Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:
£10,250 (FT)
Overseas 2013/14:
£23,750 (FT)
Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

Contact Us

Angela Poulter

Dr Angela C Poulter
Graduate Administrator

Tel: 020 7679 6050
Internal: 46050
E-mail: a.poulter@ucl.ac.uk


Institute for Women's Health
2nd floor Room 210
86-96 Chenies Mews
London - WC1E 6HX

MSc Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine Modules

TERM 1

Basic Genetics

Module code: IFWHGO10
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads
Dr Sioban SenGupta
Dr Suzy Buckley

Module aims:

This module gives an introduction to genetics to provide knowledge of basic human genetics, human genetic variation, linkage analysis, genetic and physical maps, the relevance of the human genome project, comparative mapping, identification of candidate genes, and mutation. The module also covers analysis of family pedigrees and the use of different biological databases available on the Internet. The lecturers on this course are experts in genetics, who perform either research or clinical work.

Module topics:

Topics covered include introduction to cytogenetics, FISH and PCR, aneuploidy and genetic testing, Mendel’s Laws and inheritance, mutation and genetic disease, linkage, finding the mutation and microarrays, polygenic and multifactorial inheritance, sequencing technologies, proteomics, animal models, functional genetics, and bioinformatics.

Assessment

Summative assessment:
  • Online problem booklet: aims to help students apply the information that has been presented as lectures about basic genetics principles & techniques used for diagnosis and research in this field.
Formative assessment:
  • FISH practical & PCR practical: aims to give students insight into good laboratory practice, including designing an experiment, following a protocol, recording and analyzing results, making conclusions. 

Learning Activity:

  • Linkage tutorial: is a tool to help students understand the relevance of data from linkage and association studies.                                                               
  • Bioinformatics tutorial: introduces students to a number of clinically useful databases and demonstrates how to access information used in diagnostic reports.

Gametogenesis, Preimplantation Development and IVF

Module code: IFWHG011
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads
Dr Joyce Harper
Dr Sioban SenGupta

Module aims:

The aim of this module is to provide knowledge on preimplantation development and IVF starting from gametogenesis and ending just before implantation.  A large proportion of this module concentrates on infertility treatments and IVF and is taught by leaders in the field from the Institute for Women’s Health, UCLH Reproductive Medicine Unit and the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health (CRGH) and includes visits to the CRGH and/or the London Fertility Centre. 

Module topics:

Topics covered include gametogenesis, female and male infertility, the genetics of infertility, clinical andrology, fertilization, preimplantation development, laboratory aspects of IVF, clinical aspects of IVF, and new developments in IVF.

Assessment

Summative Assessment
  • 1,500 word essay (50%): students write an essay on the availability, funding, success of, and any issues around fertility treatment in a country of the student's choice.  This assessment provides a gentle introduction to essay writing, to allow students to learn how to research a topic and write in English, allowing time for feedback before essay 2.
  • 1,500 word essay (50%): this is a fully referenced essay on any aspect of IVF of the student's choice. The aim of the assessment is to allow students to develop their research, analysis and scientific writing skills. This essay should be fully referenced.  Feedback is given by the module lead before submission; after submission qualitative feedback is given.
Formative Assessment
  • Group activity - The Media versus the scientific paper: peer-led group activity, requiring students to critically evaluate a scientific paper of their choice related to fertility treatment and reflect on how the media have presented this paper – was the media accurate?  This will be presented as a group oral presentation.

Genetic Mechanisms

Module code: IFWHGO09
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads
Dr Sioban SenGupta
Dr Suzy Buckley

Module aims:

The aim of this module is to provide knowledge of how genes function in a variety of cellular pathways and provide molecular evidence to explain how genetic disorders arise. Lectures are given by experts in genetics who perform research or clinical work.

Module topics:

Topics covered include genesis of chromosome abnormalities, DNA replication, DNA transcription and translation, non-coding RNA, cancer, DNA repair, triplet repeats, mitochondrial genetics, imprinting, imprinting mechanisms, DNA methylation and cancer, gene therapy, and cellular senescence and apoptosis.

Assessment:

Summative assessment
  • 1 hour written exam (50%): to allow students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the stated learning outcomes of the module
  • Write up of grant application (50%): the student will fill in a grant proposal individually (based on questions in the Wellbeing of Women application) and complete a 1,500 word write up focused on one aspect of the application. The students will peer assess each other’s write up but the assessed mark will be given by the module lead and moderator.  The student will be required to consider all aspects involved in writing a grant application; how to define a research question and hypothesis, how to present background information, plan and cost experiments and to consider ethical issues around the project.  Students will learn more about written and oral presentation skills.  Peer assessment will include how to critique an application and judge others work.
Formative assessment

Group activity - grant application: small group work, requiring the student to consider all aspects of writing a grant application, defining research questions and hypothesis, presenting background information, planning and costing experiments, considering ethical issues around the project. The student will develop their written and oral presentation skills, and learn how to critique an application and judge others work through peer assessment.  A write up of this forms part of their formative assessment

TERM 2

Medical Genetics

Module code: IFWHG009
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads
Dr Lucy Side
Dr Mariya Hristova

Core module for: MSc Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine

Module aims:

The aims of this module are provide knowledge of basic medical genetics and how genetic disease arises and provide knowledge of a variety of genetic disorders and their clinical presentation, and an introduction to genetic counseling and ethical implications of genetic testing.  The module is taught by clinical and scientific geneticists working in the field.

Module topics:

Topics covered include clinical genetics, genetics of biochemical and metabolomics disorders, immunological disorders, Xp21 dystrophies, neurodegenerative disorders, prion diseases, genetics of cleft lip and palate, cardiac genetics and associated dysmorphic syndromes, ophthalmic genetics, skeletal dysplasia’s and disorders of craniofacial development, CMT, clinical cancer genetics, triplet repeat diagnosis, haemoglobinopathies and sickle cell, chromosome imbalances, genetics of renal disorders, genetics of deafness, cystic fibrosis and molecular genetics, and genetic counseling.

Assessment:

Summative assessment:
  • 3,500 word essay: Using two examples of inherited genetic disease, the student compares and contrasts how screening, treatment and management of the diseases is related to and dependent upon the current understanding of their genetics. The student develops their ability to research and discuss the topic, as well as how to draw comparisons, contrasts and conclusions from the literature.
Formative assessment:
  • Group Activity - Disease presentation (x 2): students work in a group to research and prepare a short group presentation on a defined genetic disorder (provided), seeking to understand the complexity of multifactorial diseases. In a second smaller group work exercise, they choose and research a disease of their choice. Students learn to critically appraise the literature, to summarise and synthesis it for presentation, and increase experience of working in a group.
  • Group Activity - Ethical Issues in Genetic Counselling Case Studies: students work in a group to discuss and then present a case (provided) and the ethical issues surrounding it.

Organogenesis and Fetal Development

Module code: IFWHG004
Credit value: 15 Credits
Module leads
Dr Joyce Harper
Dr Ruth Curry


Core module for: MSc Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine

Module aim:

The aims of this module are to provide knowledge into the development and imaging of the organs of the body.  This module is unique as it brings together scientists to teach human development and clinicians to teach imaging of the organs of the body and what can go wrong.

Module topics:

Topics covered include development of the placenta and extra embryonic membranes and abnormalities in development, genes in development, organogenesis, limb and skeletal development, imaging of skeletal and limb abnormalities: prenatal and postnatal management, development of the respiratory system, Imaging of thoracic and lung abnormalities: prenatal and postnatal management, development of the liver, development of the gut, imaging of the GI and anterior abdominal wall defects: prenatal and postnatal management, development of the kidney, development of the fetal gonads, imaging of the renal and GU abnormalities; prenatal and postnatal management, molecular basis of heart development, imaging of cardiac abnormalities and US recordings; prenatal and postnatal management, molecular basis of nervous system development, outline of brain development, imaging of CNS and spinal abnormalities; prenatal and postnatal management.

Assessment:

Summative assessment
  • 2 hour exam: to allow students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the stated learning outcomes of the module.

Prenatal Diagnosis and Screening

Module code: IFWHG006
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads
Dr Anna David
Professor Eric Jauniaux

Module aims

The aims of the module are to provide knowledge into the theory and practical aspects of prenatal diagnosis and screening.  The module is taught by clinical leaders in the field of prenatal diagnosis.  The module includes a one day visit to the Fetal Medicine Unit at UCLH and an afternoon visit to the North Thames Region cytogenetics laboratory.

Module topics

Topics covered include basics of ultrasound; differencences in anatomy between the fetus and adult, basics of fetal circulation, the normal fetus, screening using the first trimester scan, screening using the 20 week anomaly scan, cytogenetics in prenatal diagnosis classical and molecular methods.

Assessment

Summative assessment
  • 3,000-3,500 word essay: the aim of this assessment is to enable students to gain a wider understanding of current prenatal diagnosis and screening techniques, and to explore in the literature the changes that are coming rapidly in this area.  The students will learn how to discuss the topic as well as draw conclusions from the literature.
Formative assessment
  • Journal Club: students make a 5 minute presentation in pairs on a paper on non-invasive prenatal diagnosis/newer methods of prenatal diagnosis and take questions from the audience. Through this assessment, students learn to critically appraise the literature and to summarise it for presentation.

Learning activity

  • Visit to the fetal medicine clinic:  to observe clinical procedures as they happen.
  • Visit to the North Thames Region Cytogenetics laboratory:  to see genetic testing in action.
TERM 3

Fetal Medicine

Module code: IFWHG012
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads
Professor Eric Jauniaux
Dr Anna David

Core module for: MSc Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine

Module aims

The aims of the module are to provide knowledge into the theory of fetal medicine and its role in today's society.  The module is taught by clinical leaders in the field of fetal medicine and includes a visit to the fetal medicine unit and a visit to the neonatal unit at UCLH.

Module topics

Topics covered include twins and twin interventions, hydrops, fetal viral/congenital infection, platelet alloimmunization, the role of the pathologist, prenatal gene therapy, stem cell translplatnion, fetal interventional procedures and fetal surgery, fetal medicine in low income countries, rhesus disease and fetal blood transfusion, the role of the neonatologist, problems with prematurity and new techniques in neonatology.

Assessment

Summative assessment
  • 3,000-3,500 word patient case study: students will identify and research a patient case(s) and present a written report on the patient, to include a literature review and discussion of scientific and clinical aspects of the case.

Learning activity

  • Group Activity – Ethical Discussion Group: discussion of topical ethical issues in fetal medicine.
  • Visit to neonatal unit

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Developing Technology

Module code: IFWHGO05
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads
Dr Joyce Harper
Dr Sioban SenGupta

Core module for: MSc Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine and MSc Reproductive Science and Women’s Health

Module aims

The aims of this module are to provide knowledge into the theory of preimplantation genetic diagnosis and developing technology, including stem cells.  The module is taught by leaders in the field of PGD and stem cells.

Module topics

Topics covered include an introduction to PGD, embryo biopsy, molecular PGD, isolation of single cells, array practical, preimplantation genetics, FISH and arrays in PGD/PGS, future of PGD, ethics in PGD, genetic counselling, stem cells and the use of stem cells in treatment.

Assessment

Summative assessment
  • 1500 word refection on evaluation of a patient case (50%);  each student writes an individual reflection of a the group activity (see formative assessment below).
  • 1500 word paper review/referee report (50%):  each student writes up two papers that they have reviewed which teaches them how to write a referee report and develops critical analysis skills.  This report is presented orally (see formative assessment below).
Formative assessment
  • Group Evaluation of a Patient Case: students work in groups to analyse a real PGD patient case.  They have to investigate all the issues relating to the patient's history; requires the student to employ decision making skills about how to do the diagnosis/the viability of the procedure, how to cost it, and prepare a proposal for application to funding to the health authority. Student develops the ability to present a written and oral case.  Forms the basis of their summative assessment reflection (see above).
  • Paper review: each student presents a critical review of 2 papers on a topic of their choice for oral presentation. A write up of this forms part of their formative assessment (see above).

Learning activity

  • Group Discussion of the future of PGD & Ethics:  discussion over two days to hear students' individual views on this difficult area.

Research Project and Dissertation

Module code: IFWHGO99
Credit value: 60 credits

Core module for: MSc Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine and MSc Reproductive Science and Women’s Health

Module aims

  • To analyse information in a specialised field
  • To design and carry out novel research
  • To learn how to work as a team member and in an individual basis
  • To analyse (including statistically) the results obtained from the project
  • To write a dissertation

We encourage all students to think of their own research project, but a list of possible projects will be given.  The research projects will be discussed and agreed during  the Autumn Term. During the Spring Term all students must prepare a seminar and a 2,000 word essay to introduce their project, the methods to be used and aims. For full time students, the research project takes place full time between June and September.

To get a sense of the kinds of projects our MSc students undertake, see our page of previous MSc project titles.

Assessment

  • Introduction:  in term 2 students submit a 2000 word introduction to their project and an oral presentation.  Feedback is given immediately.
  • Final presentation:  the day the project is submitted, students present an oral presentation summarizing their projects.  Feedback is given immediately.
  • 10,000 word dissertation:  supervisor reads drafts and gives feedback before submission.

Previous Research Projects - Download

Page last modified on 11 oct 13 15:57