Medical Genetics with Research Placement BSc(Hons)

2019-20 (also available for 2018-19 and 2017-18)

2018-19 (also available for 2019-20 and 2017-18)

2018-19 (also available for 2017-18)

Focus on the research aspects of genetics on this accredited degree featuring a research placement year, career-focused teaching and industry-standard labs.

It’s not too late to apply for September 2018. Find out more

Start date

17 September 2018


4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

A Level - BBB

See full entry requirements



Places available (subject to change)


Phone contact: +44 (0)1484 473867

About the course

The drive to understand more about the processes behind inherited diseases has led to huge advances in many fields including embryology, stem cell biology and cancer research.At Huddersfield you can study genetics across the board, from the foundations right up to the most recent breakthroughs on this four-year accredited degree course with a focused research placement year.

On this course you’ll get the chance to gain an in-depth knowledge of genetics, develop a deep understanding of the implications of human genetic research, and prepare for a successful career in a wide range of healthcare and scientific settings. Where this four-year degree differs from the Medical Genetics degree is that it has the additional benefit of having Advanced Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology. Once you’ve successfully graduated, you'll also be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology (AMRSB).*

From day one you’ll be looking at the theory and practice of applying genetics to medical and biological sciences research. As your studies progress you’ll get the opportunity to investigate how genomics and proteomics are being applied to diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and study advanced topics such as molecular evolution and next generation DNA sequencing techniques.

You’ll be taught by doctoral-level academics with expertise across the biological sciences in ways that aim to help you develop your problem-solving and investigative skills. In specialist lab sessions you’ll be able to get to grips with modern medical instruments. In your third year, the research placement widens your horizons and lets you apply your knowledge to real-world projects.

As a student on the course you’ll be eligible for student undergraduate Associate Membership of the Biochemical Society and the Physiological Society (UK).

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

*Following two additional years of professional practice (this requires three additional years of professional practice from a non-accredited degree).

The staff are really great at Huddersfield. They’re dedicated, care about the students and always try to help.


Eleanor Cawthorne, Biochemistry with Research Placement BSc(Hons)


In the third year of this course, you’ll get the chance to step out of the classroom and into the real world on a compulsory placement year in an organisation related to your areas of interest. This is when you’ll really be able to see your knowledge in action, pick up invaluable skills for your future career and boost your employability to help you hit the ground running after graduation.

You could stay do your placement in the UK or experience a new culture and work abroad for one year. Where could this year take you?

Well, previous students in the Biological Sciences subject area have undertaken placements with the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, Chalmers University (Sweden), The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Germany), Monash University (Australia) or Sooam Biotech Research Foundation (South Korea).

I feel I’ve become more confident working in a research lab and with new equipment. I also had the opportunity to present my own poster at the European Workshop for Rheumatology Research. This made me more prepared for presentations in my final year.

Zoe Wigston, Medical Genetics BSc(Hons), placement with University of Leeds, St James Hospital

Entry requirements

BBBat A Level including a minimum grade B in Chemistry and one other Science subject. The endorsement for practical work is an essential part of Science A-level study, and is a requirement for entry to our degree course.

  • In addition you must have GCSE English and Maths at grade 4 or above, or grade C or above if awarded under the previous GCSE grading scheme.

If you do not have the appropriate qualifications for direct entry to this degree you may be able to apply to our Science Extended Degree (BCF0).

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.

Course Detail

Core modules:

Molecular and Cellular Biology

The module is designed to give a basic introduction to cellular biology and genetics. You’ll have the opportunity to study the cellular basis of life, comparing the simple prokaryotes with much more complex eukaryotic cells - looking at the structure and function of many of the sub-cellular organelles. You’ll also be introduced to simple Mendelian genetics, together with more complex linkage analysis and its use in identifying genes. You will be assessed by coursework and exam.

Biochemistry 1

This is a fundamental module for all biological sciences courses. Lectures and seminars provide insight into (i) the structure and function of biological macromolecules, including proteins and DNA; (ii) the processes by which the central biochemical pathways make energy, and build new cells from raw materials. Basic concepts in metabolism and metabolic regulation are introduced to show how biochemistry underpins a multitude of processes from athletic performance to human disease. Assessment is by coursework and exam.

Chemical and Physical Principles of Biology

This module covers the basic principles of chemistry that are encountered in our biological sciences degrees and food and nutrition degrees. The module starts with material covered at GSCE and progresses to AS-Level standard. The material covered includes units of measurement, atoms, moles, bonding, pH values, pKa values, organic molecules and spectroscopy. The module aims to help you to develop the necessary skills to be effective biologists and nutritionists. Assessment is by coursework and exam.

Physiology 1: Structure and Function

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to normal and abnormal human bodily functions. The module introduces basic physiological concepts and the clinical relevance of these will be highlighted using clinical examples. This insight into human physiology is designed to enhance your understanding of related subject areas such as pharmacology . A variety of teaching activities will be used on this module including lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes. The laboratory sessions help you to gain basic laboratory skills in physiological measurement through assessed written practical reports. You’ll also be assessed by a final examination.

The World of Microbes

This module aims to introduce you to the full range of microbial life and the techniques used to study microorganisms. The course begins by introducing the diversity and countless activities of microbes. Subsequently, the structural and functional components of the cell and the similarities and differences of prokaryotes and eukaryotes are highlighted. Control of microbial growth, nutritional categories of microbes and environmental factors influencing the growth and viability of microbes are also investigated. The module then examines the biology of eukaryotes (fungi, algae and protozoa) by exploring classification, growth, asexual and sexual reproduction and nutritional adaptations. Finally, the classification of microorganisms is reviewed along with the criteria for the identification of microbes. The associated practical classes are designed to develop your laboratory skills and familiarity with the basic microbiological methods. Assessment is by coursework and exam.

Research Skills

This module enables you to develop the requisite background skills for successful completion of an Honours degree in which understanding of scientific research methods plays an important part. The type of skills that you’ll be encouraged to develop during the year can be divided into two areas, numerical skills and information and communication skills. The numerical skills component begins with some basic mathematical skills such as rearranging equations and working with logarithms and exponential data. You’ll then be introduced to a variety of statistical methods during lectures and tutorials. Assessment is by a series of coursework.

The study of cellular biology and molecular genetics has influenced medical research and the development of new ways of diagnosing and treating disease. This course provides you with an opportunity to follow rapid advances in these areas, to develop an understanding of the implications of human genetic research and how genomics and proteomics are being applied in diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Year 1 shares modules with our other biological sciences courses and lays the foundation for your study of advanced topics such as molecular evolution in Year 2 and applied molecular genetics in the final year.

35.3% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions etc.

You will be taught through a series of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. Assessment will include written exams, multiple choice questions, oral presentations and assessment of laboratory skills. The final year research project contributes to your degree classification.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK’s only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching

Further information

The teaching year normally starts in September with breaks at Christmas and Easter, finishing with a main examination/assessment period around May/June. Timetables are normally available one month before registration.

Your course is made up of modules and each module is worth a number of credits. Each year you study modules to the value of 120 credits, adding up to 480 credits in total for a bachelor’s qualification. These credits can come from a combination of core, compulsory and optional modules but please note that optional modules may not run if we do not have enough students interested.

If you achieve 120 credits for the current stage you are at, you may progress to the next stage of your course.

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is number one in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HEFCE, 2016).
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Your career

We know you’re coming to university to undertake your course, meet new people and broaden your horizons. However, we also help you to focus on life after you have graduated to ensure that your hard work pays off and you achieve your ambition. 

So while you’re here (and even after you graduate) the Careers and Employability Service offer professional help, support and guidance, including industry-supported workshops, careers fairs and one-to-one guidance sessions. Find out more about the Service.

* Whilst this is a new course and therefore no graduate statistics are available, 80% of graduates from courses in this subject area go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE Survey 2014/15).

80%Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

You may also be interested in...

Biochemistry BSc(Hons)

Take your first steps to becoming part of the vital biochemistry industry on a course with optional placement year and career-focused teaching.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time study

Undergraduate degree

Biochemistry with Research Placement BSc(Hons)

Pave the way for a research career, further study or a job in industry with this accredited Biochemistry degree with supported research placement.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time study

Undergraduate degree

Biology (Molecular and Cellular) BSc(Hons)

Get hands-on experience and a solid foundation in biological sciences on this Biology degree with optional placement in the third year.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time study

Undergraduate degree

Biology (Molecular and Cellular) with Research Placement BSc(Hons)

Get a grounding in biological sciences and a year’s experience in a research setting on this accredited degree focused on molecular and cellular biology.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time study

Undergraduate degree

Medical Biochemistry BSc(Hons)

Prepare to make your mark in healthcare, pharmaceutics or medical research by gaining your Medical Biochemistry degree with us.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time study

Undergraduate degree

Medical Biochemistry with Research Placement BSc(Hons)

Get a great grounding in biological sciences and boost your career prospects on our accredited Medical Biochemistry with Research Placement BSc(Hons).

Find out more How to apply

Full-time study

Undergraduate degree

Medical Biology BSc(Hons)

Explore cellular biology and molecular genetics and lay down the foundations for a fulfilling career in medical research, the pharmaceutical industry or beyond.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time study

Undergraduate degree

Medical Biology with Research Placement BSc(Hons)

Focus on the research aspects of cellular biology and molecular genetics with this accredited degree incorporating a supported research placement in Year 3.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time study

Undergraduate degree

Medical Genetics BSc(Hons)

Study at the leading edge of modern developmental sciences on our Medical Genetics degree featuring optional placement and career-focused teaching.

Find out more How to apply

Full-time study

Undergraduate degree

The Awards Winners Logo
QS 4 Star Logo
University of the Year logo
Athena Swan Bronze Award logo