Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are clonal haematological disorders characterized by haematopoietic cell dysplasia, peripheral blood cytopenias, and a predisposition for developing acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Cytogenetics have historically been important in diagnosis and prognosis in MDS, but the growing accessibility of next generation sequencing (NGS) has led to growing research in the roles of molecular genetic variation on clinical decision-making in these disorders. Multiple genes have been previously studied and found to be associated with specific outcomes or disease types within MDS and knowledge of mutations in these genes provides insight into previously defined MDS subtypes. Knowledge of these mutations also informs development of novel therapies in the treatment of MDS. The precise role of NGS in the diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of MDS remains unclear but the improvements in NGS technology and accessibility affords clinicians an additional practice tool to provide the best care for patients.