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Stratified Medicine - BSc (Hons) - Video

The right treatment, for the right person, at the right time.

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Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Bioinformatician
  • Clincial trial design
  • Computational biologist
  • Medical researcher

Overview

In this section

The right treatment, for the right person, at the right time.

Summary

Study Stratified Medicine at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

Stratified medicine, also known as personalised medicine, is at the cutting edge of a new era in healthcare.

Our ability to understand how genes, lifestyle and environment can influence disease promises to revolutionise healthcare practices. Stratified medicine relies on the use of biomarkers (such as genes or proteins) to stratify (or organise) patients into groups of individuals who are at risk of developing a disease, or who are likely to respond better to one therapy over other alternatives.

It also focuses on the development of new technologies and systems to predict disease, select the best treatment, and reduce side effects for individual patients. This approach to streamlining healthcare provides more accurate clinical decision making tools to identify ‘the right treatment, for the right person, at the right time.’

To learn more about stratified medicine in practice and how Ulster University is using it to treat rheumatoid arthritis patients, you can read our blog post here.

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About this course

In this section

About

The Stratified Medicine BSc Hons is a three-year, full-time course (or four years with optional placement). In year one students will study six modules which will establish a strong foundation in topics such as physiology, disease and treatment, pharmacogenomics, clinical governance, computer programming and the ‘omics’ (genomics, proteomics and metabolomics).

Year two will consist of six modules which will develop your expertise ‘in silico’, with applied computer programming, data management and analysis and ‘in vivo’ with study of specific disease epidemiology and pathologies.

An optional placement year is available in year three, which provides a wide range of opportunities for students to experience professional work experience in an industrial, hospital or university environment.

Final year provides essential know-how of clinical trial design and analysis, healthcare economics and the application of your acquired expertise through completion of a research project (data analysis/clinical/basic science research).

You will gain an in-depth understanding of disease systems, molecular pharmacology, genetic and proteomic biomarker discovery and validation, and bioinformatic and statistical analyses of large patient and ‘omic’ datasets.

You will exit this progamme with a highly sought-after combination of expertise in biomedicine, bioinformatics and biostatistics and will be well-equipped to become part of a rapidly expanding workforce on the cutting edge of medical progress. You will be well positioned for a career in research, the health service, and the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries.

The programme incorporates professional skills developed in collaboration with a dedicated Industrial Liaison Committee, comprising over 30 industrial partners located throughout the UK, Ireland and the US, which includes companies like Randox Laboratories, Almac Diagnostics, GlaxoSmithKline and Aridhia.

Your future career will no doubt improve patients’ quality of life through better healthcare, and smarter technologies to treat and manage diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, cancer or immune disease.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

Full time.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Year: 1

This module aims to provide an introduction to the structure, biochemistry, metabolism and function of key biological macromolecules including nucleic acids, carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. Students will construct knowledge of the building blocks of key biochemicals which are essential to cell function and human health. students will explore the relationship between macromolecule structure and function in the context of cell biology, human health and disease. Through practical classes which are designed to complement central concepts, students will have the opportunity to reinforce and develop their theoretical knowledge base.

Anatomy and Systems Based Physiology

Year: 1

This module will introduce fundamental aspects of anatomy and physiology under conditions of health. Students will learn how a range of anatomical systems function in the normal state, which will prepare them for the study of disease pathophysiology in later semesters.

Mathematical Methods

Year: 1

This module establishes the fundamental concepts of data handling and analysis . Students will learn the fundamental mathematics required to process and analyse data and the fundamental programming concepts required to implement analysis. This modules will establish a critical level of literacy in applied mathematics and computing that is applicable across all quantitative sciences.

Genetic Inheritance and Genetic Variation in Human Disease

Year: 1

This module will introduce the basic principles of genetic inheritance, from Mendelian laws to examples of autosomal, sex-linked and maternal human inheritance patterns, and provide a solid grounding in mathematical calculations for assessing the probability of inheriting different types of genetic traits. The topic of epigenetics and trans-generational epigenetic inheritance will also be introduced, alongside a consideration of genetic variation and its relationship to disease susceptibility. The genetics of whole populations will be considered, how allele and genotypic frequencies are calculated, and how they change within a population due to evolutionary pressures. The module will also cover methods for the analysis of large and small-scale DNA changes, as will statistical methods for population-based genetic association mapping. Underlining this will be real world examples of how genetic analysis methods can be applied for biomarker discovery in relation to drug response and disease risk.

Clinical governance, regulatory processes & ethics

Year: 1

This module seeks to provide students with an introduction to the concepts of clinical governance, its regulatory processes and how it relates to ethics. The module also covers research governance and good ethical research practice. It creates a foundation for the clinical trials design and patient recruitment level 6 module. Teaching includes lectures and tutorials.

Disease and treatment

Year: 1

This module will introduce fundamental aspects of disease systems and treatment approaches in stratified medicine covering topics ranging from the classification of disease to current and emerging trends in therapeutics.

Year two

Epidemiology of Disease

Year: 2

The purpose of this module is to describe the concepts behind the epidemiology, how it influences human health policy and discuss the types of study, analyses and interpretation in tracking human disease and how this relates to stratification of patients into clinically relevant subgroups.

Pharmacology and Pharmcogenomics

Year: 2

This module will introduce the basic principles of how drugs work in the body and how individual variation (including genetics) can hamper this process. This is particularly relevant to the concept of non-response - something that is targeted with stratified medicine. Worked examples of specific disease states will help students understand the complexity of the pharmacological treatment pathways and how stratification may aid these processes.

Statistical and Computing Methods

Year: 2

This module develops fundamental knowledge and understanding of statistical and computing methods, training students with the practical skills to implement and/or apply these methods using a statistical computing language to tackle typical data analytic tasks in biomedical sciences and stratified medicine.

Neurological Disease

Year: 2

This module provides insight into the cellular and molecular causes of common neurological diseases, their treatment and the potential to stratify patients for most appropriate therapies

Inflammatory and immunological Diseases

Year: 2

The purpose of this module is to describe key immune/inflammatory disease causes, effects on sufferers, clinical management strategies, molecular pathways of disease and the potential application of stratified medicine.

Psychiatry for Stratified Medicine

Year: 2

This module provides an overview of aetiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders and integrates this knowledge with an understanding of the role of a stratified approach to clinical and psychiatric management strategies.

Year three

Placement: Diploma in Professional Practice

Year: 3

This module is optional

This placement experience is designed to provide an insight into the world of work, to consolidate knowledge and skills acquired during the first two years and to promote the development of transferable skills.

Year four

Multi-omics and Systems Biology

Year: 4

This module develops key concepts in systems biology and omics data analysis, providing hands-on experience of cutting-edge analytical tools and approaches, with a strong emphasis on making sense of omics data and systems models in their biomedical context. Students will learn the importance of interpreting analytical output in its biological and biomedical context - translating raw data into biological meaning. Graduates will possess a robust conceptual framework that facilitates understanding of analytical approaches across the many different types of omics data, and skills and confidence in their ability to analyze, interpret, and effectively communicate systems biology models and omics data analysis.

Translational Stratified Medicine Portfolio (Entrepreneurship)

Year: 4

This module will introduce entrepreneurship concepts focussed on launching a business in the biotechnology or health sectors. It will provide an overview of the steps necessary in planning, forming and funding a new 'biobusiness' and managing intellectual property and commercialisation of novel products.

Clinical decision making and health economics

Year: 4

This module explores the development of new personalised medicine products, from idea inception to performance evaluation and clinical uptake. It explores personalised medicine from the regulatory and clinician's point of view, examining existing and emerging technologies and systems. It provides an appreciation of the regulation and clinical guidance which is required to ensure the use of tests are evidence-based and considers the impact of their application to patient management including the economic cost-benefit analysis.

Clinical Research Project

Year: 4

This module provides students with experience of an independent original scientific research study. It provides experience of planning, organisation, conduct, critical analysis and reporting/presentation of research study findings. Students will complete an individual research project on a topic relevant to current research in Personalised Medicine. Graduates will have experienced independent, supervised, original research, and been provided with an opportunity to plan a research project, identify/resolve ethical issues, collect and analyse data, present and defend their findings, and write a scientific paper.

Biomedical Informatics

Year: 4

This module will provide an understanding of biomedical informatics and its use within basic research and applied research and practice. It will build on knowledge gained in the level 4 module genetic inheritance, genomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Clinical trials design and patient recruitment

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module provides an integrated study of clinical trial design, patient recruitment and the regulatory and ethical processes involved. It builds on the concepts developed in the level 4 module clinical governance, regulatory processes and ethics module. This knowledge is integrated with an understanding of the role of clinical trials in progressing research and development of disease therapies.

Clinical or Fundamental research design

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module seeks to guide students to use their skills and knowledge acquired to date to (1) challenge the scientific literature, and (2) to generate hypothesis and develop clinical or fundamental research plan, in a disease area of their choice, that may inform future stratification of patients. Through the module students will use their presentation skills, capacity to work together, as well as their capacity to develop and structure ideas.

Stratified Medicine & Healthcare Innovation

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will review the fundamental principles of healthcare economics in the field of stratified medicine and explores current approaches highlighting the shortfalls in the existing paradigm which must be addressed. Practical skills for evaluating the clinical and economic benefits of stratification are also developed.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBB to include 2 science subjects – 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B
Group A: Information Technology, Digital Technology, Physics, Mathematics
Group B: Biology, Chemistry, Double Award Science

Provided the subject requirements are met you can substitute a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University for one A level Grade B.

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC award profile DDM (to include 9 distinctions) in an appropriate acceptable science discipline.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Irish Leaving Cert (Higher Level) grades H3,H3,H3,H3,H3 to include 2 science subjects – 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B:
Group A: Information Technology, Physics, Mathematics
Group B: Biology, Chemistry

Plus English and Maths Grade H6 or above (HL) or Grade O4 or above (OL) if not sitting at Higher Level.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC to include Grade B in 2 science subjects – 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B
Group A: Information Technology, Digital Technology, Physics, Mathematics
Group B: Biology, Chemistry, Double Award Science.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC to include 2 science subjects – 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B
Group A: Information Technology, Digital Technology, Physics, Mathematics
Group B: Biology, Chemistry, Double Award Science.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points (to include minimum 13 at higher level) to include 2 science subjects – 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B
Group A: Information Technology, Physics, Mathematics
Group B: Biology, Chemistry, Double Award Science.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Access Course (120 credits) with an overall mark of 70%, to include 70% in two Level 3 modules - 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B:
Group A: Information Technology, Physics, Mathematics
Group B: Biology, Chemistry

Plus NICATs Maths (25 credits) or Maths 1 & 2.

GCSE

GCSE Profile to include Grade C or 4 or above in English, Mathematics and Biology or Double Award Science at grade C,C/4,4.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Satisfactory health screening will be required.

Acceptable alternative qualifications include:

HND entry requirement:

Pass HND in an acceptable science discipline with overall Merit to include 60 distinctions in level 5 credits/units

HNC entry requirement:

Pass HNC in an acceptable science discipline with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in level 4/5 credits/units

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of the different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). Examples of acceptable combinations include:

2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma

A Level and BTEC National Diploma

For further information regarding combination offer requirements, please contact Faculty Office staff T: +44 (0)28 71267 5027 or E: science@ulster.ac.uk

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Bioinformatician
  • Clincial trial design
  • Computational biologist
  • Medical researcher

Career options

Your future

You will exit this course with a highly sought after combination of expertise in disease pathology, bioinformatics and biostatistics and will be equipped to become part of a rapidly expanding workforce on the cutting edge of medical progress. You will be well positioned for a career in research, the health service, the pharmaceutical, or diagnostics industries.

Your future career will improve the quality of life of patients through better healthcare, and smarter technologies to treat and manage diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, cancer or immune disease.

Work placement / study abroad

A third year (optional placement year is available)

The placement provides a wide range of opportunities for students to experience professional work experience in an industrial, hospital or university environment.

Students benefit by greatly improving their practical abilities, time management, organisational and interpersonal skills and hence their employability.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
£4,160.00

England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:

£9,250.00  Discounts available

International:
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Undergraduate Achievement Award from the Society for Endocrinology

Additional mandatory costs

Health Screening and Vaccinations

Costs for 2017: £35 - £155 dependent on vaccinations required.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

Faculty Office

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5027

E: flhsmg@ulster.ac.uk

Course Director: Dr Catriona Kelly

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5674

E: c.kelly@ulster.ac.uk

Administrative Co-ordinator: Mrs Brenda Plummer

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5662

E: bl.plummer@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Biomedical Sciences