Course specification and structure
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PMMEDICS - MSc Medical Genomics

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Science Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Human Sciences
Subject Area Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time Day 2 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The MSc Medical Genomics course is designed to promote a deep understanding of the rapidly evolving field of genetics and genomics as applied to human health and disease. Students will develop knowledge and skills, which will equip them for future careers in medical genomics and related areas. The course will foster students to become effective learners/practitioners by developing a variety of personal skills and capabilities.

Emphasis will be placed on self-directed and problem based learning within a lecture/tutorial/ practical framework. Students will explore case studies and real genomic data to promote high level reasoning in a professional context and to enhance a comprehensive and critical understanding of the existing state of knowledge in medical genetics. Students will gain intellectual and practical skills necessary for the collection, analysis, interpretation and understanding of scientific data through practical exercises, IT exercises and a research project.

Tutorial exercises and progress tests/quizzes will be used to provide students with feedback on their progress. Summative assessment of students’ knowledge base and their understanding will be incorporated into formal in-course tests, reports, extended essays, exams, presentations completed during or at the end of each module together with a report, a dissertation and an oral examination for the research project. Formative assessment of students’ approach to literature research is incorporated in group activities and project seminars.

Students have access to the innovative Graduate Centre to meet and discuss their courses. The Islington campus library has undergone a successful refurbishment and extended opening hours, offering specialised group study areas as well as access to a comprehensive range of textbooks, journals and online learning resources. There are also a number of new open areas in the tower building offering well equipped study areas with access to IT facilities with several terminals at each one and ubiquitous WiFi access.

Practical and data-mining IT skills are an essential part of the MSc course and students have access to the unparalleled facilities in the Science Centre Teaching Laboratory. Practical classes and IT sessions are designed to reinforce the knowledge from the lectures and tutorials. The course aims to promote a good knowledge-skills balance of laboratory, IT, and theory. The Science Centre also provides an excellent facility to carry out the final research project. MSc project assessment will culminate in the presentation of a dissertation and a viva exam/poster defence, which also explores knowledge and understanding.

Course aims

The Postgraduate taught Medical Genomics programme aims to provide a programme of advanced study for graduates that will equip them for future careers in medical genomics including genetics and related areas. It will also foster intellectual skills necessary to develop a critical and comprehensive understanding of the scientific principles, informatics and ethical frameworks that underlie the theory and practice of medical genomics. In addition it will develop skills for the collection, analysis, interpretation and understanding of scientific data and provide practical opportunities in a multidisciplinary environment. The course will enable students to become effective learners/practitioners by developing a variety of personal skills and capabilities.

In addition to the general programme aims above, the individual modules provide CPD opportunities for extending knowledge, updating skills, or gaining new skills in specialist areas at postgraduate level.

Course learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate

1. knowledge and understanding of Medical Genomics consistent with consolidation of advances in the subject within an existing knowledge framework;
2. knowledge and understanding of technical developments, their advantages, limitations and implications and how research impacts on the diagnosis and treatment of disease within a medical genomics context (with particular emphasis on laboratory diagnostics and monitoring);
3. cognitive (thinking) skills by assimilating information and developing ideas on issues, methodologies or pathogenic processes and by explaining how a working hypothesis may be devised and tested within the constraints of a biomedical context;
4. cognitive (thinking) skills by critically evaluating material on a complex genetic topic in order to present a balanced review;
5. effective communication verbally, in writing, and by electronic means;
6. the ability to implement an advanced information search and extract relevant information and apply the use of bio-informatic databases and software to problems in medical genomics;
7. the capacity for rational and balanced debate of complex genetic issues including ethical issues as well as individual initiative, organisation and the capacity for independent learning and effective teamworking
8. increased awareness of how changes in knowledge and technology may impact on professional practice in the subject area and require adaptability
9. practical skills, through experience of advanced or novel practical methodologies;
10. practical skills, through the application of knowledge to practical problems, including test selection and the design of appropriate experimental protocols with due regard to safety and quality control issues;
11. practical skills, through experience of IT software and data bases e.g. in bioinformatics, epidemiology and in searching the Medical Genomics literature and application of statistical analyses where appropriate.
12. Demonstrate confidence, resilience, ambition and creativity and will act as inclusive, collaborative and socially responsible professionals in their discipline

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Although there are no QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) benchmark statements for Biomedical Science at Postgraduate level, course outcomes are in line with Generic QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) guidelines on Masters level qualifications.

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including problem solving exercises, in-class test, data analysis, practical reports, case studies, oral presentations, extended essays, examinations, oral examination and dissertation. The choice of assessment instrument chosen to test the specified learning outcomes and to support students’ different learning styles. These methods are aligned with the School assessment strategy and the assessment is the responsibility of the academic staff delivering the module. Assessment is part of the learning process and confirms the outcomes of the learning process. The types of assessment are varied and include problem-solving exercises, in-class tests, data analysis, online quizzes and exams, practical reports, case studies, oral presentations, group work, extended essays, examinations, a research project, interim reports, oral examinations and a final dissertation It also provides formative feedback on curriculum design and delivery and, via the on-going iterative process of module monitoring, makes a significant contribution to the continued development and improvement of the courses that links in with the School learning and teaching strategy. In light of this a variety of assessment methods will be used (see syllabi) including unseen written examinations, individual and group assignments.

Practical skills are summatively assessed through coursework assignments, including those in the project module. Data handling skills are summatively assessed by practical reports, problem solving exercises, oral presentations and examinations.
Formative assessments include group activities in tutorial classes, mini-tests and project workshops. Laboratory and computer-based investigations, poster and oral presentations and a MSc dissertation giving students the opportunity to show the knowledge understanding and skills they have developed.

Course specific regulations

Students choose 1 or 2 modules from the course structure.

BM7P05 cannot be taken until all other modules completed

Modules required for interim awards

PGDip award cannot include BM7P05.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

During the induction phase of the programme students will be introduced to structured reflection on their development of postgraduate skills which constitute much of the substance of personal development planning. Progress with these postgraduate skills will be articulated to students as the programme progresses through feedback from tutors and peers enabling them to reflect on their advancement based on the evidence available. During the research project, students complete a ‘personal statement’, the style of which would be appropriate to a job application and address specific questions. This is introduced in the Scientific Frameworks module. Other activities, outside of the academic landscape of university life, will also contribute to students’ postgraduate skills. Within each module students will be encouraged to develop their personal portfolio and to critically review their learning experiences, set their future personal and academic goals and evaluate their own progress towards these goals.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

FHEQ level descriptors and characteristics

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Postgraduates in medical genomics are equipped to take up employment in genomic and genetic research, in a clinical or bio-pharmaceutical context. They could also pursue careers in medical research, in hospital and public health laboratories. The analytical, numerical and communication skills developed on the course are also in demand in non-science based careers such as journalism and marketing.

Career opportunities

With your training in human genetics, many opportunities will be available to you upon graduation. Genomics is important in both public and private domains, and there is increasing demand for new graduates in a growing number of new genome centres and companies in the UK and abroad, such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge and Medgenome in India. Genomics is also a key area for the NHS, with governmental initiatives such as the 100,000 Genomes Project.

As genetics becomes a recognised part of all biological sciences, there will be an increasing demand for individuals with expertise in this field.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a lower second class (2.2) UK undergraduate degree in an appropriate subject (eg biology, biomedical science, biological science or medical genetics)

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2016/17 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 17 Aug 2016 Last validation date 17 Aug 2016  
JACS codes 100901 (genomics): 100%
Route code MEDICS

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BM7001 Scientific Frameworks For Research Core 20 NORTH SPR WED AM
          NORTH AUT TUE AM
BM7120 Fundamentals of Medical Genetics and Genomics Core 20 NORTH SPR FRI AM
BM7121 Genetic and Genomic Informatics Core 20 NORTH SPR WED PM
BM7122 Medical Genetics and Genomics Core 20 NORTH SPR MON PM
BM7P05 Research Project Core 60 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA  
          NORTH SUM NA  
BM7004 Advanced Immunology Option 20 NORTH AUT WED AM
BM7027 Bioinformatics and Molecular Modelling Option 20 NORTH AUT FRI PM
BM7042 Biomedical Diagnostics Option 20 NORTH AUT THU AM

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BM7001 Scientific Frameworks For Research Core 20 NORTH SPR WED AM
BM7120 Fundamentals of Medical Genetics and Genomics Core 20 NORTH SPR FRI AM
BM7121 Genetic and Genomic Informatics Core 20 NORTH SPR WED PM
BM7122 Medical Genetics and Genomics Core 20 NORTH SPR MON PM
BM7P05 Research Project Core 60 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH SUM NA  
BM7004 Advanced Immunology Option 20        
BM7027 Bioinformatics and Molecular Modelling Option 20        
BM7042 Biomedical Diagnostics Option 20