Careers in Genetics
A man made from DNA

A degree in Genetics (BSc. Hons) enables graduates to study the science of genes and work out how heredity or variations of cells and organisms behave. It is an exciting role which studies biology and disease development, molecular and cellular elements of genetics, genetic analysis, chromosome theory and issues of population and evolution. Geneticists study courses that relates to other subjects including biochemistry, molecular biology, plant biology and zoology.


What are the university entry requirements for a degree in Genetics?

With the Online Access to Genetics Course, you are usually required to have or working toward GCSEs English and Maths at Grade C or above. Access to HE Diplomas (a minimum of 60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3) are normally aimed at adults 19+ returning to education or wishing to change to a new career. There are no upper age limits. The Diploma qualification is viewed as being equivalent to 3 A Levels. Online Access to HE can be studied from home via distance learning with Academy Online Learning.

There are many websites that track university performance in all subject areas. Students are encouraged to research carefully into the university which meets their needs. This can include, looking into the faculty department to establish what facilities are available, what sort of placements are on offer and the student satisfaction rate for each degree course.


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What is the role of a geneticist?

Employed by hospitals, research institutions, universities, pharmaceutical companies, agricultural and horticultural companies as well as biotechnology and genetic engineering companies. Find yourself developing a cure in the future to prevent or stop the spread of disease by examining living organisms from human, animal, crops to bacteria. Geneticists can modify and generate new characteristics of chemicals, radiation and other means. In a medical setting they may diagnose genetic diseases and treat patients. In manufacturing they have and are continuing to develop new agricultural and pharmaceutical products to support the natural environment.


What personal attribute are needed to become a geneticist?

This role is ideal for people who like working/developing new ideas and establishing facts to figure out problems. Analytical and critical thinking, teamwork and communication skills, problem solving, attention detail and innovation are all equally important. At times able to work on a solitary basis in a laboratory and at other times undertaking field trips. Planning and conducting biological research related to the area of inquiry. Embrace the opportunity to add to continuous research in scientific literature on new and developing technology. This will keep you informed and one step ahead of your breakthrough discovery when you publish your own findings. You may also supervise, train and monitor other laboratory staff who share the same common interest in this ever changing and evolving subject. 


What are the pay and working conditions?

Typical hours vary depending on the organisation. It can include 38 to 40 hours a week, evenings and weekends if there are deadlines to meet.

  • Starting salary is £29,384 to £34,012
  • With experience the average being £43,680 in the UK
  • Consultants can earn between £84,559 and £114,003
  • As a research geneticist, there will be opportunities to become a laboratory supervisor or clinical study manager

Practical and experimental research usually takes place in a laboratory environment, using scientific instruments such as microscopes and computers to analyse data. Some roles rely heavily on data analysis, therefore the workload can be computer based.


Did you know?

  • The discovery of genetics was over 50 years ago when scientists Watson and Crick observed the structure of the DNA molecule.
  • Two people can share 99.9% of the same genetic material, they could be sat next to you right now!
  • We share the same genetic material with many other species including the chimpanzee (98%), mice (21%) and E. coli bacteria (7%).
  • Genetics also provides us with tools to produce improved crops and livestock which is how our groceries are often produced.


Enrol today

If you would like to complete an online Access to HE in genetics with Academy Online Learning and obtain the level 3 Access Diploma in Biological Sciences for university entry, please complete the online enrolment form or contact us for more information by phone or email. Studying and achieving this qualification provides a flexible way of study as it is fully online and is recognised and accepted by UK universities.

How your degree is funded?

Studying to become a Geneticist allows you to apply for the standard student support package in the form of a student loan. Students on healthcare courses may spend time travelling away from home for a period of time. Students on these placement courses are eligible for reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs during their time at university. Scholarships, bursaries or grants may also be available for example, through the university or your place of work. 


Online Access to Genetics Course


Payment Options

The cost of the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Health Professions) is £1236, and can be paid in monthly instalments from £103 per month over 12 months with 0% interest. Or discounted price at £1186 (£50 saving) when paid in full upfront.

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