MSc Genetics of Human Disease

The MSc in Genetics of Human Disease will provide 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 Programme Director Prof Gudrun Moore, Programme Tutor Dr Sayeda Abu-Amero and Programme Coordinator Dr Elvira Mambetisaeva will draw together cross-departmental teaching (Genetics, Epidemiology, Medicine and Statistics) providing a thorough grounding in modern approaches to the understanding of the genetics of human diseases.

The core modules provide a broad coverage of the genetics of disease, research skills and social aspects, whilst three optional modules allow a more in depth analysis of 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.

Examples of project titles offered to students in 2015-16

  1. Genetic and Epigenetic Control of Fetal Growth
  2. Genome-scale detection of functional elements in the Schizosaccharomyces pombe (fission yeast) genome
  3. Genetic, physiological, and clinical studies into kidney disorders
  4. The role of FGF signalling in the pathogenesis of craniofacial birth defects
  5. Dissecting the genetic basis for cellular ageing in fission yeast’.
  6. Analysis of high-throughput sequencing data: methods development and application to study human evolution
  7. Using a bioinformatic approach to interpret cardiovascular relevant biological process and pathways
  8. Describing the role of microRNAs in cardiovascular relevant processes using a bioinformatic approach
  9. Investigating Novel LXR targets in Atherosclerosis Development
  10. Molecular Genetics of Inherited Eye Diseases
  11. Exploring human history using DNA
  12. Genetic analysis of familial non-syndromic cleft lip and palate
  13. Isolation and characterisation of antibiotic resistance genes and mobile genetic elements from oral and environmental metagenomes

An MSc will be awarded on satisfactory completion of the compulsory modules, one of chosen 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 2016-17 session are: 

for UK/EU students is 31 July 2016 (to be confirmed)

for overseas students is 30 June 2016 (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

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

   Name Email
Admissions, Administrative and General Queries
Ms Samantha McDonagh +44 (0)20 7679 4168
Academic Queries

Dr Sayeda Abu-Amero

Dr Elvira Mambetisaeva

+44 (0)203 108 4006

Page last modified on 10 aug 16 11:50