This course is particularly suitable for graduates wishing to pursue a career in molecular pathology research or in industry (especially molecular diagnostics).
For those who are medically qualified, they will proceed to be consultants or clinical academics in histopathology, oncology etc. Being a distance learning programme, this allows the opportunity to time manage your learning flexibly.
For histopathology registrars in the UK, this will be an excellent opportunity to prepare as clinicians with a special interest in molecular pathology. For established consultants, this will be a perfect opportunity to develop expertise in molecular pathology.
1. For both medically qualified graduates and non-medical science graduates
Science graduates mainly in life-sciences, genetics, biomedical sciences, pathology, biochemistry and microbiology are expected to find the course useful.
The course will:
- provide training for a career in life sciences/allied disciplines (including the area of molecular diagnostics)
- improve employability in the rapidly expanding market of molecular diagnostics
- be a source of continuing professional development for persons already employed in the molecular diagnostics or biotechnology industry
- be a firm foundation for NHS clinical scientists and biomedical staff in pathology to complete higher research training
For the medically qualified, the course would be most suitable for those undertaking/wishing to specialise in disciplines such as histopathology and allied disciplines, such as oncology and clinical genetics.
- For histopathologists in training, this course will be an excellent opportunity to learn in-depth about molecular pathology, currently included in the Royal College of Pathologists, UK, curriculum and examined in the Year 1 OSPE and FRCPath exams
- For qualified histopathologists, this training programme can be part of professional development to stay abreast of latest developments in molecular pathology
- Medical staff from allied disciplines, such as oncology and clinical genetics who wish to add on in-depth experience of molecular diagnostics to incorporate into patient care, will also benefit from this course
- Fresh medical graduates may also undertake this course as a career development initiative
2. A high-quality flexible programme delivered entirely by distance learning
- The distance learning delivered taught component can be undertaken from any location, offering flexibility to students to learn from their home/job location and hence offering indirect advantages of cost savings on relocation/subsistence for about three months
- Further, the taught component of the course is truly multi-disciplinary; the discipline of molecular pathology as we know today is multidisciplinary involving clinicians, histopathologists, geneticists, bio-informaticians, statisticians and industry
- Both the research and taught modules on the course, promote inter-disciplinary interactions and utilises the expertise of specialist staff
- Training will be delivered using a variety of different methods (lectures, tutorials, problem solving, discussion forum, workshops); the online training will be supplemented with regular “live sessions” with module convenors
- Focussed delivery of the taught component within ~3 months, helping especially histopathologists, who would need a focussed delivery to supplement preparation for the Royal College Exams
- Both clinical and molecular aspects including statistics and bioinformatics are balanced in coverage
3. The course aligns with prestigious UK initiatives
The course has been specifically tailored to address a critical skills gap (molecular diagnostics in pathology) identified by the MRC, EPSRC and Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath), UK.
The course is an established activity of the Nottingham Molecular Pathology Node (NPMN), which is one of the six nodes in the UK, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop molecular pathology tests which will help deliver better targeted, more effective treatments – known as 'stratified medicine' – across a wide range of disease areas.
"As a clinical academic trainee in Histopathology, I was interested in developing an interdisciplinary research project which involved genomic and transcriptomic analysis. I was therefore looking for a course that would enable me develop these competencies, thus enhancing my research capabilities. The Nottingham PGCert course in Molecular Pathology, Bioinformatics and Diagnostics offered this and so much more. Not only was I able to apply the material directly to my current laboratory research, I also found the molecular diagnostics module extremely beneficial to my training and daily clinical practice as a histopathology registrar.
The modules were delivered and assessed entirely as an online distance learning programme over a 3-month period. This meant I was able to combine studying (in the evening and on weekends) with working full-time in the NHS. I found course organisers and tutors extremely approachable and always willing to provide clarification or further advice on unclear topics and assignments. Added to this, receiving funding to cover my course tuition was also a nice bonus. Overall, though quite intensive, I would wholly recommend it as I have greatly benefited from my participation in this course."
--Isioma E. (2018)