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The University of Edinburgh: Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of Biological Sciences
Study type Taught


We offer a suite of programmes to deliver the knowledge and skills required to apply quantitative genetics theory to:

  • practical problems in both the biomedical and animal science industries

  • to undertake research in a wide range of fields in evolutionary genetics, animal breeding, human genetics, and genome analysis

All our programmes offer the same core content, but you can tailor your degree to reflect your interests.

This programme is the most general of our offerings. It allows the most flexibility in tailoring your course of study to include subjects from our more specialised programmes that include:

  • Animal Breeding and Genetics

  • Evolutionary Genetics

  • Human Complex Trait Genetics

Students in one Quantitative Genetics programme can change to another provided that prerequisite courses are passed in the second semester.

Why study Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis?

This degree could be for you if you are interested in any subject of study that uses quantitative genetic approaches, such as:

  • food security

  • health of companion animals

  • conservation of animals in the wild

  • evolutionary biology

  • human health

We will provide you with the theory and knowledge of analytical tools so that you can tackle a wide range of problems.

This programme provides essential skills in:

  • quantitative genetics

  • population genetics

  • data analysis

  • statistical methods

  • genome analysis

Why study here?

Our programme offers a small course experience taught by active members of the quantitative genetic research community. We are based in the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, part of the School of Biological Sciences, and for this programme, we bring together expertise from across the University and SRUC.

This programme emphasises the conceptual underpinnings of the field, with rigorous training in statistical genetics and exposure to other applications of quantitative genetics.

You will study alongside students with a broad spectrum of interests using quantitative genetic tools, including animal breeding and genetic, evolutionary genetics, and human genetics. Likewise, the staff involved in teaching will come from different disciplines.

The University has an international reputation as a leader in quantitative genetics. The first genetic department was set up at the University of Edinburgh in 1919. From 1949, the postgraduate Diploma in Genetics was offered to students, with a substantial component of quantitative genetics. The MSc in Animal Breeding started in 1975 through a collaboration with the Agriculture Department.

Edinburgh continues to be at the forefront of research in the genetics of animal breeding, evolution, and human health. Many past students hold positions within the animal breeding industry.


Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip

Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 90% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

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