Modern genetics is revolutionising biology and medicine. The UK government’s 100,000 Genomes Project aims to sequence the genomes of up to 100,000 NHS patients or infections in patients to produce better and earlier diagnosis of disease and more personalised care. None of this would be possible without a detailed understanding of genetics.
Many of the most fundamental questions in biology concern genetics:
- Why do some diseases seem to run in families?
- How does an organism develop from a single cell?
- What is the basis for the similarities and differences between individuals, and between species?
Our programme covers a broad range of topics in modern genetics, with modules designed to give you a thorough grounding in the molecular biology of DNA, RNA and proteins, as well as the role of genes in development, ecology and evolution, equipping you with the skills you need to take your place at the forefront of 21st century science – whether it’s in biomedicine, conservation or ecology.
- Wide array of second and third year option modules
- Hands-on experience from field trips
On a recent trip to Canada, as part of the optional final year module Species and their relationships: dinosaurs to DNA, students made an important dinosaur discovery. The rare hadrosaur skull they unearthed is now housed in the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Pathology. Watch our video from the trip:
You can view more photos from our recent field trips on our Flickr page.
Students have the option of taking an investigative or research project in their final year. For many students, this is the highlight of their time with us, giving them an opportunity to work alongside established researchers in the field. The Natural History Museum, London Zoo, Forest Enterprise and London University's Marine Biological Station at Millport in Scotland all provide special opportunities for original investigative work.
Research and teaching
By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top class research. You will be taught by staff who are actively involved in research, who are enthusiastic about their subjects and sharing their knowledge with you.
You can find out more about our research interests on the cell and molecular biology department page.
You can choose to apply for a four-year version of this degree with a full year abroad. We have links with universities around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia (specific partnerships for each programme may vary).
While there are no extra tuition fees associated with these placements abroad, you will need to cover the cost of your transport to your destination and your living expenses, including accommodation.
Find out more about study abroad opportunities at QMUL.
The programme structure outlined below is indicative of what you will study. It may change slightly from year to year as new topics are introduced and after we have listened to current student feedback on teaching.
- Practical Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Genetics
- Practical Biology
- Ecology (includes field trip to Somerset)
- Basic Biochemistry
- Genes and Bioinformatics
- Evolutionary Genetics
- Research Methods and Communication
- Transmission Genetics
- Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics
- Comparative and Integrative Physiology
- Animal and Plant Diversity
- Marine and Animal Diversity (includes field trip to Millport, Scotland)
- Metabolic Pathways
- Microbial Physiology and Growth
- Membrane and Cellular Biochemistry
- Ecological Interactions (includes field trip to Croatia)
- Human Genetic Disorders
- Research Methods and Communication II
- Population and Chromosome Genetics
- Functional Genomics and Epigenetics
- Membrane Proteins
- Behavioural Ecology
- Human Genetics and Genomics
- Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics
- Parasites and Infectious Disease
- Neuroscience: from molecules to behaviour
- Enzyme Catalysis
- Mammals and Evolution
- Reproductive and Developmental Biology
- Environmental Microbiology
- Species and their relationships: dinosaurs to DNA (includes field trip to Canada)
- Tropical ecology and conservation (includes field trip to the African savannas)
All third year students must complete one of the following:
This programme includes one compulsory and several elective module with a field course component. Field courses generally require your attendance at a location away from Queen Mary and outside of the normal teaching semesters.
We do everything we can to minimise any additional costs that may be incurred during your studies. Compulsory fieldwork will not cost you anything extra. For optional overseas fieldwork, you will need to contribute up to £150, plus the cost of your flight (based on costs in the year 2016/17). Full and partial bursaries are available. Destinations can vary year-on-year, are subject to availability and depend on the modules you choose. If you are interested in attending a field trip, you discuss this with your personal academic advisor (every student is assigned an advisor once they start with us).
General Admission Entry Requirements can be found below.
2018 Entry requirements
|A-Level||Grades ABB at A-Level. This must include A-Level Biology.|
|IB||International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 34 points overall, including 6,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include Biology at Higher Level.|
|BTEC||See our detailed subject and grade requirements|
|Access HE||We consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma in a science discipline e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall overall, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Applications are considered on a case by case basis, and we may request an interview. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers of study purely on the basis of meeting grade requirements.|
|GCSE||Minimum five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or 4.|
|Contextualised admissions||We consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.|
General Admissions Entry Requirements
English Language Proficiency
All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.
Vocational and Other Qualifications
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.
If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application for individual advice.
If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.
We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.
European and International Applicants
Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.
Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (email@example.com) is happy to advise you further.
For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
See our information and guidance on how to apply.
Learning and teaching
All our programmes involve a mixture of classroom activities and laboratory work. A variety of teaching styles are employed, which vary slightly among modules and programmes. Most material is delivered via lectures. These last around 50 minutes each and, typically, you would have two lectures per day. Lectures are backed up with small-group tutorials and workshops, where you have the opportunity to ask, in a relatively relaxed and small group setting, about material in lectures that you did not understand, to go through problems and practise past exam papers. In general, lectures, tutorials and workshops take place in the mornings and laboratory classes in the afternoons.
A typical weekly workload would be:
- 6-8 one-hour lectures
- 4-5 hours of practical laboratories or workshops
- 20-25 hours of private study/coursework.
For every hour spent at University you will be expected to complete additional hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; assessing data from experiments; completing lab reports; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study and laboratory sessions you attend, along with your reading and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
For all programmes you must take 120 credits (normally eight modules) in each academic year. Each module is assessed through theory examinations (typically accounting for 75-80 per cent of the final mark) and coursework (for example, practical reports, field course reports, essays, problem sheets, online exercises and tests). Examinations normally last two and a half hours for first and second years and three hours for final-year papers.
Final-year students undertake a research project/investigative project worth 15 or 30 credits; these are assessed with a detailed written report, oral presentation, poster and an interview. The main examination period is in May/June, with deferred exams and resits in August for first- and second-year students. The format of undergraduate examinations varies among programmes and may include multiple choice questions (MCQ), extended matching questions (EMQ), short answer questions, problem solving or case-based exercises, and essays.
Fees and finance
Tuition fees for Home and EU students
Tuition fees for International students
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Our graduates progress into a range of sectors, including clinical and laboratory work, as well as postgraduate research and study and science communication. Others transfer their skills into sectors such as marketing and finance. The latest data show that 95 per cent* of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation.
Recent graduate destinations include:
- Laboratory Scientist
- Research Assistant (specialising in genomics)
- Web Developer
- Communications and Development Assistant
Recent graduates have gone on to study:
- Immunology PhD
- Medical Cell Biology MSc
- Biomedical Research MRes
- Neuroscience and Translational Medicine MSc
- Molecular Medicine MSc
- Medicine MBBS
- Genetics and Human Disease MSc
- Genomic Medicine MSc
As a QMUL student, you will have access to our specialist Careers & Enterprise Service who can help prepare you for internships and graduate employment. Their services include support in choosing a career, CV and application writing, interview techniques and mock interviews, tailored workshops and employer-led events to help you apply for internships, part-time work, a graduate role of further study. You will also have access to a dedicated Careers Consultant and Internships Coordinator for your School who has expert knowledge of recruitment and connections to employers in the field.
QMUL is part of the prestigious Russell Group and our graduates have some of the highest starting salaries of any university in the UK (£24,000 average salary in 2015)*. Your standing among graduate recruiters is also enhanced by our membership of the Russell Group of leading universities.
*Source: Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015, based on UK-domiciled, full-time students
Kenan Direk, Genetics BSc, class of 2008
"Studying Genetics at Queen Mary has been nothing but enjoyable; the School is well resourced, personal advisers guide you through your degree, and most importantly, the lecturers are passionate about their subjects, which is evident from their lectures."
Shanaz Aktar, Genetics BSc, class of 2008
"Queen Mary is a tremendous place to study. The lecturers are some of the best in their field, and take incredible pains to impart some of their knowledge and sheer enthusiasm onto the eager student."