Successful completion of the course will necessitate accumulation of 180 credits, 120 of which will derive from the taught modules and 60 from the research project.
Common Research Methods: Transferable Research Skills
You’ll gain understanding in planning, preparing and executing research in the field of molecular biology, microbiology immunology and genetics. You’ll learn how to plan research projects, assess published literature, analyse data and gain experience presenting research data and preparing publications.
Common Research Methods: Molecular Techniques
During the molecular biology practical laboratory sessions, you’ll gain experience of standard techniques related to laboratory research in the fields of immunology, microbiology and molecular genetics. From this, you will appreciate the workflow of gene cloning, followed by sequence analysis of genes and their variability, as well as cloning and expression of recombinant proteins.
This module will familiarise you with statistical techniques used in analysing biological data, and to enable you to obtain practical experience in using statistical software (SPSS). You’ll learn how to describe and interpret data using the appropriate statistical terms as well as how to present the data in graphical form.
Microbial Genetics and Genomics
This module will use several genetic regulatory systems to illustrate how key virulence factors are regulated in bacterial and viral pathogens. These examples will also be used to demonstrate how tools used for genomic analysis can be used to diagnose and monitor infectious diseases.
Gene Regulation in Mammalian Cells
Topics covered in this module will include chromatin remodelling, methods for regulating abundance of mRNA, DNA/protein and protein/protein interactions, research methods and association with disease. You’ll learn how to describe the mechanisms that control eukaryotic genes and apply current research methods to address gene regulatory issues. The role that gene regulation plays in disease is also explored.
This module will teach you informational content and information flow in biological systems and processes. Using your new bioinformatics skills, you’ll write and present a poster detailing a relevant protein or pathway.
Molecular Services in Health Care
This module will provide you with knowledge and understanding of the application of molecular diagnostic techniques in the health service including genetic counselling, molecular clinical genetics, cytogenetics, population screening, and cellular pathology. You’ll explore the factors to be considered for setting up a molecular diagnostic laboratory as well as appreciating the ethical considerations to genetic counselling and genetic screening.
Molecular Technologies in Complex Diseases
You’ll gain an extensive overview of molecular techniques used in research of human diseases. The possible implications of these methods will also be explored. You’ll discuss the strengths and limitations of linkage analysis and genetic association studies in the study of complex disorders, and critically evaluate relevant literature.
Molecular Basis of Genetic Disorders
This module covers the molecular basis of human diseases with a genetic component, focusing on those with a Mendelian pattern of inheritance. The lectures will cover clinical features of selected diseases and their genetic basis. Seminars will provide experience in interpreting genetic tests in inherited disorders, and opportunities to discuss the concepts underlying the identification of predisposing genes in human disorders.
The project will provide experience in contemporary research methods with the student performing experiments, surveys, or other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem. You will first collect and analyse data and read and collate previous results relevant to your project. You will then embark on a period of research before preparing, writing and submitting a dissertation written in the style of a research paper. Students are also expected to attend a viva voce examination at the end of the module where they discuss their findings and defend their conclusions with two examiners. The form of project may vary and is usually based in a laboratory, but bioinformatics or extended literature reviews may be offered as an alternative.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.