MSc/Diploma in Human Complex Trait Genetics
Complex traits are determined by the combined action of several genes and the environment. They are characterised in quantitative terms using statistical methods and it has been increasingly recognised that many common diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as susceptibility to prevalent infections can be so described.
The development of genomic technology in recent years has had an immense impact on all areas of genetics. Genetic mapping and genome sequencing programmes of human, mouse and other organisms have generated many markers for mapping genes influencing complex traits in human populations. These developments have led to a requirement for training young researchers working in the area of genome studies in population and statistical genetics, quantitative genetics and bioinformatics in an environment which exposes them to state-of-the-art science.
This programme is based in two internationally renowned Institutes within the University, the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine. It provides training in genetics and quantitative skills which are increasingly required by industry and research to exploit the explosion of information in genomics. Students gain the knowledge and skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to practical problems in the biomedical industry, and to undertake research in quantitative and population genetics and genome analysis.
Students selecting the Human Complex Trait Genetics option start by acquiring core skills in quantitative genetics and genome analysis as described in the Programme Overview. In Semester 2, students take a specialist course in human complex trait genetics and prepare a written project proposal based on the subject of their forthcoming 3-month research project. To fulfil the requirements for the MSc degree, students then proceed to a full-time research project over the summer, culminating in a dissertation.
Students who successfully complete the appropriate period of study can elect to graduate with a Diploma or MSc in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis or with a Diploma or MSc in Human Complex Trait Genetics.
After taking the Human Genetics option, former MSc student Lina Zgaga visited the Croatian island of Korcula as part of a study of the genetic factors that predispose to heart disease.
To see the teaching schedule for the compulsory course "Genetics of Human Complex Traits", which forms an integral part of this specialist programme, please click on the link below:
Human Complex Trait Genetics Teaching Schedule