This is a highly successful one-year research-based postgraduate course, which is based at the South Kensington campus. The course provides in-depth training of all major structural molecular biology techniques including its applications in drug discovery. It is an ideal training course for students to pursue further education and gain vital experience for a successful career.

In the post-genome era, there is a wealth of information about the genomes of many organisms, including humans. The next challenge is to assign and understand the functions of the final genome products proteins, in particular to understand at the molecular and biochemical level the functions of identified disease-linked proteins and those proteins that carry out basic life processes. The requirement for three-dimensional information is an essential part of this process. With many of the structure determination techniques becoming semi-automatic and routine, there will be a requirement for more broadly trained structural biology researchers who can understand the use of complementary techniques to derive biological function from structure. It is therefore essential that trained structural biologists (for both academia and industry) have knowledge and skills in all macromolecular structural determination techniques.

Each student completes two 20-week research projects during the year. The projects are designed to give practical experience of laboratory research and opportunities to learn a wide range of skills:

  • Biological nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Cryo-electron microscopy
  • Macromolecular structure-function and structural bioinformatics
  • Mass spectrometry
  • X-ray crystallography

In addition, there are various tutorials covering protein structural principles, cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography, and NMR.

Lecture topics include:

  • Macromolecular structure determination
  • Macromolecular structure-function relationship
  • Macromolecular structure principles and Bioinformatics

Workshops and seminars in transferable skills are organised by the Graduate School.

More information

Course Structure

  • Practical laboratory experience
  • Two independent research projects
  • Taught courses in principles of structural molecular biology
  • Specialist lectures in cutting-edge research
  • Macromolecular structure and function
  • Transferable skills

Techniques covered include:

  • X-ray crystallography
  • Cryo-electron microscopy
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mass Spectroscopy and glycobiology
  • Structure-function relationship and protein enzymology
  • Structural Bioinformatics

Research areas conducted by supervisors:

  • Membrane protein structure-function
  • Human disease and infection
  • Photosynthesis and bioenergetics
  • Transcriptional regulation and mechanism
  • Enzyme catalysis
  •  Macromolecular machines

Workshops and Master Classes in transferable skills are organised by the Graduate School.

Entry Requirements

An Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent is required for entry onto this course

The College English requirements can be found here: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/requirements/english/

How to Apply

Applications are made online at: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/

Links with Employers

Imperial College works closely with employers and industry, including Industrial Advisory Panels to design Master’s courses which provide graduates with technical knowledge, expe rtise and transferable skills and to encourage students to take internships and placements. All Master’s courses are designed with employer needs in mind with some Master’s courses accredited by Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies.

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees information

Scholarships information

Previous years

MRes in Structural Molecular Biology cohort; academic year 2015-16