Postgraduate study

Molecular Pathology and Genomic Medicine (Online Learning) PgCert, PgProfDev

Awards: PgCert, PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time, Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

The practice of medicine, especially in the disciplines of Pathology and Genetics is increasingly reliant on Genomic technology. The aim of this programme is to increase the knowledge and capability of scientific and clinical staff using genetic data in their daily work. This will enable graduates to engage confidently with the scientific concepts of Molecular Pathology and Genomic Medicine and use their skills to improve patient care. The programme could also provide a foundation for those students interested in developing a clinical academic career.

The University of Edinburgh is at the forefront of Genomic Technology. This programme will cover the scientific underpinning and clinical application of genomic technology to enable clinicians and scientists to provide maximum benefit to patients.

The programme will provide a structured environment, combining online learning with in-person tutorials, for students wishing to develop cutting edge knowledge and practical skills in Clinical Genomics and Molecular Pathology. The programme structure is designed around the central themes: scientific foundation, diagnostics, patient management and treatment.

This programme blends on line learning and in person tutorials. Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from your own home or working environment.

Our online students not only have access to the University’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

The PgCert is a blended learning programme comprising four compulsory courses, totalling 60 credits.

  1. Introduction to Molecular Pathology and Genomic Medicine (10 Credits)
  2. Key Concepts in Molecular Pathology and Personalised Medicine (10 Credits)
  3. Molecular Pathology of Cancer (20 Credits)
  4. Analysis and Reporting of Next Generation Sequencing (20 Credits)

Students will learn via a mixture of guided online activities and nine in-person tutorials at the University of Edinburgh where they will be able to consolidate their learning with staff and other students. In course four students will carry out an extended project covering recent innovations in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS).

In addition to structured learning, students are expected to conduct independent study by reading primary research articles and reviews. Students will learn how to perform variant analysis and NGS data analysis using relevant bioinformatics tools. Students can also expect to develop the communication skills required for interacting with the major stakeholders of genomic information: clinical scientists, doctors and patients.

Teaching is performed by a variety of staff who are leaders in their field, as well as experienced educators. The core teaching team is comprised of staff from the NHS Lothian Clinical Genetics Service and Pathology departments with additional teaching by clinical and scientific staff from across The University of Edinburgh. The students have a dedicated Teaching Fellow, who will provide academic and pastoral support throughout all courses.

Due to the blended nature of this programme, it is not considered suitable for overseas students.

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

Aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on the Postgraduate Certificate programme. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PgCertMolecular Pathology and Genomic Medicine1 YearPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
  1. Explain how genetic variation is involved in human disease and the development of cancer
  2. Critically evaluate molecular pathology diagnostics and select the appropriate diagnostic for disease stratification to determine patient treatment
  3. Analyse next generation sequence data in the context of germline mutations that cause human genetic disease, and somatic mutations involved in cancer
  4. Understand how genetic variation can be a major determinant of patient treatment and apply this knowledge to clinical scenarios in Genomic Medicine and Molecular Pathology

The programme will adopt a blended learning format, with teaching delivered via online as a eLectures and interviews, in-person tutorials, and online interactive content.

Programme materials and resources will all be available in the virtual learning environment, Learn. Learn provides an interactive forum for students to engage with other learners and the programme teaching staff. Multiple feedback opportunities will be integrated within each course and will comprise of weekly interactive online quizzes, discussion boards and office hours. In-person tutorials will also represent an important feedback opportunity for students. Assessment will vary slightly with each course, common assessment modalities include structured written assignments, presentations and data analysis reports.

The programme is aimed primarily at NHS laboratory and clinical staff. It is designed for anyone wishing to expand their understanding of molecular pathology and how it applies to clinical diagnostics. The PG Cert will be of use to a wide range of individuals as it can be used to support FRC Path, Clinical Scientist Development and Genetic Technologist Registration. It can be used as a component of STP and could potentially contribute the first 60 credits of MSc. It will also provide the scientific underpinning for Genetic Counselling.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a medical, biomedical or nursing area.

We may also consider your application if you have a 2:2 degree and at least three years’ relevant laboratory experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

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

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • 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, PTE Academic 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
PgCertMolecular Pathology and Genomic Medicine1 YearPart-timeTuition fees
PgProfDevMolecular Pathology and Genomic MedicineUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Western General Hospital Campus, Crewe Road
  • Edinburgh
  • EH4 2XU
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 28 August 2020

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 one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Western General Hospital Campus, Crewe Road
  • Edinburgh
  • EH4 2XU