Molecular Medicine

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 12.1 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 37.1 k / Year(s)  
11 place StudyQA ranking:13992 Duration:1 year

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Designed to appeal to both clinical and basic scientists, the course provides a comprehensive, theoretical andpractical training using state-of-the-art techniques in molecular biology as it is applied to medicine.

The practice of clinical medicine is currently being revolutionised by rapid and extraordinary technological advances in molecular biology in areas such as gene discovery, cancer, inherited diseases and gene therapy.

Year One: The programme is only offered as a full-time, one year course and leads to the MSc degree. The course is comprised of two parts, a taught component, which is given from October to February, and a research component that will be given over the remainder of the year, ~7 months. The taught component will include lectures, laboratory practicals, tutorials and student presentations. Laboratory based practicals are held throughout the taught component. All students attend a core induction week, followed by a module of core basics of molecular and cellular biology, together with molecular biology technologies, including molecular genetics, DNA sequence analysis and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Gene regulation and cellular development, and signalling mechanisms are then covered.
This is followed by specific programmes centred on cancer, haematology and infectious diseases, molecular genetic diseases (diabetes, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, complex trait analysis and gene mapping), transgenic research and microarray analysis. Practical sessions cover isolation and preparation of genomic DNA, Southern blotting, screening of bacteriophage libraries, plasmid cloning, restriction enzyme mapping, PCR and DNA sequencing, bioinformatic analysis of DNA sequence data, and protein expression and western blot analysis. Tutorials and student presentations are held every 1 - 2 weeks. There are three written examinations, one essay paper, one paper critique paper, and one practical data analysis paper. These are held in the last two weeks of February. A full time laboratory based research project will be carried out, in one of the Departments associated with the MSc course, from the beginning of March until the end of September (approximately 7 months). The titles of the research projects, offered by prospective supervisors will be made available in December/January. On completion of the project a written report will be produced and submitted for an examination followed by a viva in September with an internal and external examiner. The overall pass mark is 50%, and the written examinations and coursework element and the research project element contribute 50% and 50%, respectively. In addition to the formal teaching sessions (approximately 20 lectures and/or two days of practicals per week), students are expected to undertake private study (approximately 20 - 25 hours per week) to supplement the lectures and practicals and to explore areas in greater depth. During the research component students are expected to work full-time in the laboratory and to undertake private study. Assessment In February, at the end of the taught component there are written examinations. These consist of: a) Paper 1 Specialised Topics – Essays (3 hours) b) Paper 2 General Topics - Paper Critique (2 hours) c) Paper 3 Practical Data Analysis (3 hours - written paper testing knowledge of laboratory techniques, technical understanding and the ability to present and interpret data) These examinations test both the breadth of knowledge of the candidate (Papers 2) and their ability to go into depth on some subjects (Paper 1) as well as their ability to understand laboratory techniques and to present and interpret data (Paper 3). The coursework components consist of a Poster presentation (in January) an oral Research presentation of their project (in July), together with Lab practical write-ups. In September, students are examined on their research projects. This is on the basis of their written report and viva voce. The viva voce examines both the research project and thesis and is conducted by two examiners. In order to obtain the MSc., it is necessary to pass each Element of the course: Element 1 – written examination Papers 1 – 3 and Coursework, and Element 2 – thesis and viva voce examination. Each Element is independent in that a failure in either Element requires the student to retake the failed Element, but not the Element they have passed. For each paper the pass mark is 50%. Candidates achieving an overall mark of between 50% and less than 60%, in both Elements, will be recommended for a Pass. Candidates achieving an overall mark of between 60% and less than 70%, in both Elements, will be recommended for a Pass with Merit. Candidates achieving an overall mark of 70% or greater in both Elements will be recommended for a Pass with Distinction. The overall mark is obtained with Elements 1 and 2 contributing 50% each. No mark of less than 40% will be accepted as a condoned failing mark for any component e.g. any of the written papers, thesis or viva voce. An overall grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction in the MSc. is awarded at the discretion of the examiners based on performance in both Elements.

The minimum qualification for admission is normally a Lower Second Class Honours degree in a Science-based subject from an UK academic institution or an equivalent overseas qualification. Where an applicant has a lesser degree qualification but has at least three years work experience in biology, chemistry or a related discipline, a special cases for admission may be submitted to the Graduate School Master’s Quality Committee.  All applications are reviewed by the Course Director and applicants are either selected or rejected, on the basis of their BSc degree result, the Institution at which they studied and their references. Candidates with 2nd or 1st class degrees from a Russell Group Universities are normally made a direct offer. All candidates are welcome to visit the Hammersmith Hospital Campus and discuss the course with the Course Director. 

Dean's Master's Scholarships

Home/EU Students

  • Full tuition fees and a stipend of £17,000

  • 5 places are available

Overseas Students

  • Full tuition fees and a stipend of £17,000

  • 4 places are available

Stipends will be paid in monthly instalments, subject to satisfactory progression. Awardees on courses which last more than a year will have their £17,000 stipend spread over the full lengh of the degree. 

The Faculty offers a wide range of Master's degree courses, as well as PG Certificates and Diplomas, and all students will belong to the Graduate School, which provides a comprehensive Transferable Skills Programme. 

 For any queries not covered here, please email James Osborne (PGT Administrator, Faculty of Medicine) at

Please note that there may be other scholarships offered by Schools, Institutes and Departments that make up the Faculty of Medicine. These are separate from the Dean's and Faculty Master's Scholarships described here and entail a different application process. 


General Eligibility

These awards are open to all students who have made an application to the Faculty of Medicine by 30 April 2015 for admission to study for a full time or part time Master's course* at Imperial College London, starting in October 2015 (*or PG Cert for a course where that is the only route to the higher degree).

Please note that these awards can only be given to students who are studying a course run by the Faculty of Medicine. For a full list of these courses, please see our Master's Degree page. 

It is not essential for applicants to have already received an offer of a place on a course, but the initial course application must be made before applying for a scholarship.

Residence Eligibility

Applications are accepted from talented candidates from Imperial College London, the UK and worldwide. There are no restrictions on nationality.

Academic Eligibility

  • Candidates are expected to be able to provide evidence of outstanding academic ability. This will usually mean being among the highest achievers in their undergraduate cohort and in receipt of, or due to receive, a first class UK Honours degree or equivalent.

  • An applicant who does not meet this requirement (e.g. holds a second class undergraduate degree, is a health professional who did not undertake a degree course, or is from a non-traditional background*), will be considered if they are able to demonstrate that they have outstanding academic potential and substantial experience relevant to their chosen subject area. This should be included in the Personal Statement section of the application form. (*Those applicants without a degree will be required, where available, to pass a Special Qualifying Examination to gain entry to the chosen course).

  • Candidates with degrees from overseas institutions are strongly urged to determine if their scores/grades are equivalent to the relevant eligibility criteria.

  • Candidates who already have a postgraduate qualification should justify their request to have an additional postgraduate course funded by the faculty. This should be included in the Personal Statement section of the application form.

  • Candidates who wish to apply for a Master's course which starts as a PG Cert or PG Dip will only be considered if they are committed to completing the course to Master's level.

  • Scholarships awarded based on predicted grades will be conditional upon final results.

How to Apply
In order to be considered for the Dean's Master's Scholarships, potential candidates will need to have first applied for a place on a Master's course in the Faculty of Medicine. It is not essential to wait for an offer of a place to be made, but the initial course application must be made before submitting a scholarship application. To apply for a Master's course, please use our online admission system. 

Once the application for the course has been submitted, those who wish to apply for a scholarship should complete our online form (Note: the Scholarship award panel will assess candidates on their scholarship application form NOT their course application, so make sure all key information is included in your scholarship application). The form will need to be completed in a single session, so please have the following information prepared:

  • Personal statement (not more than 1000 words).
  • Details of qualifications, achievements, awards, relevant experience and publications.
  • The title/s of the course/s which you have applied for.

Shortlisting will take place in May 2015. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interviews which are currently scheduled for the week commencing Monday 8 June 2015. All interviews will take place via Skype between 9.00 and 17.00 BST. The scholarship application form includes a question regarding your country of residence in June 2015. We will use this information to identify your time zone and try to tailor your interview time accordingly, although we cannot guarantee that the slot allocated to you will be convenient for your time zone. 

All candidates will be informed of the decision by the end of June 2015.


We will use the references that you provide as part of your course application process. Please do not send references to us directly as we will be unable to accept them. It is not essential that we receive your references in time to consider your scholarship application, although their absence may weaken your application. It is therefore recommended that you contact your referees directly to ask that they respond to your course application reference request before Friday 8 May 2015 (one week after scholarship applications close).

Terms and conditions

When applying for Faculty of Medicine Master's Degree Scholarships, candidates must agree to Imperial's terms and conditions regarding scholarships and bursaries. 

Please note, the following conditions override the standard Imperial terms and conditions:

  • Both part time and full time students are eligible to apply.

  • An offer of a place is not required before applying, but candidates must first apply for a Master's course run by the Faculty of Medicine before applying for a scholarship.

  • Candidates who do not apply through the online form will not be considered for the Dean's Master's Scholarships.

  • Successful applicants who receive a Dean's Master's Scholarship will not be allowed to accept any other form of scholarship or bursary provided by Imperial College London for study during the 2015/16 academic year.

  • Scholarship stipends will be paid in monthly instalments over the length of the course, subject to satisfactory progress. Students on courses which are part time or start as a PG Cert will have their stipend paid in equal monthly instalments over the full length of the course.

  • Awardees will be required to participate in a small number of promotional activities during the course of their studies and allow their image to be used by Imperial for publicity purposes. Such activities may include (but are not limited to) attending special events and producing occassional print or web copy.

​Deadline for applications is Midnight 30 April 2015

Applicants will be given a decision by 30 June 2015.

Applications are invited from outstanding candidates from Imperial College London, the UK and worldwide who have the potential to become leaders in their field. 

This course comprises a five-month lecture programmefollowed by a six-month laboratory-based research project.

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