Advanced Minimally-Invasive Surgery MS

Distance learning programme

This highly innovative MS features the latest technologies that will place you at the forefront of modern surgical training. You will experience one of the world’s first cutting-edge VR-based lectures and SoMe alongside advanced practical training and telementoring in Robotics and Laparoscopy from some of the world's most renowned expert surgeons. This mixed-mode programme combines VR-based and online learning with hands-on training in London.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 academic year
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open


Application closes at 17:00 (UK time).

Entry requirements

A recognised medical degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard. In addition, basic surgical training or equivalent in a surgical specialty e.g. MRCS, MRCOG or overseas equivalent.

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: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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

The full-time and part-time versions of this programme are taught primarily online with some teaching taking place on campus in London. As such, international students who apply to this programme are not eligible to apply for a regular Student visa for full-time study in the UK.

To attend the on-campus teaching sessions for this course, international students will ordinarily use a UK Standard Visitor visa for study.

Please note that UK immigration rules are subject to change by the UK Government, as such, there is no guarantee that the current rules referred to here will be in place for the duration of your study with UCL.

Should you have any questions regarding visa compliance, please contact the UCL Student Immigration Compliance Team.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Technology is becoming integral to modern surgical careers. Trainee surgeons are now expected to excel in precision procedures and to understand the technologies that reach the operating theatre.

This pioneering, flexible, and inclusive MS programme is for surgical trainees who are keen to learn the latest and most optimal techniques in surgery. It combines flexible, blended online learning with a compressed residential component in London. We use a VR platform to give students a more immersive experience in lectures, tutorials and surgery.

Your timetable will include synchronous sessions (set to UK time), and you will have on-demand access to recorded sessions. The course gives busy professionals the ability to plan their lives around their study and to complete their surgical training whilst studying at their convenience.

We are the only UK institution to use innovative VR-based technology to deliver online content. This will enable you to interact with surgeons across the globe, learn operative skills, observe latest procedures, and critically appraise surgical technique in real time.

Our mix of theory, latest scientific evidence and technical skills provides an exciting opportunity, especially for overseas students who are unable to access high quality surgical education and the latest technologies.

Who this course is for

The programme is well suited for busy clinicians who are keen to learn the latest and most optimal techniques in Minimally Invasive Surgery and understand the latest technological trends in healthcare. The programme is also suitable for surgeons in training to complement their clinical career and expand their academic skills to focus on areas of practice. It will be of particular benefit to students in parts of the world where access to high-quality surgical education and the latest technologies is limited.

What this course will give you

  • Access to UCL's and UCL Hospitals' highly advanced simulation facilities for surgical training.
  • Excellent collaborative links with similarly progressive units throughout the worldwide surgical community.
  • Technology that allows you to be mentored and assessed by surgeons in Europe and USA, using a state-of-the-art VR platform.
  • Teaching in the use of SoMe in Surgery by some of the pioneers of the movement.
  • Advanced practical skills in Minimally Invasive Surgery and improvement of your Laparoscopic and Robotic skills.
  • Opportunities to work directly with experienced academics and develop projects that will be clinically applicable to your future career.
  • Engagement with some of the key opinion leaders in surgery.
  • The ability to tailor your practice to learn operative skills, observe the latest procedures, and be at the forefront of modern surgery.
  • Academic confidence and preparation for doctoral (PhD) level study upon completion.

The foundation of your career

A close networked alumni group meets throughout the year, either online or at UCL. Our alumni participate in events such as #LondonCRS congress that takes place once a year virtually or at UCLH, and also in projects aimed at expanding and promoting the course knowledge within the professional arena. Our alumni have gone on to attain consultant posts across the world and academic positions.


Whatever your career pathway, this MS will help you to advance your career to a more specialised level or to become more established.

Modern surgical careers must now embrace the advancement in surgical technology. Many of the current NICE guidelines promote surgical technologies and recommend them for patients wherever possible. There is also an increasing drive towards technology-based healthcare to improve patient outcomes and offer better value.

Our programme is ideal preparation for this environment. It supports the unique combination of theory, practice, and innovation you will need for a fast-moving, competitive, and evolving discipline.

You will gain cutting-edge knowledge in a specialised field as well as transferable skills in conducting research in clinical and medical science. It will give you up-to-date perspectives on trends in the causality, diagnosis, management, and innovative approaches in minimally invasive surgery.

Graduates who wish to pursue further academic study and research activity, such as a PhD, will receive appropriate guidance to support you with those ambitions.

Teaching and learning

Students will be assessed by: 

  • coursework essays
  • online oral/video presentations
  • case studies
  • role-play
  • formative direct observation
  • research project dissertation (written thesis).

The total number of learning hours for a taught master's programme is 1,800 hours. A 15-credit module would consist of 150 hours of learning.

A clear timetable will be provided for each module, with detailed synchronous sessions (in UK time zone) and the estimated time needed for each activity. You will have access to recorded materials to check at your own availability. This allows busy professionals to plan their lives around their study and continue to work and earn while studying at their convenience.


This programme has eight compulsory taught modules.

The first six are delivered online through a mixture of pre-prepared resources (e.g. lectures, tutorials) and synchronous sessions (Q&As, discussions and group study sessions). These run across the first two terms until Easter.

The final two modules (Advanced techniques in Laparoscopy, Advanced training in Robotics) and the technical part of Visual Reality in Surgery are hands-on. These will be conducted during a 4-6-week residential block in the late spring or early summer.

These modules are followed by a dissertation (online or field study, depending on students’ circumstances), which is submitted as a written piece of work.

Flexible five calendar-year course combining online and hands-on learning.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MS in Advanced Minimally-Invasive Surgery.


A clinical placement is not a required component of the programme. However, for students wishing to experience clinical practice in the UK or specialist surgery practice at UCLH, short clinical placements can be arranged. Placements can be undertaken and forward planning with course faculty is advisable to ensure you can make the most of the experience.

A clinical placement does not impact grades.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £21,200
Tuition fees (2023/24) £35,000

Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.

Additional costs

Students submitting a research project must submit two soft bound printed copies. (Costs are expected to be £50-70, depending on the service required.) Students must also arrange their own financial support for travel / accommodation in London for the face-to-face teaching period.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • Why you want to study Advanced Minimally-Invasive Surgery at graduate level.
  • Why you want to study Advanced Minimally-Invasive Surgery at UCL.
  • What particularly attracts you to this programme.
  • How your academic, professional and personal 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 will match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.