Genetics is the study of how genes encode the information required to make all life on the planet. Explore human, plant and microbial genetics and genomics, and discover the new sequencing technologies that are enabling medical breakthroughs.

Genetics student in the lab

About Genetics at Sheffield

Our Genetics courses span human, plant and microbial genetics, genomics, and molecular biology, allowing you to explore the genetic basis of cell function and disease. 

You'll study the structure and expression of genes, inheritance and mutations, and learn about the latest molecular techniques for modifying genes, including CRISPR. We'll introduce you to how modern genetics is enabling us to understand and treat a range of diseases, as well as helping us to tackle global challenges like food sustainability and security.

3rd in the UK for student satisfaction in Genetics

National Student Survey 2022

Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology

All of our undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Molecular Biology are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, with advanced accreditation for our MBiolSci undergraduate masters programmes.

Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology shows employers that you've developed the practical skills and scientific knowledge that they're looking for.

Our courses

Our courses all come with options to gain additional experience beyond the three-year BSc. You can add an extra year of research experience with an integrated masters, or gain valuable work experience with a top employer as a recognised part of your degree by spending a year on a work placement. You can even apply to spend a year studying abroad in a fantastic location, after you've joined the university.

Courses with a medical focus 

Dual courses 

Courses with a foundation year 

2023-24 entry

What our students say


As a genetics student you'll learn in lots of different ways, from lectures and small group tutorials to learning by doing during practical lab sessions and research projects.

From your first year you’ll study modules that span the molecular biosciences covering genetics, biochemistry and molecular and cell biology. Alongside these modules you’ll have the freedom to explore complementary topics across the breadth of bioscience, such as microbiology, biomedicine, ecology, plant science and zoology.

Our staff are committed to great teaching and you'll have lots of opportunities throughout your degree to be creative, think independently, and express your ideas. 

You’ll be in the lab completing in-depth practicals across molecular genetics, DNA manipulation and protein structure analysis. You’ll even get the chance to use cutting-edge equipment to run your own in-depth research projects in an area such as brewing biotechnology, or in our new Julia Garnham Centre, helping NHS geneticists to diagnose blood cancers. All of this will give you plenty of chances to gain new transferrable skills and experience to put on your CV.

Find out more about our teaching

Research projects

Brewing image 2

You’ll undertake research projects throughout your degree, getting practical hands-on experience in the laboratory. In your third year, you’ll complete an extended research project in an area of molecular bioscience that interests you either inside or outside the lab. There are several types of projects to choose from depending on your interests and career goals, from experimental science to computing, teaching, clinical diagnostics or science communication. Current projects span: 

  • Experimental science: Investigate a scientific problem, using state-of-the-art facilities and working alongside research scientists.
  • Clinical diagnostics: Learn how to use the analytical software used by clinical diagnostics staff in NHS laboratories to diagnose leukaemia in collaboration with the Sheffield Children's Hospital.
  • Industrial biotechnology: Understand brewing techniques and isolate and grow yeasts in collaboration with local breweries to understand how mutations in yeast genes affect the flavour of beer.
  • Molecular systems and computing: Analyse and evaluate complex data to investigate fundamental biological processes, with opportunities to learn computer programming.
  • Science communication: Build up a portfolio of writing on a scientific topic of your choice, and evaluate the effectiveness of different communication strategies.
  • Education and outreach: Organise events to get school children better engaged with science – students generally work in primary schools or university technical colleges (UTC) to gain teaching experience communicating science to school children.

Our integrated masters courses allow you to complete a further in-depth research project whilst embedded in one of our specialist research groups.

Student placements
Sheffield Diagnostic Genetic Service (SDGS) has collaborated with the University of Sheffield to establish the Julia Garnham Centre (JGC). This is a unique remote placements facility located in the School of Biosciences at the University of Sheffield.
Named after long-term former SDGS staff member, this placement centre provides students with essential experience and training in genetic analysis and upskills the next generation of genomic scientists and technologists. The students are then welcomed to a placement with SDGS to prepare cases (currently focussing on karyotyping of bone marrow samples from haemato-oncology referrals), making them ready for NHS Healthcare Scientists to analyse, and thereby releasing staff time and helping to manage backlogs. For further information please contact

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