Genetics Degrees

Genetics is the science of understanding the inheritance of genes, how mutations create diversity, on the one hand, or lead to disease, on the other, and how our genes' activities are regulated during development and in response to the environment. 

Our BSc degrees are standard 3 year degrees, whereas the 4 year MSci degrees provide a Masters qualification and include an 8 month advanced research project.

We offer the following Genetics Degree courses - 

What is a Genetics Degree?

The same basic genetic principles apply to humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms such as bacteria. This gives flexibility to genetics graduates in future employment. Areas where genetics is important include the development of pharmaceuticals, forensic science, the treatment of disease and conservation. Medical Genetics is making an enormous impact in the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

Genetics Careers

Most graduates find employment in professions related to their training in genetics and molecular biology. MSci students are particularly well equipped to progress onto PhD programmes and, subsequently, onto careers in medical research, industrial R&D or academia. A genetics degree is also good preparation to be a teacher, Graduate Entry Medicine, or a clinical scientist. Many of our graduates find employment in international organisations, including major pharmaceutical companies and the biotechnology sector.

Genetics Degree Programmes

For both the 3 year BSc and 4 year MSci degrees, there are the options of Genetics or Medical Genetics, the latter offering more biomedical content. We also offer joint BSc/MSci degrees with Biochemistry. Together with single or joint honours Biochemistry or Medical Biochemistry, these degrees encompass what is termed molecular biology and due to overlap in the first year of study, students who are undecided about their area of specialisation can easily transfer between degree schemes. Particularly in the latter stages, the content of the degrees reflects the research strengths of internationally recognised scientists who are part of the Medical School and who are engaged in the teaching programmes, embracing areas such as genetic toxicology, gene manipulation, microbiology, biotechnology, and new gene technologies such as genomics and bioinformatics.

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Course Content

Year 1 modules cover genetics and a range of general biological and biochemical subjects. This provides a good foundation for more specialised study later in the programme. Year 2 and 3 modules cover a range of specialised topics including

  • Molecular techniques                            
  • Human genetics
  • Gene expression and genomics
  • Genetics of microorganisms
  • Forensic genetics
  • Molecular evolution
  • Developmental genetics
  • Medical genetics.

Research Project

Our BSc students undertake 3-4 month research projects in Year 3, alongside attending lectures and tutorials. In contrast, MSci students commit to an 8 month advanced research project in their 4th year, with their time almost exclusively allocated to this activity. Projects are undertaken in state-of-the-art facilities, recently ranked as the best in the UK by the REF. These facilities include automated equipment and robots for analysing gene expression, protein interactions, and DNA structure and damage. There are excellent image analysis facilities for molecular or cellular studies, and computer resources for bioinformatics research. Students gain hand-on experience in the use of these facilities, being trained to work as independent scientists. In many examples, research undertaken by our undergraduate students has contributed towards scientific publications in high quality science journals, with the contributions being recognised by inclusion of the student as an author.

STEM Skills
Transferable skills relating to science technology engineering and maths (STEM) are embedded into the course. The research project and the tutorial modules are central to the development of these skill-sets, along with many being included in the other modules as well.