MSc Molecular and Cellular Basis of Human Disease

Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Science

We lead international research in stem cell biology, regenerative medicine and the molecular and cellular basis of disease.

Sheffield has a track record of groundbreaking discoveries in biomedical science. Our international reputation attracts some of the best staff and students in the world.

Our work using animal models to investigate disease mechanisms has already brought us closer to a cure for certain types of deafness. In the search for new ways to treat cancer, Parkinson's disease and muscular dystrophy, we're breaking new ground.

About the course

This course blends theory and practice to help you develop the skills required for a career in molecular and cellular biology.

Our teaching focuses on integrated mammalian biology and animal models of human disease, drawing on our pioneering biomedical research.

There are lectures, practical classes, tutorials and seminars. In small groups, you'll discuss, debate and present on scientific and ethical topics. You'll get one-to-one time with staff and training to support your research project.

You're assessed by a combination of exams, coursework, debates, presentations and a dissertation.

Core modules

  • Literature review
  • Practical research project
  • Analysis of current science
  • Ethics and public understanding

Optional modules

  • Integrated mammalian biology
  • Practical cell biology
  • Practical developmental genetics
  • Cancer Biology
  • Modelling human diseases
  • Epithelia in health and disease


  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Tutorials
  • Seminars
  • Small-group teaching classes where you'll discuss, debate, and present on scientific and ethical topics
  • Laboratory placements within the department with one-to-one attention, training and support in carrying out your individual research project


  • Formal examinations
  • Coursework assignments
  • Debates
  • Poster presentations
  • Dissertation

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Biomedical Science student

The best part of this course is the Lab Research Project, which gives a good opportunity for real lab experience and also the stem cell technique lab module is one of the best you can ask for. I loved all other modules as well, which gave me a deep insight into current research.

Chandreshkumar Jain, postgraduate student in the Department of Biomedical Science

Key facts

Course duration

1 year full-time

Entry requirements

You'll need a good upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a biomedical or related subject.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses


Graduates with skills in stem cell and regenerative medicine are in demand. Your degree will prepare you for a career in research in academia or industry, or in a clinical-related field.

Our graduates are working all over the world – from the UK to China, India and the USA – and over half go on to doctoral study.

Learn from the experts

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rates us No 1 in the UK for research in this field. Our international reputation attracts highly motivated staff and students.

Sheffield is a vibrant place to take a masters based on pioneering research. Regular seminars from distinguished international experts help you to connect your studies to the latest developments.

We're also part of collaborative research groups for developmental biology, cell biology, physiology, pharmacology, neuroscience, models of human disease, stem cell science and regenerative medicine.

Our three research centres focus on translating laboratory research to the clinical environment: Bateson Centre, the Centre for Stem Cell Biology, and the Centre for Membrane Interactions and Dynamics.

Leaders in our field

We have a long track record of groundbreaking discoveries. These include breakthroughs in human stem cells for hearing repair, and the generation of animal models for Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, muscular dystrophies and their use for therapeutic studies.

Labs and equipment

We have purpose-built facilities for drosophila, zebrafish, chick and mouse genetics and for molecular physiology.

Other facilities provide all the tools you’ll need to examine and analyse a range of cellular structures.

We have an electron and a light microscopy centre, a PCR robotics facility, a flow cytometry unit and an RNAi screening facility.

Biomedical science tutor

I work on the disease cystic fibrosis (CF), which is one of the most common inherited diseases in caucasians, with an incidence of 1 in 2,500 live births. In CF a faulty gene means that the protein CFTR does not work properly. My research is looking at how CFTR is regulated normally, and what happens with faulty CFTR. In addition I am in the process of setting up a new diagnostic tool, with the aim of helping our CF clinic in the early diagnosis of children suffering from CF.

Dr Louise Robson, tutor on this course

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

T: +44 (0)114 222 2319