Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine MSc

Options: PG Diploma

This MSc aims to provide medical and science-based students with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the field of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine, specifically human genetics, human embryonic development and fetal medicine.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Flexible 2-5 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £10,450
  • Overseas Full-time: £23,700

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

On completion of the programme, students have a developed knowledge and understanding of the field of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine, specifically in the areas of basic genetics, medical genetics, genetic mechanisms, medical genetics, organogenesis and fetal development, gametogenesis and IVF, prenatal diagnosis and screening, fetal medicine, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis. They gain transferable skills including information technology, analysis of scientific papers, essay writing, seminar and poster presentation, research techniques, peer review and laboratory skills.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The Institute for Women’s Health provides an academic environment in which students can pursue graduate studies taught by academics and clinicians at the leading-edge internationally in a recognised centre of excellence.

The Institute brings together individuals with expertise across the whole spectrum of women's health - from laboratory science to clinical skills to social and behavioural sciences - with the objective of making a major contribution to the health of women, both in the UK and internationally, by pioneering research, education programmes and clinical initiatives.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full time nine months, flexible study two–five years) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Basic Genetics
  • Gametogenesis and IVF
  • Genetic Mechanisms
  • Organogenesis and Fetal Development
  • Prenatal Diagnosis and Screening
  • Medical Genetics
  • Fetal Medicine
  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and developing technology


  • There are no optional modules for this programme.


All MSc students undertake a clinical, laboratory, audit or library-based research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical demonstrations in laboratories, observation days in fetal medicine and IVF units, and student presentations. Assessment is through essays, problem booklets, examinations and the dissertation and viva.

Further details available on subject website:

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline, or a medical qualification (MBBS) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Standard

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for medical and science based students who wish to specialise in Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine and develop the skills required by today's science and clinical staff.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine at graduate level
  • why you want to study Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


On completion of the programme, all students will have gained knowledge of both the clinical and laboratory aspects of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine. This will enable the science-orientated students to go on to take PhDs, careers in embryology or prenatal diagnosis, or go on to other careers in the field or in general science, and the medically orientated students will be able to develop their careers in the field of fetal medicine.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Liverpool Women's Hospital, Trainee Embryologist, 2010
  • Private IUI Clinic, Barcelona, Biologist, 2011
  • King's College Hospital, Clinical Fellow in Obstetrics, 2009
  • University of Oxford, PhD student, 2011
  • Resesarch Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, PhD student, 2011


A focus on keys skills and careers advice set our programmes apart. Throughout the MSc programme students learn key skills such as peer- led activities evaluating patient cases and media coverage of scientific papers which they have to present orally. Basic laboratory techniques are taught, such as PCR and FISH, as well as essay writing, critical evaluation of papers, debates and ethical discussions. We also offer a comprehensive careers programme covering how to apply for a job, mock job applications, writing your CV, general careers in science and specific career advice such as careers in embryology, clinical genetics, and PhDs.

Next steps


Dr Angela Poulter

T: +44 (0)20 7679 6050


Institute for Women's Health

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Staff View

"UCL is highly central and a focus for other academics. Close collaboration across the three main universities with medical schools is excellent and London is a destination for many international visitors, which increases the sense of academic community in my discipline."

Professor Neil Marlow

Professor of Neonatal Medicine

Student View

"The careers events organised as part of the MSc were a good chance to network, as representatives from academia, industry and clinical practice were all present to talk about the opportunities available to graduates in their respective areas."

Chelsea Buck

Degree: Reproductive Science and Women's Health MSc