Medical Molecular Biology MSc
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
You must have at least a BSc Honours in Biology, Chemistry or a related subject, a professional qualification of equivalent status and associated work experience or an equivalent qualification deemed suitable by the course team. If you are applying for part-time study, you will normally be working in a relevant area and will require written support from your employer including confirmation that facilities will be available in your workplace for you to carry out your research project. For those not employed in related areas or for whom a work-based project is not viable we can provide projects at the University.
If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS score of at least 6.5, with 6.0 in each element. During the induction stage of the course, if English is not your first language you will need to complete Academic English screening and any resulting recommended Academic English support activity.
This course enables you to study cutting edge molecular methods employed for the understanding of molecular mechanisms of diseases and for their diagnosis and treatment. Your studies will be underpinned by essential knowledge in genetics, cell signalling and molecular medicine.
You will be offered the flexibility to select option modules that reflect your own interest in molecular biology and these will be combined with core modules and an independent research project. The course is suitable for newly qualified graduates, those employed in related work and those with medical qualifications.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR THERAPEUTICS
This module reviews and discusses the ways in which molecular biology has been used to treat inherited and acquired diseases. You will investigate the ethics and legislation involved in the use of novel therapies in humans.
MOLECULAR SCIENCE AND DIAGNOSTICS
This module is designed to make you aware of the impact of molecular biology on the diagnosis of human diseases. You will critically review the technologies and determine the advantages and disadvantages associated with each diagnostic strategy. Issues of accuracy, implementation, ethics and safety will be addressed.
PRINCIPLES OF MOLECULAR MEDICINE
The module provides you with a critical appreciation of the human genome, its regulation, functional significance of gene mutations and current approaches of identification of human genetic disorders. Topics covered include: molecular basis of host-pathogen interaction; molecular pathology of disease with simple genetics; molecular genetics of disease; complex systems, immunogenetics and disease; and molecular genetics of cancer.
POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH METHODS
You will be able to develop your skills in information retrieval, critical analysis and presentation relevant to your research topic, and form a clear plan for your project.
This module aims to enhance your skills of self-management, experimental design, critical analysis and interpretation of data, enabling you to present and justify your research.
CELL SIGNALLING AND GENETICS
This module provides up-to-date information on cell signalling processes coupling surface receptor engagement to changes in gene expression. Transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms are discussed in relation to selected cell-signalling pathways responsible for controlling cell functions such as cell cycle, cell differentiation and cell death. Examples of defective cell signalling through inherited and somatically acquired mutations in signalling components will be highlighted in relation to human disease.
EXTENDED POSTGRADUATE PROJECT
This module gives you the opportunity to investigate an appropriate research topic, generate and critically analyse data, and present your results and discuss findings in the context of previously published work. The project proposed and undertaken must include rigorous and critical analysis of data with a high level of initiative. This module is intended for students wishing to gain greater research experience and includes an extended period of research activity and extended assessment regime.
You will analyse and discuss cellular and molecular aspects of innate and adaptive immune responses, and advances in modern methods for disease diagnosis and treatment. This will include strategies available for the diagnosis of inherited and acquired immunological disorders, normal and pathological immune responses to extracellular and intracellular pathogens, transplantation of organs and tissues, immune surveillance of tumours, autoimmune and immunodeficiency disorders.
The module aims to investigate the role of immunological tools such as vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and cytokines in the treatment of human disease.
Bioinformatics is an exciting new discipline at the interface of computer science, information and biology and is playing a crucial role in the development of personalised medicine. From genome sequencing projects thigh to rational drug design protein engineering it offers great opportunities for enhancing our understanding of biology at the molecular level and for the developments of new therapeutics. Topics covered include: analysis of protein sequences and structure, modelling protein structure and function, rational drug design, protein structure predication and protein engineering.
This module will introduce the theoretical and practical underpinnings of systems biology. The emphasis is on studies of entire systems, assisted by the use of bioinformatics and how the knowledge from these may be applied to medicine. The module will examine databases and other resources as well as discuss issues key to the studies of entire systems.
You will develop a range of course-specific and transferable skills that will enhance your employment prospects, career progression and research opportunities in the UK and/ or overseas. It is anticipated that a significant number of graduates will go on to pursue a career in research after registering for a higher degree. Others will seek employment in healthcare laboratories, industry, research laboratories, government laboratories or academia in the UK or worldwide. One of the strengths of this degree is the mixture of backgrounds/ experience and career aspirations of the students recruited.
The course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).
Length of course
One year, full-time study or part-time on flexible basis.
The teaching team includes:
- Dr Pamela Greenwell, Course Leader
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.