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 programme has been developed by Health Education England and is 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 seven 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.

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, 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 PG 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. Information on the modules offered is given on the ‘Structure’ tab.

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 study options, please select your programme.

Funding for NHS professionals

There are a limited number of HEE funded places for NHS professionals and applications will be made via the HEE website.

HEE funding, however, does not guarantee a place on this academic programme at the University of Exeter. This will be decided through the standard university application, plus an informal discussion for those students choosing a PG Certificate, PG Diploma or full MSc.

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.

Awards

The programme structure allows you to study for one of three awards in Genomic Medicine depending on the number of credits you successfully complete:

  • MSc – 180 credits to include the core modules described below
  • Postgraduate Diploma – 120 credits
  • Postgraduate Certificate – 60 credits

Structure

The full MSc course comprises 180 credits made up from seven core modules: six 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 180 credits required.

The PG Diploma comprises 120 credits made up of any modules of your choice.

The PG Certificate comprises 60 credits made up of any modules of your choice.

Individual modules can be studied and either be assessed or taken for continued professional and personal development (CPPD). The CPPD route carries no credits but requires full attendance.

The Credit in Genomic Medicine route programme offers can consist of a maximum of 45 credits in any three modules of your choice.

View diagram of award structure

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. Please note, the January start date will be based on a minimum number of entrants joining.

You can study part-time by taking modules over two rather than one year, but each module runs for the same time period and requires the same work commitment for both full time and part time students. Part time study allows students to spread the modules over a longer period to fit your study around your other commitments.

Core Modules for MSc

Mandatory Core Modules:

Module number Module name Start and end dates Contact days
HPDM082A Fundamentals in Human Genetics & Genomics 27 Sept to 23 Nov 2018  4 Oct & 5 Oct and
18 Oct & 19 Oct 2018
HPDM082B Fundamentals in Human Genetics and Genomics* 9 Jan - 7 March 2018
*Will only run subject to sufficient attendees
16 & 11 Jan and 30 & 31 Jan 2019
HPDM036 "Omics" Techniques and their Application to Genomic Medicine  1 Nov 2018 to 11 Jan 2019 8 Nov & 9 Nov and 23 Nov 2018
HPDM041 Bioinformatics, Interpretation, Statistics and Data Quality Assurance  20 Feb to 18 April 2019 27 & 28 Feb and 14 March 2019 
HPDM042/043 Research projects (60 or 30 credits) 7 Jan to 23 August 2019  14 March 2019


Elective Core Modules (you must pick at least three):

Module number Module name Start and end dates Contact days
HPDM037 Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases  30 Jan to 27 March 2019 6 & 7 Feb and 20 Feb 2019       
HPDM038 Molecular Pathology of Cancer and Application in Cancer Diagnosis, Screening, and Treatment  29 Nov 2018 to 07 Feb 2019 6 Dec & 7 Dec and 20 Dec 2018
HPDM039 Pharmacogenomics 8 May to 11 July 2019 15 & 16 May and 6 June 2019
BIOM567 Application of Genomics in Infectious Disease  16 April to 12 June 2019 23 & 24 April and 8 May 2019


Optional Modules:

Module number Module name Start and end dates Contact days
HPDM048 Professional Research Skills   10 Dec 2018 to 11 Feb 2019

17 & 18 Dec 2018 and 7 Jan 2019

HPDM044 Ethical, Legal and Social Issues  8 Nov to 14 Jan 2019 15 Nov and 16 Nov
HPDM045 Introduction to the Counselling Skills used in Genomic Medicine 15 Jan to 28 Feb 2019 22 & 23 & 24 Jan 2019
HPDM046 Advanced Bioinformatics  2 May to 2 July 2019 9 & 10 May and 28 May 2019
HPDM049 Epigenetics  14 May to 18 July 2019 21 & 22 May /
13 June
HPDM047 Work-based Learning in Genomics   18 Oct 2018 to 1 March 2019

29 Oct 2018 and 13 Feb 2019 

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

Genomics teaching at Exeter

Using a mix of learning formats, our modules each run over a 6-8 week period and include three days' intensive face-to-face teaching, interspersed with distance learning and independent study.

The Fundamentals 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 focused, 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 recordings of all live lectures, virtual patients and independent learning tasks, reference materials and links to online tutorials.

There is an opportunity to undertake a research module either using genomic data from either the 100,000 Genomes project or our in-house data, or a literature-based dissertation.

What you will gain

Students who complete the programme will gain an in-depth understanding of the current state of genomics knowledge and how it will bring benefit to patients through improved diagnosis and personalised treatment, and how to 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
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
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 

2108/2019 Modules

Module number Module name Start and end dates Contact days
HPDM082A Fundamentals in Human Genetics and Genomics

27 Sept  - 23 Nov 2018

4 Oct & 5 Oct  and 
18 Oct & 19 Oct 2018
HPDM082B Fundamentals in Human Genetics and Genomics* 9 Jan - 7 March 2018
*Will only run subject to sufficient attendees
16 & 11 Jan and 30 & 31 Jan 2019
HPDM036 Omics Techniques and their Application to Genomic Medicine 1 Nov 2018 - 11 Jan 2019 8 Nov & 9 Nov and 23 Nov 2018
HPDM037 Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases 30 Jan 2019 -  27 March 2019 6 & 7 Feb and 20 Feb 2019
HPDM038 Molecular Pathology of Cancer and Application in Cancer Diagnosis, Screening and Treatment 29 Nov 2018 - 07 Feb 2019 6 Dec & 7 Dec and 20 Dec 2018

HPDM039 Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Healthcare 8 May - 11 July 2019 15 & 16 May and 6 June 2019
BIOM567 Application of Genomics in Infectious Disease 16 April - 12 June 2019 23 & 24 April and 8 May 2019
HPDM041 Bioinformatics, Interpretation, Statistics and Data Quality Assurance 20 Feb - 18 April 2019 27 & 28 Feb + 14 March 2019
HPDM044 Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in applied genomics  8 Nov - 14 Jan 2019 15 Nov & 16 Nov and
10 Dec 2018
HPDM045 Introduction to the Counselling Skills used in Genomic Medicine 15 Jan - 28 Feb 2019  22 and 23 and 24 Jan 2019
HPDM046 Advanced Bioinformatics  2 May - 2 July 2019  9 & 10 May and 28 May 2019
HPDM047 Work-based Learning in Genomics 18 Oct 2018 - 1 March 2019 29 Oct 2018 and
13 Feb 2019
HPDM048 Professional and Research Skills 10 Dec 2018 - 11 Feb 2019 17 & 18 Dec 2018 and
7 Jan 2019
HPDM049 Epigenetics 14 May -  18 July 2019 21 & 22 May /
13 June
HPDM042/043 Research Projects 7 Jan to 23 August 2019 14 March 2019

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 via our online form or telephone 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: £10,000
Part time (over two years): £5,000 per year
CPD: £835 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: £1,675 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


Funding for NHS professionals

There are a limited number of HEE funded places for NHS professionals and applications will be made via the HEE website.

HEE funding, however, does not guarantee a place on this academic programme at the University of Exeter. This will be decided through the standard university application, plus an informal discussion for those students choosing a PG Certificate, PG Diploma or full MSc.

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
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About the MSc Genomic Medicine

Flexible learning in Genomics

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: