About the course
The MSc in Genomic Medicine is a full-time, one-year cross-disciplinary course, which benefits from world-leading expertise in genomic science across the University of Oxford coupled with direct links to clinical and translational medicine.
The course is designed to equip students from diverse academic and workplace backgrounds with knowledge of the fundamental principles, technologies and basis of genomic science and how this can be translated for the benefit of human health, economics and broader society.
The course seeks to promote:
- rigorous scientific training to understand the complexities of genomic data;
- the concept of ‘gene to patient’ in its broadest sense, encompassing fundamental genomics research, bioinformatics pipelines, clinical trials, drug development, translational genomics, education and training for healthcare practitioners, patients and the wider public; and
- a multi-disciplinary approach providing the awareness and skill sets needed to engage with relevant specialists and technologies for the future development and delivery of genomic medicine.
The following four modules are taken by all students in the first term:
- Fundamentals in Human Genetics and Genomics
- Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases
- Omic Technologies and their Application to Genomic Medicine
- Bioinformatics, Statistics and Data Interpretation in Genomic Analysis
In the second term, you will take three elective modules from the following six options, with the option to attend further modules that are not formally assessed.
You will select two modules from set A:
- A1 Molecular Pathology and Precision Medicine
- A2 Advanced Quantitative Methods (Bioinformatics and Statistics)
- A3 Genome Engineering and Gene-based Therapeutics
- A4 Single Cell Application of –Omic Approaches
You will select one module from set B:
- B1 Genomics in Clinical Practice
- B2 Application of Genomics for Therapeutics, Vaccinology and Industry
The final term will focus on a research project undertaken for a twelve to fourteen week period. Approximately 30 projects will be offered by academic research groups and affiliated clinical supervisors in Oxford, as well as industry placements where possible. You will have a named supervisor with experience in supervision of postgraduate students. You will produce a written dissertation based on your research project of 10,000-12,000 words.
Academic and research skills
This module will run throughout the course helping you develop skills in academic writing, scientific communication and good research practice, alongside topics such as career support. It will also include bespoke computational and statistics training as a foundation for the core module ‘Bioinformatics, Statistics and Data Interpretation in Genomic Analysis’.
Modules will comprise a mix of lectures, small-group tutorials, structured learning, individual and group-based assignments, practical wet-lab and computational sessions and independent learning. You will be expected to spend approximately 30-40 hours studying per week, with the balance of contact teaching hours and self-directed learning being approximately equal. In the first term, a student-focussed seminar series will feature expert guest speakers discussing cutting-edge research in genomic medicine and its clinical application.
The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Nuffield Department of Medicine and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. A supervisor may be found outside the Nuffield Department of Medicine.
All MSc students will have an individual named Academic Advisor assigned on enrolment who will provide guidance in choice of research project and plans, support any specific training needs and also provide pastoral support. They will usually meet with you at least twice per term. In addition, you will have formal and informal supervision from your host group during your research project.
Termly graduate supervision reporting will be completed in Michaelmas and Hilary term by the Academic Advisor and in Trinity term by the research project supervisor.
Summative assessment of the course
Core module content is assessed by written assessments with a mix of question types, taken at the start of the second term and contributing 30% of the final course mark. Towards the end of the second term, elective modules are assessed by written assessments or oral presentations, with each chosen module (three in total) contributing 10% of the final mark. The research project is assessed by a dissertation contributing 40% of the final mark.
You will be required to pass the summative assessment elements for both core and elective modules, and you will have one opportunity to retake/revise each component if needed.
Formative assessment of the course
All modules will include formative assignments devised to test the ability to understand, apply and extend the learning from the module in a variety of formats and through a mix of group/individual work. Formative assessment in the first term will be carefully designed to prepare students for the core module exam papers. Successful completion of these will ensure all students have attained a sufficient level of understanding of fundamental material to complete the elective and research elements of the course. Formative assessment of the research project will include submission of a project proposal during the second term and an oral presentation reporting on progress eight weeks after starting the project.
This course will help train the next generation of expert practitioners and leaders in genomic medicine by:
- providing critically important skills and knowledge for specialist health care professionals;
- equipping students to apply for doctoral research and academic careers; and
- offering career development opportunities for industry professionals.
There are routes to tailor the course to individual interests and future career trajectories, which are carefully woven into the overall course.
Changes to this course and your supervision
The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic, epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.
Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.
Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25
Proven and potential academic excellence
As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent:
- a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in a relevant field.
The qualification above should be achieved in one of the following subject areas or disciplines:
- biological or biomedical sciences
- medicine or nursing
- bioinformatics or computer science
- statistics or other quantitative discipline.
For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.
If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.
Applicants would usually be expected to have a strong undergraduate degree but this requirement can be alternatively demonstrated through substantial relevant professional experience in exceptional cases.
GRE General Test scores
No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.
Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience
- Research or work experience in an area relevant to the course in a hospital, life-science or industry setting may be an advantage.
- Please note that a publication record is not expected for entry to this course.
English language proficiency
This course requires proficiency in English at the University's higher level. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.
|Test||Minimum overall score||Minimum score per component|
|IELTS Academic (Institution code: 0713)||7.5||7.0|
TOEFL iBT, including the 'Home Edition'
(Institution code: 0490)
*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
†Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)
Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides further information about the English language test requirement.
Declaring extenuating circumstances
If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.
You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.
You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.
Performance at interview
Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.
Panel members will shortlist applications based on independent scoring (using Graduate Studies admission scoring criteria established by the Medical Sciences Division) and a shortlisting meeting. All shortlisted candidates will be interviewed with references available at the time of interview.
Interviews are expected to be held in mid-late January. A five-minute presentation will be requested from the candidate as part of the interview process. Details of the presentation requirements will be provided in advance of the interview. The interview panel will comprise of senior academics and the interview will last no longer than 30 minutes. All shortlisted applicants will be interviewed virtually.
How your application is assessed
Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements published under that heading.
References and supporting documents submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process. Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.
An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our 'After you apply' pages provide more information about how applications are assessed.
Shortlisting and selection
Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:
- socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of the University’s pilot selection procedure and for scholarships aimed at under-represented groups;
- country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
- protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.
Initiatives to improve access to graduate study
This course is taking part in a continuing pilot programme to improve the selection procedure for graduate applications, in order to ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly.
For this course, socio-economic data (where it has been provided in the application form) will be used to contextualise applications at the different stages of the selection process. Further information about how we use your socio-economic data can be found in our page about initiatives to improve access to graduate study.
Processing your data for shortlisting and selection
Admissions panels and assessors
All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).
Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.
Other factors governing whether places can be offered
The following factors will also govern whether candidates can be offered places:
- the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the About section of this page;
- the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
- minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.
Offer conditions for successful applications
If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our 'After you apply' pages provide more information about offers and conditions.
In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also be required to meet the following requirements:
If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a Financial Declaration in order to meet your financial condition of admission.
Disclosure of criminal convictions
In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any relevant, unspent criminal convictions before you can take up a place at Oxford.
The MSc in Genomic Medicine is embedded within the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics (WHG), which has made landmark contributions to understanding the genetic basis of rare and common disease over the last 20 years. Research groups at the WHG continue to pioneer application of cutting-edge genomic techniques and translating those findings to improve clinical practice, including novel treatments, therapeutics and diagnostics.
The WHG is based in purpose-built laboratories on the University of Oxford’s Biomedical Research Campus in Headington, one of the largest concentrations of biomedical expertise in the world. You will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and expertise, as well as opportunities to attend a wide range of training, seminars and journal clubs.
The MSc in Genomic Medicine has dedicated teaching space within the WHG building and close links with our established DPhil programme in Genomic Medicine and Statistics, as well as other MSc programmes hosted within the Nuffield Department of Medicine.
During your research project in Trinity term, you will be embedded within the research groups in the WHG and other institutes, giving you the opportunity to work alongside experienced post-graduate and post-doctoral research staff. The laboratories in the WHG are well-established and well-equipped with cutting-edge technology. Several Core facilities support research activity with specialist expertise, techniques and equipment including high-throughput sequencing, single cell genomics, genome editing, microscopy and cellular imaging, flow cytometry, chromosome dynamics, bioinformatics and high performance computing.
You will have access to a wide range of journals, books and electronic resources through the University libraries including the Knowledge Centre on the Old Road campus, the Cairns Library at the John Radcliffe Hospital and the Radcliffe Science Library, the University’s main teaching and research science library. The libraries also offer dedicated workshops on topics including information discovery, training on use of software and online tools, managing research data and intellectual property.
Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine
The Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) is a large multi-disciplinary department that links high quality clinical and basic research. The underpinning motivation behind all research carried out by NDM is the pursuit of academic excellence and the positive impact of research on the health and wellbeing of the global community.
Much of the £130 million per annum grant income is spent on understanding the most basic principles of biology and disease pathogenesis. As well as its research and clinical commitments in Oxford, the department has Africa and Asia programmes in Thailand, Vietnam and Kenya.
The NDM has a community of around 60 graduate research students each year, the majority of whom are studying towards a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree, which is the University of Oxford's equivalent of a PhD. The department also offers an MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine, an MSc in Modelling for Global Health and an MSc in Genomic Medicine, each with an intake of around 20 students every year, plus a PGDip in Global Health Research. The Careers Service at Oxford University reports that six months after leaving Oxford, postgraduate research students at NDM are on average earning £31,000 with 83.8% in employment and a further 11% in further study (eg Graduate Entry Medicine).
The University expects to be able to offer over 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2024-25. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential.
For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.
Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:
Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.
Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.
Annual fees for entry in 2024-25
Annual Course fees
Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.
Information about course fees
Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges.
Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.
There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses
In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.
For the 2024-25 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,345 and £1,955 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.
Students enrolled on this course will belong to both a department/faculty and a college. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 43 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as societies and permanent private halls (PPHs).
If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. Before deciding, we suggest that you read our brief introduction to the college system at Oxford and our advice about expressing a college preference. For some courses, the department may have provided some additional advice below to help you decide.
The following colleges accept students on the MSc in Genomic Medicine:
Before you apply
Our guide to getting started provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. Check the deadlines on this page and the information about deadlines in our Application Guide. If it's important for you to have your application considered under a particular deadline – eg under a December or January deadline in order to be considered for Oxford scholarships – we recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least two weeks in advance.
Application fee waivers
An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:
- applicants from low-income countries;
- refugees and displaced persons;
- UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and
- applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.
You are encouraged to check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver before you apply.
Do I need to contact anyone before I apply?
You do not need to make contact with the department before you apply but you are encouraged to visit the relevant departmental webpages to read any further information about your chosen course.
General course enquiries should be made to the graduate studies administrator, via the contact details provided on this page.
Completing your application
You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents.
For this course, the application form will include questions that collect information that would usually be included in a CV/résumé. You should not upload a separate document. If a separate CV/résumé is uploaded, it will be removed from your application.
If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.
Three overall, academic and/or professional
Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.
Your references will assessed for:
- your intellectual ability;
- your academic achievement;
- your motivation an interest in the course and subject area;
- your ability to work effectively, both in a group and independently; and
- professional experience and capability.
Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.
More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.
Statement of purpose
A maximum of 750 words
Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford, your relevant experience and education, and the specific areas that interest you and/or you intend to specialise in.
Your statement should focus on your academic achievements and interests, rather than personal achievements, interests and aspirations.
This will be assessed for:
- your reasons for applying
- your interest and commitment to the subject
- your capacity for sustained and intense work
- your preliminary knowledge of the subject area and research techniques
- your ability to present a coherent case in proficient English.
If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.