Genetics MSci

Genetics

Key information

Duration:
4 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAA-AAB
UCAS code:
C401
Start date:
September 2018

If you want to understand the processes and mechanisms of life – from molecules to cells and organisms – this is the course for you.

You learn from experts who are developing our knowledge of processes associated with cancer and other diseases.

Our faculty have close links with organisations including Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust. This means you study topics based on the latest research findings, from biodiversity to cell regulation and cancer.

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAA-AAB

Subjects

A-levels must include at least one from Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry or Physics. You will also normally need to pass the separate science practical assessment in at least one of the science subjects. If students are not able to take the science practical assessment, applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

Extended Project Qualification

We take the EPQ into account when considering your application and it can be useful in the summer when your results are released if you have narrowly missed the conditions of your offer. We do not routinely include the EPQ in the conditions of your offer but we sometimes offer alternative conditions that include the EPQ. If you wish to discuss this further please contact Admissions at ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass in the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 30 at Distinction.

Subjects

The Access to HE Diploma will need to contain substantial amounts of Level 3 credit in science subjects.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

34 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

Higher Levels must include at least one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics, with a grade of at least 5.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

Subjects

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma would normally need to be in Applied Science and you will need to have opted for substantial numbers of modules in Biology and Chemistry-related topics. Alternatively, you will also need an A-level in Biology, Chemistry or Physics alongside the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AAABB

Subjects

Highers must include one or two science subjects (other than Maths). Ideally, you will have at least one science subject (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) at Advanced Higher.

GCSEs

You will also need Mathematics and Chemistry at Standard Grade, grade 1 or 2.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and AA in two A-levels.

Subjects

A-levels must include at least one from Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

34 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

Higher Levels must include at least one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics, with a grade of at least 5.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 80%

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential (at least a score of 8).

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a business related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.5.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 14/20.

Additional requirements

You will need to be taking the science strand within the French Baccalaureat with good results (13/20) in at least one science subject other than Mathematics.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 1.8 or better.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results (12/15) in at least one science other than Mathematics is essential.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H1,H1,H2,H2,H3.

Additional requirements

Highers will need to include at least one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics, with a grade H1.

You must have at least grade O5 in Mathematics and English.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 85/100.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole- Pass with an overall average of at least 4.5.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in science subjects with good results is essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

Yes. Find out more about transferring into Year 2 of this course. We don’t accept transfers into the third or final year.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked in the top 5 in the UK for graduate prospects (The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2018).
  • Learn from those involved in world-leading research – led by the Genome Damage and Stability Centre.
  • Our courses cover the broad range of genetics from the molecular basis of genes and genomes to evolutionary and ecological genetics.

Course information

How will I study?

Teaching is through lectures, laboratory sessions, tutorials and seminars, supported by digital resources. You develop and apply key laboratory skills, read scientific literature and learn to communicate your ideas effectively.

By taking core modules from other Life Sciences degrees, you learn about biological diversity and processes and cell and molecular biology. You also take genetics modules to improve your data analysis and practical skills.

Assessment is by coursework and unseen exams. If you do an industrial placement, this also contributes your degree assessment.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

How will I study?

You study more in-depth modules on topics such as evolution, genetics and genomics, cell regulation and cancer, and developmental biology. There is a continued emphasis on the development of data analysis and practical skills. You also choose from options on topics including:

  • bioinformatics and human disease
  • structural and conservation biology
  • neuroscience and ecology.

 You also have the opportunity to develop skills in mathematical modeling and computer programming, as well as to explore science policy studies.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you'll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for.

Recent Life Sciences students have gone on placements at:

  • AkzoNobel
  • Pfizer
  • the NHS.

Find out more about placements and internships.

Please note

If you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of this program with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

How will I study?

You choose from a range of advanced modules. This means you can specialise in areas such as:

  • evolutionary, developmental and molecular genetics
  • genomics and bioinformatics
  • genome stability, genetic disease and cancer.

 You also carry out your own investigation in genetics and genomics in a practical research project.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Options

How will I study?

In this year you work towards your integrated Masters degree.

The year is aimed at students interested in following a research career, and the emphasis is on a more detailed development of your research skills.

Year 4 consists of advanced modules and a literature review with an extended research project in a laboratory, enabling you to experience working in a research environment.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options

“My lab is taking advantage of new and exciting technologies in genetics.” Dr Ted MorrowSenior Research Fellow

Fees

UK/EU students:
Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you’ll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You’ll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
The University aligns fees for Channel Islands and Isle of Man students with fees for UK/EU students. These fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. We intend to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.
International students:
£19,200 per year
Study abroad:
Find out about grants and funding, tuition fees and insurance costs for studying abroad
Placement:
Find out about tuition fees for placements

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Our focus is personal development and social mobility. To help you meet your ambitions to study at Sussex, we deliver one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Recent Life Sciences graduates have started jobs as:

  • research assistant, Swansea University College of Medicine
  • microbiologist technician, Assurity Consulting
  • intern, Cancer Research UK.

(Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Our courses cover a wide genetics background. You can specialise according to your interests:

  • evolutionary genetics options may lead you towards a career in genome evolution and conservation
  • genome stability, genetic disease and cancer modules can prepare you for careers in medical research
  • genomics and bioinformatics options give you experience in the analysis of large data sets – marketable skills relevant to a wide range of scientific and non-scientific careers.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Academic Skills in Life Sciences

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Students will learn about the range of research done in the School of Life Sciences, how to read and evaluate the primary research literature, how to write scientific essays, referencing scientific misconduct and also some of the quantitative skills needed in life sciences. This module is taught by lectures, workshops and tutorials, which are normally taken with the Academic advisor. A class will be run on careers.

Module learning outcomes

  • To understand and interpret a primary research paper in Life Sciences, especially the main research objectives, outcomes and how the conclusions are justified by the evidence.
  • To demonstrate the ability to understand and explain quantitative data especially the graphical presentation, and do basic calculations relevant to life sciences, including an understanding of units.
  • To develop communication skills and explain scientific concepts orally and in writing, using suitable organisation and use of graphics.
  • To search databases and online resources for information, understand plagiarism and use a conventional referencing system to build a bibliography.

Human Physiology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

An introduction to homeostasis, physiological mechanisms and control in humans and other mammals. This module deals with circulatory and respiratory systems, fluid balance and kidney function, digestion and feeding. The approach to regulation and control uses hormonal signalling as a unifying principle, with several negative feedback examples. Furthermore, some case studies are explored such as exercise related cardiovascular and respiratory changes, diabetes as a break-down of control and regulation, and satiety mechanisms and obesity.

Introduction to Evolution and Biodiversity

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

It has been said that 'nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution' (Dobhansky, 1973). Understanding the principles of how the diversity of life has evolved is essential for any biologist. This module will introduce the basic theories and priciples in evolutionary biology including the mechanisms by which it works. The module will also introduce you to the diveristy of life and how it is classified using selected taxonomic groups of organisms as examples to teach the core principles.

Molecular Biology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Despite the diversity of life, the molecular mechanisms that ensure the flow of genetic information from one generation to the next, and the expression of genes from DNA to protein via an RNA intermediate, are remarkably conserved.

This module aims to teach fundamental mechanisms such as DNA replication, transcription and translation.

You will also learn about how the structures of nucleic acids and proteins relate to their functions. Finally, you will find out how the tools of molecular biology, such as cloning and PCR, allow us to manipulate and understand genes and proteins.

Biological Chemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Biological Chemistry is a module that addresses the central chemical concepts in Biology. It is not a chemistry module, but does require some chemistry knowledge. The topics covered in the module include understanding enzymes and the mechanism by which they catalyse biological reactions as well as carbohydrate and lipid structures. Protein structure discussed in the Molecular Biology module in autumn term will be built upon and discussed in terms of the structure and mechanisms of action of haemoglobin.

The module includes practical sessions as well as tutorial problems and lectures.

Cell Biology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

In this module, you cover the fundamentals of cell structure and function.

You begin with a comparison of procaryotic and eucaryotic cells, and then proceed with a systematic dissection of a eucaryotic cell - attending lectures on:

  • the nucleus
  • membrane architecture and permeability
  • the secretory apparatus
  • origin and function of mitochondria and chloroplasts and their role in metabolism
  • the cytoskeleton
  • the cell cycle
  • the extracellular matrix and cell adhesion.

Emphasis is placed on the role of key proteins in regulating specific cellular functions and on experimental techniques used to study cellular processes.

Neuroscience and Behaviour

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

The module deals with nervous and hormonal bases for sensory perception and behavioural action by humans and other animals.

You will be introduced to the basic components of the nervous systems: neurons, synapses and neurotransmitters, and learn how neurons transmit signals and processes information. You will also cover specialisation of the cerebral cortex, looking at lateralisation and language, as well as sensory processing and perception, exemplified by the visual pathway from the eye to specialised feature detectors in the cortex. Finally, lectures on feeding deal with neural and hormonal controls in behaviour.

Research Methods in Genetics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module introduces key skills for contemporary genetics: statistics, bioinformatics, and also an understanding of the wider social and ethical implications of genetics and genomics. Statistics allows us to form a quantitative understanding about experimental or observational data and the information we can extract from it. Statistical methods and concepts underlie the use of the vast amounts of data available from genomics and information technology.

This module introduces key concepts in statistics and offers practical experience of handling and interpreting bioinformatics and experimental data, and their application with lectures and workshops. The second part of the module looks at the impact of genetics and genomics in contemporary medicine and agriculture as well as the wider social and ethical issues. This includes lectures, student presentations and an essay.

Cell Regulation and Cancer

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module aims to introduce you to the mechanisms by which cell metabolism and growth is regulated in normal and diseased states, focussing on cancer.

You cover cell regulation at the level of single cells and the body as a whole and will discuss the major signal transduction pathways used by hormones, neurotransmitters and growth factors to control cell growth and metabolism in the normal state and also the use of pharmacological agents to discriminate between receptor subtypes.

This will lead to a discussion of how loss of control of these signalling pathways by the generation of oncogenes or changes in tumour suppressor genes leads to alterations in the cell cycle and the development of cancer.

You review the difference between normal and transformed cells, the altered signal transduction mechanisms and the epidemiology, incidence and mortality in different cancers.

Genetics and Genomics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module covers aspects of both classical and molecular genetics. Starting from the basic principles of Mendelian inheritance and meiosis, the concepts of genetic linkage, recombination and mapping will then be introduced. We discuss, in detail, how the understanding of these processes can be used in the analysis of human disease traits.

You then move on to looking at the structure of genomes – again with an emphasis on the human genome and how changes to this structure can relate to human disease. Finally, we build on basic molecular genetics (covered in the Level 4 molecular biology module) to describe the advanced techniques now being used to analyse and manipulate genomes.

Structural Basis of Biological Function

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module builds on the topics of protein structure and function relationships introduced by first year modules Fundamentals of Cell and Molecular Biology and Biological Chemistry. Topics covered will include:

  • an introduction to protein structure and folding
  • the methods used to determine high-resolution protein structures
  • protein superfamilies
  • the functional properties of enzymes
  • the methods of analysis for exploring enzyme mechanism
  • how enzyme properties can be modified by protein engineering techniques to produce new enzymes with desirable properties, illustrated using a case study of subtilisin
  • the specificity of small molecule enzyme interactions, illustrated using an example of rationale drug design
  • the role of proteins as transducers of mechanical energy, explored by considering the role of actin and myosin in muscle contraction.

Computing for Life Sciences

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

Gain basic computer coding skills in modern structured languages.

This enables you to apply these skills to develop computer programmes that perform computations and analyses of direct relevance to modern Life Sciences research.

Developmental Biology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

How does an adult organism arise from a fertilized egg? This module presents the concepts and principles that are rapidly emerging from studies of developmental processes in animals.

Topics to be discussed include egg organisation and origins of cell differences, molecular mechanisms of cell differentiation, cell movements and inductive interactions, long-range signalling mechanisms, the cellular and molecular processes underlying pattern formation, and the evolutionary conservation of developmental mechanisms in different phyla.

Evolutionary Biology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The module covers the full breadth of evolutionary biology.

Subjects will include:

  • the fate of individual mutations in populations
  • sexual selection
  • the evolution of altruism and of sex
  • the process of speciation.

Throughout this module, you will develop an understanding of the central concepts of evolutionary biology.

Modern Methods in Genetics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you learn about the rapidly expanding use of modern molecular genetic techniques in medicine, the bioetechnology industry and basic science.

You are taught via lectures, seminars and laboratory sessions. The lectures and seminars consists of four sections:

  • defining gene function
  • investigating gene function
  • engineering new traits
  • diagnostics.

These sections cover different methods in modern genetics and demonstrate how they are being used to investigate or manipulate biological processes.

In your laboratory work, you cover fundamental aspects of Molecular Genetics which form the basis of many modern gentic experiments, giving you hands-on experience of molecular genetic techniques. 

Plant Biology, Ecophysiology and Technology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Plants provide us with food, a breathable atmosphere, raw materials and medicines whilst removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The first half of this module will look at the origins and evolution of plants and the taxonomy of the major plant groups.

The module will look at plant genetic diversity at the molecular level and look at genetic fingerprinting methods for the assesment of biodiversity in both wild and crop plants. We will then explore how plants sense their environment, take up nutrients and photosynthesise and store metabolites. The final section looks at the methods of producing genetically modified (GM) crop plants for food and biotechnology, and their benefits and potential threats to the environment and human health.

Principles of Neuroscience

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system from its structure, molecular and cellular biology and function through to the consequences of its operation, namely behaviour. The aim of this module is to provide you with your first real insight into the detailed workings of the brain and its development through consideration of the fundamental principles of nervous system operation. The module is also an important grounding for those wishing to take its sister module, Neural Circuits.

Topics covered include:

  • Signalling and transmission by nerves and synapses
  • Neurotransmission and neuromodulation
  • Plasticity in the nervous system
  • Cellular and molecular basis of learning and memory
  • Fundamental disease mechanisms
  • Development of the nervous system
  • The role of early experience in the development of the visual system
  • Methodological approaches to studying fundamental brain processes.

Cell Signalling and its Applications in Therapeutics and Disease

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module discusses the major signalling pathways in cells and how perturbations of these can result in disease processes such as hypertension, cancer, gigantism, cholera, secretory diarrhea, polycystic kidney disease and septic shock.

You learn how a knowledge of these pathways has led to the design and use of specific pharmacological agents to target these pathways for therapeutic intervention. The signalling pathways covered will include Ca2+, cyclic nucleotides, nitric oxide and guanylate cyclase, MAPK kinase pathways, PI-3-kinase and PKB, Jak/Stat pathways and integrins.

Life Sciences Final Year Research Project

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This is an individual research project involving the investigation of a biological problem or phenomenon using experimental procedures, or the investigation and evaluation of a medical condition, intervention or treatment using literature-based methods, in addition to patient feedback where possible. You will obtain data and information from either laboratory or field-based experiments; from work performed in silico, or from literature-based research.

Literature Project in Life Sciences

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Molecular Genetics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The module will cover the application of molecular genetics to the study of processes in model systems and higher eukaryotes.

Particular topics will include cell cycle and checkpoint control, recombination and mating type switching in lower eukaryotes, gene mapping and cloning disease genes in higher eukaryotes and the production of transgenic plants and animals.

Palaeozoology of Dinosaurs and Megafauna

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Dinosaurs and other extinct megafauna, from sabre-toothed cats to megalodon sharks, have fascinated most of us since we were children. These animals which dominated the Earth for hundreds of millions of years were incredible for many reasons, and the more we uncover about their palaeobiology the more amazing they turn out to be.

The science of palaeozoology is also a fascinating study in the scientific method, and a useful example of the remarkable insights science can achieve even with only limited material to work with, such as that provided by the fossil record. How can we not only identify animals, but also work out their biology, behaviour and ecology, from only ancient bones and other fossilised material? Guesswork has now been replaced by researchers using a wide range of quantitative techniques to develop a rigorous, detailed understanding of the palaeobiology of animals, making palaeozoology one of the fastest moving fields of scientific research today.

In this module you will learn about the palaeozoology of dinosaurs and other extinct megafauna, from their classification, phylogenetics and evolution, to form and function. You will learn about the scientific evidence behind our understanding of how these animals lived, behaved and interacted with other organisms in their ecosystems, and the techniques, strengths and limitations of the methods that scientists use to study extinct animals.

Regulating the Transcriptome

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module takes an up-to-the-minute look at the molecular mechanisms controlling RNA expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, focusing largely on gene transcription but also examining RNA processing events in eukaryotes.

We will examine the way in which bacteria control gene expression in response to different environmental cues through precisely coordinated transcription regulatory networks, and investigate the way in which eukaryotic transcriptional regulators control RNA polymerase recruitment and retention and modulate chromatin structure during transcriptional activation and repression.

Understanding these processes and mechanisms is fundamental for the study of health and disease, for example to aid the development of new antibiotics and decipher how gene regulatory networks are perturbed during cancer development.

Advanced Topics in Evolutionary Biology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

You will work in groups on advanced research-led topics in evolutionary biology. Topics may include symbiosis, and sex and variation but will vary from year to year. They will be selected according to staff interests, recent developments in the field and the construction of a coherent package that covers a range of approaches in evolutionary biology, from molecular to ecological. Each topic will be introduced by a 'scene setting lecture' by a member of staff. You will then be given a set of references to relevant papers in the library. Groups will present their reports on the topics, via written material in Study Direct, seminars, reviews and news and view articles. Once you successfully complete the module you will understand recent theoretical and empirical developments in several areas of current research in evolutionary biology, critically read the primary literature in evolutionary biology, synthesise information from the primary literature and present your findings in written analyses and oral presentations.

Genome Stability, Genetic Diseases and Cancer

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The design of new therapies for cancer depends on first understanding the molecular events that cause the disease. Genomic DNA is damaged spontaneously, by chemical carcinogens and by radiation. If unrepaired, this damage leads to mutations, cancer and other developmental disorders. All cells have evolved a sophisticated array of repair and response mechanisms to deal with DNA damage.

In this module, you aim to understand the molecular mechanisms that control DNA repair and to appreciate how defects in genes involved in these repair processes are associated with different, in many cases cancer-prone, genetic disorders.

Emphasis will be placed on the review and critical evaluation of recently published experimental evidence, as advances in this area rely on a combination of biochemical analysis, genetic approaches and bioinformatics.

Genomics and Bioinformatics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module will introduce the common types of genomic and proteomic data available in biological databases; including DNA and protein sequences, motifs, gene structure, protein interactions and expression profiles. The aims and methods of DNA and protein sequence analysis will be covered, including analysis of homology, identification of motifs and domains, pair-wise and multiple alignments and prediction of gene structure.

The practical sessions will include the analysis of DNA and protein sequence data from biological databases. In these sessions you will learn how to integrate data to find the functional links between disease related genes and proteins.

Innovation in Bioscience and Medicine

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The purpose of this module is to provide you with an overview of how research in the Life Sciences can lead to innovation in society, and the factors that shape, boost or inhibit such innovation.

The module explores the applications of bioscience, particularly in medicine, its products and processes, and their patterns of development. It examines the mechanisms through which products and services are commercialised, such as university-industry links, spin-off firms and corporate alliances.

Wider regulatory and ethical debates and the role they play in the development of biotechnology are also explored.

Post Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module investigates what happens to a mRNA from the time it is synthesised, its subsequent processing, remodelling, export into the cytoplasm and ultimate use to make protein. Whilst the processing of mRNA molecules is highly regulated particularly at the levels of transcription and splicing (in eukaryotes), it is the translational machinery that allows the cell to:

  • select whether to use the mRNA to make protein at all
  • decide which proteins to make
  • decide how much protein to make and at what time in the cell cycle.

This regulation is crucial to enable gene expression to be finely tuned with growth and allow cells to respond to environmental cues derived from hormones and nutrients.

This module takes an in-depth look at the molecular mechanisms controlling mRNA utilisation and degradation in eukaryotes focussing largely on translational control and what happens if the cell gets it wrong.

Those teaching on the module are active researchers in these subject areas. They provide an up-to-date interpretation of an active and interesting research area relevant to the fundamental understanding of growth control and cancer.

Protein Form and Function

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Protein Form and Function provides a sense of how protein structures are related to each other and of how these structures relate to protein function. On this module you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to learn about and appreciate this class of molecule. This module covers aspects of protein structure in detail and introduces computational and experimental techniques that are essential for studying proteins, and provides the basis for the in depth discussion of more topical issues such as protein engineering and design, protein folding, chaperones and protein folding diseases.

Structure and Function in the Brain

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The aim of the module is to reveal the anatomical substrates on which the processing of sensory information and the generation of motor commands depend. Specific attention will be paid to the relationship between structure and function. The module will cover the development of the anatomical features of the nervous system and will give a comparative interpretation of the anatomy of brain regions and their cellular components using a variety of examples including vertebrate and invertebrate models. The module will provide basic knowledge of the main techniques used to study the functional anatomy of the brain at systems, cellular and molecular levels.

Life Sciences Master of Science Research Proposal

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 4

The module aims to develop an appreciation of the research field in which students will be conducting their research project, thereby enabling them to design and propose a detailed programme of research. Students will also attend seminars on science communication, careers, grant writing and science funding. Students will also have regular tutorials with their project supervisor during which they will discuss the background of the project, sources for literature review and appropriateness of experimental strategy.

Current Topics in Life Sciences

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 4

Gain an introduction to a range of active areas of research in life sciences.

You are taught via a series of advanced research seminars given by University of Sussex staff, research students and invited speakers in either the:

  • Evolution, Behaviour and Environment (EBE) seminar series
  • Sussex Neuroscience seminar series
  • Genome seminar series
  • Biochemistry and Biomedicine seminar series.

Through the seminars, you learn about the latest developments in a range of topics, gain insight into the nature of scientific research, and meet a range of researchers.

You are assessed via a portfolio of work summarising, synthesising and communicating the research for a scientific audience and the general public.

Life Sciences MSci/MRes Research Project 1

  • 45 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 4

This individual research project will involve the investigation of a biological problem or phenomenon using laboratory-based, field-based or computer-based experimental procedures. Research results will be critically analysed, evaluated and presented, both orally and in the form of a written project report.

Advanced Methods in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 4

Gain an understanding of the underlying principles and application of modern techniques (e.g. functional genomics, fluorescence microscopy, proteomics, protein crystallography) used to tackle research questions in biochemistry and biomedicine. 

You are taught in weekly lectures to introduce the techniques, and biweekly workshops where you develop skills in experimental design, data interpretation and troubleshooting.

The workshops include opportunities to visit laboratories for practical demonstrations and discuss experimental detail with research faculty.

You will be assessed on your ability to develop lab protocols, design experimental strategy, critically interpret data sets, and plan future research direction.

Fundamentals of Cancer Cell Biology

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 4

In this module, you learn through integrated lectures and seminars presenting cancer as a disease of genetic origin in which the normal homeostatic processes of the cell become misregulated.

The structure of the module is founded on the concept of progressive acquisitions of 'hallmark' traits as expounded by Hanahan and Weinberg.

This model is used to relate to the various regulatory pathways that become mutated and/or misregulated as cells progress from normality to the ultimately lethal invasive metatastatic phenotype.

These general principles which will form the first part of the module are expanded and illustrated by in-depth case studies of major forms of human cancer and familial cancer predispostion syndromes.

You also get involved in discussions of existing therapies and the prospects for novel therapies that come from an understanding of the molecular basis of the individual cancer types.

Topics in Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Cell Biology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 4

This module considers recent advances in the fields of genetic manipulation and molecular cell biology. Weekly seminars will cover topics such as genetic engineering, electron microscopy, oncogenes, protein engineering, genomics and proteomics.

By the end of the module you should be able to describe and explain techniques used to investigate a variety of cellular and molecular processes, and to critically assess and interpret experimental data generated using these techniques. You will also learn to extract and utilise relevant information from scientific literature.

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