Postgraduate taught 

Medical Genetics & Genomics MSc(MedSci)

Medical genetics splash image

Due to unprecedented demand, applications for the September 2022 intake are now closed. Applications for the September 2023 intake will re-open from 1 October 2022.

Genetics has had an enormous impact throughout healthcare. With the development of newer sophisticated technologies, this impact is rapidly increasing. Many research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians are now needed to investigate the causes (and improve the management) of the very large (and increasing) number of diseases known to have significant genetic or genomic causes. The aim of this programme is to provide you with a working knowledge of the principles and practice of Medical Genetics and Genomics allowing you to evaluate, choose and interpret appropriate genetic investigations for individuals and families with genetic disease.

  • MSc (Med Sci): 12 months full-time: (24 months part-time by special arrangement)

Why this programme

  • Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology for the purpose of meeting, in part, the academic and experience requirement for the Membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol).Royal Society of Biology Accreditation logo
  • Explore the effects of mutations and variants as well as the 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).
  • Learn directly from NHS staff about the latest developments to the service at the West of Scotland Genetic Services, Queen Elizabeth Campus.
  • Develop your skills in problem solving, experimental design, evaluation and interpretation of experimental data, literature searches, scientific writing, oral presentations, poster presentations and team working.
  • Lay the academic foundations on which you may build in pursuing research at PhD level in genetics or related areas of biomedical science or by moving into related careers in diagnostic services.
  • 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.The widely used textbook “Essential Medical Genetics” is co-authored by a member of the core teaching team, Professor Edward Tobias.
  • Access new developments in medical genetics incorporated into the lectures and interactive teaching sessions very soon after they are presented at international meetings or published.Medicine ranking 2nd in the UK
  • Collaboration between staff from the University of Glasgow and the NHS West of Scotland Genetics Service enables the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics to provide a state-of-the-art view of the application of modern genetic and genomic technologies in medical genetics research and diagnostics, and in delivery of a high quality genetics service to patients, as well as in design of targeted therapies.
  • 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.
  • Based on the south side of the River Clyde in the purpose built Teaching & Learning Centre, at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospitals (we are located 4 miles from the main University Campus).
  • The Centre also houses state of the art educational resources, including a purpose built teaching laboratory, computing facilities and a well equipped library.
  • Close collaboration between university and hospital staff ensures the Medical Genetics MSc provides an up-to-date representation of the practice of medical genetics and you will have the opportunity to observe during clinics and visit the diagnostic laboratories at the new Southern General Hospital laboratory medicine building.
  • For doctors: The Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians’ Training Board (JRCPTB) in the UK recognises the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics (which was established in 1984) as counting for six months of the higher specialist training in Clinical Genetics.
  • The Medical Council of Hong Kong recognises the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics from University of Glasgow in it's list of Quotable Qualifications.
  • A fully up-to-date Medical 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.

Programme structure

    • 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 Medical 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.
    • 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.
    • Students will take this course OR Omic Technologies for Biomedical Sciences OR Immunotherapy & Precision OncologyThis 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.
    • Students will take this course OR Clinical Genomics OR Immunotherapy & Precision Oncology. An introduction to workflows for the resolution and characterisation of complex mixtures of biomolecules, from DNA to small molecule metabolites. The course emphasizes the potential and challenges of omic approaches and will include data handling tasks and demonstration.
    • Students will take this course OR Clinical Genomics OR Omic Technologies for Biomedical Sciences. The course will enable the students to gain in depth knowledge on the use of state of the art 'omic' technologies in stratifying patients into prognosis and treatment groups, the use of personalised medicine, latest targeted treatment regimens and the rapidly developing field of immunotherapy to target cancer.
    • 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.
    • Students will work independently to develop and validate a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay for a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).
    • 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, tutorials and laboratories. 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 research, diagnostics or clinical genetics. These skills include team-working, data interpretation and experimental design. 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 pathogenesis 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: Student contract.

Career prospects

Graduate jobs can be found in the UK, Europe, North America, Middle East, South Asia and East Asia in overseas hospitals, life science companies, the NHS and academia.

Research: About half of our graduates enter a research career and most of these graduates undertake and complete PhDs in fields such as genetics, cancer studies, biosciences, neuroscience and genome science and technology. One or two graduates have also progressed on to graduate entry routes to medicine.

The MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics facilitates acquisition of skills relevant to a career in research in many different bio-molecular disciplines.

Diagnostics: Some of our graduates enter careers with clinical genetic diagnostic services, often within NHS laboratories.

Several graduates have become heads of diagnostic services or laboratories, around the world.

Clinical genetics: Those of our graduates with a prior medical / nursing training often utilise their new skills in careers as clinical geneticists or genetic counsellors.

Other: The focus of teaching is on using the current technologies for genetic diagnostics within health service laboratories.

Many of these technologies are also used in diverse areas of biomedical science research and in forensic DNA analysis.

Graduate jobs can be found in the UK, Europe, North America, Middle East, South Asia and East Asia in overseas hospitals, life science companies, the NHS and academia. Many have entered careers in education; industry, particularly with companies providing or developing genetics and genomics-related medical services; medicine and scientific publishing.

Example job positions include:

  • genetic technologist, medical technical officer (NHS), R&D lab technician, product development technician, trainee clinical scientist (NHS), university laboratory officer, university lecturer

     student getting career advice

What our students say

Kathleen Murphy: Medical genetics studentKathleen Murphy MSc Medical Genetics 2013, now Clinical Scientist in Aberdeen

My proudest moment to date was graduating with my MSc in 2013. I would describe the course as intensive and challenging, thanks to the hardworking and supportive staff that are committed to ensuring students have the best experience and who continually take feedback to improve outcomes. You are encouraged to reflect upon your work as part of this MSc; an essential skill as a healthcare professional; and as a result will grow and develop into a better scientist, with support and extensive feedback on how your work can be improved. The diagnostic focus of the teaching is unique compared with other Masters Courses and perfect for anyone who is motivated by working for the benefit of patients in the NHS environment.

Shortly after graduation, I was offered the role of Genetic Technologist at Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service as part of the sequencing team, where I was responsible for NGS lab work and sequencing analysis. The practical skills and knowledge gained from the MSc allowed me to hit the ground running and contribute to the team with a small amount of training.

The following year I was accepted onto the Scientist Training Programme in Genomics at Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, which includes work-based training across a wide range of services. The confidence I gained in my presentation skills throughout the MSc in Medical Genetics allowed me to take part in public engagement and inter-professional teaching as part of my scientist training, to educate the public and other healthcare workers about genomics. My Glasgow MSc covered the background of so much of the work I do on a daily basis and the notes still come in handy for my revision 6 years later!

As I am about to take up a Clinical Scientist post in an NHS laboratory, I reflect on how I will always be grateful to the outstanding (and award-winning!) MSc teaching staff, as without them I would not be here today. Over the last few years, I’ve come to realise the MSc has an excellent reputation for producing high quality graduates throughout the world, and Glasgow graduates are never hard to find in the world of Genomics, wherever you end up!

Joseph Ogbede: Medical Genetics studentJoseph Ogbede (MSc Medical Genetics & Genomics, 2017), currently undertaking a PhD in Genome Science and Technology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

I really enjoyed my time during the MSc program, which I have always missed. The friendly and supportive staff, the fantastic class-mates and the unforgettable outdoor events especially the ‘away-day’ made my study experience rewarding. Among all the skills I acquired during the MSc program, the scientific writing has been wonderfully helpful. The critical feedback from essays and assignments, though sometimes as a student I did not like them (especially when against my expectations), actually turned out to be very useful to me as a PhD student, as I have become very logical and careful while writing. Having come from biochemistry background with little knowledge of genomics and bioinformatics, the program made me develop a stronger interest in the field, and not only that, but equipped me with impressive knowledge of human genetics, molecular diagnosis and data analysis. In fact, my experience during the MSc program has made me an independent student today. So I think there is no alternative to the University of Glasgow’s MSc Medical Genetics and Genomics program!

Souhile Alalem: Medical Genetics studentSouhile Alalem (MSc Medical Genetics & Genomics, 2017) is currently working on genomics using next generation sequencing at Illumina

The MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics offered me the chance to study human genetics in a great depth. The research-led teaching has helped me significantly, as the information we got was up to date and relevant. Although this MSc is greatly focused on human genetics and diagnosis, there were also other important topics discussed, such as genomics and biotechnology. I was deeply interested in genomics and NGS, and the way it was taught made me even more interested. As such, I chose to start my career in genomics, and couldn’t find a better place to do this other than Illumina itself. The Clinical Genomics course taken during my MSc helped me to be more employable, as it gave me the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to succeed in this field.

Alisha Aman (MSc Medical Genetics & Genomics, 2016), currently PhD student at the University of Glasgow

After the MSc I initially worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow and have now embarked on a PhD within that department. My work encompasses wet lab work in genetics and data analysis in genomics. My MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics helped me a great deal in developing my knowledge in this field along with my interpersonal skills and preparing me to face the professional world. I also managed the role of the head/Editor-in-chief the university’s student science magazine, theGIST: Glasgow Insight into Science and Technology, which further helped to enhance my science communication skills. Moving to a different continent and adjusting in a new culture does prove to be very challenging but the staff in the MSc programme  made sure I always felt at home. Without their constant support and counselling, managing my studies, extra-curricular activities, and preparing for my dissertation and job interviews while trying to adjust in a new country would never had been possible. Apart from academics, this program has given me a wonderful experience in so many cultures and I had a chance to make life-long friends from around the world! All in all, the MSc was one of the most wonderful, fun-filled, and intellectually stimulating years for me.

Sharri Cyrus (MSc in Medical Genetics & Genomics, 2016), currently pursuing a PhD in Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia

The MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics is one of my best academic experiences. The teaching staff was always engaging and very approachable. If you had any question at all, you just had to ask, and they would take the time to explain and make sure any doubts were resolved. The programme fostered a lot of group work, which provided great opportunities to build communication skills, draw on, and maximise the strengths of others and to learn from each other as we had differing academic backgrounds. I particularly liked the problem based learning component, as the cases brought together the theoretical aspects learnt in class into a practical scenario which aided in further cementing concepts. I came from a limited genetics background, and by the end of my MSc year, I was well equipped with a knowledge base that has served me very well in my current studies investigating the genetic causes of rare overgrowth syndromes. I would recommend this programme to anyone who wants to pursue a career in the many fields of medical genetics. You definitely will not regret it!

Maria Louizou: Medical Genetics studentMaria Louizou (MSc Medical Genetics & Genomics, 2015), currently working as a Healthcare Scientist at Kings College

I completed my MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics four years ago and since then I have been working at the Oncology Cytogenetics Department of King’s College Hospital, first as a Genetic Technologist and currently as a Healthcare Scientist. Through the MSc, not only did I gain solid knowledge in genetic conditions, genetic technologies and their application in Medical Genetics but I also developed a critical way of thinking and valuable skills which I apply daily in my professional life. I recently started preparing my portfolio for my registration as a Clinical Scientist in which i am including case studies and essays I did during the course as evidence of in-depth understanding of different aspects of the field!

Caitlin Fleming-Knox (MSc in Medical Genetics & Genomics, 2018), currently undertaking STP in NHS Manchester Genomic Diagnostic Laboratories

I thoroughly enjoyed my year in Glasgow doing the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics. The staff provided thorough and thoughtful feedback on written assignments, which helped me to develop my critical writing skills. The many opportunities to present allowed me to grow in confidence and enhance my presentation skills. I had previously considered the NHS England Scientist Training Programme (STP) in Genomics, but knew I didn’t know enough about genetics in the context of human disease and healthcare, as my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences didn’t cover this. The MSc provided me with extensive knowledge of medical genetics and I made use of this in my application to the STP. I was successful in gaining a place in my preferred location in the Manchester Genomic Diagnostic Laboratories. Even now I continue to use knowledge gained during the course, and I still access the course content as I find the lectures/videos excellent at explaining the more complicated concepts in genetics.

Danielle Patchell (MSc Medical Genetics and Genomics 2018) currently working as a Laboratory Scientist for Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI)

GMI is located in Dublin, Ireland and has an aim of sequencing 10% of the Irish population to generate a high quality genomic database and to uncover genetic variants associated with up to 60 disease phenotypes. I moved to Glasgow from Ireland in 2017 to start the MSc and it was one of the best decisions I have made. I chose to carry out this Masters degree because I wanted to gain a greater understanding about the advances being made in genomic analysis and the impact new analytic technology has on healthcare. My favourite aspect of the Masters degree was the Problem Based Learning module (Case Investigations)! Although challenging, this module allowed me to put all the knowledge I gained from lectures and tutorials into practice whilst also strengthening the essential skills needed to work effectively and efficiently within a team. PBL allowed me to act in various roles within my team such as chairperson and secretary but also taught me how to be constructive with criticism and how to deal with criticism during peer assessments. Team work is a huge part of the GMI ethos and engaging with and learning from my peers during our PBL sessions really allowed me to prepare for working within a strong team environment. I opted to study the Clinical Genomics module led by Prof. Edward Tobias during the second semester. The practical elements of this module were hugely beneficial in understanding genomic data analysis and interpretation. Although I am not personally analysing the sequence data in GMI, I am glad that I have an understanding of what is necessary to carry out data analysis and relate sequence data to potential disease phenotypes. Last but certainly not least, I could not speak more highly of the MSc. staff and lecturers! From providing support when it was needed, to organising days out for the class, I will always look back on the year I spent in Glasgow University with the fondest of memories and I owe that to the staff and class of 2018!


Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2023-24



  • Full-time fee: £10560

International & EU

  • Full-time fee: £25980


International applicants are required to pay a deposit of £1000 when an offer is made.

Deposits terms & conditions

The University requires a deposit to be paid by International applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme and who require a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University in order that they can apply for a student visa. This is required where the programme is competitive and the deposit is required in order to demonstrate your commitment to attend the programme should you meet all the conditions of your offer.

If you are made an offer for this programme the University will write to you and request a deposit with information on how to pay your deposit and the deadline for making the deposit payment. Please note that if you are unable to pay a deposit because you are planning to fund your studies through an official financial sponsor then you should upload a copy of your scholarship application or award letter to your application by the deadline date.

The following guidelines will apply in determining whether or not a deposit will be refunded. Where the deposit is refunded, a 10% handling fee will be deducted.

Deposits WILL be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the University is unable to offer you a place.
  2. Where the applicant has personal circumstances such as illness, bereavement or other family situations that has prevented them coming to the UK. Medical or other proof may be requested.
  3. Applicant can prove that they have applied for a visa to attend the University of Glasgow, but the VISA has been refused. The applicant must have shown ‘real intent' to study at the University of Glasgow but has been unable to obtain their visa.
  4. Applicant does not meet his / her conditions of offer: this may be academic or language test requirements. Satisfactory evidence must be uploaded to the student’s online application to prove that they have not met the conditions of their offer (note that applicants who do not meet the language condition of their offer must show reasonable attempt to meet this, i.e. they must provide a language test which was taken after the date that the deposit was paid).

Deposits WILL NOT be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Applicant decides to go to another institution.
  2. Applicant cannot be released from work to study at the University of Glasgow.
  3. Applicant does not send completed documentation as requested in the condition of the offer: this may be required in order to prove that the offer has not been met for academic or language test conditions - failure to respond to requests for this information will result in no refund.
  4. Applicant has not secured funding to attend the University of Glasgow: this may be as a result of not being successful in applications for scholarships, OR simply not having sufficient funds in bank at time of visa application. This condition will apply unless it can be proven that there are clear mitigating circumstances which have significantly changed the applicant’s position since the time of application.
  5. Applicant has requested a deferral – in this situation, if a deferral is granted, the University will retain the deposit and credit it against the applicant’s account for securing their place for the following year of entry. Please note that some highly competitive programmes do not allow applicants to defer. 

Refund requests must be made within 60 days of the programme start date stated on your offer letter: requests made after this date will be subject to discretion.

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £370
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £350
  • Registration/exam only fee: £170

Entry requirements

You should have a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biological science. Applicants with a degree in medicine/dentistry or equivalent and a clear interest in genetics will also be considered. Professional experience and 2:2 applicants with a strong subject specific expertise may also be considered. 

You are required to provide one reference and a full degree transcript with your application.

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)

  • 6.5 with no subtests under 6.0. 
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission to this programme:

TOEFL (ibt, my best or athome)

  • 90 with minimum R 20, L 19, S 19, W 23. 
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

PTE (Academic or Academic Online)

  • 60 with minimum 59 in all sub-tests.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) 

  • 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months, combined scores from 2 tests sat within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Glasgow International College English Language (and other foundation providers)

  • 65%.
  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for 2 years following date of successful completion.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Undergraduate degree from English speaking country (including Canada if taught in English)
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from English speaking country
  • Undergraduate 2+2 TNE degree taught in English in non-English speaking country
  • Masters degree from English speaking country
  • Masters degree (equivalent on NARIC to UK masters degree) taught in English in non-English speaking country.

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 UKVI approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) but we do not require a specific UKVI SELT 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:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office using our enquiry form

International students

We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries.

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 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. If you already have a copy of a reference on letter headed paper then please upload this to your application. If you do not already have a reference to upload then please enter your referee’s name and contact details on the online application and we will contact your referee directly.

Application deadlines

Due to unprecedented demand, applications for the September 2022 intake are now closed. Applications for the September 2023 intake will re-open from 1 October 2022.

More information about this programme