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Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine MSc

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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Flexible: 2-5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£11,420 (FT) N/A (PT)
£25,890 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

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.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

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: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

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:

Degree information

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.

Mandatory modules

  • 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

Optional modules

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.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine MSc


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, careers in embryology or prenatal diagnosis, 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.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Ob/Gyn Surgeon, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale
  • Trainee Embryologist, Homerton University Hospital (NHS)
  • PhD Medical Genetics, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CI
  • Clinical Research Nurse, University College London (UCL)
  • Trainee Embryologist, Life Hospital


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. Basic laboratory techniques are taught as are essay writing, the critical evaluation of papers, debates and ethical discussions. We also 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 2012–2014 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 houses the UK's largest group of academics working in women's health and the UCL/UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust collaboration at its core provides an academic environment in which students can pursue graduate studies taught by world-class reseachers 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 › 38 staff including 29 postdocs › 42 taught students › 34 research students

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
82% 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

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 system of learning/researching in UCL is very different then universities in my country, as in UCL in depth knowledge is provided from the very basics to the current research going on in my field. In UCL many books, papers and up-to date journals are available online for in depth researching and learning which is not available in universities in my country. The professors at UCL have a systematic way of teaching which makes learning things easy, many of my friends face this problems here. The cutting edge research carried out at UCL is way more sophisticated, well designed and up to date. Most of the research work carried out here is novel, one that has been never tried as a result I get better platform to learn and perform new things with more sophisticated techniques that are still not available in universities in my country. I am very proud to be a part of UCL to learn and carry out novel research project at UCL."

Shardul Trivedi

Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine MSc
Student view

"I was impressed with the choice of lecturers, as we were taught by well-known researchers in this field. It was also great to know that my future career is important for academic staff."

Zofia Litwinska

Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine MSc

Application and next steps


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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

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.

Contact information

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