This MSc aims to provide medical and science 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. There is a strong focus on the development of key skills and careers advice in the programme.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £11,760 (FT) £5,800 (PT)
- £26,670 (FT) £13,350 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
To be eligible for registration, normally a candidate must have obtained a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant science-based discipline, or a medical qualification (MBBS) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of the field of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine, specifically in the areas of basic genetics and technology, genetic mechanisms, medical genetics, organogenesis and fetal development, gametogenesis and IVF, prenatal diagnosis and screening, fetal and perinatal medicine, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis and developing technology. They gain transferable skills including information technology, analysis of scientific papers, essay writing, seminar presentation, research techniques, peer review and laboratory skills.
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 consisting of eight core modules (120 credits, full-time nine months, flexible study two to five years) is offered.
- Basic Genetics and Technology
- Gametogenesis, Preimplantation Development and IVF
- Genetic Mechanisms
- Medical Genetics
- Organogenesis and Fetal Development
- Prenatal Diagnosis and Screening
- Fetal and Perinatal 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. There are a number of peer-led learning activities. Assessment is through essays, patient case reports, critical reviews of papers, online problem booklet, examinations and the dissertation.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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 pursue research degrees, further training for careers in prenatal diagnosis or embryology, or other careers in the field or in general science. Medically-orientated students will be able to develop their careers in the field of fetal medicine.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Doctor, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Senior Genetic Counsellor, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre
- Trainee Clinical Embryologist, George's Memorial Medical Centre
- Clinical Research Nurse, UCL
- PhD in Prenatal Diagnosis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Throughout the MSc programme students learn key skills through peer-led activities, such as evaluating and presenting orally on patient cases and media coverage of scientific papers. Students learn how to write essays and patient case reports and how to critically evaluate papers. They also have the opportunity to take part in debates and ethical discussions and to learn basic laboratory techniques. We offer a comprehensive careers programme involving our alumni, covering job applications, CV writing, general careers in science and specific advice on careers in embryology, clinical genetics, medicine and research degrees.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Institute for Women’s Health delivers excellence in research, clinical practice, education and training in order to make a real and sustainable difference to women's and babies' health worldwide.
The institute's UCL/UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust collaboration provides an academic environment in which students can pursue graduate studies taught by world-class researchers and clinicians.
Our diversity of expertise in maternal and fetal medicine, neonatology, reproductive health and women's cancer ensures a vibrant environment in which students develop subject-specific and generic transferable skills, supporting a broad range of future employment opportunities.
Department: Institute for Women's Health
Student / staff numbers
› 17 staff
including 24 postdocs
› 42 taught students
› 25 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute for Women's Health
80% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"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
"I first moved to UCL in 2000 to do a PhD in Fetal Medicine and I have stayed ever since. The most attractive thing about UCL for me was the history of research and innovation within fetal medicine. This included major breakthroughs in treating fetal disease in the womb, such as fetal blood transfusion and shunts that are now performed routinely around the world. My main research is in translational medicine. I lead the Prenatal Cell and Gene Therapy Group at the UCL Institute for Women's Health. Our aim is to develop prenatal therapies for life-threatening disorders, for example congenital diseases such as thalassaemia, or obstetric complications such as fetal growth restriction. The best thing about working at UCL is the breadth of expertise in related medical and life sciences disciplines. Staff are always ready to discuss an idea and collaborate outside their field. "
Professor Anna David
Professor of Obstetrics and Maternal Fetal Medicine
Application and next steps
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for medical and science-based students who wish to gain a theoretical grounding in prenatal genetics and fetal medicine and to gain skills required by today's science and clinical staff, working in academic and clinical environments.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
This programme is usually provisionally full by April. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding should take note of application deadlines.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
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.