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 Reproductive Science and Women’s Health 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.

Female Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology

Female Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology

Module code: IFWHG013
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads
Dr Paul Hardiman
Dr Joyce Harper

Core module for MSc Reproductive Science and Women's Health

Module aims

The aims of this module are to provide knowledge into all aspects of female anatomy and physiology during a life course of a women from puberty to menopause.  The lectures are given by clinical and research staff working in the field of anatomy and reproductive medicine.

Module topics

Topics covered include development of the female reproductive tract, the ovary and oogenesis, germ cell specification and follicle formation, anatomy of the female reproductive system, hormones, puberty and the menstrual cycle, menopause, disorders of sexual development, promoting womens health in primary care, alternative therapies in womens health, menstrual problems, and incontinence and prolapse.

Assessment

Summative assessment
  • 2 hour unseen summative exam: this assessment allows students to demonstrate the extent to which they have met the stated learning outcomes of the module.
Formative assessment
  • Debate: students develop skills of in-depth critical analysis of papers, formulating and defending a case, working as a team, and oral presentation on the topic ‘do the ovaries contain stem cells?’

Learning activity

  • Online session: students use ‘The Embryonic Disk’, an electronic learning resource to support the study of the first two months of human embryonic development
  • Oocyte development laboratory session
  • Dissection room session

TERM 2

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Module code: IFWHG008
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads
Professor Donald Peebles
Dr David Williams

Core module for: MSc Reproductive Science and Women’s Health

Module aims

The aims of the module are to develop an understanding of pregnancy, fetal growth and function and their consequences in relation to the wellbeing of the mother and baby.   The module is taught by leaders in the field of pregnancy and childbirth.  The module includes a visit to the labour ward.

Module topics

Topics covered include development of the placenta and extra embryonic membranes, abnormalities of development, fetal growth, fetal cardiovascular and metabolic function, maternal mortality, physiological changes in pregnancy, developmental origins of health and disease, pre-eclampsia and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes and long term maternal health, normal pregnancy – antenatal care, physiology of birth – normal and abnormal labour, psychiatric disorders and pregnancy, perinatal ethics, prematurity and neonatal outcome, obesity and pregnancy, and neonatal encephalopathy.

Assessment

Summative assessment
  • 3,500 word essay: students write an essay on the ways in which maternal and physiological responses to pregnancy are essential for healthy outcomes but also contribute to pregnancy complications.  The aim of the assessment is to enable students to demonstrate their ability to critically evaluate the literature, to provide a balanced account of a broad concept, illustrated by specific evidence based examples, and to provide evidence that the student understands the important aspects of this topic.
Formative assessment
  • Journal Club: students are asked to reflect on a topical paper in the field of maternal medicine to improve their ability to critically evaluate recent published data relating to the care and treatment of women during pregnancy. 

Learning activities

  • Discussion group 1: students discuss the topic ‘are there too many C sections?’. The aim of the assessment is to stimulate a critical assessment of the evidence underlying an important clinical topic as well as a forum to use this evidence to challenge conventional ways of thinking.
  • Discussion group 2: this is a peer-led activity on maternal and perinatal mortality rates requiring students to research the topic for a country of their choice, to develop an awareness of and critically discuss global issues and to consider how these might be reduced.

Reproductive Health

Module code: IFWHG007
Credit value
: 15
Module leads
Dr Paul Hardiman
Mr Stanley Okollo


Core module for: MSc Reproductive Science and Women's Health

Module aims

The aims of this module are to provide knowledge into all aspects of reproductive health including infertility, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, fertility in the 3rd world and ethical issues, normal puberty and pubertal disorders, congenital anomalies of the female reproductive tract, paediatric gynaecology, reproductive disorders in the adolescent.  The module is taught by leaders in the field of reproductive health.

Module topics

Topics covered include the fallopian tube, premature ovarian failure, patholology of female reproductive disorders, HIV, hormone replacement therapy, PCOS, amenorrhea, hirsutism and anovulation, reproductive imaging, hypothalamic/pituitary disorders, male and female sub-fertility (surgical aspects), adolescent gynecology, fertility preservation, psychological impact of infertility, sexually transmitted infections, contraception, recurrent miscarriage, and reproductive issues in development countries.

Assessment

Summative assessment
  • 2 hour unseen summative exam: this assessment allows students to demonstrate the extent to which they have met the stated learning outcomes of the module.e.
Formative assessment
  • Mock Research Ethics Committee: this session is run as an actual ethics committee, requiring students to review and consider the ethical issues of an application.

Learning Activities

  • Discussion Group: students discuss the dangers and benefits of hormone replacement therapy. The aim of the assessment is to stimulate a critical assessment of the evidence underlying an important clinical topic as well as a forum to use this evidence to challenge conventional ways of thinking.
  • Discussion Group: students discuss international reproductive health issues. The aim is to appreciate cultural issues in this area.

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

Breast and Reproductive Cancers

Module code: IFWHG014
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads:
Martin Widschwendter
Anne Lanceley


Core module for: MSc Reproductive Science and Women’s Health

Module aims

The aims of this module are to provide knowledge into all aspects of cancers that specifically have an impact on women.  The module is taught by leaders in the field of breast and repoductive cancers.

Module topics

Topics covered include introduction to cancer and its mechanisms, introduction to statistics in cancer research, pathology of women’s cancer, ovarian fallopian tube cancers, vulval cancer, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, hormones and the risk of cancer, immunological aspects of gynaecological cancer, principles of adjuvant treatment, breast cancer surgery, inherited predisposition – a clinical approach, cancer susceptibility (familial and population), cancer epidemiology, cancer epigenetics, cercal cancer screening, cervical cancer and vaccination, surgery treatment and survival – ovarian cancer, surgery treatment and survival – cancers of the uterus, new approaches to cancer screening, role of diet and lifestyle in breast cancer, tumour markers, clinical trials in ovarian cancer, pathology of women’s cancer of the uterus, multimodal treatment of recurrent disease – novel approaches, palliative care, cultural representation of cancer, and breast cancer care.

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

  • Discussion Group:  this is a peer-led ethical discussion on the human papilloma virus HPV cervical cancer vaccine. The aim of the assessment is to stimulate a critical assessment of the evidence underlying an important clinical topic as well as a forum to use this evidence to challenge conventional ways of thinking.

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

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 15 oct 13 20:33