BSc Medical Genetics

Medical Genetics BSc

Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Molecular Biology

Apply for this course

You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry.

Key details

Course description

This course will give you a broad understanding of genetics with an emphasis on topics of medical relevance, allowing you to understand how genetic information can be used and its role in future medicine, before putting your skills and knowledge into practice in the lab. 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.

Our degrees all start with core subject and skills modules that provide the foundation for your studies. As you progress through your degree, you'll have a chance to explore your core subjects in greater depth, choose optional modules across the biosciences to help broaden your knowledge and skills and participate in a research activity. Moving to a different degree course is possible, especially in the first year, and depending on your qualifications.

If you want to study genetics but don't meet the entry requirements to go straight into the first year, our Biosciences with a Foundation Year could be for you. After successfully completing the one-year programme, you'll progress onto the first year of your chosen degree.

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


The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

Title: Medical Genetics BSc course structure
UCAS code: C431
Years: 2021

In your first year, you'll spend six hours in the lab each week learning the practical skills and knowledge that every bioscientist needs, including how to establish bacterial cultures, assess bioenergetics and perform gene cloning. Analysis classes will equip you with the skills you'll use outside the lab, from interacting with your data to interpreting your findings. Your lectures will give you a broad understanding of the molecular biosciences, allowing you to explore what you're most interested in.

Core modules:

Practical Molecular Bioscience 1

This module introduces students to the practical skills that underpin modern molecular bioscience. By carrying out a wide range of laboratory-based experimental work in the areas of biochemistry, genetics, microbiology and molecular biology, students develop expertise in basic laboratory techniques and an understanding of laboratory safety, as well as a broader appreciation of the nature of experimental science and experimental planning. The theoretical basis of the laboratory exercises is reinforced by a series of non-laboratory-based `analysis sessions¿ and a data skills strand. This module also provides tutorial-based support for the development of transferable skills, such as the preparation and delivery of oral and written presentations.

30 credits

This module provides a broad introduction to Biochemistry and examines the molecules that carry out and control all the chemical reactions in biological cells. The basic chemical concepts underlying the structures of biomolecules are covered, together with the functions and mechanisms of action of biomolecules and the interplay of metabolic pathways. The regulation of these pathways is addressed as well as cellular signalling and the important role and structure of biomembranes. These processes are set in the context of the molecular details of the cellular cytoskeleton and considered via the energetics of enzyme driven reactions.

20 credits

This unit introduces the principles of genetics and considers the application of these principles to diverse aspects of biology and human welfare. The genetic systems of higher organisms and microbes are described, including mechanisms of gene transmission and genetic exchange, mutation, and gene mapping. Human examples are stressed where appropriate. Applications include fundamental studies in other biological disciplines, such as evolutionary and developmental biology, as well as topics more directly concerning human welfare, such as the genetic and biochemical bases of inherited disorders, prenatal diagnosis, genetic counselling, gene therapy, and the genetic basis of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

20 credits

This module is an introduction to the broad subject area of microbiology. Topics covered will include: origin of life; microbial diversity; comparative anatomy of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; virus structure and function; bacterial cell structure and function; archaeal diversity; eukaryotic microbial diversity, metabolic diversity of microorganisms; food and industrial microbiology; microbial ecology; biogeochemical cycles; bacterial growth and its control; bacterial pathogenicity. The final part of the module will cover the principles of immunity, including cellular and molecular components of the immune system and integration of the immune system.

20 credits
Molecular Biology

This module provides an introduction to molecular biology and is focused on how cells store and express genetic information, together with the application of this knowledge to genetic engineering. In the first part of the module, the structural organization of eukaryotic cells and the storage of genetic information at the molecular level will be considered. The molecular mechanisms by which genetic information is used and how genes can be ¿switched on and off¿ will then be addressed. We shall then consider how specific proteins are targeted to their site of action within the cell. The second part of the module is concerned with how loss of controlled gene expression within cells can lead to cancer, and how our knowledge of gene expression can be applied to clone DNA in order to engineer proteins and cells.

20 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment


Our research-embedded teaching ensures you'll gain knowledge and understanding from the forefront of biochemistry and the molecular biological sciences. You'll learn through lectures, small group tutorials and workshops, practical sessions in the lab and research projects.

To support your learning, you’ll have access to a virtual learning environment with interactive course materials. You'll also have a personal tutor throughout your course, to give you advice and guidance on both academic and pastoral issues.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

To support your learning, you’ll have access to a virtual learning environment with interactive course materials. You'll also have a personal tutor throughout your course, to give you advice and guidance on both academic and pastoral issues.


Throughout the course you will be assessed through a variety of methods, including exams, tests, presentations, coursework and practical work.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
including Biology and a second science

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
including Biology and a second science

A Levels + additional qualifications | ABB, including Biology and a second science + B in a relevant EPQ; ABB, including Biology and a second science + A in Core Maths ABB, including Biology and a second science + B in a relevant EPQ; ABB, including Biology and a second science + A in Core Maths

International Baccalaureate | 34, including 6,5 in Higher Level Biology and a second science 33, including 6,5 in Higher Level Biology and a second science

BTEC | Interim-Reformed: DD in Applied Science + A Level grade A in a science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Human Biology, Physics, Psychology, Maths and Further Maths) + interview. Reformed: DDD in Applied Science, including modules in Applications of Inorganic Chemistry, Applications of Organic Chemistry and Practical Chemical Analysis and no more than one of the following: Forensic Evidence Collection and Analysis, Forensic Fire Investigation or Forensic Traffic Collision Investigation + interview BTEC Dip + A Level: DD Applied Science + B in A Level Science

Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers | AAABB + AB, including Biology and a second science AABBB + AB, including Biology and a second science

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AA, including Biology and a second science B + AB, including Biology and a second science

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with Distinctions in 36 Level 3 credits, including Chemistry and Biology units, plus Merits in 9 Level 3 credits. Applicants are also interviewed. 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with Distinctions in 30 Level 3 credits, including Chemistry and Biology units, plus Merits in 15 Level 3 credits. Applicants are also interviewed.

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • Acceptable science subjects are Chemistry, Biology/Human Biology, Physics, Psychology Maths and Further Maths

  • GCSE Maths grade 6 or grade B

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Molecular Biology

BSc Biochemistry and Microbiology

Biosciences at Sheffield is home to over 120 lecturers who are actively involved in research at the cutting edge of their field. You'll learn from scientists who are helping to solve some of the biggest global challenges, from global food shortages and antibiotic resistance in MRSA to degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's and combating infectious diseases like Covid-19.

We're a close-knit community where every student gets the support and encouragement needed to achieve their best work. Whether it’s joining one of our student-led societies and taking part in nights out, trips abroad and quizzes with lecturers, or volunteering, fundraising and organising your own events, there are lots of opportunities to get involved.

Biosciences students are based across Firth Court, the Alfred Denny, Florey and Addison buildings. We are at the heart of the University campus, adjacent to the Students' Union and just a 15-minute walk from the city centre.


Our students have access to world-class laboratory and computing resources for biological research and are trained in specialist teaching laboratories, supported by teaching assistants and our technician team.

Biosciences at Sheffield is home to state-of-the-art facilities, including super resolution light, cryo-electron and atomic force microscopy, NMR and X-ray facilities, a Biological Mass Spectrometry facility and the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility, which provides molecular genetics facilities and training to the UK science community.

We also have controlled environment facilities that can simulate any past, present and future climate, leading equipment for DNA analysis, and facilities for cell culture used in studying immunology, medically important microbes and biotechnology on campus.

Biosciences at Sheffield

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017

Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Molecular Biology

Top 10 in the UK for Biological Sciences

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

UK top 10 for overall satisfaction in Genetics, Microbiology and Cell Science

National Student Survey 2020

94% satisfaction for teaching

National Student Survey 2020

Top 5 for Biological Sciences Research

Research Excellence Framework 2014

Our graduates are among the UK's top ten most targeted by leading employers

High Fliers Research 2020

Graduate careers

Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Molecular Biology

Our courses equip students for a wide range of careers, from scientific roles to graduate schemes with top employers. Whether you want to pursue a career in science, apply your skills in industry, or continue your studies, bioscience graduates are highly sought after due to their specialist laboratory skills, ability to solve problems, handle and analyse data, and effectively communicate complex ideas to a range of audiences.

As well as progressing onto a masters programme or PhD, our students secure roles in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies like GSK, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Redx, the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) and government bodies like Public Health England.

Transferable skills are embedded and developed throughout our degrees, which means year on year our graduates join high-profile organisations like Microsoft, HSBC, KPMG, United Kingdom Civil Service, Unilever and Wellcome. You can also apply your degree to other varied careers including brewing, bioinformatics, marketing, medical writing, genetic counselling, agrochemicals, teaching and science policy.

Photo of Krizand Christine Vaz

Improving my skills and knowledge at Pfizer

Krizand Christine Vaz MBiolSci Genetics and Microbiology with Employment Experience

Krizand chose to spend a year completing a paid work placement at pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer as part of her degree at Sheffield. During her year, Krizand improved her skills and knowledge in the pharmaceutical industry and after graduation she hopes to return in a commercial role.

Fees and funding


Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant open days, which take place between November and April. These open days give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Our student protection plan

Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course: