The bloody road to better blood tests
Dr Bruce McManus
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Providence Health Care
University of British Columbia, Canada
Wed 1st Oct, 16.00-17.00
2nd floor seminar room
Rayne, 5 University Street
Our first MSc students have arrived
The first intake of MSc students registered for the MSc in Cardiovascular Science is already immersed in the course. There are 12 students; four medics and seven basic scientists representing nine different nationalities. The students have already formed a cohesive group and planned their first evening out together and are very enthusiastic about studying at UCL. Dr Shwann Radha said ‘I chose this course because it is one of the best courses I have been looking for which fulfils my interest in cardiology, in one of the best research centres and universities in the world, and in one of the most important cities in the world.’
The MSc has two streams; a basic science stream for students with a biological background and a clinical stream for clinician, and the aim of the MSc is to provide the student with a solid knowledge of cardiovascular science and for the clinician, an insight into cardiology. The compulsory modules are the same across the two streams. In the first trimester the students attend lectures on ‘the heart and circulation’, ‘animal models of cardiovascular disease’ and ‘basic statistics for biomedicines’. For some of these modules the students will join other MSc students eg the statistics course, while others, like the animal models module, is run just for this MSc.
In the second trimester there are two compulsory models, one on ‘microvascular biology’ and the other on ‘cardiovascular disease’. In addition to these core modules the student can choose two optional modules. This gives students the chance to take topics that broaden their knowledge and interests. For the basic scientist they have a choice of ‘cardiovascular genetics’, ‘pharmacogenetics’ or ‘drug discovery’. For the clinician they can choose either adult cardiology led from the UCLH Heart Hospital, or paediatric cardiology management run from Great Ormond St Hospital. All students also have as an optional module ‘the fundamentals of congenital heart disease’ which is an anatomy–based module run from the UCL Institute of Child Health. The modules are mostly taught by senior academics with international reputations, who take a keen interest in the students’ progress. Each student is also allocated a personal tutor with whom they meet regularly. Assessment of the modules varies from final exam to essay to portfolios.
Then finally in the third trimester the student undertakes a three month lab or clinic based project written up as a dissertation, with the course finishing at the end of August.
Quotes from our students
I chose to study at UCL for its renowned academic excellence, and this was apparent from my very first lecture. As well as having very stimulating and well-structured lectures the highly esteemed professors provide very friendly support.
The course is amazing as it gives you the opportunity to work in depth with subjects and topics that you interested in, without leaving any scientist or clinician student complained as it covers everything! Also it provides the students with excellent cardiovascular research background and hence giving them the opportunity to continue in the area of pharmaceutical industry or in the field of cardiovascular science.
I chose UCL because of the topics covered in the program, for the opportunity to learn in a world renowned University but also for the adventure and the experience a multicultural city such as London can bring.
The overall course is greatly organised. In specific, I like the support provided for individual MSc students as well as the entire group. In addition, i think the course has been designed very carefully not only to perfectly challenge individuals but also to improve their scientific knowledge.
Siavash Beikoghli Kalkhoran