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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MSci (Hons) Medical Sciences (Human Genomics)

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSci (Hons) Medical Sciences (Human Genomics) Programme codeUFX4EMSBIO01
Study mode(s) Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)St Luke's (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

Our Medical Sciences programme provides a firm foundation in the core biomedical and biomolecular sciences, alongside an insight into medical practice and the biotechnologies used to prevent, test and diagnose disorders and treat patients. To achieve this, the first part of the programme explores the bioscience advances underpinning the advancement of modern medical practice and gives you a wide ranging insight into how the human body normally works. We study this through focused small-group sessions designed to explore key scientific concepts and systems presented in the form of triggers. The style of trigger varies week by week but will include authentic patient-based clinical case studies, current media-worthy medical science breakthroughs and extracts from research papers. We then build on this foundation to see how things can go wrong in the body due to disease and how normal function might be restored. In this way you will develop a holistic understanding of human health that you can put into practice in a clinical setting as well as robust research skills, plus creative and inquisitive communication, leadership, critical appraisal and problem solving skills. All students complete the same first year regardless of whether you choose BSc. Medical Sciences with or without one of our four specialist Medical Science pathways (Neuroscience, Human Genomics, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Health Research), or MSci Medical Sciences (Human Genomics).

This programme is for students on the UG Medical Sciences degree who wish to take the Human Genomics pathway.  The fourth year consists of 120 credits at level 7of the MSc in Genomics Medicine.  This programme is only available to current BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences students and you may only transfer onto this programme at the end of Stage 2 if you have achieved a credit-weighted stage average of at least 60% in Stage 2 and have passed the relevant modules, otherwise you will be required to continue on the three year BSc programme.

Research in Genomics is a growing area in research and establishing itself in the strategy. Students on the programme will be learning at the forefront of evolving knowledge, understanding and clinical application in genomic medicine. The curriculum content for the final year is based on that required by HEE and our innovative delivery format has been designed to provide a rich and varied approach towards learning, teaching and assessment; ensuring that the diverse needs of the student cohorts are addressed. This approach means that each student will have the unique opportunity to make a personal and significant contribution though active engagement and appreciative enquiry, so facilitating the transformational process that is required for the NHS workforce. In doing so the students will belong to an inspiring and challenging community in which the ‘Exeter Experience’ will be pivotal to their success.

 

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The programme introduces you to a foundation in the Medical Sciences, and subsequently enhances this competence and the development of intellectual capabilities within an institution that is committed to advancing research, scholarship and learning, and to disseminating knowledge. With this in mind, and underpinned by core biomedical sciences, successful students will develop a holistic understanding of social, health and environmental factors that impact human health and how new scientific discoveries across these areas are translated into practice to benefit front-line clinicians, their multidisciplinary teams and ultimately their patients.

 At the undergraduate level of study this programme aims to: 

  • Develop skilled, creative and inquisitive graduates who are well prepared for successful graduate-level employment (e.g. in research to improve the health of individuals and the community by “translating” findings into diagnostic tools, medicines, procedures, policies and education etc);
  • Provide you with knowledge and understanding of translating science into clinical practice, from the fundamentals to the frontiers of the subject;
  • Provide you with the basic scientific, intellectual, and practical training that will prepare you for lifelong learning, demanded by today’s competitive professional environment worldwide;
  • Offer you the opportunity to develop a more detailed understanding of the discipline by specialising in an area linked to the Medical School’s international research strengths;
  • Enable you to experience a supportive learning environment that fosters evidence-based academic and reflective personal development.

 At the Master’s level of study the educational aims are to:

  • Provide you with a ‘clinician-researcher’ led environment of multi-disciplinary learning and the sharing of ideas, perspectives and experiences related to real-world scenarios;
  • Inspire you to consider solutions to complex issues through the involvement of: patients and the public, clinicians, researchers, ethicists and bioinformaticians, employers, organisational collaborators and national partners;
  • Support your development through a phased engagement with the fundamentals of genomic medicine through to science at the forefront of the discipline ;
  • Enable you to analyse, synthesise, evaluate and reflect on the translation of research evidence into clinical practice with an emphasis on patient safety and care , and
  • Provide opportunities through assessed tasks to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

The programme has been designed to be flexible and well-defined with two or three integrated and core modules (each 15 Masters level credits), seven optional modules, plus a research project. A blended approach to learning will be achieved through online learning, taught sessions, bespoke tutorials, laboratory visits and practical exercises. All learning will be supported by online resources and moderated activities on the University of Exeter’s electronic learning environment (ELE). Expert tutors and guest lecturers will represent an appropriately diverse range of expertise from clinical and research backgrounds that of patients and the wider public. 

4. Programme Structure

Your MSci Medical Sciences (Human Genomics) programme is a four year programme of study with the final stage at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). The programme is also divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site:

http://www.exeter.ac.uk/undergraduate/degrees/medicalsci/medicalsci/#Programme-structure

You may take Optional Modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site.

You may take Optional Modules up to 30 credits outside of the programme in stage 2 of the programme as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

Please be aware that some modules on this programme may run outside of standard term times and will occasionally be scheduled over weekends due to planning and operational requirements of the programme.

Stage 1


Year 1 (Stage 1)

In your first year you will explore the science that underpins the advancement of modern medical practice. The emphasis is on understanding the normal functioning of the human body, from enzymes through to whole biological systems. Without this core knowledge of how the body works, it would be impossible for us, as scientists, to devise the new diagnostic tests, drugs or treatments that will best benefit patients.

Alongside traditional lectures, tutorials and laboratory practicals, you will engage in small group work where you are given the freedom to explore a scientific topic under the expert guidance of one of our tutors (in the Integrated Human Physiology module). Your core laboratory skills will be developed through laboratory-based practicals that run alongside and support your other sessions. Some sessions also involve a doctor, scientist and patient to explore key clinical cases from three different perspectives.

You will begin to compile your Personal Development and Professionalism Portfolio, in which you chart your progress from a new student to a professional individual ready for the world of employment. You will do this by analysing your academic performance and the frequent feedback offered by the school to identify opportunities for personal and professional development to help you achieve your career goals. Support for your academic progress and career planning is provided by your Personal Tutor and through various workshops and training sessions.

Support for your academic progress and career planning is provided by your Academic Tutor. Additionally, training and support is provided through various workshops and seminars organised by the Programme’s Academic Lead for Careers and Employability within the compulsory core module, Fundamental Skills for Medical Scientists (CSC1004, 30 credits) and the non-credit-bearing modules, Academic Tutor Group and Employability (CSC1909 and CSC1905). Some of these sessions are delivered by the dedicated Careers Consultant assigned to the Faculty. At this level, you will begin to compile your Personal Development and Professionalism portfolio, a collection of work and feedback that documents your development into a highly employable, skilled graduate.

Please note that successful completion of the University’s training on Academic Honesty and Plagiarism, within the CSC1004 module, is compulsory in order for you to progress to Stage 2 of study. In order to pass, you must achieve at least 80% on the assessment, but you may attempt the assessment as many times as is necessary.

You will also receive lectures and information during Stage 1 to preview different specialist pathways available to inform your choice in Year 2 if you decide to study a topic in more depth.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
CSC1005 Integrated Human Physiology 30No
CSC1004 Fundamental Skills for Medical Scientists 30No
BIO1332 Biochemistry 15No
BIO1334 Genetics 15No
BIO1337 Microbiology 15No
BIO1339 Cells 15No

Stage 2


Year 2 (Stage 2)

The second year focuses on the scientific basis of important diseases, beginning with some fundamental insights into the ways in which human biology goes awry in disease. This knowledge is then used to explore how cutting-edge scientific technologies can be exploited to advance disease diagnosis and treatment. 

Within a variety of learning environments, including lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory practicals and small group learning, you will have opportunities to investigate and debate how disease develops and how healthcare can be improved. Key aspects of applied research are explored, including clinical research methods and its design and setting within healthcare environments. Your understanding of these areas develops through a variety of hands-on learning opportunities which enhance your practical research skills and knowledge of contemporary medical research issues.

If you wish to pursue the BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences (Human Genomics) Pathway and be able to transfer on to the MSci Medical Sciences (Human Genomics) at the end of Stage 2, you are required to take 75 credits of compulsory modules, tabulated below.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
CSC2012 Disease, Diagnostics and Therapeutics 30No
CSC2023 Experimental Design and Statistics 30No
CSC2004 Medical Genetics 15No

Optional Modules

If you wish to transfer to the MSci Medical Sciences (Human Genomics) programme after Stage 2, you must take 45 credits of optional modules, at least 15 credits of which must be from the Biosciences options (and 30 credits of Biosciences must be taken in total in second and final year).

In order to be eligible to graduate with an MSci Medical Sciences (Human Genomics), you must have passed (not condoned) at least 90 credits in the discipline, including those optional modules required for the pathway. Students for whom this is not the case will still be able to graduate with BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences, provided that the required number of overall credits (including condoned modules) is met. Specialist designation of all modules, projects, dissertations etc. will be confirmed by the University of Exeter Medical School and may be granted, withdrawn or amended by accordingly.

If you wish to enhance the depth of your knowledge and skills in the specialism of Medical Genetics, you may wish to consider optional modules BIO2089 (Molecular Biology of the Gene) and/or BIO2092 (Genomics and Introductory Bioinformatics) at Stage Two.

Additional notes:

a You may only take one of these three optional modules: CSC2020 Coding for Medical Scientists and BIO2101 Advanced Microbiology

b You may only take one of these two optional modules: NEU1006 Introduction to Neuroscience and BIO2092 Genomics and Intro. Bioinformatics

 

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BIO2088 Advanced Cell Biology 15No
BIO2089 Molecular Biology of the Gene 15No
BIO2092 Genomics and Introductory Bioinformatics (see note b)15No
BIO2101 Advanced Microbiology (see note a)15No
CSC2005 Introduction to Pharmacology 15No
CSC2020 Coding for Medical Scientists (see note a)15No
CSC2025 Decolonising Medicine, An Introduction 15No
NEU1006 Introduction to Neuroscience (see note b)15No
CSC2026 The Biology of Cancer (see note a)15No
CSC2027 Experimental Pharmacology (see note b)15No

Stage 3


Year 3 (Stage 3)

To transfer and progress to Stage 3 you must achieve a credit-weighted stage average of at least 60% in Stage 2, otherwise you will be required to continue on the relevant three year BSc programme.

In your final year you have opportunities to study and undertake research to help improve current medical knowledge and practice. In addition to the core modules, you can select from a range of optional specialist advanced modules, enabling you to tailor your degree to match your own specific interests and career ambitions. 

You will look at authentic and complex clinical case scenarios and, working as a team, apply evidence-based scientific theory and explore emerging new health technologies to help improve patient health. During this year, you will undertake a clinical/medical research project, closely supervised by an expert research professional.

You will complete your Personal Development and Professionalism Portfolio. Support will be provided to help you consider your career options and help consolidate your CV and interview technique.

If you wish to continue on the MSci Medical Sciences (Human Genomics) programme, you are required to complete 120 credits at Stage 3, made up of 45 credits of compulsory modules, including the 15 credit compulsory pathway module CSC3011 (Medical Genomics); you must also select 45 credits from either CSC3028 or CSC3029 and, at least 15 credits must be selected from the pathway-specific optional modules CSC3009 (Pharmacogenomics) and BIO3092 (Bioinformatics).  The remaining 15 credits may be chosen from the optional modules from the table below, and those developed and advertised annually on the Medical Sciences webpages. Enrolment on optional modules will be conditional on your having completed any required prerequisite modules at Stages Two.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
CSC3019 Translational Medical Science 30No
CSC3011 Medical Genomics 15No

Optional Modules

Additional notes:

a You must take one of these modules. You will initially be allocated to CSC3028, then transferred onto CSC3029 if appropriate following the project allocation process.

b You may only take one of these two optional modules: CSC3018 Health Economics and BIO3086 Cell Biology of Disease

c You may only take one of these two optional modules: CSC3009 Pharmacogenomics and BIO3078 Cellular Basis of Immunity

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
CSC3028 Medical Sciences Literature Review (see note a)45Yes
CSC3029 Medical Sciences Research Project (see note a)45Yes
CSC3009 Pharmacogenomics (see note c)15No
BIO3092 Bioinformatics 15No
BIO3041 Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry 15No
BIO3078 Cellular Basis of Immunity (see note c)15No
BIO3086 Cell Biology of Disease (see note b)15No
CSC3018 Health Economics (see note b)15No
CSC3010 Rational Drug Design 15No
CSC3024 Health Technology Assessment 15No
CSC3031 Applied Data Science 15No

Stage 4


In Year 4 (Stage 4) students must take 120 credits from the modules listed below including either HPDM042 Research Project (60 credits) or HPDM043 Research Project (Literature) (30 credits). Where students have taken CSC3028 at Stage 3 we recommend they opt for HPDM042 at Stage 4. 

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
HPDM036 Omics Techniques and their Application to Genomic Medicine 15No
HPDM041 Bioinformatics, Interpretation and Data Quality Assurance in Genome Analysis 15No
HPDM037 Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases 15No

Optional Modules

Additional notes:

Students who have taken CSC3009 Pharmacogenomics in Year 3 (Stage 3) may not take the module HPDM039 Pharmacogenomics in Year 4 (Stage 4)

b Students selecting this module must also do HPDM044

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
HPDM042 Research Project - Data 60Yes
HPDM043 Research Project - Literature 30Yes
BIOM567 Application of Genomics in Infectious Disease 15No
HPDM038 Molecular Pathology of Cancer and Application in Cancer Diagnosis, Screening and Treatment 15No
HPDM039 Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Healthcare (see note a)15No
HPDM045 Counselling Skills for Genomics (see note b)15No
HPDM044 Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Applied Genomics 15No
HPDM049 Epigenetics in Human Health and Diseases 15No
HPDM046 Advanced Bioinformatics 15No
HPDM088 Health Economic Evaluation in Genomics 15No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate a depth and breadth of awareness of knowledge that is at the forefront of the discipline and a critical understanding of application to own area of practice
2. Select appropriate Omics technologies to address specific clinical and research needs
3. Use appropriate statistical and bioinformatics methods with insight as to their interpretation and application to practice
4. Demonstrate breadth of theoretical and conceptual knowledge of Genomic Medicine research by applying alternative models from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds
5. Propose a feasible plan to implement and evaluate evidence-based practice based on an understanding of the influences of attitudes, behaviours and contexts

The course will be delivered in a blended fashion including: Face2face contact days, web-based learning, lectures, seminars, workshops, master-classes, specialist tutorials, practical sessions, resource gathering and in-depth reading, preparation and writing of assignments.

  1. Critical appraisal of relevant literature –ILOs 1+4
  2. Short answer test – ILOs 1-4
  3. Analysis and interpretation of statistical and/or bioinformatics data – ILOs 2+3
  4. Case based studies ILO 5
  5. Portfolio – ILOs 1-5
  6. Objective structured genomic examination – ILOs 1+2+4+5
  7. Research proposal – ILOs 1-5
  8. Dissertation (supervised project) – ILOs 1-5

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Apply analytical skills to investigate and test new hypotheses
2. Integrate information from a variety of sources to construct a coherent thesis on a scientific topic
3. Construct hypotheses pertinent to the experimental exploration of topical questions in the field of medical genomic
4. Evaluate the significance of experimental results in the context of previous work
5. Summarise and disseminate information including test results in oral and written forms to colleagues, patients and the public
6. Critically evaluate the published literature with respect to the patient and carer perspective of genomic medicine

The course will be delivered in a blended fashion including: Face2face contact days, web-based learning, lectures, seminars, workshops, master-classes, specialist tutorials, practical sessions, resource gathering and in-depth reading, preparation and writing of assignments.

  1. Critical appraisal of relevant literature –ILOs 2+3+4+6
  2. Short answer test – ILOs 1+4+5
  3. Case based studies ILO 5
  4. Portfolio – ILOs 1-6
  5. Objective structured genomic examination – ILOs 1-6
  6. Research proposal – ILOs 1-6
  7. Dissertation (supervised project) – ILOs 1-6

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Critically appraise and analyse the scientific literature on relevant subject and the ability to judge and interpret findings
2. Engage and communicate effectively with diverse communities including the lay public and professionals involved in research and clinical practice
3. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility
4. Make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
5. Learn independently as part of a commitment to continuing professional development

The course will be delivered in a blended fashion including: Face2face contact days, web-based learning, lectures, seminars, workshops, master-classes, specialist tutorials, practical sessions, resource gathering and in-depth reading, preparation and writing of assignments.

  1. Critical appraisal of relevant literature –ILOs 1+5
  2. Short answer test – ILOs 5
  3. Analysis and interpretation of statistical and/or bioinformatics data – ILOs 2+5
  4. Case based studies ILO 1-5
  5. Portfolio – ILOs 1-5
  6. Objective structured genomic examination – ILOs 1-5
  7. Research proposal – ILOs 1-5
  8. Dissertation (supervised project) – ILOs 1-5

7. Programme Regulations

Assessment and Awards

UG Programmes: Assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. The award will normally be based on the degree mark formed from the credit weighted average marks for stages 2,3 and 4 combined in the ratio 2:3:4 respectively.

PGT Programme: Each module will include both formative and summative elements (please refer to the module descriptors). Formative assessment will involve opportunities for discussion and feedback from peers and tutors. The summative assessment element for each module will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the intended learning outcomes. Elements of assessment will include:

•           Development of Knowledge and Understanding

•           Cognitive and Intellectual skills

•           Key/Transferable Skills

Detailed and specific marking criteria for each assignment will be made available through the University’s electronic learning environment (ELE, http://as.exeter.ac.uk/it/systems/ele/ ) and will be clearly articulated to students throughout the modules. The overall pass mark for all modules is 50% (including the Research Project).  Where module assessment involves more than one element of coursework, a student is required to achieve over 50% when both elements are combined in the appropriate ratio.

Classification

The marking of modules and the classification of awards broadly corresponds to the following marks:

Undergraduate Degrees                                        Postgraduate Degrees

Class I    70% +                                                        Distinction   70%+

Class II   Division I 60-69%                                      Merit            60-69%

Class II   Division II 50-59%                                      Pass           50-59%

Class III  40-49%

Full details of assessment regulations for UG programmes and PGT programmes assessment regulations can be found in the Teaching Quality Assurance Manual (TQA) on the University of Exeter website. Generic marking criteria are also published here.

Please see the Teaching and Quality Assurance Manual for further guidance.

Classification

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The Programme Director will have oversight of the types of support needed as you progress through the programme. The role of academic tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. Academic tutors for each module will be available to support your studies and facilitate the distance learning elements of the module. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Resources: A Programme Handbook will be provided which includes information about the structure of the programme, learning resources available, assessment methods, criteria, and regulations and student support services. All modules will be supported by the University of Exeter’s ‘Exeter Learning Environment' (ELE). Each module has an ELE page and discussion board for information, announcements and resources. ELE also hosts library links, including a list of electronic journals held by the University of Exeter. There is a page called Library and Research Skills, where you will find a whole host of additional resources to support you in the development of your writing skills, reading skills, generic research skills and study strategies.

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

10. Admissions Criteria

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs), but this is not currently applicable for this programme.

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MSci (Hons) Medical Sciences (Human Genomics)

19. UCAS Code

Not applicable to this programme.

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

480

ECTS credits

240

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date Date of last revision

08/02/2018