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Genetics

C400 BSc (Hons) 3 years

Overview

Modern genetics is revolutionising biology and medicine.  The 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.  

Highlights

  • Wide array of second and third year option modules
  • Hands-on experience from field trips

Important discoveries

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.

Student projects

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 MuseumLondon ZooForest 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.

Structure

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.

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

Elective modules:

Year 3

Compulsory modules:

Elective modules:

All third year students must complete one of the following:

Fieldwork

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.  Complusory 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).

Entry requirements

  • A-levels: Typically ABB and above at A2 level from three subjects including biology, however, we consider applications with BBB in biology and two other subjects from chemistry, maths, further maths or physics
  • International Baccalaureate: 34 points overall including grade 5 in biology (Higher Level)
  • BTEC: We do not accept BTEC qualifications
  • Access to HE Diploma: We will consider applications from students with the Access to HE Diploma (60 credit in a science discipline e.g. biology, chemistry, maths, physics). We take all aspects of your UCAS application into careful consideration; we look at the merits of your personal statement, academic reference, predicted grades and actual grades, and, due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers purely on the basis of meeting the grade requirements. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve an overall Pass, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher.
    All applications are considered by our admissions tutors on a case-by-case basis, and this may mean we would request an interview.

Visit our frequently asked questions page for answers to our commonly received queries about entry requirements.

Non-UK students

Students from outside the United Kingdom must give evidence of their English language ability by producing an English language test score. The university provides guidelines for English requirements for all degree programmes.

Foundation programme

Students may enter this degree programme via admission to the QMUL Science and Engineering Foundation Programme. Students must complete the foundation year and meet the required progression criteria.

Other qualifications

If you have qualifications, which are not listed above, please contact us to check your eligibility: 
Email: admissions@qmul.ac.uk
Tel: +44(0) 207 882 5511

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.

Independent study:

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.

Assessment:

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

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.

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
email: fees@qmul.ac.uk

Funding

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.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

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.

Graduate Employment

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 94 per cent* of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation. 

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Science journal editor
  • Clinical researcher
  • Teacher
  • Research assistant - Department of Genomic and Personalised Medicine
  • Web developer

Recent graduates have gone on to study:

  • Immunology PhD
  • Medical Cell Biology MSc
  • Biomedical Research MRes
  • Plant Science PhD
  • Neuroscience and Translational Medicine MSc
  • Molecular Medicine MSc
  • Medicine MBBS
  • Genetics MSc
  • Clinical Drug Development MSc

As a QMUL student, you will have access to our specialist Careers and Enterprise team who can help prepare you for internships and graduate employment.  Their services include CV checking and mock interviews, tailored workshops and employer-led events.  You will also have access to a dedicated Careers Consultant 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 are consistently in the top ten graduate starting salaries in the UK (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016).  QMUL graduates have a strong earning power, with an average salary of £23,580.*

*Source: Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, 2013/14

Profiles

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."

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