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MSc Dissertation


MSc Research Project

In May, students proceed to a full-time 3-month research project, culminating in the submission of a dissertation in August to complete the requirements for the MSc degree. The project is individually supervised and can be conducted in any one of the participating Institutes.

The MSc research project introduces students to the wealth of opportunities for quantitative genetics research in Edinburgh. It gives all students experience of full-time independent research and is an ideal introduction to the research environment for those considering doing a PhD. Many graduates describe the research project as the highlight of the course.

Each year, the research done by one or two students leads to publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. While published papers are by no means guaranteed, this illustrates the exceptionally high quailty of research projects undertaken by QGGA MSc students.


Previous MSc research projects have included:

  • The use of multiple genes for inferring arthropod phylogenies
  • Evidence of selection on genes in a number of Staphylococcus aureus strains
  • Conservation of non-coding regions of a gene-poor section of chromosome 4 of the mouse genome
  • Linkage analysis in an isolated human population
  • Estimation of genetic and environmental influences on human obesity
  • A systematic review and meta-analysis of candidate genes for leukoaraiosis
  • Quantitative genetics of antler morphology in a wild population of red deer (Cervus elaphus)
  • QTL analysis of musculoskeletal traits in chickens
  • An analysis of the genetic parameters of production traits in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Dissertation guidelines and more project examples are available here.


Programme overview
Semester 1
Semester 2








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