Functional Omics

Harnessing the power of big data to revolutionise biological and medical research.

Your Autumn term and academic year 2020–21

This course will begin on schedule in the Autumn and we plan to reopen our campuses. We are looking forward to seeing you in person, if travel and visa arrangements allow. If you can’t travel to campus in time for the start of term, we want to reassure you that your academic Department has made plans which make it possible to offer  you  a  high-quality remote educational experience during the Autumn term.

Your teaching will be a combination of on-campus (in-person) and remote learning (online). We call this ‘multi-mode’ delivery. Depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of next academic year, the ‘multi-mode’ balance may be subject to change. We hope to be able to offer you increased on-campus teaching and learning activities throughout the year.

For more information about multi-mode delivery, your learning experience and the steps we’ll be taking to keep you safe on campus if you are able to join us, please see our COVID-19 information for applicants and offer holders.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2020
Campus: Hammersmith
ECTS: 90 credits
Register your interestApply now


Please note: the name of this course has changed from MSc Functional Omics to Msc Applied Genomics. You may see this course referred to as MSc Functional Omics in print and other materials.

This Master’s course will teach you how to generate and handle "big data (omics)" associated with biological processes and diseases. You will learn to extract the relevant information and perform functional analysis and validation of your selected targets You apply novel experimental techniques in the laboratory to leverage large amounts of data towards understanding the causes, and potentially find cures, for diseases.

This course will be especially appealing to students with a background in biology, genetics, biochemistry, medicine and related areas and for those who are interested in a career in modern biomedicine, whether going on to study a PhD in academia or straight to work in biomedical industry.

The course will prepare you to perform quantitative data analysis at scale, and design and perform experiments to enable you to interpret the results meaningfully. This will provide a key skill in modern biomedicine, in the pharmaceutical industry and beyond.

Study programme

During the first four months, you will acquire theoretical knowledge on how to mine biomedical data to find interesting genes associated with a particular disease as well as on the experimental tools (in vitro and in vivo) that you can use in the laboratory to test your hypotheses. In order to do so, you will attend lectures, workshops, journal clubs, demonstrations and practical laboratory sessions.

During the fifth month, you will select a biological or medical topic of your choice and prepare a report in the form of either a review or a PhD/grant proposal. This will equip you with a breadth of transferable skills essential to design a successful research programme, highly desirable in both academia and industry.

During the last six months of the MSc course, you will conduct a research project in one of our internationally recognized laboratories at Imperial. You will be able to choose from a wide range of projects, focused either on experimental research ("wet lab") or with a strong computational component.


Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.


Core modules

You take all of the core modules below.


An introduction to -omics (genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, etc.) and the approaches to handle, understand and find targets from big data in biology.

Non-coding RNA, gene editing and in vitro modelling

Role of non-coding RNAs (miRNAs, CRISPR, etc.) and application of gene editing and other widely used laboratory research techniques in biology and medicine.

In vivo modelling and use of human material and data

Use of animal models and human samples to investigate mechanisms of disease.

Systematic review and grant/PhD proposal

A literature review on a topic of your choice leading to a scientific poster and a written review paper, PhD project or grant proposal.

Core and profesional skills

Training in basic laboratory skills during the performance of a mini researchproject (3 weeks long) designed by the students in groups.

Functional omics research project

Six-month laboratory project in a host research group leading to the production of an MSc thesis. Students will choose between wet laboratory-based and/or computational research projects.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Laboratory project
  • Laboratory sessions
  • Online tests
  • Seminars
  • Small group teaching
  • Systematic review
  • Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

Assessment methods

  • Literature project thesis
  • Laboratory project thesis
  • Oral presentation of laboratory project and journal club
  • Oral examination
  • Poster presentation
  • Team Based Learning

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.


Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in chemistry, biochemistry, physiology or a related biomedical science discipline.

Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements listed but who have substantial relevant industry experience may be admitted following completion of a Special Qualifying Exam.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Making an application

All applicants to our Master's courses must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, please visit the admissions website.

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entry
£12,000 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entry
£35,600 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government.

For 2019-20 entry, the maximum amount was of £10,906. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information


Got a question?

Professor Guy Rutter
T: +44 (0)20 7594 3340

Read more about the Department and our research in the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction.

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