Molecular Medicine, MSc

Molecular Medicine, MSc

Introduction

This programme aims to provide students with knowledge of molecular medicine and, uniquely, allows students to create their own curriculum from offered molecular medicine courses.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September
Location of Study
Aberdeen

Extraordinary technological advances in molecular biology, ranging from next-generation sequencing to the engineering of biologic therapies, are revolutionising our ability to diagnose and treat patients.

This MSc programme in Molecular Medicine offers a broad curriculum centred around molecular technologies. Subjects are taught from the perspective of understanding how insights and tools from molecular science can help us to understand and treat human disease.

The programme is delivered by molecular medicine researchers, providing a research-led teaching experience. It offers the opportunity to gain highly sought-after skills that will equip you for career destinations across a diversity of molecular medicine subject areas in both industry and academia.

Uniquely, this MSc programme provides a high degree of flexibility to select courses to build a curriculum based upon your research and academic interests. Course options are available in the areas of genetics, biotechnology, drug development and pharmacology, microbiology and immunology, allowing you to tailor the programme to your particular career aspirations.

What You'll Study

The MSc in Molecular Medicine offers a broad curriculum covering recent advances in Molecular Medicine. Subjects are taught from the perspective of understanding how modern insights and tools from molecular science can help us to understand and treat human disease. Uniquely, this MSc programme provides you with a large degree of flexibility to select courses to build a curriculum based upon your research and academic interests. Course options are available in the areas of genetics, biotechnology, drug development and pharmacology, microbiology and immunology, allowing you to tailor the programme to your particular career aspirations. Successful completion of the MSc requires 180 course credits.

Stage 1

Compulsory Courses

  • MT5010: Basic Skills - Induction

Students take two or three from the following courses:

  • MB5021: Bioinformatics
  • BT5014: Biotechnology
  • MB5025: Molecular Genetics
Bioinformatics (MB5021)

15 Credit Points

A course containing a series of lectures describing 'latest-methods and discoveries' in areas of bioinformatics and functional genomics including transcriptomics, proteomics, and DNA sequence analysis.Contains a series of in-depth workshops that teach the principles and practice of next generation sequence analysis, transcriptomics, proteomics and sequence similarity analysis.

Biotechnology (BT5014)

15 Credit Points

Modern biotechnology is absolutely dependent upon our increasingly sophisticated ability to use microbial and mammalian host cells as factories to produce high quantities of protein pharmaceuticals, e.g. insulin. Increasingly, cells engineered with multiple foreign genes are also being used to drive small molecule drug production. This course will explore how such heterologous protein expression processes can be engineered and optimised to drive efficient synthesis of the next generation medicines on which healthcare systems are increasingly depending.

Molecular Genetics (MB5025)

15 Credit Points

The course provides a detailed exploration of the structure and function of genes at the molecular and biochemical level. It covers the analysis of genome activity from the 3D structure of chromosomes through to RNA and DNA-protein interactions. The course will provide you with a thorough understanding of the approaches and molecular biology techniques used in modern molecular genetics research and its applications in gene editing and gene therapies.

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5006)

This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Optional Courses

Students must choose one or two elective courses from the following list:

Molecular Pharmacology (MT5024)

15 Credit Points

The course focuses on the molecular mechanisms of drug action and how cutting edge research can advance current therapeutic approaches to disease. The utility of molecular pharmacology will be highlighted in the context of current and future drug discovery for cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic diseases and cancer.

Applied Statistics (PU5017)

15 Credit Points

This course in Applied Statistics focuses on the application of statistical techniques in postgraduate research for health professionals, with a particular emphasis on the correct interpretation of statistical analyses results. The course will NOT focus on the statistical theory underlying the subject. An important component of the course is the use of a statistical package (IBM SPSS), which can be used to implement all the methods taught on this course.

Profiles of Immunology (MB5028)

15 Credit Points

Today, the profound influence of novel immunotherapies to treat cancers, autoimmune disease, infection and even to maintain transplant survival strategies means that a good understanding of basic immunology is valuable in many aspects of Biomedical Science. This course provides background knowledge of the innate and adaptive immune system and how that understanding is being used in a range of disease scenarios to provide new therapeutic options for patients.

Current Microbiology (MC5009)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide students with microbiology knowledge for further advanced studies and will provide training in microbiological laboratory techniques. At the end of this course students will have an understanding of microbes associated with health and disease (including bacteria, fungi and viruses), academic and practical understanding of laboratory techniques required for the culture, identification and characterisation of microbes, and increased confidence in reading and critiquing primary research literature.

Please note that some of the material on this course may describe animal research and/or may discuss disease outbreaks.

Stage 2

In semester 2, students study one compulsory course and three elective courses.

Compulsory Courses

Research Tutorials (MB5518)

15 Credit Points

The aim of this course is to develop understanding of hypothesis-led research and to provide an opportunity to study advanced science concepts and critically evaluate research led by an experienced member of academic staff.

Optional Courses

Students must choose three elective courses from the following list:

  • BT5511: Advanced Biotechnology with Computation (15 credit points)
Advanced Bioinformatics and Genome Sequencing (MB5522)

15 Credit Points

An exciting course that brings a student right up to date with bioinformatics, genome assembly and annotation technology. You, the student, will analyse the genome of an unknown bacterium from the environment. The genome of this isolate has been extracted and whole genome sequenced. You will assemble your own bacterial genome and functionally annotate it, taught by expert bioinformaticians from our Centre for Genome-Enabled Biology and Medicine. Your analysis will enable you to identify the species you have isolated, produce a full inventory of genes and their presumptive functions, allowing an exploration of the antibiotic resistance potential of the bacteria. Overall, the course prepares a student for future employment in a biosciences' workplace, where genome sequencing, assembly and annotation is becoming an everyday tool of modern biotechnology.

Advanced Biotechnology with Computation (BT5511)

15 Credit Points

This course will take the student through in-depth study of how synthetic biology, systems biology and computation are transforming the principles and practice of modern biotechnology. The course will teach modern methods of biotechnology including host cell design and optimisation using modern modelling techniques, leading to an understanding of how multiple genes under precise regulatory control can be introduced into a species to endow it with new biotechnologically valuable properties. The course will demonstrate the application of computer programming to bioinformatic analysis with direct relevance to modern biotechnology.

Through hands on study of synthetic biological processes in a series of workshops, students will learn how advanced genetic engineering of host expression systems can transform production of pharmaceuticals, chemical feedstocks and biofuels. Through workshop study of computer programming, students will gain hands-on knowledge of introductory programming skills relevant to genomic analysis and modern biotechnology. The course will equip students with a range of knowledge and skills directly relevant to modern biosciences, including the biotechnology industry.

Host - Pathogen Interactions (MB5516)

15 Credit Points

Why do some microorganisms cause disease, yet others don’t? This course explores host-pathogen interactions from bacterial, fungal, parasite, viral and host perspectives in a lecture series, examining virulence factors, host defences and immune responses.

Students develop a detailed knowledge of one specific host-pathogen interaction through self-directed study and working as a group to review a specific disease selected by the students. In addition, students will enhance their ability to work within teams and will develop their skill in academic writing, creating a group-written review article.

Course workshops discuss experimental design for analysis of host-pathogen interactions, virulence and evaluation of novel drug treatments.

The course materials will enable students to develop and refine their understanding of the roles of host and pathogen in infectious disease.

Please note that some of the material on this course may describe animal research and/or may discuss disease outbreaks.

Advanced Genomic Tools in Biomedical Research (MB5528)

15 Credit Points

A course describing the wide range of ways in which genome sequencing has transformed biomedical research and our understanding of human disease.

Contains material detailing a range of examples of advanced genomic tools and technologies and their applications in biomedical science.

A course that makes wide use of the literature, allowing you to read about and understand the latest genomics-based methods.

A course placing a high value on its teaching and learning; lecture material supported by workshops – your chance to put knowledge into practice, ask questions and enjoy the science.

Genes and Immunity (MB5526)

15 Credit Points

The genetic basis of self/non-self discrimination underlies all immune responses and can influence disease susceptibility at the level of both individual and populations. This course addresses this topic through lectures from research active experts in the main areas covered.

The course involves students delivering a media presentation on a course-related topic.

Drug Development to Evidence Based Medicine (MT5520)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide you with an introduction to evidence-based medicine. It will also include a description of the elements of pharmaceutical research as well as of the drug development process.

Biologic Drug Discovery (BT5509)

15 Credit Points

Biologic therapies represent one of the most important and novel areas of drug discovery in the 21st century. The aim of this course is to provide an insight into the success of protein, peptide or antibody based biologic therapies and to examine how this exciting new area will develop over the next decade.

Applied Developmental Biology (MB5524)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide a thorough understanding of the mechanisms regulating embryonic and fetal development. Factors influencing normal and abnormal development, including, genes and the environment, will be discussed. The impact of developmental biology upon reproductive and regenerative medicine, including stem cells, cloning, gene editing and genetic manipulation technologies, as well as the ethical considerations, will be evaluated.

Stage 3

Compulsory Courses

Students must take one of the following:

Masters Research Project (Laboratory) (MB5904)

60 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity to complete a substantial piece of data-driven, empirical work within their field of study under the supervision of an experienced researcher.

Topics available will be varied but within the domain of their field of study. Alongside supervisors, students will identify a suitable topic area, describe an appropriate study design and implement an empirical study to be completed within a laboratory setting. Students will be involved alongside the supervisors in the process of defining the research question, and developing the research plan and, where appropriate, obtaining regulatory approvals. This course is for laboratory-based projects (if you are intending to undertake a project in non-laboratory setting you should register on PU5913)

Masters Research Project (PU5922)

60 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity to complete a substantial piece of data-driven, empirical work within their field of study under the supervision of an experienced researcher.

Topics available will be varied but within the domain of their field of study. Alongside supervisors, students will identify a suitable topic area, describe an appropriate study design and implement an empirical study to be completed within a laboratory setting. Students will be involved alongside the supervisors in the process of defining the research question, and developing the research plan and, where appropriate, obtaining regulatory approvals. This course is for non-laboratory based projects (if you are intending to undertake a project in a scientific laboratory setting you should register on MB5913)

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £27,000
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
UK £12,200
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our Tuition Fees page.

Scholarships

Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3,000 to £8,000, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

How You'll Study

The teaching on this programme is lecture based with self-directed learning, practical classes and tutorials to support the lecture material.

The majority of lectures are recorded and can be viewed again when required. The MSc makes the most of hands-on learning to enable repeated exposure to evidence-based practice using real life examples. Some of the teaching methods employed in the programme include:

  • Inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary learning
  • Exposure to leading academics
  • Research-led teaching taught by key opinion leaders
  • Insight into real-life situations and examples

On-going support is provided by the University’s dedicated, interdisciplinary team of experienced researchers, who will be tutoring you. Peer support will develop throughout the course(s) as engagement with students from other countries and disciplines is actively encouraged.

Much of the teaching on this course is participatory and you are expected to consolidate all taught content by completing related tasks and activities and engaging in independent study in your own time.

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lab Work
  • Research
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

By practical work, by written essays and by oral presentations, or by a combination of these, as prescribed for each course. The project will be assessed on the basis of performance, written thesis, and oral presentation. There will usually be an oral examination to complete the programme. Candidates must pass all courses at an appropriate standard for the award of the MSc degree.

Why Study Molecular Medicine?

  • Gain insights into the rapid and extraordinary technological advances in molecular biology that are revolutionising clinical medicine.
  • Tailor the curriculum to your academic interests and career aspirations by selecting courses from a large range of available options.
  • Enjoy world class teaching delivered by experts within the Institute of Medical Sciences, allowing you to benefit from a research-led teaching experience.
  • Benefit from the opportunity to undertake a comprehensive research project in molecular medicine.
  • Gain highly sought after skills that will equip you for career destinations across a diversity of molecular medicine subject areas in both industry and academia.
  • Be based at our Foresterhill Health Campus, which includes one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, the Institute of Medical Sciences, and the Rowett Institute.
  • Benefit from skills training to help with scientific writing, analytical skills, CV writing, interview skills and reading scientific literature.
  • Enjoy small class sizes that give you the opportunity to participate in class discussions and to have good access to the teaching staff.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A second class Honours degree (2:2 or above) or equivalent qualification in a biological or medical science degree is required for entry onto this programme.

Please check the In My Country pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

CV
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Eligible self-funded post graduate taught (PGT) students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Explore our Global Scholarships, including eligibility details, on our dedicated page.

Aberdeen Global Scholarships

Careers

The MSc in Molecular Medicine will provide you with the academic, analytical and practical skills to assist you in to many careers. This course provides excellent training for graduates looking to pursue research careers who wish to expand their knowledge and skills for starting a PhD or becoming research scientists (research assistants or technologists).

The knowledge and skills acquired through this MSc Programme are also of great value for those seeking a career in industry, biotechnology, or hospital diagnostic and pathology laboratories. More generally, molecular medicine graduates can also use their training to pursue careers in education, scientific publishing, intellectual property and patent law, and science outreach.

Gain sought after skills transforming medicine

Enter the world of modern molecular technologies, ranging from next generation sequencing to the engineering of biologic therapies, that are revolutionising our ability to diagnose and treat patients.

What our Alumni Say

Hafeez Ibrahim

Hafeez Ibrahim

Hafeez Ibrahim

Graduated 2021

I was impressed by the friendly and cordial relationship between the teaching staff and students. All these ensured a positive teaching environment was in place for students to learn and freely express themselves. I initially thought that moving from working in a clinical environment to a research-focused environment would be difficult. However, this change was made seamless because of the positive environment I met. The openness and the hands-on approach by the teaching staff was remarkable.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Anke Jozefien Roelofs

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX