Postgraduate taught 

Clinical Genetics MSc(MedSci)

The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires close collaboration between research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to deliver a high quality service to patients. The Clinical Genetics MSc has a specific focus on delivery of the clinical service to patients including risk analysis and application of modern genetic and genomic technologies in medical genetics research and in diagnostics and population screening.

Why this programme

  • This is a fully up-to-date Clinical Genetics degree delivered by dedicated, multi-award-winning teaching and clinical staff of the University, with considerable input from hospital-based Regional Genetics Service clinicians and clinical scientists.
  • The full spectrum of genetic services is represented, from patient and family counselling to diagnostic testing of individuals and screening of entire populations for genetic conditions: eg the NHS prenatal and newborn screening programmes.
  • The Clinical Genetics MSc Teaching Staff won the 2014 UK-wide Prospects Postgraduate Awards for the category of Best Postgraduate Teaching Team (Science, Technology & Engineering). These awards recognise and reward excellence and good practice in postgraduate education. 
  • The close collaboration between university and hospital staff ensures that the Clinical Genetics MSc provides a completely up-to-date representation of the practice of medical genetics and you will have the opportunity to observe during clinics at the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital laboratory medicine building.
  • The Clinical Genetics degree explores the effects of mutations and variants as well as the theoretically basis of current techniques used in NHS genetics laboratory diagnostics and recent developments in diagnostics (including microarray analysis and the use of massively parallel [“next-generation”] sequencing).
  • New developments in genetics are incorporated into the lectures and interactive teaching sessions very soon after they are presented at international meetings or published, and you will gain hands-on experience and guidance in using software and online resources for genetic diagnosis and for the evaluation of pathogenesis of DNA sequence variants.
  • You will develop your skills in problem solving, evaluation and interpretation of genetic data, literature searches, scientific writing, oral presentations, poster presentations and team working.
  • This MSc programme will lay the academic foundations on which some students with prior MBChB or MBBS may build in pursuing careers in Clinical Genetics.
  • The widely used textbook “Essential Medical Genetics” is co-authored by a member of the core teaching team, Professor Edward Tobias.
  • For doctors: The Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians’ Training Board (JRCPTB) in the UK recognises the MSc in Clinical Genetics (which was established in 1984) as counting for six months of the higher specialist training in Clinical Genetics.

Programme structure

Genetic Disease and Clinical Practice

This course is designed in collaboration with the West of Scotland Regional Genetics Service to give students a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Clinical Genetics and Genomics which will allow them to evaluate, choose and interpret appropriate genetic investigations for individuals and families with genetic disease. The link from genotype to phenotype, will be explored, with consideration of how this knowledge might contribute to new therapeutic approaches.

Distress or Disorder: Reactions to a medical diagnosis

This course outlines the process of psychosocial adjustment to a diagnosis or test result allowing participants to establish if and when a distress reaction develops into an adjustment disorder.  The implications of diagnosis are explored and evidence considered allowing informed decisions about appropriate referrals to other agencies.

Patient Empowerment: Supporting decisions relating to new diagnoses

This course reflects on evidence and experience to explore the psychological and social impact of a diagnosis, or illness, and provides strategies to support resilience and coping in patients.  Factors related to lived experience, personal beliefs and values, culture, adjustment processes, decision-making, misconceptions, secrecy and guilt are considered to equip participants in the promotion of patient-centred care.

Effective listening and communication skills

With a focus on experiential learning and student led study, this course outlines the role of counselling skills to facilitate adjustment and to allow an individual to come to terms with change in a safe way to minimise impact.  The focus will be on the theory supporting counselling, developing key listening and communication skills and on establishing reflective practice.

Case Investigations in Medical Genetics and Genomics

Students will work in groups to investigate complex clinical case scenarios: decide appropriate testing, analyse results from genetic tests, reach diagnoses where appropriate and, with reference to the literature, generate a concise and critical group report.

Clinical Genomics

This course will provide an overview of the clinical applications of genomic approaches to human disorders, particularly in relation to clinical genetics, discussion the methods and capabilities of the new technologies. Tuition and hands-on experience in data analysis will be provided, including the interpretation of next generation sequencing reports.

Disease Screening in Populations

This course will cover the rationale for, and requirements of, population screening programmes to detect individuals at high risk of particular conditions, who can then be offered diagnostic investigations. Students will work in groups to investigate and report on, a screening programme of their choice from any country.


The course will provide students with the opportunity to carry out an independent investigative project in the field of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

Teaching and Learning Methods

A variety of methods are used, including problem-based learning, case-based learning, lectures and tutorials. These are supplemented by a wide range of course-specific electronic resources for additional learning and self-assessment. As a result, you will develop a wide range of skills relevant to careers in clinical genetics. These skills include team-working and data interpretation. You will use the primary scientific literature as an information resource, although textbooks such as our own Essential Medical Genetics will also be useful. You will have the options of: attending genetic counselling clinics and gaining hands-on experience and guidance in using software and online resources for genetic diagnosis and for the evaluation of pathogenicity of DNA sequence variants.

There are weekly optional supplementary tutorials on topics that are selected by students

Electronic Resources

  • access to a continually updated Moodle (virtual learning environment) with extensive additional teaching and self-assessment materials.
  • an online web-portal with regularly updated direct links to >70 worldwide genetic databases & online algorithms (plus the latest new genetics discoveries), all easily accessible and grouped into useful categories.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Legal statements: Disclaimer.

Career prospects

This programme would be beneficial for anyone with a previous MBChB or similar degree, and would facilitate a career as a Clinical Geneticist.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2018-19


Home and EU
Full time fee£9950
Full time fee£20150

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £315
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £250
  • Registration/exam only fee: £150
  • General Council fee: £50

Funding opportunities

University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award

In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation or Pre-masters course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a one off tuition fee discount of £3,000

more information

University International Leadership Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has  10  International Leadership Scholarships available to international (non-EU) students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in September 2018. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fees discount.

more information

Alumni Discount

The University offers a 10% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.

more information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

Entry requirements

You should have a degree in medicine (MBChB or MBBS) or a very good BSc in Nursing.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.

Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.


As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • One reference letter on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.

You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, check Frequently Asked Questions

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.

Reference: Please provide the name and contact details for one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. The reference should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2018 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2018

Classes start September 2018 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now