Genetics of Human Disease MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The Genetics of Human Disease MSc aims to equip students with an in-depth knowledge of fundamental genetic concepts together with advanced statistical and computational approaches. It focuses on up-to-date multi-disciplinary research and developments in discovering genetic factors contributing to disease susceptibility and progression, and how this can be applied to improve healthcare.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024

Applications closed

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Professional experience in the fields of health and development is desirable. An applicant whose qualifications vary from UCL standards may be admitted if evidence of an adequate academic background and extensive and relevant work experience in an appropriate field can be shown.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The programme provides a thorough grounding in modern approaches to the understanding of the genetics of human disease alongside the cutting-edge research methods and techniques used for establishing the involvement of genetic factors in disease. Compulsory modules provide a broad coverage of the genetics of disease, research skills, and social aspects, whilst specialised streams in Inherited Diseases, Pharmacogenetics, and Computational Genomics, in which students can qualify, and the research project allow more in-depth analysis in specific areas of genetics.

Who this course is for

The programme is suitable for students who wish to progress to a PhD in Genetics of Human Disease or related subjects, those who wish to employ bioinformatics for interpreting genetics data in academia or healthcare organisations and those who wish to enter employment at an advanced level in the pharmaceutical or other industries or the public sector in the field of human genetics.

What this course will give you

There is no better time than now to study human genetics. UCL is recognised as one of the world's best research environments within the field of Life Sciences and Medicine (QS World University Rankings By Subject 2023). Rapid technological advancements, followed by the completion of the Human Genome Project, are helping scientists gain a better understanding of the genetic basis of health and disease that has contributed to advances in medicine. UCL is in a unique position to offer both the basic science and application of modern genetics to improve human health.

The programme is a cross-faculty initiative with teaching from the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Faculty of Medical Sciences at UCL. Students will be based at the UCL Genetics Institute (UGI), a world-leading centre that develops and applies biostatistical and bioinformatics approaches to human and population genetics.

For the MSc project, students will join the research groups of world-leading geneticists and molecular biologists affiliated with UGI and other UCL research institutes and conduct computational and/or laboratory-based research projects. The skills you will gain during your study will open doors to jobs in academia and in many other job sectors.

The foundation of your career

The MSc Genetics of Human Disease facilitates acquisition of knowledge and skills relevant to a career in research in many different biomedical disciplines. About half of our graduates enter a research career by undertaking and completing PhDs and working as research associates/scientists in academia. Some of our graduates go on to jobs in the pharmaceutical industry while others enter careers within clinical genetic diagnosis services, particularly in molecular genetics, and project management in healthcare organisations and hospitals around the world, medical communication and many other job sectors. Those graduates with a prior medical training often utilise their new skills as clinical geneticists.


Advanced training in genetic techniques including bioinformatics and statistical approaches positions graduates well for PhD studentships in research areas related to genetics and other areas of biological science.

Other students find jobs related to genetics in healthcare organisations and the pharmaceutical industry. The programme enhances students' analytical and transferrable skills enabling them to pursue jobs in healthcare and business project management, data analysis, science communication, and medical writing.


Students will be able to take part in activities at the UCL Division of Biosciences and across the wider UCL community. There may also be opportunities to attend conferences.

Teaching and learning

Students develop their knowledge and understanding of the genetics of human diseases through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations, and journal clubs.

Students learn through lecture-based, and technology-based learning; independent individual and group work including group presentations and MCQs;  formative and summative assessments.

Taught modules are assessed by written reports, oral presentations, coursework and/or unseen written examinations. The research project is assessed by the student's project performance, the written dissertation, and the oral presentation.

Typically, a 15-credit module includes 150 hours of notional student learning time comprised broadly of teaching time, independent study, assessment, and feedback. 

This time includes activities that take place in in-person-on-campus contexts such as on-campus lectures, seminars, tutorials, labs, studios and workshops, as well as tutor-mediated activities that take place in online environments.

Typically, the hours for self-directed studies are around 10 hours a week of study time for each 15 credit module in each semester. This very much depends on the individual and the way they study and comprehend the learning material.

A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of six modules (four compulsory modules in term one and two modules within the selected stream in term two) is offered, full-time nine months. A Postgraduate Certificate consisting of four compulsory modules in term one (60 credits) is offered, full-time three months.


This course covers one full calendar year. Students undertake 180 credits, 90 of which are taught modules and 90 credits for the research project. The first term consists of four compulsory taught modules and research project selection. From January, students commence their chosen specialist stream: Inherited Diseases, Pharmacogenetics, or Computation Genomics, and start working on their research project on a part-time basis. After the main exam period, students work full-time on their research project until its completion in September.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Genetics of Human Disease. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Genetics of Human Disease. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Genetics of Human Disease.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £22,700
Tuition fees (2024/25) £37,500

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There are no programme-specific additional costs to students.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

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

Brown Family Bursary

Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL East London Scholarship

Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

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 the chosen programme
  • How your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • Where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with the 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.