Oxford's Doctoral Training Centre
The University's premises for research students in genomic medicine and statistics
(Image Credit: Medical Sciences Doctoral Training Centre)

MSc in Genomic Medicine

About the course

The MSc in Genomic Medicine is a full-time, one-year cross-disciplinary programme, 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:

  • a multi-disciplinary approach to genomic medicine that will provide students with the awareness and skill sets needed to engage with relevant specialists and technologies for the future development and delivery of genomic medicine;
  • insights into the processing, analysis, interpretation and delivery of genomic knowledge at all stages following data generation, both within bioinformatic and clinical care pipelines and at the end-user interface, critical for delivering the translational potential of genomic medicine; and
  • the concept of ‘gene to patient’ in its broadest sense, encompassing education and training on the wider impact of genomic medicine – for example on clinical trials, drug development and interface with the life sciences industry – and equipping students with the skills needed to develop this in the future.

Course structure

Core modules

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

Elective modules

In the second term, students take three elective modules from the following six options, with the option to attend further modules that are not formally assessed.

Two modules will be selected 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

One module will be selected from set B:

  • B1 Genomics in Clinical Practice
  • B2 Application of Genomics for Therapeutics, Vaccinology and Industry

Research project

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. Students will have a named supervisor with experience in supervision of postgraduate students. Students will produce a written dissertation based on their research project of 10,000-12,000 words.

Taught generic research skills

This will comprise generic research and transferrable skills training with an emphasis on good research practice. Short courses and workshops will be offered throughout the duration of the course.

Teaching format

Modules will comprise a mix of lectures, tutorials, structured learning, individual and group-based assignments, problem-solving tasks and independent learning. The balance of contact teaching hours and self-directed learning is expected to be approximately equal. During the first term, each student will have the opportunity to attend 8 small-group tutorial sessions (2 per core module).

Supervision

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 students at least twice per term. In addition, students will have formal and informal supervision from their host group during their 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.

Assessment

Summative assessment of the course

Core module content is assessed by two exam papers 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 extended essays or an equivalent piece of written work, with each chosen module (3 in total) contributing 10% of the final mark. The research project is assessed by a 10,000-12,000 word dissertation contributing 40% of the final mark.

Students will be required to pass the summative assessment elements for both core and elective modules, and will have one opportunity to retake/revise each component if needed within a one-month period.

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.

Graduate destinations

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 programme.

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 (including Covid-19), 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.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Other courses you may wish to consider

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Medical Sciences Graduate School website to help them identify the most suitable course and supervisors.

If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.

All graduate courses offered by the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine

Entry requirements for entry in 2022-23

Proven and potential academic excellence

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications:

  • 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.

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.

English language requirement

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.

Minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level requirement
TestMinimum overall scoreMinimum score per component
IELTS Academic (Institution code: 0713) 7.57.0

TOEFL iBT, including the 'Home Edition'

(Institution code: 0490)

110Listening: 22
Reading: 24
Speaking: 25
Writing: 24
C1 Advanced*191185
C2 Proficiency191185

*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.

Supporting documents 

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need 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 short 3-minute presentation will be requested from the candidate as part of the interview process. Slides are not required and details about the content will be provided in advance of the interview. The interview panel will comprise of senior academics and the interview will last no longer than 20 minutes. All shortlisted applicants will be interviewed virtually.

Supervision

Any offer of a place is dependent on the University’s ability to provide the appropriate supervision for your chosen area of work. Please refer to the ‘About’ section of this page for more information about the provision of supervision for this course.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on academic merit and potential, according to the published entry requirements for the course. The After you apply section of this website provides further information about the academic assessment of your application, including the potential outcomes. Please note that any offer of a place may be subject to academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions may vary depending upon your individual academic circumstances.

Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background. Whether you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

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.

After an offer is made

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer letter will give full details of your offer and any academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course.  In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will be required to meet the following requirements:

Financial Declaration

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.

biological or biomedical sciences

Resources

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.

Funding

The University expects to be able to offer around 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2022-23. 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 college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages.

Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2022-23

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home£15,970
Overseas£38,410

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

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.

For more information about course fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our detailed fee status information and the Oxford and the EU webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Additional information

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.

Living costs

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 2022-23 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,215 and £1,755 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. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2022-23, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 3% each year.

College preference

All graduate students at Oxford belong to a department or faculty and a college or hall (except those taking non-matriculated courses). 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. The Colleges section of this website provides information about the college system at Oxford, as well as factors you may wish to consider when deciding whether to express a college preference. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 45 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as Permanent Private Halls (PPHs). 

For some courses, the department or faculty may have provided some additional advice below to help you to decide. Whatever you decide, it won’t affect how the academic department assesses your application and whether they decide to make you an offer. If your department makes you an offer of a place, you’re guaranteed a place at one of our colleges. 

The following colleges accept students on the MSc in Genomic Medicine:

How to apply

It is not necessary to contact a potential supervisor or other academic staff before you apply.

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

Official transcript(s)

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.

CV/résumé
Full instructions and link to standard CV creation form

A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. You will need to upload a standardised CV to the graduate application form as part of your application. This standardised CV should be generated using the online form that requests certain information that you will likely have included on your CV. Once you have completed the form, you will have 15 minutes to download your CV as a PDF document. 

This PDF document will be in the same format for all applicants and you should not modify the document before you upload it, or submit your CV in a different format. 

Full instructions and a link to the standard CV creation form are provided on the Medical Sciences Division website. The instructions page contains links to example clinical and non-clinical CVs, with details of what to include and suggested answer formats.

If you require help or advice while generating your CV using the online form, please contact the Medical Sciences Graduate School for assistance (graduate.school@medsci.ox.ac.uk).

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.

References/letters of recommendation:
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.

Start or continue an application

Step 1: Read our guide to getting started, which explains how to prepare for and start an application.

Step 2: Check that you meet the Entry requirements and read the How to apply information on this page.

Step 3: Check the deadlines on this page and the deadline information in our Application Guide. Plan your time to submit your application well in advance - we recommend two or three weeks earlier.

Step 4: Check if you're eligible for an application fee waiver. Application fee waivers are available for:

Step 5: Start your application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, consult our Application Guide for advice at each stage. You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application GuideApply

Was this page useful?*