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Duration

One year, full-time

Application Deadline

30 June

Location

St George's, University of London

UK, EU and non-EU (international)

citizens may apply

Start dates

9 September 2024

Applied biomedical science is a field of study that seeks to apply advances in basic research, to develop new diagnostic tools, therapies and preventive strategies for human diseases. Subjects covered by the course include clinical trials management, genomics, personalised medicine, bioinformatics and population health research.

The course is aimed at students with an undergraduate degree in biomedical science or a related bioscience discipline. Previous participants have also joined with qualifications in biotechnology, dentistry, medicine, pharmacology and pharmacy. Good writing skills and a fundamental understanding of molecular biology, genetics and arithmetic are essential to succeed.

There are multiple opportunities on the course to develop your transferable professional skills, especially in scientific writing, presentation and data analysis. Professional training further includes a three-month research project, involving active immersion in a translational science project.

Completing our MSc will help you develop into a confident and self-reliant scientist with extensive knowledge and understanding of translational science. You’ll be prepared for both academic study at a doctoral level, as well as for a career in research and development. Past graduates have gone on to study medicine, start PhD training or obtained employment in roles such as data analyst, clinical trials manager or researcher within the biotechnology sector. We also invite applications from intercalating medical students.

You can also spend part of your study abroad with the Erasmus/Turing programme.

“Completing this Master's enabled me to gain expertise in molecular biology, bioinformatics, and genomics. Undertaking a research project allowed me to cultivate essential laboratory skills to become a more confident and competent researcher in cell and molecular biology.”

- Parisa Rahimnashat

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“The professors and staff were incredible. Each one provided expertise in their respective field and allowed me to acquire a new perspective in the field of translational medicine on how to make an impact and take something from bench to bedside.”

- Filip Djukic

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“My MSc has been of great importance for continuing with my PhD. I had the opportunity to considerably improve my scientific writing competency as well as my informatics and statistics skills. I also learned how to carry out a research project and how to work as a member of a research group. I’ve been using these skills from the very first day of my PhD.”

- Aurora Campagna

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Course structure

Modules will be delivered in lectures, tutorials, presentations, discussions, online activities.

To complete the MSc, you will study seven taught modules, and then complete a three month research project. View the MSc module guide.

Course start date

The course will start with enrolment and induction activities on 9 - 10 September 2024. Topics covered will include the virtual learning platform, library and careers service as well as course specific sessions. There will also be keynote speakers and a social event where students from a variety of postgraduate taught courses can get to know each other.

Semester structure

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Semester one

  • Case Studies in Drug Discovery and Development (15 credits)
  • Genomic Technologies in Clinical Diagnostics (15 credits)
  • Research Methods and Management (15 credits)
  • Clinical Trials (15 credits)

Semester two

  • Big Data in Biomedicine (30 credits)
  • Personalised Medicine (15 credits)
  • Population Health Research (15 credits)

Semester three

  • Research Project (60 credits)

Module information

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Big Data in Biomedicine (30 credits)

Understanding of large biomedical datasets and data analysis skills are now required at all stages of the translational research continuum; training in this area is thus greatly desired by potential employers.

Since the human genome was first sequenced in 2003, the biomedical sciences have experienced an explosion of DNA sequence data, functional genomics collections and epidemiological information. The exponential progress in this area was made possible by the emergence of novel technologies used to sequence DNA, investigate gene function and to store and analyse large amounts of data. New technologies, comprehensive datasets and advances in data storage have ushered in the field of ‘systems biology’, a catchphrase used in reference to growing efforts of using holistic approaches to study complex problems in biology and medicine. Availability of properly trained scientists who can analyse these data is now becoming the limiting factor in industry and academia.

Case Studies in Drug Discovery and Development (15 credits)

The first part of this module focuses on malaria, a disease of global importance. Sessions go through a series of case studies that explore very comprehensively the pathophysiology of malaria, plus preclinical and clinical studies that led to the development of antimalarials. The second half consists of presentations and workshops by translational scientists at St George’s talking about their own research.

Clinical Trials (15 credits)

This module will introduce students to fundamental principles and concepts of clinical trials. Particular attention will be given to randomised controlled trials (RCTs), which are considered to be the most robust approach to testing new treatments. Students will learn how to appraise the validity and reliability of trial results and how trials are managed and conducted in real-world settings. Students will also gain an appreciation of the ethical and regulatory requirements surrounding RCTs.

Students will complete practical sessions each week based on the topic of the preceding lecture. Work from the practical sessions will be documented in a practical session notebook, which will count towards the ICA helping to consolidate learning and knowledge. The final sessions of the module will draw together the key themes explored with a presentation on landmark trials from experts in the field.

Importantly, a one-day face-to-face good clinical practice (GCP) course will form part of the module with a certificate awarded on successful completion. This GCP certificate is a key requirement for those working on clinical trials in any sector. The module thus provides knowledge, skills and a qualification immediately relevant for potential employment in the area of clinical trials management.

Genomic Technologies in Clinical Diagnostics (15 credits)

Powerful new technologies are transforming healthcare. Over the last decade technologies have emerged that allow scientists to interrogate the genome at the chromosome or single nucleotide level in just a few days, resulting in greater availability of genomic data, which is increasingly being used to determine health management. Genomics have become pivotal in various areas of current translational medicine such as diagnostics, pharmacogenetics / precision medicine, and population genetics.

This online module focuses upon these fundamental genomic technologies. Students will familiarise themselves with the molecular and cytogenetic techniques currently employed in the diagnostic laboratories and, using their knowledge, develop testing stratagems for particular clinical condition(s). Students will also gain an in-depth understanding of genetic technologies currently undertaken in the research setting, and the challenges involved in the implementation of novel technologies in the diagnostic setting.

Personalised Medicine (15 credits)

The ultimate goal of personalised, or precision, medicine is to create healthcare strategies that are tailored to each individual patient. This will be achieved by integrating molecular information with traditional clinical and pathological signs of disease. Advances in genomic technologies have provided new perspectives across medicine, particularly in screening, diagnosis, disease classification and treatment. This module explores how this research is being translated intoclinical practice to make personalised medicine a reality.

Personalised medicine is not limited to pharmacogenetics (which examines the effect of genetic variation on drug targets, metabolism, efficacy and toxicity) but looks more broadly at how molecular profiling can influence health outcomes. Examples include molecular therapies used in oncology, advances in pre-natal screening and management of infection. We also consider issues surrounding personalised medicine, including patient responses to genetic testing, the challenge of translating research results into clinical practice, genetic discrimination, and regulation.

Examples are drawn from cancer, infection and a range of clinical specialties.

Population Health Research (15 credits)

Population-based policies and changes in clinical practice rely on data analyses of all forms: descriptive and inferential. The latter refers to studies aiming at producing reproducible results or estimates which can be generalised to large populations. Understanding patterns in population health related to disease demographics, lifestyle, socioeconomic features, environmental exposures, and interventions are quintessential in designing evidenced-based public health policies.

This module will equip students with a body of knowledge on epidemiology of public health, study designs, measures of associations between diseases and potential risk factors and associated statistical methods which quantify their magnitude and statistical significance.

This module will walk the students through all phases of research development lifecycle: from initial stage of research question and the importance of pilot and feasibility studies to main complex observational epidemiological settings such as cross-sectional, cohort, case control and longitudinal studies. The associated statistical concepts and techniques will include not only simple hypotheses testing but also basic elements of statistical modelling addressing bias and confounding in observational studies and methods to minimise them.

Research Methods and Management (15 credits)

The Research Methods and Management module tightly integrates with the research project by introducing students to the conceptual, technical, regulatory and ethical aspects of conducting research. The module also covers a number of transferable skills related to self-directed learning, literature analysis, communication, and time management. Teaching strategies will include a “flipped classroom” approach involving self-directed learning followed by class presentations, discussions and tutorials. The principal assessment is a research proposal on the subject of students’ laboratory project.

Research Project (60 credits)

The supervised research project constitutes a central learning activity by providing immersive, work-based training in translational science. A research project involves choosing a subject, formulating a specific research question or aim, devising a research strategy to address this question, performing the research and analysing the resulting data. Project background, experimental procedures, results and discussion are written up as a 15,000 to 25,000-word dissertation and presented orally to an audience with the aid of a poster.

At the beginning of the course students will be presented with a list of available research projects, and they are asked to explore possible subjects in meetings with potential supervisors. Students choose a project by the end of the first month. The course has been designed such that the research project interdigitates, wherever possible, with the taught modules. The 'Case Studies in Drug Development' and 'Big Data in Biomedicine' modules will include assignments requiring reading and presenting scientific literature, and students will have opportunities to choose material with relevance to their project.

Following the first term, students will prepare a research proposal on the subject of their research project.

Entry criteria

To be considered for this course, you will need to:

  • meet the entry criteria
  • write a personal statement
  • provide two suitable references

Undergraduate degree or equivalent

You should have or be expected to achieve, a minimum of a second class degree (2:2). For healthcare graduates, a pass is required. All degrees must be awarded before 1 August on the year of entry.

Experience of the research process and/or completion of an undergraduate dissertation is essential. 

We welcome applications from individuals from a range of backgrounds, including humanities, science and healthcare. 

We may invite you to interview if are unable to make a decision directly from your application.

Intercalating students

Applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree but are current medical students who have successfully completed 360 credits (or equivalent) including at least 120 credits at Level 6 (or equivalent) of their medical degree are also eligible to apply.

International qualifications

We accept equivalent qualifications gained in other countries and use to UKNARIC to assess. Please see our International Student Support pages for more information.

If you have any questions, you can contact us at pgenquiries@sgul.ac.uk

English language requirement

This is a Group 1 course.

If you have any questions, you can contact us at pgenquiries@sgul.ac.uk

Facilities

As the course is jointly taught by St George’s and King’s College London, students will have access to both Universities’ facilities, including libraries and computer rooms.

St George’s is the only UK University situated within a hospital site, St George’s Hospital, which is where much of the Channel 4 television series 24 hours in A&E was filmed. We offer a unique opportunity to study and work alongside the full range of clinical professionals and their patients. Based in the thriving multi-cultural hub of Tooting in South West London, our location has the added advantage of being just a short tube ride from Central London and all the city lifestyle has to offer.

We also have a range of specialist health and academic facilities to support your learning, listed below.

Research laboratories

Our research laboratories at both St George's and King's are fully fitted with all the equipment necessary for the students research projects. This includes benchtop and high-end microscopes, spectrophotometers, DNA amplifiers, organ baths and specialist glassware.

Library and learning technologies

Our modern health sciences library offers a wide range of books, e-books, academic journals and other resources to support you, and our Hunter discovery service to help you find the information you need. The library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and comprises silent, quiet and group learning areas, as well as four group discussion rooms. You will also have access to online resources, such as the Canvas virtual learning environment.

IT facilities

We have five computer suites housing 260 workstations. Three of these suites are accessible 24 hours a day. It’s easy to find a free space with our handy real-time computer locator. We also have 75 self-service laptops available. Free Wi-Fi covers the whole campus, including all accommodation. You can use these resources to access your course materials, discussion boards and feedback through Canvas.

Student support

Whether you are an existing healthcare professional, returning to education after a break or joining us after graduating from an undergraduate degree, we want to ensure your experience is positive from the outset. At St George’s, you’ll be welcomed by a multicultural student and staff body of different ages, ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds, all with one thing in common – an interest in healthcare, science and medicine.

Students frequently tell us they greatly appreciate the diversity of our student and staff body, as well as the patients who access healthcare services in the borough of Tooting. We attract a substantial number – over two-thirds – of ‘mature’ students, aged 21 or over when they start; many have family and caring responsibilities.

We offer a full range of academic support and student services across all institutes, departments and faculties, some of which are listed below. We take pride in offering a transformative educational experience underpinned by cooperation and collaboration between staff and students.

If you require reasonable adjustments or disability services you can find information on our disability information for students pages. For any further information please contact the disability adviser.  

Academic support

On arrival, you will be allocated a personal tutor – someone with whom you can have regular contact, who you can ask questions and discuss problems with, both academic and personal. The main purpose of a personal tutor is to support your progress on the course, pick up and help you resolve any problems, whether academic or welfare related. Even if they do not have the answer, they will point you in the right direction towards the best people to deal with specific problems.

Student Life Centre

Our Student Centre team can help you with every aspect of student life: finances, accommodation, exams and assessment, academic procedures, admissions, international queries, disability and wellbeing, even finding your way around – whatever it takes to make you feel at home. Each course has a designated contact within the student centre to link to and your personal tutor can signpost you to relevant support, including a confidential counselling service, should you need it.

Careers service

Our careers service works to support both current students and graduates to find and maintain the career of their dreams. They work with careers tutors from each course area to ensure that careers activities specific to your course and future profession come to you. Our careers service is offered through in person or online appointments, and they can provide CV and application advice. A series of careers education workshops specifically tailored to postgraduate students is organised every year.

International student support

Our International Students Support service is part of the Student Life Centre and provides guidance and information on visas, settlement schemes, enrolment and more. If you are an international student, please do get in touch with them as soon as you accept your offer to study the course via student.immigration@sgul.ac.uk.

Careers

Our postgraduate course equips graduates with expertise in bench-to-bedside pathways, genomic diagnostics and data analysis. By providing practical research experience and training in drug development, genomic diagnostics and data analysis, our MSc equips you with skills that are in great demand in the life sciences sector.

Access career pathways

The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have helped us design the programme. This means you’ll be equipped with expertise in the relevant bioscience and bench-to-bedside development pathways. You’ll also gain technical knowledge to prepare you for a PhD-level programme and to participate in research and development in pharmaceutical and biotechnology settings.

Address the skills shortage

According to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, there is currently a skills shortage in translational medicine which requires complex understanding to bridge the gap between bench and bedside.

Fees and funding

In this tab you will find the financial information for this course of study, including details of financial support.

Tuition fees

2024 UK entry (home): £13,150

2024 International (including EU): £25,200

We do not expect students to incur any extra costs over and above those that we have advertised on the course page. To get the most from your studies, you will need your personal computer or laptop and an internet connection in your home. Find out more about technology requirements.

Funding your study

We have a range of funding opportunities available for students. You may be eligible for the following:

How to apply

Before beginning your application please check the entry criteria of the course you wish to study to ensure you meet the required standards.

Applications must be submitted through our online application system, which you can access below.

Access our online application system

Select the relevant application link and create an account:

  1. Once you've created an account, you will then be able to complete the application form and upload any relevant documents. You can save a partly completed form and return to it later. Please make sure you complete all sections. Please make sure that the information you provide is accurate, including the options you select in menus.
  2. Add pgadmissions@sgul.ac.uk to your address book to ensure you do not miss any important emails from us.
  3. When you have checked that your application is complete and accurate, click ‘submit’.

You can track your application through your online account.

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Guidance for completing your references

When completing your application, you will be asked to provide contact details of two referees. Please ensure these details are accurate. As soon as you have submitted your application, your referees will be contacted by the university asking them to upload a reference to your online application.

One must be a recent academic reference. The other should be either a second academic reference or a professional/employer reference. They should cover your suitability for the course and your academic ability.

Your referees should know you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. We do not accept references from family, friends, partners, ex-partners or yourself.

We will send reminder emails to your referees but it is your responsibility to ensure that contact details are correct and referees are available to submit a reference. References should be uploaded within two weeks of making your application.

Apply now

Duration

One year, full-time

Application Deadline

30 June

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