Postgraduate study

Genomics and Experimental Medicine PhD, MScR

Awards: PhD, MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

The University of Edinburgh Centre for Genomics and Experimental Medicine (CGEM) is part of the MRC / University of Edinburgh Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM). CGEM’s mission is to use genetics and genomics to understand the mechanisms of disease and design novel intervention strategies. Our research has consistently obtained the highest possible ranking in national assessments of research excellence.

We undertake detailed studies of populations, families and individuals to study a wide range of health related conditions. We use state-of-the-art genetic, epigenetic, genomic, statistical, bioinformatic, biological and molecular approaches in model systems and clinical studies for systematic investigation of disease aetiology. With this knowledge, we aim to improve disease prediction, prevention and prognosis. Our translational agenda encompasses the development of new medicines and genetically-informed use of existing medicines in clinical trials.

We accept all self-funding/external funding applicants. We strongly recommend you apply as early as possible, at least one month prior to entry. To apply for any of our PhD programmes please select a date in the Applying section (for 4 year programmes, please select '3 Years').

CGEM offers an exceptional, well-managed and well-equipped laboratory environment for cutting edge research and research training. Within CGEM there are ~25, and within the IGMM over a hundred, PhD students, overseen by a well-established Graduate School structure.

Training sessions for PhD students are available in a wide variety of topics. These include: good research practice; experimental design; data analysis and statistics; student-supervisor working relationships; research ethics and assessment mechanisms, as well as lectures/workshops on specific wet and dry laboratory techniques.

There is a Postgraduate Studies Committee (PGSC) which is responsible for student training and assessment. Its role is to develop and implement guidelines for optimal student training, and to ensure best practice in monitoring and assessment.

Assessments are carried out by carefully selected thesis committees, who remain with the student throughout their PhD. The committees consist of the Supervisors, an External Member (with expertise relevant to the student’s project) and an experienced Chair. The students also have a thriving postgrad society which runs career talks, social events and an annual scientific retreat.

The IGMM staff numbers approximately 500 and there are ~25 students within CGEM and ~100 within the IGMM.

A principal aim of both CGEM and the IGMM is develop fully integrated, multi-disciplinary research programmes across the whole spectrum of basic, clinical and translational research. We have state of the art imaging, DNA sequencing and drug discovery units, a bioinformatics service and excellent lab facilities.

Funded PhD studentships in CGEM are advertised on findaphd.com. These are generally restricted to EU nationals, but we welcome applications from overseas students who have secured funding from other sources.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhD3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhD6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScR1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScR2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM)
  • The Molecular Medicine Centre
  • Western General Hospital, Crewe Road
  • Edinburgh
  • EH4 2XU

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before making your application, you must make contact with a potential supervisor to discuss your research proposal. Further information on making a research degree application can be found on the College website:

You will be formally interviewed (in person, by video-conferencing or Skype).

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM)
  • The Molecular Medicine Centre
  • Western General Hospital, Crewe Road
  • Edinburgh
  • EH4 2XU