Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells - Novel Therapies

Facilitating state-of-the-art education in next generation therapies for scientists and clinicians.

Award titles

MSc

Duration: 1 year full-time
ECTS: 90 credits
(including PG Cert)

Postgraduate Certificate

Duration: 4 months full-time
ECTS: 30 credits
(standalone course)

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

Start dateOctober 2020

Register your interestApply now

Overview

Our programme in Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells provides state-of-the-art education in next-generation therapies, training you in translational research and rapidly-developing topics in advanced therapeutic medicines.

You will acquire transferable and research skills including knowledge of ethical and regulatory legislation, commercialisation strategies and intellectual property and patent protection.

A major focus is training in translational research illustrating all steps required to progress novel therapies from bench-to-bedside and towards drug licensing. It is the provision of teaching in all three areas of advanced therapeutic development which makes our programme unique.

The programme runs successfully through a combination of educational materials and opportunities to interact online alongside more traditional teaching methods. This blended format of delivery consists of teaching sessions (face-to-face or made available online), live webinars, discussion fora, formative and summative assessments administered through our virtual learning environment, and a range of resources to facilitate self-study and progression. This allows for much of the programme to be studied remotely if required.

This programme provides academic and laboratory research training in three key areas (streams):

  • Gene and Nucleic Acid Based Therapies
  • New Horizons in Pharmacology
  • Regenerative Medicine

Study programme

This programme is made up of two progressional levels (PG Cert and MSc), and you can apply to either level in the first instance. Read more about how this works under 'Choosing your course' in the how to apply section.

If you choose the Postgraduate Certificate, you study four core modules with the option of returning to complete an MSc.

If you choose the MSc, you take the same core modules as Postgraduate Certificate students, as well as choosing a speciality to pursue in greater depth, through a further advanced specialist module and a six-month research project.

Careers

The main purpose of this programme is to facilitate state-of-the-art education in next generation therapies for scientists and clinicians, who will be equipped to significantly contribute to these rapidly expanding fields.

Our programme in Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells prepares you for careers in industry, PhD study, positions within the NHS and financial sector.

Meet our students

Hear from Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells students and graduates on the National Heart and Lung Institute website.

Structure

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

There are limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses. See what changes we may make and how we will tell you about them.

Find out more about potential changes

Structure

MSc

Core modules

You take all four core modules below.

Evidence, Information, Communication

Covers the basic ethical principles related to pre-clinical and clinical research, relevant tissue governance (e.g. the Human Tissue Act), and basic statistics amd experimental design. Provides awareness of commercialisation strategies, the importance of intellectual property protection, and the health economy.

Core Studies in Gene and Nucleic Acid-Based Therapies

Module Leader: Professor Uta Griesenbach

An introduction to human genetics and genomics underpinning the development of gene and nucleic acid-based therapies. Includes lectures on monogenic and complex diseases, the complexities of genotype/phenotype correlations, principles of gene regulation and suitable animal models to mimic human disease.

Core Studies in Regenerative Medicine

Module Leaders: Professor Sara Rankin and Dr. Tristan Rodriguez

Includes teaching on human studies and discussion of clinical trials to provide a methodological perspective and review the current status of trials using regenerative medicine. Provides an introduction to biomaterials for regenerative medicine, and a discussion of different strategies to engage the public in the research, ethics and clinical translation of regenerative medicine. 

Core Studies in New Horizons in Pharmacology

Module Leaders: Dr. Anne Burke-Gaffney and Dr Coen Wiegman

Provides a basic understanding of how drugs target disease, disease mechanisms and how the drug development process has evolved over time. You receive training in developing novel therapeutic agents and assessing safety. 

Optional modules

You choose one optional module from the list below.

Advanced Studies in Gene and Nucleic Acid-Based Therapies

Covers gene and nucleic acid based therapies to an advanced level. Includes discussion of the first approved gene therapy product, and practical experience in preparation for the research project.

Advanced Studies in New Horizons in Pharmacology

Covers how pharmacology continues to identify new endogenous pathways (e.g. cytokines) that can be targeted to develop new drugs to an advanced level. Addresses the idea of how nanomedicine approaches are being used to make new formulations of drugs and what this means in terms of testing efficacy and toxicity. Principles of personalised medicine are also covered.

Advanced Studies in Regenerative Medicine

Covers the tools and technologies utilised in the field of regenerative medicine and the use of stem cells to develop disease models in culture. Lectures cover cutting edge research and new patents relating to regenerative pharmacology, covering the molecular pathways and drugs being used for stem cell differentiation in vitro and for the mobilization and activation of stem cells in vivo.

Research project

You will complete an extensive six-month research project related to one of the optional modules above. You join an established research laboratory to conduct work supervised by academic staff.

The research project culminates in a written project report of approximately 10,000 words and an oral presentation.

Postgraduate Certificate

Core modules

You take all four core modules below.

Evidence, Information, Communication

Covers the basic ethical principles related to pre-clinical and clinical research, relevant tissue governance (e.g. the Human Tissue Act), and basic statistics amd experimental design. Provides awareness of commercialisation strategies, the importance of intellectual property protection, and the health economy.

Core Studies in Gene and Nucleic Acid-Based Therapies

Module Leader: Professor Uta Griesenbach

An introduction to human genetics and genomics underpinning the development of gene and nucleic acid-based therapies. Includes lectures on monogenic and complex diseases, the complexities of genotype/phenotype correlations, principles of gene regulation and suitable animal models to mimic human disease. 

Core Studies in Regenerative Medicine

Module Leaders: Professor Sara Rankin and Dr. Tristan Rodriguez

Includes teaching on human studies and discussion of clinical trials to provide a methodological prospective and review the current status of trials using regenerative medicine. Provides an introduction to biomaterials for regenerative medicine, and a discussion of different strategies to engage the public in the research, ethics and clinical translation of regenerative medicine. 

Core Studies in New Horizons in Pharmacology

Module Leaders: Dr Anne Burke-Gaffney and Dr Coen Wiegman

Provides a basic understanding of how drugs target disease, disease mechanisms and how the drug development process has evolved over time. You receive training in developing novel therapeutic agents and assessing safety. 

Watch video introductions to the steam-specific compulsory modules listed above.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • It has been great to learn from leading academics whilst also being afforded the opportunity to attend guest lectures delivered by world-leaders in the field of regenerative medicine."

    Qasim Majid

    Student

    Critical reviews
  • Discussions
  • Ethical debates
  • Journal clubs
  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Presentations
  • Problem solving workshops
  • Research project
  • Tutorials

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Data analysis
  • Examinations
  • Journal clubs
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Poster and oral presentations
  • Practical write-ups

Entry requirements

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

Admissions

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in an appropriate subject.

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

We will start considering applications in October. We consider applications in batches and make a proportion of offers at a set point each month, starting from November.

It takes four to six weeks to process an application and make a decision. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to interview.

How to apply

Choosing your course

This course is divided into two progressional levels of study:

  • PG Certificate (PG Cert)
  • MSc

Each level of study has its own separate entry point; you can apply to either level in the first instance.

Read more about Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MSc degrees

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 and funding

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entryFull feeTop-up fee*
MSc £12,000 £6,000
Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) £6,000
* If you have already completed one of the above qualifications and are moving on to the next level of study, e.g. you've already completed the PG Cert and want to study the PG Dip, you will only need to pay the top-up fee for the course you’re applying for.

You may apply to enter this programme at either level of study.

If you enter the MSc, without having studied the PG Cert, then you will pay the full fee listed for the MSc.

If you enter at the PG Cert level and return in future academic years to complete a higher award, you will pay the top-up fee advertised in the year of your return, instead of the full fee for your chosen course.

If you continue uninterrupted from one award to the next, you will pay the relevant top-up fee, plus any annual inflationary increases applied to the entry fee. This applies to applicants who originally entered for an MSc. This does not apply to those who have completed a PG Cert and are re-entering for a higher award.

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 for April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

You could be eligible for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government if you apply for the MSc in the first instance.

PG Cert students are not eligible for the Master's loan since this programme is not worth 90 ECTS credits, which is one of the eligibility criteria for this loan.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entryFull feeTop-up fee*
MSc £35,600 £17,800
Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) £17,800
* If you have already completed one of the above qualifications and are moving on to the next level of study, e.g. you've already completed the PG Cert and want to study the PG Dip, you will only need to pay the top-up fee for the course you’re applying for.

You may apply to enter this programme at either level of study.

If you enter the MSc, without having studied the PG Cert, then you will pay the full fee listed for the MSc.

If you enter at the PG Cert level and return in future academic years to complete a higher award, you will pay the top-up fee advertised in the year of your return, instead of the full fee for your chosen course.

If you continue uninterrupted from one award to the next, you will pay the relevant top-up fee, plus any annual inflationary increases applied to the entry fee. This applies to applicants who originally entered for an MSc. This does not apply to those who have completed a PG Cert and are re-entering for a higher award.

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 for April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

If you exit the course with an award and return following a break, you will pay the top-up fee advertised in the year of your return.

You could be eligible for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government if you apply for the MSc in the first instance.

PG Cert students are not eligible for the Master's loan since this programme is not worth 90 ECTS credits, which is one of the eligibility criteria for this loan.

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 of up to £10,280 from the UK government. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

You must apply for the MSc in this course in order to be eligible for a Postgraduate Master's Loan.

Scholarships

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

Microbiome

Got a question?

Enquiries
Sarah Fort (Course Administrator)
T: +44 (0)20 7594 8979
E: noveltherapies@imperial.ac.uk

Read more about the NHLI and our research in the National Heart and Lung Institute.

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