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Genomic Medicine and Healthcare (MSc)

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Mode: Part time distance learning

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

The MSc in Genomic Medicine and Healthcare aims to equip health professionals, with an advanced clinical knowledge of genomics and genetics to inform and support the diagnosis, management and evaluation of people presenting with a variety of conditions. Knowledge and skills developed on this programme, will support the move towards precision and personalised medicine. The programme aims to support those intended to be and those that are clinicians and health scientists to deliver novel, transformational approaches, improving the quality of care from theoretical and patient-based care to population-based care.   By studying on this course, you will be enabled to support health teams to create system wide change with vast improvements in patient outcomes. It provides an up-to-date educational experience that fulfils the needs of healthcare services in supporting the development of outstanding care for the future in wide ranging and diverse populations. By graduating from this programme, you will be part of responsive transformational changes within your practice, promoting continued improvement. The course is interdisciplinary, aligned to new and emerging areas of practice within the field of genomics and genetics and allowing you to benefit from learning alongside students from varying health care and science backgrounds. 

The programme facilitates a process in which you can understand where current gaps lie in the care that is delivered from a systems perspective in an integrated way and you will be supported in reaching the correct diagnosis and management, addressing unmet clinical needs.  

You will be equipped, not only with current factual knowledge aligned to the latest research and developments within the field of genomics in clinical practice but will also have the opportunity to learn about strategies aimed at considering how best to deal with future advances and challenges in therapy and management. You will be part of a programme that continues Cardiff University’s reputation as a leader in the multi-professional education and genomic research, both in Wales and worldwide. 

Where you'll study

School of Medicine

We are of the largest medical schools in UK, committed to the pursuit of improved human health through education and research.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2068 7214
  • MarkerUniversity Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN

Admissions criteria

To be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as Bioinformatics, Biomedical Sciences, Bioscience, Dentistry, Dietetics, Environmental Science, Health Science, Maths, Medicine, Neuroscience, Nursing, Nutrition, Occupational Health, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Sciences, Physiotherapy, Public Health Genetics, Radiology, Radiotherapy, Veterinary Medicine, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.
  3. An academic or employer reference which demonstrates your suitability for the programme, based on at least two years of your experience (this can be clinical or academic experience). This should be obtained before you apply and will be required before we are able to make a decision on your application.
  4. A personal statement which does not exceed 500 words and demonstrates your knowledge and motivation (you must use the below questions as headings in your statement):
  • What genomic data do you currently work with, or intend working with in the future?
  • Why do you wish to follow this programme?
  • What relevant skills and experience do you possess?
  • How is the course relevant to your current and/or future career aspirations?

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area, your application may be considered on the basis of at least two years full-time equivalent professional experience. Please provide additional evidence to support your application such as signed and dated employer references.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

This is a Master’s level programme taught part-time over 2 years:

Stage T1  

This stage lasts for 18 months and consists of core and optional 20 credit modules totalling 120 credits, at Level 7. You will have the option of choosing modules that are aligned to your learning and clinical needs.  

Students who have successfully completed the 3 core modules can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or if they have successfully completed all taught modules, a Postgraduate Diploma award.

Stage T2

This stage lasts 6 months and consists of the 60 credit dissertation module at Level 7 during which students complete a dissertation in a special interest area of their choice negotiated with the programme faculty and supervisor. Students who have successfully completed Stage T2 will be eligible for the MSc award.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

Year one

Year one will provide the core modules that allow you to understand the fundamentals of human genetics and genomics, the genomics of common and rare inherited diseases, the molecular pathology of cancer diagnosis, treatment and monitoring and bioinformatics, interpretation and data quality assurance in genetic analysis. 

Year two

Year two will provide you with a number of options where you are able to choose two, these optional modules include “omics” techniques and technologies and application to genetic medicine, introduction to counselling skills in genetic medicine, genetic and genomics of brain disorders and public health genomics, applying genomics in infectious diseases. You will also be given a supervisor to work with, once the taught component has been passed in order to plan and execute your dissertation.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

You will be taught by national and internationally renowned experts in the field of genetics and genomics research, education and practice. Therefore, you can be assured that the learning you undertake is informed by the best available evidence and is ‘cutting edge’. During the taught component, you will study 4 core modules and then will have the option to choose 2 other modules from a list of optional ones. Although you will enrol on a Master’s, there are exit points that can lead to the award of institutional credits, a Post Graduate Certificate and a Post Graduate Diploma.

You will be taught through an online environment that uses a combination of engaging synchronous and asynchronous activities that are based on sound educational theory and evidence to stimulate reflection, discussion and synthesis to practice. The methods used vary from module to module and are dependent on what is being taught and how you are assessed. You will experience online tutorial groups, discussion boards, recorded lecturers, podcasts and articles to read and reflect on, catering for the ways in which you would like to learn and at times that you can plan your studying. There are opportunities for online discussion, debate, exploration and peer and tutor interactions designed to enhance learning in addition to guided and independent study.  Learning will be take you from the laboratory to the bedside as you study the science and apply it to real-world scenarios and patient cases.

Practical application is a key feature of the course, and you will be encouraged to try out new approaches to online learning and teaching throughout the programme. Synthesising your knowledge and applying theory to practice within your own clinical teaching setting will be a central requirement of both formal assessments and formative work.  

Opportunities to develop your team working and collaboration skills will be available through your online tasks, activities and general engagement in debate and exploration with tutors and peers. The dissertation stage involves a supervised independent project, negotiated with the programme faculty and supervisor.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be undertaken at the end of each module during the taught component. These assessments will provide you with an opportunity to show case the learning you have undertaken aligned to the learning outcomes for the module and for the programme. There will be opportunities for formative assessment to ensure that you will receive feedback and feedforward to inform the summative assessments you will undertake. The diversity in the assessments across the modules will complement the module content studied. Summative and formative assessment can include case studies, portfolios, oral presentations (recorded and live), group work, poster presentations, and more testing your ability to communicate, critically think, reflect, synthesise and problem solve.

How will I be supported?

As the programme is delivered online, we can support you to study around your work/ life commitments. You will be directed around the learning platform with clear signposting and will receive detailed instructions of how to negotiate around the content. Each module will have a descriptor, this will include an overview of the module, what learning outcomes are intended, the assignment brief and opportunities for formative feedback and feedforward and the ways you will be taught and learn. You will receive a programme handbook on starting the course which provides detailed information about the university, rules and regulations that govern the rigour of our programmes and your role as a student. You will be provided with study skills to support your learning and introduced to the faculty and your fellow students.

All of our students are allocated a personal tutor who is there to support you during your studies and can advise you on academic and personal matters that may be affecting you. You should have regular meetings with your personal tutor to ensure that you feel fully supported.  Personal tutors will be able to discuss your individual circumstances and guide you through your module selection and pathway.  Your personal tutor can support you to progress towards your intended goal.

You will be introduced to our School librarian, who will provide you with an overview of our online resources and help you with searching for evidence to support your learning.

What skills will I practise and develop?

On successful completion of your Programme you will be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:

KU 1 Critically reflect on how genomic medicine plays a key role in enabling health professionals to learn, understand and integrate genomic data into clinical practice. 

KU 2 Analyse how human genomics and other omics data personalise medical care reflecting on how knowledge of an individual’s genetic makeup can lead to the right person, getting the right diagnosis and treatment at the right time.

KU 3 Evaluate how technologies used to identify genetic variants and biomarkers provide functional insights into a range of disease mechanisms and treatment responses.

KU 4 Compare and contrast whole exome and whole genome sequencing platforms and chemistries. 

KU 5 Reflect on genetic predispositions of common and rare diseases and how these are influenced by environmental risks.

KU 6 Critically review how bioinformatics and computational biology can align sequences to reference genomes and accurately identify clinically relevant sequence variants.

KU 7 Evaluate how genetic information can be used for clinical decision making in the care pathway and to treat patients (pharmacogenomics)

KU 8 Critically evaluate the potential clinical relevance of functional genomics findings and their implications for disease diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

Intellectual Skills:

IS 1 Reflect on and debate potential and actual ethical dilemmas and challenges that arise in the context of genomic medicine and healthcare, such as privacy and confidentiality, informed consent and testing.

IS 2 Formulate unbiased, research informed, patient orientated debate regarding the strengths and limitations of individual stratification and precision or personalised medicine.  

IS 3 Approach leadership, clinical change and clinical care with a critical perspective based on your enhanced ability as a reflective practitioner who can use data, resources and guidelines in an innovative, sustainable and constructive manner. 

IS 4 Develop a critically informed approach to searching for evidence, evaluating and grading the strength of evidence, reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence and synthesising the outcomes to inform practice.

IS 5 Use a range of ‘cutting edge’ technologies and genomic data to support patient care.

Professional Practical Skills:

PS 1 Apply molecular mechanisms of disease to understand initiation and progression.

PS 2 Master the skills needed to be a life-long learner, influencing care, using valid and reliable tools to effect and evaluation change.

PS 3 Navigate around Learning Central, and be familiarised with distance learning library, discussion boards, Grade Centre and Turnitin. 

PS 4 Use genetic counselling and advanced communication skills to present complex issues in ways that others will understand and to support and manage the impact of the diagnosis being given. 

PS 5 Lead and work within teams in a collaborative and positive way being respectful of others. 

Transferable / Key Skills:

KS 1 Approach health care from an ethical, social and environmental perspective.

KS 2 Apply professional self-awareness and self-reflection to your own professional development in ways that enhance your practice and improve patient outcomes.

KS 3 Demonstrate initiative, autonomy and personal responsibility in the planning and implementation of solutions in health care.  

KS 4 Plan, organise and manage coursework effectively, demonstrating independence, initiative and originality.

KS 5 Actively reflect on own studies, achievements and self-identity.

Engage with new ideas, opportunities and technologies, building knowledge and understanding confidently and in a variety of contexts.

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Fees for entry 2024/25 are not yet available.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year.

Additional costs


Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Careers and placements

This Master’s programme enables you to demonstrate you are taking the opportunity to develop your abilities in critical analysis, problem-solving, decision-making, finding and using evidence and in dealing with complex issues. Whilst we do not formally assess clinical skills or competencies, studying at this level should help successful students demonstrate numerous academic skills that should be highly regarded in relation to their career development and progression. In particular, the programme offers opportunities to demonstrate the development of knowledge and skills in relation to the application of evidence-based medicine, precision and personalised medicine and the potential enhancement of services and governance frameworks. As such, it should provide evidence of commitment and potential that may assist you in relation to taking on greater responsibilities or perhaps seeking management, research, scholarship, or leadership roles. Many of the students undertaking this programme will be in employment. However, many healthcare roles in various disciplines require clinicians to have advanced academic training and therefore the MSc is seen as a vehicle for promotion to extended and senior roles. HEIW are sponsoring health care professionals in Wales to undertake up to two of the six modules contributing to this programme, hence the importance of genetic and genomic advancement in health professionals.



Next steps


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.