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Postgraduate taught

PgCert Genomic Medicine (online)

UCAS code 1234
Duration 1 year part time
Entry year January 2021
September 2020

Programme Director: Dr Anna Murray 
Web: Enquire online 
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725500  

Entry requirements

2.2 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline

View full entry requirements



Discipline Healthcare and Medicine


  • Developed by Health Education England and is aligned with their vision to prepare the NHS for the legacy of the 100,000 Genomes Project
  • You will have the flexibility to combine modules from the traditional MSc with this fully online version
  • You will study a rich curriculum examining theory, research, policy and practice in the field of genomic medicine
  • You will learn from world-leading experts in cutting edge genomics, including; Epigenomics, clinical genome sequencing and  complex trait genetics
  • Funded places from Health Education England are available for a maximum of four 15 credit modules, the equivalent of a PG Certificate, for NHS professionals. More information

Apply online

Apply for May 2020 entry

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Dr Anna Murray talks describes the PgCert online in Genomic Medicine

83% of research in Clinical Medicine classified as world-leading or internationally excellent

Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3* 

Top 10 in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care

Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3* 

Learn from world-leading experts in genomics

Limited number of HEE funded places for NHS professionals

Entry requirements

Normally a min 2.2 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Relevant clinical or professional experience 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.

Entry requirements for international students

English language requirements

  • Pearson

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

Application deadline

1 May for international applicants and 17 July for Home/EU 

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).

Entry requirements for international students

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

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Course content

Enhance learning. Redefine patient care

  • Study Genomics fully online with world leading researchers
  • Practice in the clinical professions will be transformed by genomic technologies and information within the next decade.

Our innovative fully online programme can be studied either as individual modules or as a Postgraduate Certificate PgCert in Genomic Medicine.  This online programme has been developed from our successful and well-established MSc Genomic Medicine, as part of the ambitious 100,000 Genomes Project. There is also the flexibility to combine modules from the traditional MSc with this fully online version.

These options for online study are designed to equip you with the skills to succeed in a wide variety of contexts. The modules offer a rich curriculum examining theory, research, policy and practice in the field of genomic medicine, and provide a unique student experience, where you will gain an insight into applying genomic medicine for patient benefit.

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.

Due to increased interest we will be delivering our Online Fundamentals in Human Genetics and Genomics module again from 18th May. This can be studied as an individual module, or as part of the PG Certificate, leading into the remaining modules taking place this year and into 2021.

Module Delivery dates

 View module delivery dates‌ (Please note: these dates are draft and subject to change)


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.

Course variants

Individual modules can also be studied.


Fees are subject to an annual increment each academic year.

UK/EU: £3000 (1 year)
International: £5,500 (1 year)

Credit bearing modules

UK/EU: £800 per 15-credit module
International: £1,400 per 15-credit module

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.

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 £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for NHS professionals

Funded places from Health Education England are available for a maximum of four modules for NHS professionals. View the Genomics HEE funding application form for more information and to apply for funding

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.

Pro Vice Chancellor's NHS Postgraduate Scholarship

The University of Exeter Medical School is delighted to offer the Pro Vice Chancellor's NHS Postgraduate Scholarship of £5000 to two NHS staff who accept a place to study on one of our Masters programmes enrolling in 2020.

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 2020.

Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.

Teaching and research

How you will learn

Using a mix of learning formats, our modules each run over a five week period which you can work at your own pace. You’ll be learning through an exciting mixture of video, animations, quizzes, tasks and webinars. You will be supported by the module lead, a personal tutor, peer discussion forums and you will have full support from allocated module-specific online tutors.

The online discussion and tutoring discussions will work within this timeframe. This will be followed by an additional three weeks where you can complete the module summative assessment.


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.

Your online learning is delivered through a virtual learning environment, delivering a library of study materials including virtual patients and independent learning tasks, reference materials and links to online tutorials.

View module delivery dates.

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.


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 animations 'From DNA to protein' and 'From DNA to protein (flash)' showing how information encoded in DNA results in the production of proteins (2).
    • The animation describing how DNA is packaged (1).
    • The page defining complex disease and single nucleotide polymorphisms (6).
    • The page defining inheritance, genotype and phenotype (3).
    • The glossary of commonly used words in genetics and genomics.
  • 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).

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The course is especially designed for healthcare professionals across the world, to improve their capabilities, their ability to work across international healthcare systems and within healthcare related industry and to support career progression.

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.

Careers support

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