This programme is an NFQ level 9, UCD level 4 Professional Certificate, comprising 15 European Credit Transfer and accumulation System (ECTS) credits. The duration of the programme is 1 year, during which the student must take both component modules, which are offered completely online.
The explosion of molecular biological research over the past few decades has driven developments in molecular genetic techniques: from manual PCR, to large-scale automated genotyping, and most recently next-generation sequencing (NGS) at a whole exome or genome level. Collection of large scale data sets must be mirrored by an increase in data analytic skills among researchers: this research is increasingly "dry bench" and less "wet bench"-based. It is crucial that the principles of sound epidemiological study design and statistical analysis are understood and applied.
The aim of the programme is to give an introduction to the theory and practice of genetic epidemiology the study of the genetic determinants of diseases and traits. It will also have a heavy practical element, equipping students with the skills to analyse genetic data. Graduates will be able to design and conduct studies to determine the genetic factors contributing to health and disease with all the methodological rigour expected in the field, and to appropriately evaluate the literature.