MSc in Surgical Science

The MSc has been running successfully for over 15 years and the syllabus has been evolving to keep pace with innovations in the wider surgical and scientific fields.   View course poster (word)

About the MSc

medical_student_image Cell2 Robotic Surgery2

The MSc in Surgical Science is run by the UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science.

This unique degree combines training in essential surgical skills with opportunities to carry out cutting edge research. The MSc is designed to enhance career prospects for surgeons in training. It provides scientific and research experience prior to or as part of the surgical training programme.

Students gain skills in established and rapidly developing areas of robotics, laparoscopic and micro-surgery; in the verbal and written communication of science; experimental design and application; and scientific analysis; all with an in-depth understanding of science-based subjects of clinical relevance. The students are encouraged to work towards conference presentation and publication of their research project.

Our aims                    


                        Our objectives

The aims of this programme are:

  • To improve the level of scientific knowledge, appreciation and critical analysis by surgical trainees.
  • And to provide supervised in-depth research projects on basic and translational surgical science for surgical trainees.
Royal Free

The ethos of the MSc is to provide graduate teaching and research to junior surgeons with a two-fold objective:

  • To introduce trainee surgeons to in-depth scientific thinking, knowledge and practice, as applied to Surgery.
  • To equip trainee surgeons with critical, analytical thinking and skills at Masters level, and provide equivalent qualifications to enable career progression.

The MSc is run from the Royal Free Campus, UCL, with some modules run at Bloombury Campus and other UCL sites.

The Medical School has highly rated basic science expertise within its academic and clinical departments thus guaranteeing an excellent research environment. Students have the advantages of studying in a multi-faculty college with a long tradition of excellence, situated within the heart of one of the world's greatest cities.

This MSc has the approval of the Royal Colleges of Surgery.

How to Apply

Duration of Programme

Full-time: One calendar year
Commences: September 2013


When to apply

Applications can be received at any time; however, 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. All candidates who are shortlisted will be invited to interview.

Who can Apply

Entry requirements:

A medical qualification from a UK university or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard. Applicants will preferably have a minimum of two years' clinical experience, or have completed basic surgical training, holding MRCS Part 1.

- Knowledge of English - IELTS – 6.5 or above or equivalent (with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the subtests). For further information please visit the Admissions Web pages.

How to apply

Application Process:

You may choose to apply online or download application materials. Please select one of the link blow:


Deadline for receipt of completed application forms (inc references): 2nd August 2013.

Course Structure


The MSc in Surgical Science comprises 180 credits.
The programme consists of :

  • A compulsory MSc research project (90 credits). We actively encourage students to work towards presentations and potential publications.
  • A compulsory module on Research Methods and Transferable Skills (15 credits) equips students with the necessary skill set for preparing, presenting and analyzing their research results.
  • 5 optional modules (75 Credits) from 2 lists:
  • 1 from List A: *Advanced surgery skills* (new module) OR Research methods and skills
  • 4 from List B: Optional modules cover a wide variety of topics which reflect the research activities within the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, and beyond from the wider UCL community.  Topics include: Nanotechnology; Regenerative Medicine; Orthopaedics; Systematic Reviews and Surgical Oncology.

Dissertation (Research project)

All students undertake an independent basic science laboratory research project on a subject of relevance to their clinical interests which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.


Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.


Student performance is assessed through unseen written examination papers, written reports, oral presentations, written coursework and oral examinations, and a dissertation and oral examination for the research project.


To pass the MSc it is necessary to get 180 credits comprising:

  • Compulsory Research project (90 Credits)

SURGGS99: Research Project

Research lab

An in-depth project is expected and encouraged.

To be assessed by submission of dissertation and Viva.

See additional information on the research project at the end of handbook.

  •  Compulsory Modules (15 Credits)

ORTHG007: Research Methodologies and Transferable Skills

This module provides training in a range of generic skills necessary for the

planning of research and the written, oral and visual communication of science.

  •  Optional Modules (75 Credits)

One module from list A (15 credits) and four modules from List B (60 credits) which made 75 credits in total.

List A 15 Credits
List A has been extended with a new module.

SURGGS12: Advanced Surgical Skills New from 2012

Robotic Surgery1

The BRAND NEW module in Advanced Surgical Skills (15 credits) teaches Robotic Skills (this is an established hands on Robotic Surgery course and Laparoscopic Skills course) and Microsurgery Skills in dedicated teaching spaces/surgical theatres. Successful completion of the module is accompanied by certificates on both skill sets. Costs for these two courses (>£3,000) are included in the MSc fee.

The module is run at Chitra Sethis Centre for Robotics and Minimal Access Surgery at UCLH and at Northwick Park Medical Research Institute.

Optional modules cover a wide variety of topics which reflect the research activities within the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, and beyond from the wider UCL community.

Topics include: Nanotechnology; Regenerative Medicine; Orthopaedics; Systematic Reviews and Surgical Oncology...

ORTHG008: Research Methods and Skills

Extended research methodologies beyond ORTHG007.

List B 60 Credits

Extended list available later in the handbook. Four 15-credit modules are required. Modules available from the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science and the Division of Cell and Developmental Biology.

List B

Course Code
Course Title
Advanced Anatomy 15
ANATG025 Advanced Neuroanatomy (NEURG025)
Pain 15
ANATG031 Control of Movement
ANATG050 Advanced Molecular Cell Biology
Neurobiology of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurobiology of Neurodegenerative Diseases (Extended)
Mechanisms of Development
Heart and Circulation
Fetal and Neonatal Physiology
Biomaterials and Biomechanics
Skeletal Tissue Biology
SURGGS03 Surgical Oncology
Experimental Models in Surgical Research
SURGGN01 Nanotechnology 15
Translation of Nanotechnology
Applied Tissue Engineering
NEURG031  The Control of Movement
Systematic Reviews of Intervention (co-requisite SURGGS07)
Systematic Reviews of Intervention (co-requisite SURGGS06) 15


Course Fees for 2013/2014

* MSc fees incorporate charges for the Advanced Surgical Skills Module, with certificates in Robotic Surgery and Laparoscopic Skills (Chitra Sethia Centre for Robotics and Minimal Access Surgery, UCLH) and Microsurgery Skills (The Northwick Park Medical Research Institute). These courses usually cost £6,000.


Programme Tutor

Dr Marilena Loizidou  m.loizidou@ucl.ac.uk
 Tel: 020 7794 0500 x35575

Royal Free Campus

Programme Administrator

Ms Ruth Williams
ruth.williams@ucl.ac.uk  Tel: 020 7794 0500 x34980

Royal Free Campus

After MSc

What next after the MSc



The MSc provides both surgical skills and academic training; the MSc  is designed to enhance career prospects of surgeons in training.

The programme also provides a good scientific foundation for those more academically motivated and who want to proceed on to study for an MD or PhD.

Future career:

The Programme has the full approval of the Royal Colleges of Surgery and has been designed for candidates aiming to progress in a surgical career.

First destinations of recent graduates include: Southend Hospital: Surgeon; Queen Medical: Surgeon; Bangor Hospital: Doctor; Royal Derby Hospital: Core Surgical Trainee; Stanmore Hospital: Academic Clinical Fellow; Kings College Hospital NHS Trust: Specialist Registrar in Cardiothoracic; Greater Glasgow NHS: Paediatric Surgery Registrar & Training Surgeon.

RAE Rating Surgery: 75% Cancer, 70% other Hospital-based subjects rated 4* or 3*.

[Photograph left to right - Dr Marilena Loizidou, Ms Michele Pannaman, and Prof Barry Fuller who were awarded the EMEA award for the iBSc Surgical Science Team on July 6th 2010]

* NEW module in Advanced Surgical Skills *

NEW FROM 2012: This module provides hands on experience in Robotic Surgery and Laparoscopic Skills (Chitra Sethia Centre for Robotics and Minimal Access Surgery, UCLH) and Microsurgery Skills (The Northwick Park Medical Research Institute).

The cost of associated certificates (£6,000) is included in the MSc fees.