Intercalated BSc in Genomic Medicine

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 throughan introduction to the essential statistical and computational skills that will allow you to interpret genomic data in the laboratory and clinic. Topics include genome-wide association and sequence analysis, genetic risk prediction, data science and bioinformatics, twin and family studies and practical genomics coding skills.

Unit 3: Genomic Medicine

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

Teaching block two

Unit 4: Personal Genomics and the Population Laboratory

(10 credits) Genomics in human populations, including how they have evolved over evolutionary time, modern-day 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. As part of this unit, you will also have the opportunity to analyse your own genome-wide genetic risk profile.

Unit 5: Cracking Causality

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

Research Project

(40 credits) A four-month research project based in one of the world-leading human genomics research groups at Bristol.


The units are assessed by coursework to ensure plenty of timely feedback, and final examinations that include both short answer 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.

Photograph of the graduating students of 2017-18
Graduating students 2018

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 Programme Directors or the course mailbox:

Dr Lavinia Paternoster
Senior Lecturer in Genetic Epidemiology

Dr Sarah Lewis
Senior Lecturer in Genetic Epidemiology

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