Intercalated BSc in Genomic Medicine

Preparing tomorrow's doctors for the genomics revolution.

Image: A circos plot illustrating complex patterns of genetic association.

Hosted by the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit and the Bristol Medical School, the course will introduce you to the genomics revolution and how it is changing medicine, from genetic influences on complex disorders and epigenetic regulation, to precision medicine and personal genomics.

With genome-wide genetic risk profiles now commercially available to the public for less than £100, the ultimate goal is to equip you with the tools you need to understand and interpret this information when you encounter it in everyday practice.

The course consists of five taught units and a research project. The units are:

Teaching block one

Unit 1: The Human Genome

(20 credits) The structure of our genome and the inhabitants of the genomic zoo, how genes are regulated, how genomes vary between people, and how DNA sequence relates to epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Unit 2: Genomic Data Science

(20 credits) Understanding human genetics through essential statistical and computational skills that will equip you to interpret genomic data in the laboratory and clinic. Topics include genome-wide association and sequence analysis, genetic risk prediction, big data and bioinformatics, twin and family studies and practical genomics coding skills. We only assume knowledge of topics encountered in the first two years of a medical degree, and the teaching is specifically tailored to intercalating medical students.

Unit 3: Genomic Medicine

(20 credits) Specific clinical applications of genomic knowledge, including topics such as clinical genetics of rare disorders, genomics of cardiovascular health and disease, genomics of allergy, eczema and asthma, behavioural and psychiatric genomics, cancer genomics, genomic prognosis and precision medicine.

Teaching block two

Unit 4: Personal Genomics and the Population Laboratory

(10 credits) Genomics in wild human populations, including commercial genomic profiles, genomic self-screening by the public, how people respond to genomic information, legal and ethical implications of this, and the importance of gene-environment interactions.

Unit 5: Cracking Causality

(10 credits) Using genetic data to discover the environmental causes of disease. Topics include Mendelian randomisation, twin and family designs for causal inference, and translation from genetics to new drugs and new policies.

Research Project

(40 credits) A traditional research project based in one of the world-leading human applied genetic epidemiology centres at Bristol, an analytic review of the human genomics literature, or an analysis of your own genome-wide genetic risk profile.


The units are assessed by coursework to ensure plenty of timely feedback, and final examinations that include both multiple choice questions covering the breadth of topics and essay questions that give you the opportunity to draw together knowledge from across the course.

How to apply

Find out more about intercalated degrees at Bristol and how to apply.

Collection of metabolomic data for later genetic analysis
Overlapping common and rare mutation analysis for complex human traits

Three-minute primers from the MRC IEU

MRC IEU researchers explain Epigenetics (part of Unit 1, The Human Genome) and causal analyses using Mendelian Randomisation (part of Unit 5, Cracking Causality)


For further information, please contact the course organisers.

Dr Oliver Davis
Reader in Statistical Genetics

Dr Lavinia Paternoster
Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology

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