School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Medical Genetics

C431 BSc (Hons) 3 years


Building on our highly-rated Genetics BSc, and co-taught by the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, our Medical Genetics programme offers you a unique opportunity to study medically-related topics such as tissue biology, human molecular biology and cancer biology within the context of classical, chromosomal, population and molecular genetics.

You will learn about the genetic and molecular basis of human health, development and disease, and explore the evolution of diseases within human populations. You will also gain a valuable introduction to medical research, genetic counselling and bioethics.

Student projects

You will have the option of taking an investigative or research project in your final year. For many students, this is the highlight of their time with us, offering an unparalleled opportunity to work alongside established researchers in the field. Recent students have collaborated with industry partners and national organisations for original investigative work, incluidng the Natural History MuseumLondon Zoo, Kew Gardens, Forest Enterprise and London University's Marine Biological Station at Millport in Scotland.


  • Wide array of second and third year modules
  • Co-taught by the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry

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.

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 their students.
Shanaz Akthar, Genetics student

Study abroad

You can choose to apply for this degree with an additional academic year abroad. We have links with universities around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia (specific partnerships for each degree programme may vary). Studying abroad is an excellent way to grow in confidence and broaden your outlook on life by experiencing another culture, while making friends and having fun. When you return to QMUL after this experience, you will have a new perspective on life for your final year and will be awarded the ‘with study abroad’ variant in your degree title, which will help you stand out to employers.

Find out more about study abroad opportunities at QMUL at;


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:

Plus one QMUL Model module:

Year 3

Compulsory modules:

Elective modules:

All third year students must complete one of the following:

*All modules are subject to change.

Entry requirements

General Admission Entry Requirements can be found below.

2018 Entry requirements

A-LevelGrades ABB at A-Level. This must include A-Level Biology.
IBInternational 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.
BTECSee our detailed subject and grade requirements
GCSEMinimum five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or 4.
EPQAlternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.
Contextualised admissionsWe 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 ( 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.

Combined Qualifications

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 ( before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Advanced Entry

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 ( 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.

Non-UK students

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 ( is happy to advise you further.

Further Information

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.

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.


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 funding

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2018/19 Academic Year
Full-time £9,250

Tuition fees for International students

2018/19 Academic Year
Full-time £19,000

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.

If you live in Wales, Scotland 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 95 per cent* of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation. 

Graduate destinations - employment 

Recent graduates of our Medical Genetics BSc have gone onto the following roles:

  • Clinical Trials Officer
  • Clinical Research Technician 
  • Editorial Assistant (medical communications)
  • Corporate Data Assistant 
  • Research Assistant 
  • Healthcare Copywriter
  • Data Officer 
  • Digital Publishing Executive
  • Manuscript Assistant (science publication) 

¿Graduate destinations - further study

Recent graduates on our Medical Genetics BSc have gone onto study the following:

  • Biomedical Research MRes
  • Medicine (Graduate Entry Programme) MBBS
  • Clinical Neurscience MSc
  • Immunology MSc
  • Dentistry BDS
  • Biological Sciences PhD
  • Human Molecular Genetics MSc
  • Genetics MRes

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


Atalanta Hersey, Medical Genetics BSc, Class of 2015

What do you enjoy most about your course?

I love the fact that I get to study classical genetics, learning about inheritance, but the next lecture I could be in might be genetic disorders or human molecular biology. There is a such variety of content when you study Medical Genetics but it’s all so fascinating!

What's it like being a student in London?

I never ever imagined myself living and studying in London, it always seemed so daunting as an option. However, several years on and I wouldn’t change a thing. Living in London is brilliant - there are so many cheap things to do as a student!

What do you think of the facilities on the campus and in your department?

QMUL has excellent facilities. The accommodation on campus is the ideal place for first years - there are shops, cafes, and the Students Union all right on your doorstep. You hardly have to leave if you don’t want to! The facilities in our department are excellent and you will make full use of these as you progress through your degree.

How do you think your QMUL qualification will help your future career?      

I have absolutely no doubt that with a degree from QMUL, I have very good chances of accomplishing my future career goals. QMUL has given me so many opportunities to be actively involved in the department and my own learning that I will have so much to talk about at future interviews.

Studying in London has also given me so many opportunities. I’ve been involved with cutting edge research carried out by the 100,000 Genome Project, had work experience at GSK and been awarded two scholarships for music - one by Queen Mary University of London and the other by the London Chamber Orchestra.


Hazel Hewitt, Medical Genetics BSc, class of 2013

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

"Queen Mary accepted me onto their Science and Engineering Foundation programme after I left school. Completing this gave me the chance to complete a degree even though my A-levels did not go well.

"I chose my course due to a love of genetics and how we inherit traits from our families. Medical Genetics gave me the opportunity to combine a love of heritability with a desire to help others in the search for cures for debilitating genetic disorders. "

How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?

"Queen Mary lecturers are happy to answer questions and go out of their way to make our lives that little bit easier. My personal tutor was a great lecturer, and was also there to guide and support me when needed. I enjoy aspects of my course that I never thought I would, including in-depth study into the functions that our cells go through from the moment we begin life to the effects that the modern world is having on our bodies.

"At university those who work hard and ask for help when needed are those who succeed. It wasn’t easy at first – I found time management difficult, and I still have to keep a diary of all my deadlines to ensure that I get everything done on time."