Life Sciences Graduate Programme
University of Edinburgh
M.Sc./Diploma in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis
Full-time (12mths M.Sc./ 9mths Dip.) Next academic year: October 2003
The M.Sc./Diploma in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis at the University of Edinburgh started in October 1999. It is run within the School of Biological Sciences in the College of Science and Engineering in the BTO Office, Darwin Building.
In the Edinburgh area, there is unrivalled expertise over a broad range of applications of quantitative genomics within the University and its associated institutions, all of which are internationally recognised and have excellent research ratings. The course is centred on the Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology (ICAPB), with substantial input of teaching and research facilities provided by the Roslin Institute, Scottish Agricultural College, the Medical Genetics Section of the Department of Medical Sciences, and the MRC Human Genetics Unit.
Course Objectives | Funding | Course Structure | Examinations & Dissertation | Qualifications | Fees
The genome revolution is generating vast amounts of genotypic and phenotypic data, and there is a growing need, in industry and academia, for individuals with the combined strengths of a solid background in genetics and experience in relevant statistical methodologies.
This full-time course (12 months M.Sc./ 9 months Diploma) is designed to provide students with the depth of knowledge and the specialised skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems in both the biomedical and agricultural industries; and to undertake research on current problems in population genetics, genome analysis, and analysis of complex traits.
There are excellent career opportunities for quantitative geneticists (see Nature). Many of our previous graduates have continued in PhD programmes and several others have taken up academic or industrial research positions.
We welcome applications from able graduates in either
- Biosciences, Genetics, Agricultural Sciences, Medicine or Veterinary Medicine who have an interest in, and aptitude for quantitative biology, or
- Mathematics or Statistics who wish to apply theory to genetic issues.
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- The course has been offered NERC Advanced Course Studentships for the academic year 2003/04. These are open to UK nationals and provide tuition fees and a maintenance grant. Students from other EU countries may apply for the fees-only component. Studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis.
- The course receives some financial support from the British livestock genetics industry.
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Course management team:
Dr N D Cameron (ICAPB, University of Edinburgh)
Professor DJ Porteous (Dept. of Medical Sciences, University of Edinburgh)
Professor CS Haley (Roslin Institute Edinburgh)
Dr JK McQueen (Course Administrator, ICAPB, Univ. of Edinburgh)
All teaching staff on the course are leading academics in genetics and biometrics, and include international experts in the fields of population and quantitative genetics, quantitative trait analysis and genomics, principles of genetic improvement, and human genetics. Further information can be found on the appropriate web sites:
Roslin Institute http://www.roslin.ac.uk
MRC Human Genetics Unit http://www.hgu.mrc.ac.uk/
The taught component occupies terms 1 & 2 and the first 5 weeks of term 3. Students who achieve the appropriate standard at the final assessment in May then proceed to a maxi research project over the summer months.
Teaching is provided through lectures, tutorials, seminars, and computer and lab practicals (total teaching ~15 hours /week over terms 1-3). A series of graduate level seminars and discussion groups in population and quantitative genetics run throughout the year and students are also encouraged to attend other relevant seminars and special lectures.
Edinburgh is a world centre for genetics research and a strong research element is an integral part of the course. Instruction in appropriate research methodologies is given throughout terms 1, 2 & 3. Project work in term 1 is aimed at developing the key analytical skills essential for advanced-level research. In addition to the full-time maxi-project over the summer, all students carry out a mini-research project during term 2. These are individually supervised by staff from one of the many research groups associated with the course.
The University of Edinburgh has first-class computing facilities with a range of training courses available free to students. The M.Sc. class has sole access to a number of computers and the University Computing Service (EUCS) provides teaching in specialised mainframe applications in term 1 and programing in term 3.
Postgraduate students in the biosciences are fully supported by the services of the Graduate School of Biological Sciences (http://www.gradlife.ed.ac.uk/) and the M.Sc. students also have access to a programme of generic skills courses within the Faculty of Science and Engineering (http://www.scieng.ed.ac.uk/transkil.htm).
Term 1 contains 4-week courses in population genetics and quantitative genetics and a parallel programme of statistics as applied to genetics. There is also specialist computer teaching on Unix platforms and statistical software, which is designed to equip students for project work in term 1.
Term 2 comprises modules in statistical inference, marker technology, analysis of discrete data, quantitative genetic analysis and genome analysis. Students conduct an independent research project over 6 - 8 weeks.
Term 3 (weeks 1-5) consists of 3 specialist modules: either human genetics or principles of genetic improvement or evolutionary genetics; or a library dissertation on an approved topic. It is expected that most students will choose a specialist module.
JH Gillespie (1998) Population Genetics. A concise Guide
Pub.Johns Hopkins University Press
DS Falconer & TFC Mackay (1996) Introduction to Quantitative Genetics 4th edn
M Lynch & B Walsh (1998) Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits
RR Sokal & FJ Rohlf (1987) Introduction to Biostatistics
Pub. WH Freeman & Co.
T Strachan & AP Read (1999) Human Molecular Genetics 2nd edn
BIOS Scientific Publication
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Examinations and Dissertation
Assessment is by examinations, in -course assessment and project work. The final course assessment in June is an aggregate of the marks gained at each stage.
Students who achieve over 50% in the final course assessment proceed to a M.Sc., carrying out a supervised research project over the summer on an approved topic, and submitting a dissertation in September for examination.
Candidates who achieve 40-49% complete their studies in June and may be awarded the Diploma.
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Qualifications for Entry
Candidates must hold a good Honours degree or its equivalent in an appropriate subject (eg Mathematics, Statistics, Genetics, Agricultural Science, Bioscience, Medicine or Veterinary Medicine). Evidence of proficiency in English has to be provided by non-native English speakers. An English tuition programme is organised by the University of Edinburgh Institute of Applied Language Studies.
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At present, the annual University of Edinburgh fees for postgraduate students are £2870 for EU nationals, and £10150 for non-EU nationals. The course costs are an additional £1000.
The course has been awarded NERC Advanced Course Studentships for 2003/04. These are open to UK nationals and cover tuition fees and a maintenance stipend. Fees-only awards may be made to outstanding candidates from other EU countries. We will also support student applications for external funding.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information included is correct at the time of going to press. However it will not form part of any contract between the University and a student or applicant, and must be read in conjunction with the Terms and Conditions of Admission as set out in the University Postgraduate Prospectus at http://www.iprs.ed.ac.uk/prosp/postgrad/terms/index.html
All Enquiries to the Course Administrator: email@example.com
Applicants must complete a University postgraduate application form available from:
The Administrative Officer
The Graduate School of Life Sciences
The University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh EH9 3JR
Closing date for applications 30 April 2003
Later applications will also be considered subject to availability of places.
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