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
Subject marketing image

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.

Semester 1

Semester 1

In semester 1 students study two compulsory courses plus two or three of Bioinformatics, Biotechnology or Molecular Genetics, and up to two further elective courses, for a total of 60 credits.


Compulsory Courses
Basic Skills - Induction (MT5010)

This course is designed to provide or revise the basic skills you will require for your MSc. These skills include basic laboratory skills and techniques, but also IT skills and the use of University of Aberdeen specific systems (e.g. MyAberdeen etc), writing skills, literature researching and analysis of journal articles. The overarching aim is to develop these skills to a level required to undertake graduate studies and projects in the medical science discipline areas.

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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.

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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.

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Molecular Genetics (MB5025)

15 Credit Points

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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.

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Introduction to Microbiology (MC5008)

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), practical and academic understanding of laboratory techniques required for the culture, identification and characterisation of microbes, and increased confidence in reading and critiquing primary research literature.

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Applied Statistics (PU5017)

15 Credit Points

This course in Applied Statistics intends to focus on the application of statistical techniques in postgraduate research for health professionals, with a particular emphasis on the correct interpretation of statistical analyses. The course will NOT concentrate on the statistical theory underlying the subject. An important component of the course is the use of a statistical package. The statistical package used on this course will be IBM SPSS Statistics 25 which can be used to implement all of the methods taught on this course.

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Profiles of Immunology (MB5028)

15 Credit Points

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of how behaviours (e.g. smoking, diet, medication adherence, etc) can protect, promote, risk or damage health; the key drivers of (un)healthy behaviours; and techniques to change health behaviours.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

In semester 2 students study two compulsory courses and three elective courses, for a total of 60 credits.


Compulsory Courses
Research Tutorials (MB5518)

15 Credit Points

A course that leads you through research-level study of your subject through study of a range of areas of the science literature

An introduction to the subject of your summer research project through the writing of an extended essay on the subject of your forthcoming research project.

The course provides an opportunity to study advanced science concepts led by an experienced member of academic staff.

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Optional Courses

Students must choose three elective courses from the following list.

Please note: the following courses cannot be taken together due to timetabling constraints : Advanced Bioinformatics and Genome Sequencing AND Genes and Immunity

Human Genetics (MB5523)

15 Credit Points

Human genetics has undergone a revolution over the last decade, driven by technological innovations that have given us an unprecedented insight into the genetic diversity of our species. This course will explore how this information is used to determine the role of genetic variation in human health and disease.

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Genome - Enabled Medicine (MB5517)

15 Credit Points

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

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

Contains material detailing a range of examples of genome science and its applications in medicine.

A course that makes wide use of the literature, allowing you to read about and understand the latest methods in genome science.

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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.

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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.

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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 review of a specific disease selected by the student. In addition, workshops are held which discuss experimental design for analysis of host-pathogen interactions, virulence and novel drug treatments. The material on the course will enable students to develop and refine their understanding of the roles of host and pathogen in infectious disease.

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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 isolate a novel bacterium from the environment and purify its DNA. This will be whole genome sequenced, and you will then 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, its metabolic and environmental responses, growth constraints and regulation, cell surface markers and antibiotic resistance, producing a full inventory of genes and their presumptive functions. Overall the course prepares a student for future employment in a biosciences workplace where genome sequencing and annotation is becoming an everyday tool of modern biotechnology.

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Advanced Biotechnology (BT5510)

15 Credit Points

This course will take the student through in depth study of how synthetic biology and systems biology 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.

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. The course will equip students with a range of knowledge and skills directly relevant to modern biosciences, including the biotechnology industry.

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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 workshop involves students delivering a poster presentation on a course-related topic, providing the opportunity for students to practice presentation skills before undertaking the Masters Research project later in the academic year.

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Semester 3

Semester 3

In semester 3 students complete an individual research project.


Compulsory Courses

All students must take one of the following: Masters Research Project (Laboratory) (60 credit points) OR Masters Research Project (60 credit points)

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)

View detailed information about this course

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

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.
  • The University of Aberdeen is a World Top 160 University (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022).

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 - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

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

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; 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

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,500
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £10,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

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 InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Aberdeen Global Scholarship (EU)

The Aberdeen Global Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is a £2,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Postgraduate Masters students who are classed as International fee status and are domiciled in the EU, plus another £3,000 discount for eligible Postgraduate Masters students who would have previously been eligible for Home fees (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Aberdeen Global Scholarship

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.

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. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

Image for Opening 2022 - Science Teaching Hub
Opening 2022 - Science Teaching Hub

Opening 2022 - Science Teaching Hub

Our state-of-the-art Science Teaching Hub will provide students with a digitally focussed environment including advanced analytical tools, research-grade equipment and flexible laboratory spaces.

Find out more

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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