Genetics of Human Disease MSc

The Genetics of Human Disease MSc aims to provide scientists and clinicians with an in-depth knowledge of the role of genetics in human disease and how this can be applied to improve healthcare through the development and application of diagnostic tests and therapeutic agents.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

£12,980 (FT)
£24,410 (FT)

Application deadlines

UK/EU applicants:
31 July 2015
Overseas applicants:
30 June 2015
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.

Entry Requirements

Normally, a minimum of an upper-second class UK Bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences, life sciences or related subject area, or a medical degree (MBBS), or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with an appropriate professional qualification and relevant work experience may also apply.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

The programme provides a thorough grounding in modern approaches to the understanding of the genetics of disease. Core courses provide a broad coverage of the genetics of disease, research skills and social aspects, whilst specialised courses and the research project allow more in-depth analysis in areas of genetics.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, five core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits), full-time nine months is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, four core modules (60 credits), full-time three months is offered.

Core Modules

  • Advanced Human Genetics: Research Principles
  • Human Genetics in Context
  • Understanding Bioinformatic Resources and their Applications
  • Core Skills
  • Basic Statistics for Medical Sciences


  • Genetics of Cardiovascular Related Complex Diseases
  • Genetics of Neurological Diseases
  • Statistics for Interprting Genetic Data
  • Clinical Application of Pharmacogenetic Tests


Students undertake an original research project investigating topical questions in genetics which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words and an oral presentation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials, and will draw together cross-departmental teaching from Biosciences, Medicine, Epidemology and Statistics. Student performance is assessed through coursework, unseen examination and the research project.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Genetics of Human Disease MSc


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)- NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

GREAT-UCL India Scholarship

£10,000 (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on academic merit

MSc Genetics of Human Disease - UGI Masters Prize Scholarships

£2,000 (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on financial need

MSc in Genetics of Human Disease - Masters Excellence Scholarship

UK/EU Fees plus stipend (1)
UK, EU students

MSc in Pharmacogenetics & Stratified Medicine - UGI Masters Prize Scholarships

£2,000 (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on financial need

MSc Neuroscience Departmental Scholarship

£2,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


Students emerge well-versed in the different tools and scientific disciplines which will allow them to make full use of the wide ranging genetic discoveries that have happened over the past decade and will increasingly inform our understanding of human biology and disease. This positions them well for studentships in laboratories using genetic techniques to examine diseases such as heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders. Another large group will seek research jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, where advanced training in laboratory genetic techniques as well as bioinformatic and statistical experience will be of value.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Junior Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Lithuania (2012)
  • Research Lab Specialist, University of Southern California (2012)
  • PhD Student, UCL, London (2012)
  • Paediatric Surgeon, NHS Leeds Teaching Hospital (2012)
  • Laboratory Technologist, Great Ormond Street Hospital, NHS Trust (2011)


The MSc in Genetics of Human Disease facilitates acquisitions of knowledge and skills relevant to the career in research in many different biomedical disciplines. Some of our numerous graduates, who are now employed in many coutries around the world, have entered careers in academia, industry, education and medicine. About half of our graduates enter a research career by undertaking and completing PhDs and working as a research associates/scientists in academia. Some of our graduates go on to jobs in pharmaceutical industry, while others enter careers with clinical genetic diagnosis services, particularly in molecular genetics, in healthcare organisations such as hospitals. Those of our graduates with a prior medical training often utilise their new skills in careers as clinical geneticists.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Division of Biosciences is one of the largest and most active research environments for basic biological research in the UK. UCL is in a unique position to offer both the basic science and application of modern genetics to improve human health. The prohramme is a cross-faculty initiative with teaching from across UCL; these being the Faculties of Life Sciences, Population & Health Sciences, Brain Sciences and Medical Sciences.

Students will be based at the UCL Genetics Institute (UGI) which is a world-leading centre which develops and applies Biostatistical and Bioinformatic approaches to human and population genetics. Opportunities to conduct laboratory or computational based research projects are available in the laboratories of world-leading geneticists affiliated to the UGI.

The UGI conducts internationally recognised research in the field of human genetics and aims to apply this expertise to the education of graduate students.

Student / staff ratios › 178 staff › 121 taught students › 289 research students

Department: Division of Biosciences

Degree reviews

Student review

"UCL has a lot of facilities that make your educational journey very interesting. The state-of-the-art laboratories, the interactive and scenario-based learning methods, the libraries and the location of the school in the heart of London made it even more amazing than I could ever hope for!"

Anood Sohail

Genetics of Human Disease MSc
Student review

"Learning at UCL has been one unique experience. The fact that the teaching encompasses real research experiences and current practical problems in the domain of genetics has enabled me to get an insight into what I call as 'real science'. The emphasis is not simply on 'knowing' what exists, but goes much more beyond in exploring, questioning and giving birth to new ideas. The appreciation of one's ideas and the encouragement to go beyond the conventional makes the course a highly desirable one."

Namrata Saha

Genetics of Human Disease MSc
Student review

"UCL is a leading university in this field, it was the obvious choice to further my education. In addition to this the campus is in a prime location for exploring London."

William Baird

Genetics of Human Disease MSc

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students who wish to do a PhD in genetics of human disease or related subjects, those who wish to convert from disciplines such as Statistics or Computing and those who wish to enter employment in an advanced capacity in industry or the public sector in the field of Human Genetics.

Application deadlines

UK/EU applicants
31 July 2015
Overseas applicants
30 June 2015

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study Genetics of Human Disease at graduate level
  • why you want to study Genetics of Human Disease at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic, personal and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact Information


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