MSc Genetics of Human Disease

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

This one year full time course, led by directors Professors Steve Humphries, Andres Ruiz-Linares and Gudrun Moore, will draw together cross-departmental teaching (Biology, Medicine, Psychology, Anthropology and Statistics) providing a thorough grounding in modern approaches to the understanding of the genetics of disease.

The core modules provide a broad coverage of the genetics of disease, research skills and social aspects, whilst four optional modules allow a more in depth analysis of two or more specialised subject areas.

Why UCL?

UCL (University College London) is one of the world's top 5 Universities and one of Europe’s largest and most productive centres of biomedical science.  UCL is in a unique position to offer both the basic science and application of genetics to improve human health, including multi-disciplinary outreach across the college. UCL Genetics Institute (UGI) conducts internationally recognised research in the field of human genetics and wishes to utilise all opportunities to apply this expertise to the education of graduate students. Students will be based at UGI which is a world-leading centre with multi-disciplinary outreach across the UCL campus, developing and applying Biostatistical and Bioinformatic approaches to human and population genetics. 

Who is the Programme For?

The programme is suitable for students who wish to undertake a higher research degree such as a PhD in human genetics, or those who wish to convert from other relevant disciplines such as Statistics or Computing and those who wish to enter employment in an advanced capacity in industry or the public section in the field of Human Genetics.

What are the Career Prospects?

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 an advanced training in laboratory genetic techniques as well as bioinformatic and statistical experience will be of value.

The MSc in Genetics of Human Disease programme is offered full-time over 12 months. It is divided into three parts:
compulsory core modules, optional modules and a dissertation project.

MSc students will take five core modules and choose one optional module

A Postgraduate Diploma (total 120 credits) comprising of four core modules (60 credits) and two optional modules (30 credits) is available.

A Postgraduate Certificate (total 60 credits) comprising of four core modules is available.

Core Modules

Optional Modules


This is the practical part of the programme and will consist of an original piece of research. Assessment of these courses will be by an oral presentation and a written dissertation.

We are able to offer exciting state of the art in-silico biostatistical/computational based projects which allow students to learn cutting edge methods to analyse
sequence data.  This will open up a number of career options as these
skills are currently in high demand in academia and industry.

An MSc will be awarded on satisfactory completion of the compulsory modules, one of three optional modules and a dissertation based on an original piece of work of research.

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. Applicants should be confident using computers and show some evidence of numeracy (minimum GCSE Mathematics or statistics or a module with a good mark in their degree). 

For further information all prospective students should see our Graduate Prospectus

International Students

The Institute welcomes applications from international students.  Students whose first language is not English, are required to provide evidence of their ability to understand and speak and write English to a standard that will ensure that language problems do not impede their academic progress. UCL accepts a number of qualifications including the British Council International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

UCL's Language Centre offers both a one-year full-time Certificate in English for Special Purposes and a range of pre-sessional English Language Courses for those who do not meet UCL's minimum standard.

The International Office is a centre of expertise and advice for overseas students, who are welcome to seek help or guidance in many areas such as immigration, housing, finance, English Language, tuition and fees.


Application should be submitted directly to UCL admissions.  

The closing dates for the 2015-16 session are: 

for UK/EU students is 31 July 2015 (to be confirmed)

for overseas students is 30 June 2015 (to be confirmed).

There is a maximum of 20 students accepted onto the program per year.


Student Tuition fee details can be found on our Student Fee Schedule Page.

Funding Opportunities

  • Masters Excellence Scholarships up to 4 (currently £4,631 towards fees and £15,740 stipend, paid in 4 instalments). These scholarships are funded by the Medical Research Council, and are available to academically outstanding students from UK/EUThis Scholarship is to recognise academic excellence. If you have already achieved excellent entry qualifications, or are expected to gain them, then this is the scholarship for you.

Please read further details on eligibility before applying.

How do I apply?

To apply please complete the application form and send it to Dr Elvira Mambetisaeva by email:  by 31st July 2015.

Allocation of the award will be based on the information provided in the application form and academic references. The Masters Scholarship will not be finalised until the scholarship conditions are met in full.

Notification award. Students will be notified whether their application has been successful or not by the end of August.

How is it paid? As fee remission and 4 quarterly payments into your bank account.
Nominated students will receive an award letter which then should be handed to
UCL Students Fees, and your invoice will be adjusted accordingly.

  • Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS) Scholarships

The Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS), at UCL, offers approximately 340 awards of £10,000 each to prospective postgraduate taught students.
The aim of the scheme is to encourage students from under-represented groups to embark on a postgraduate qualification and is funded jointly by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and UCL.
This is a one-off opportunity for those applying to study a postgraduate taught programme starting in September 2015 only. To be eligible to apply for an award candidates must meet all the eligibility criteria. The PSS is a discretionary fund that is expected to generate high demand, so there is no guarantee of funding upon application.


Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS) for 2015/16 entry has been extended until Thursday 30 April 2015, 23:59 (BST).

  • Masters Prize Scholarships 2-3 of £2,000 each.

These are available to outstanding overseas students
who have been offered a place on the course. This Scholarship is
specifically design for those students who are experiencing financial
hardship. To apply please complete the application form and send it to Dr Elvira Mambetisaeva by email: by 31st July 2015.

GREAT - UCL India Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic excellence, achievement and potential.

  • Other Funding

Applications for funding from any of the links below need to be made independently of your application for the MSc.

   Name Email
Admissions and Administrative Queries
Samantha McDonagh  
Academic Queries

Dr Sayeda Abu-Amero

Dr Elvira Mambetisaeva

+44 (0)203 108 4006

Page last modified on 21 oct 14 15:42