UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


iBSc Cardiovascular Science

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The Integrated BSc (iBSc) in Cardiovascular Science provides undergraduate medical students with a rigorous foundation in the key knowledge and skills relevant to cardiovascular science and its application in clinical and healthcare settings. It gives a firm foundation for the MBBS year 4 Cardiology Module and provides career-enhancing prospects for those wishing to specialise in vascular physiology and cardiology, the latter being the most common medical speciality in the NHS Deanery. 


The course is multidisciplinary covering emerging and exciting topics on diagnostics, advances in treatment and surgical intervention and devices in cardiovascular disease. World-leading biomedical scientists from departments and faculties across the School of Life and Medical Sciences at UCL teach on this course, including representatives from:

  • Institute of Cardiovascular Science
  • Divisions of Biosciences
  • Division of Medicine

With constant interaction between students and tutors, interactive and practical sessions are important features of the course. In many instances, students will have the flexibility to expand on an area that is of interest to them particularly through the research project that runs throughout the academic year, and which can either be laboratory or in silico based. This flexibility, along with interaction with internationally known, expert researchers and clinicians in the cardiovascular field will provide a varied and dynamic year. By the end of the course, students will be empowered with contemporary knowledge of different approaches and interventions that can be harnessed for a personalised medicine approach in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Why study Cardiovascular Science?

  • Cardiovascular disease is the most important cause of death and disability worldwide
  • 7 million people living with cardiovascular disease in UK
  • Cardiology is UK’s largest medical speciality
  • UCL ranked second in UK for research in cardiovascular disease

Institute of Cardiovascular Science (ICS), established in 2011, brings together basic and clinical scientists from UCL and expert clinicians from UCL partner hospitals (~200 members including staff and students).

We run one of only three Cardiovascular iBSc courses nationally

  • Develop an understanding of common cardiovascular diseases and their management.
  • Appreciate controversies and as well as the limitations of current knowledge.
  • Critically appraise research and the evidence base for current and future clinical practice.
  • To become an independent learner and gain transferable skills.
  • Better inform your practice as a doctor in the future, particularly in the field cardiology and cardiovascular medicine.

    Key Information

    Programme starts

    September 2023

    Location: London, Bloomsbury

    Course content

    The course has been designed to provide 3rd year medical students with a connected curriculum in cardiovascular medicine, which feeds into a series of clinical case studies. This one year programme is made up of 120 credits.  The course modules cover a variety of aspects of heart and vascular function in health and disease from pathophysiology, pharmacology and therapeutic strategies through to genetic and anatomical basis of congenital heart disease. Each module is led by one or more course tutors who direct the content of the module and oversee tutorials or and laboratory-based practicals. 


    Core modules

    Optional modules within ICS

     Optional modules outside ICS

    Module Leads

    Prof Lucie Clapp

    Dr David Thompson and Dr Marc George

    Prof Ann Walker

    Prof Andrew Cook

    Dr Petros Syrris

    Dr Jennifer Steeden


    Modules are assessed in a variety of ways including oral presentations, written essays, poster presentations, practicals and unseen written exams.

    Heart & Circulation

    Unseen three-hour written examination consisting of single best answer MCQ and two essays (60%),

    3000 word assessed essay (15%),

    Poster project, including 5 min oral presentation (15%)

    Organ Bath Pharmacology - Practical session report (10%).

    Clinical Case Studies in Cardiovascular Medicine

    Written exam with short-answer questions based on two previously seen clinical research papers.

    2000 word report examining the evidence-base behind treatment decisions for a clinical scenario (choice of 5 scenarios)

    Research Project

    Dissertation (7500 words) 80%

    Assessment by supervisor of performance throughout the project 10%

    Oral presentation 10-15 mins 10%

    Congenital Heart Disease – Fundamentals

    Practical Case Examination (two and a half hours) – 70%

    Practical 750 words case report - 30%

    Cardiovascular Science and Disease

    Summative assessment - 3,000 word essay (100%)

    Formative assessment: group presentation on grant review exercise

    Molecular Laboratory Methods

    Method write-up. This will include an overview of method(s) used and critical appraisal (50%)

    Unseen exam data handling questions (50%)

    Entry requirements

    Internal UCL applicants

    Any 2nd year medical student can apply for the iBSC.  There are also a limited number of spaces on course-specific modules available to 3rd year UCL students with an interest in cardiovascular science. Those interested in taking a module should first contact the Undergraduate Education Officer

    External applicants - Oversubscribed for 2023/24

    Any 2nd year medical student with strong interest in cardiovascular health and disease is encouraged to apply.   iBSc applications are open to external applicants but the programme is oversubscribed for 2023/24 but we hope to welcome you in 2024/2025. Those interested in applying should see the external candidates information page or contact the Undergraduate Education Officer

    Apply - Internal Applicants

    Key Information

    Programme starts

    September 2023

    Location: London, Bloomsbury

    Application and next steps

    Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places.

    Who can apply?

    This programme is designed for both future scientists and future clinicians who wish to gain a thorough background in cardiovascular science, either for further research in this field or for entry into the pharmaceutical industry.

    Application deadlines

    Application forms are available from the UCL Medical School in early January.  Make sure to give yourself enough time to apply as you may be required to provide signed references. Your personal statement for the application form should be a maximum of 1 A4 page of single-spaced, point 12 Times New Roman text.   

    Apply - External Applicants

    Due to the popularity of the programme we are oversubscribed for the 2023/24 academic year. Any late applications will only be considered after those received by the closing date.

    What are we looking for?

    When we assess your application, we would like to learn why you want to study Cardiovascular Science and what attracts you to this programme.

    The personal statement is your opportunity to elaborate on your reasons for applying to this programme and how your interests match what the programme will deliver.  

    Programme Contact Information

    Audrey Everson, Undergraduate Education Officer

    Email: ics.undergraduate@ucl.ac.uk

    Telephone +44 (0)20 7612 6589

    Subject area

    Cardiovascular Science

    Faculty overview

    Population Health Sciences

    Department website

    Institute of Cardiovascular Science

    Student Achievements

    Image of winner of International conferece of critical care nephrology

    George Ponodath attended and won the prize for best poster at the International Conference of Critical Care Nephrology in Children

    I am incredibly honoured to have presented my research at the first international conference on critical care nephrology in children. This experience, made possible by the generous support of the Institute of Cardiovascular Science, not only allowed me to showcase the culmination of my studies in cardiovascular science but also provided a platform to engage with world renowned experts. Winning 'best poster' has further motivated me to pursue excellence in research. I am grateful to my supervisors Katherine Brown and Thomas Brick for their invaluable guidance.
    George Shery Ponodath, iBSc Medical Sciences with Cardiovascular Science 2023

    The following students were nominated for prizes in 2022 - 2023 

    • Meriam Abdelmoumene – Faculty Medal, Dean’s List and HAB Simmons
    • George Ponodath – Jane Dacre Prize
    • Ameera Milhan - Sheila Glennis Haworth Overall Prize (Awarded)