iBSc in Orthopaedic Science
Orthopaedics now encompasses many different scientific disciplines, including materials science, biomechanics, medical physics, nanotechnology, molecular biology of skeletal tissues, tissue engineering, cell therapies and genetics.
Orthopaedic surgery itself is advancing rapidly with the benefit of these new areas in science. These advances in clinical practice depend on the findings of current medical research. More than ever, specialists in the field will need to be trained and involved in the research process to understand the scientific basis for these new developments.
The programme aims to present a broad-based understanding of how skeletal tissues function, how they degrade and repair and how the design, manufacture and fixation of implants can be improved. A large proportion of the programme is dedicated to a laboratory-based research project with training and hands-on experience in research methodology and skills needed to carry out medical research successfully in orthopaedics and other related disciplines.
A student's perspective
I am currently a 4th year clinical medicine student at the UCL Medical School, but I spent my 3rd year at the Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science in Stanmore to complete an integrated BSc in orthopaedic science. IOMS is a very different environment to the hustle and bustle of a city centre university campus, and - all jokes about the state of the buildings aside (though hopefully the impending arrival of the new hospital will change this!) - some of the work that goes on here is very special. Tracing back a long history of innovation and discovery in orthopaedics and its associated fields, it’s a true privilege to be taught by clinicians and scientists at the very forefront of translational research.
My project explored the biomechanical effects of footwear on gait, and I was supervised by Mr Andy Goldberg, Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon and Clinical Senior Lecturer. The experimental phase was carried out in a specialist clinical biomechanics facility at Staffordshire University, and allowed me to get to grips with running a complex experimental protocol and working with laboratory standard measuring equipment.
The year at Stanmore was a challenge, not only in adjusting to an academic environment, but also in getting to grips with a field that I was not previously familiar with, but ultimately a hugely productive and rewarding experience.