4 Jan 2018 6, 7 and 20 Dec  2017
HPDM039 Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Healthcare

8 May 2018 - 27 June 2018

15 and 16 May 2018, 6 June 2018 
BIOM567 Application of Genomics in Infectious Disease 9 April 18 - 23 May 2018 16 and 17 April 2018, 2, May 2018
HPDM041 Bioinformatics, Interpretation, Statistics and Data Quality Assurance 20 Feb 18 - 4 April 2018 27 and 28 Feb 2018, 14 March 2018

Research Project

(60 credits or 30 credits)

Optional Modules 

(15 credits each)

Module number Module name Start and end dates Contact days
HPDM048 Professional Research Skills  5 Dec 2017 - 26 Jan 2018 12 and 13 Dec 2107, 5 Jan 2018.
HPDM044 Ethical, Legal and Social Issues 9 Nov 2017 -  9 Jan 2018 16, 17 November 2017, 5 Dec 2017
HPDM045 Counselling Skills for Genomics 16 Jan 2018 -  15 Feb 2018 23, 24, 25  Jan 2018 
HPDM046 Advanced Bioinformatics 1 May 2018 - 15 June 2018 8, 9, 30 May 2018
HPDM049 Epigenetics 16 May 2018  - 3 July 2018 23, 24 May 2018, 12 June 2018
HDPM047 Work-based Learning in Genomics 13 Oct 2018 - 1 March 2018 20 October 2017, 19 Feb 2018

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Pre-learning

Before the start of your course please use this material as an introduction to some of the basic concepts in genomics. If there are gaps in your knowledge please use the learning resources provided below.

By the end of this pre-learning you should be able to:

  1. Describe how the genome is structured and organised; using terms such as DNA, nucleotide, gene and chromosome.
  2. Explain how the information encoded in DNA is decoded resulting in the production of proteins; using terms such as codon, exon, intron, mRNA, splicing, transcription, translation and tRNA.
  3. Explain how a genetic variant can result in an observable trait; using terms such as gene expression, genotype, mutation, phenotype and protein function.
  4. Use pedigree charts to deduce common modes of Mendelian inheritance; using terms such as allele, autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, carrier, homozygote and X-linked.
  5. Appreciate that environmental factors affect gene expression. Terms to be understood here include epigenetics, histone and methylation.
  6. Understand that common diseases result from a complex interplay involving multiple genes and environmental factors. Terms to be understood here include polygenic and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).

Links and resources

All of these topics will be covered in more depth in the various modules, but you should have broad knowledge of the terms involved. To assist you in reaching these targets the following links and resources should be useful. Numbers in brackets refers to the intended learning outcome (numbered 1-6 above) that the resource will help you to understand.

The Genomics Education Programme, set up by the NHS to educate its staff, provides brief courses (duration ~1.5 hours each) that will give you an overview of genomics from a clinical perspective.

  • 100,000 Genomes Project: Preparing for the consent conversation
    This course guides health professionals through the key steps of the Project's consent process, what to consider when preparing for the discussion with potential participants, and how to address their questions and concerns.
  • Introduction to Genomics
    With new technologies we can now examine the whole of a person's DNA - their genome - quicker and cheaper than ever before. Learn about the fundamentals of genomics and discover its growing importance for healthcare (1, 3).
  • Introduction to Bioinformatics
    Discover how bioinformatics is becoming increasingly important to contemporary healthcare research and delivery. Learn about the principles and practices of bioinformatics, the challenges it faces and the problems it can help to solve.
  • Not a short course but this resource, provided by the Genomics Education Programme, will help you to interpret pedigree charts. And the video entitled ‘An introduction to genetics pedigrees’ will orientate you regarding use of Roman numerals and numbers to identify individuals within and between generations (4).

23andme provide direct-to-consumer genome testing and provides a variety of educatory genetic resources. This series of short animations (<5 min/clip) answers the following questions:

  • What are genes? (1)
  • What are SNPs? (6)
  • Where do your genes come from? (1)
  • What are phenotypes? (3)

yourgenome is produced by the Public Engagement team at the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge. This website covers everything from basic biology to the complex ethical issues that arise from genome sequencing. Particular recommendations include:

The Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah is an internationally-recognised education program that translates science and health for non-experts. Particular recommendations include:

  • The animation defining the epigenome (5).
  • The animation explaining sources of genetic variation and how these can affect protein levels/function (3).

The DNA Learning Center is part of the world-renowned Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory which has been set up to educate students and non-experts as we enter an era where genetic information is available and plentiful. Particular recommendations include:

  • The animation illustrating how much of the human genome codes for protein (1).
  • The animation explaining how a single change in the DNA code can cause human disease (3).

FutureLearn offers many Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) generated in partnership with UK universities. Free to sign up to and of particular relevance to this course are the following MOOCS:

  • The Genomics Era: The Future of Genetics in Medicine (St George's, University of London)
    Particular recommendations include the animations describing patterns of autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive and X-linked inheritance in Week 2 (4).
  • Genomic Medicine: Transforming Patient Care in Diabetes (University of Exeter)
    Particular recommendation is Prof Tim Frayling's discussion on ‘What genomics can teach us about polygenic diabetes’ in Week 2 (6).
  • Inside Cancer: How Genes Influence Cancer Development (University of Bath)
    Particular recommendations include the section on ‘What is epigenetics and why is it important in cancer’ in Week 2 (5).
  • Whole Genome Sequencing: Decoding the Language of Life and Health
    Produced by Health Education England and draws on experience with the 100,000 Genomes Project.

To access the MOOCs you need to sign up with FutureLearn and join the courses when they open. Once the course is open, you can access all the material at any time, from that date. Once you register for the Genomic Medicine Programme at Exeter, we can register you on to the Exeter MOOC too, even if it is not currently running.

New Clinical Genetics 3rd edition (Read & Donnai) is a recommended textbook. Using a case-based approach it makes understanding genetics an attractive and stimulating experience.

Chapters 1,2,3,6, 7 & 13 will help you in reaching the intended objectives (1-6) for this part of the course. There is also a good glossary at the back of the book. Of course there is a lot of detail in these chapters that will be covered during the course, so don't feel you have to read and understand everything!

For a 35% discount on the purchase price of this book go to Scion Publishing and search for New Clinical Genetics and add book to shopping basket. Enter code NCG35 when prompted. On the shipping options page select the first option (free UK shipping).

Learning and teaching

Using a mix of learning formats, our modules each run over a 4-6 week period and include three days' intensive face-to-face teaching interspersed with distance learning and independent study.

The Introduction module will include an additional day of student contact. Online learning will be supported by academic tutors and discussion fora.

All learning will be patient focussed, using clinical scenarios and a variety of learning and teaching methods to promote a wide range of skills and meet differing learning styles, including seminars, group work, practical demonstrations and exercises surrounding interpretation of data.

Teaching will be delivered by experts from a range of academic and health care professional backgrounds are chosen to ensure a breadth and depth of perspective, giving a good balance between theories and principles, and practical management advice.

Distance learning is delivered through a virtual learning environment, delivering a library of study materials including uploaded lectures, virtual patients and independent learning tasks, reference materials, links to online tutorials, student fora, and guest lecturer web chats.

There is an opportunity to undertake a research module either using 100,000 Genomes data or a literature-based dissertation.

What you will gain

Students who complete the programme will be equipped to harness the unprecedented transformation of the 100,000 Genomes Project, bring benefit to patients through improved diagnosis and personalised treatment, and disseminate knowledge to peers, patients and the public.

CPD

Current short courses in the area of Genomic Medicine

The following Genomic Medicine modules are available as CPD:


 2017/18 Modules

Module number Module name Start and end dates Contact days
HPDM035 An Introduction to Human Genetics and Genomics

27 Sept 2017 - 9 Nov 2017

4, 5, 18, 19 October 2017

HPDM035B An Introduction to Human Genetics and Genomics 3 Jan 2018 - 21 Feb 2018 Weds 10, 11, 30 and 31 Jan 2018
HPDM036 "Omics" Techniques and their Application to Genomic Medicine 1 Nov 2017 - 14 Dec 2017 8, 9 and 23 November 2017
HPDM037 Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases 17 Jan 2018 - 13 March 2018 7, 8 and 20 February 2018
HPDM038 Molecular Pathology of Cancer and Application in Cancer Diagnosis, Screening, and Treatment 29 Nov 2017 - 4 Jan 2018 6, 7 and 20 Dec  2017
HPDM039 Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Healthcare

8 May 2018 - 27 June 2018

15 and 16 May 2018, 6 June 2018 
BIOM567 Application of Genomics in Infectious Disease 4 April 18 - 23 May 2018 11 and 12 April 2018
HPDM041 Bioinformatics, Interpretation, Statistics and Data Quality Assurance 20 Feb 18 - 4 April 2018 27 and 28 Feb 2018, 14 March 2018
HPDM044 Ethical, Legal and Social Issues  18 Oct 2017 -28 Nov 2017 25, 26 Oct 2017, 7 Nov 2017
HPDM045 Counselling Skills for Genomics 16 Jan 2018 -  15 Feb 2018  23, 24, 25  Jan 2018 
HPDM046 Advanced Bioinformatics 1 May 2018 - 15 June 2018  8, 9, 30 May 2018
HPDM049 Epigenetics 16 May 2018  - 3 July 2018 23, 24 May 2018, 12 June 2018 
HDPM047 Work-based Learning in Genomics 13 Oct 2018 - 1 March 2018 20 October 2017, 19 Feb 2018
  Research project    

 

These can be taken as accredited or non-accredited awards. Each module can be valued at 15 credits (apart from the Research Project valued at either 30 or 60 credits). Full awards are: Pg Cert 60 credits, Pg Dip 120 credits, MSc 180 credits.

If you are applying for HEE funding then please apply for CPD online. Further individual modules are under development.

International students

International students are normally subject to visa regulations which prevent part-time study. It is recommended that International students apply for level of the final award you intend to complete i.e. PGCert, PGDip or Masters, due to the associated cost and requirements for a Tier 4 student visa.

How to apply

You can apply online for individual modules for CPD. You need to select the ‘modular’ option. We will then contact you to ask which module/s you would like to take. 

About CPD in the University of Exeter Medical School

University of Exeter Medical School offers a range of Continuing Professional Development opportunities with the aim to improve health outcomes in the region and to facilitate real change in the quality of clinical care and health for individuals and the wider community.

Our continuing professional development courses are inspired by research and triggered by the complex needs and priorities of local, national and global health and care systems. You can learn and develop with us through a range of focused short courses, workshops, and education days that will meet your continuing professional development needs.

For a full list of our Continuing Professional Development opportunities, please visit our CPD pages.

Travel and accommodation bursary

If you live further than 50 miles away from Exeter, you will be eligible for a travel and accommodation bursary of £100 per module. After you have been offered a place on the course, you will be asked whether you would like to be considered for this bursary.

Contact us

We are here to help you with specialist advice, guidance and support when you need a more individual service.

For further information please contact us at UEMS_CPD@exeter.ac.uk or 01392 722964.

Careers

The course is especially designed for healthcare professionals working within the National Health Service, to improve their capabilities and support career progression. It could be similarly beneficial for those working or aspiring to work in other healthcare systems.

Students who are not healthcare professionals would acquire knowledge, understanding and skills that should help them gain employment or PhD positions especially in the expanding fields of genomics, bioinformatics, or other medically-related research and development in either academia, pharmaceutical or biotech industries.

All University of Exeter students have access to Career Zone, which gives access to a wealth of business contacts, support and training as well as the opportunity to meet potential employers at our regular Careers Fairs

Entry requirements 2018/19

Standard entry: 

Normally a min 2.2 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Relevant clinical or professional expereince may be taken into consideration as evidence of equivalency.  The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

College entry: Individuals who don't meet the normal entry criteria but have relevant professional experience will also be welcomed on to this MSc programme. Qualifications and experience will be assessed on application and there will be opportunities for APL (Assessment of Prior Learning).

International students

International students are normally subject to visa regulations which prevent part-time study. It is recommended that international students apply for the level of the final award you intend to complete i.e. PGCert, PGDip or Masters, due to the associated cost and requirements for a Tier 4 student visa.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)
Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.
TOEFL IBT*

Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency

Overall score 176. No less than 169 in any section.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding 2018/19

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

For 2017/18, fees will be charged pro rata for UK/EU students. Fees are subject to an annual increment each academic year.

UK/EU
Full time: £8,200
Part time (over two years): £2,735 per year
CPD: £1,000 per 15 credit module

Credit bearing modules: If you opt to take a non-accredited module and wish to then fully accredit this with the University of Exeter, you will need to pass the assessed elements of the course within 6 months of completion and there is an additional £200 accreditation fee.

International
Full time: £20,100
CPD: £1550 per 15 credit module

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding

Health Education England funding

Health Education England (HEE) is offering to pay the tuition fees for eligible staff working for the NHS in England, to study for the MSc, PGDip or PGCert in Genomic Medicine (full-time or part-time). Further information about HEE funding is now available.

If you think you may qualify for HEE funding, you will need to follow a twin-track application process. You must apply directly via an application form to HEE to request funding. In parallel, you need to apply directly to the University for acceptance onto the course; click the Apply now link below which will take you to a choice of application forms for the different qualifications (MSc, PGDip, PGCert), alternative start dates, and modes of study (FT/PT/Flexible).

HEE will also fund eligible NHS staff to study individual modules as CPD. You can apply for HEE funding to take modules as CPD on the Health Education England website.

NHS Research Innovation and Improvement Capability Project funding

As part of the NHS Research Innovation and Improvement Capability Project there may be a limited number of funded places available on this programme for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals who work in the following areas:

  • Patients and clients with dementia
  • Meeting the needs of the frail elderly
  • Delivering care closer to home

To find out more visit the Health Education South West website.

Travel and accommodation bursary

If you live further than 50 miles away from Exeter, you will be eligible for a travel and accommodation bursary of £100 per module. After you have been offered a place on the course, you will be asked whether you would like to be considered for this bursary.

Global Excellence Scholarship

We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2018.

Contact us

Phone: +44 (0)1392 725500
Email: pg-ad@exeter.ac.uk

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About the MSc Genomic Medicine

Free online course: 'Genomic Medicine: Transforming Patient Care in Diabetes'

This free online course will introduce the topic of genomics, using the University of Exeter’s research expertise in diabetes, to illustrate the clinical application of current genomics knowledge.

Research degrees

If you would prefer a dissertation-based Masters rather than a taught and thesis Masters then this is available as the MSc by research: