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 will gain an understanding of how to plan, prepare and execute research in the field of molecular biology, microbiology immunology and genetics. As well as learning how to manage the various stages of research projects, you will gain experience presenting research data and preparing publications. This module will also enhance your ability to critically assess published literature and analyse data.
Common Research Methods: Molecular Techniques
During these practical laboratory sessions, you will 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 provide practical experience in using statistical software (SPSS). You will learn how to interpret, describe and present data using the appropriate statistical terms and graphical forms.
Microbial Genetics and Genomics
Several genetic regulatory systems are examined in this module to illustrate how key virulence factors are regulated in bacterial and viral pathogens. These examples are also 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 include chromatin remodelling, methods for regulating abundance of mRNA, DNA/protein and protein/protein interactions, research methods and gene associations with disease. You will 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 introductory module will enable you to obtain practical experience in using bioinformatics software available for the analysis of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data.
The module is taught using a combination of lectures and practical sessions. You are required to produce a poster for assessment which includes information gathered from online databases about a particular gene or disease.
Molecular Services in Health Care
On this module, you will gain 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 will also 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
An extensive overview of molecular techniques used in the research of human diseases is provided on this module. The possible implications of these methods is also be explored. You will discuss the strengths and limitations of linkage analysis and genetic association studies in the study of complex disorders as well as enhancing your ability to 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. Through a combination of lectures and seminars, you will study the clinical features of selected diseases and their genetic basis as well as how to interpret genetic tests in inherited disorders and 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.