Anaesthesia and Perioperative Science MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The MSc in Anaesthesia and Perioperative Science is for life science graduates or healthcare professionals. It equips you with academic and professional qualities to undertake the role of Anaesthesia Associate. We combine online learning with practical skills in the clinical environment, and you are taught by experts in anaesthesia and perioperative medicine. Placements are limited and are not advertised year-round.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
2 calendar years
Programme starts
March 2024
September 2024
Applications accepted

Applications should be made directly to NHS trusts who will be sponsoring clinical placements. If successful at interview, prospective students will then be processed by the UCL admissions team. Please check the NHS jobs website for adverts.

Entry requirements

Either a minimum of an upper second-class Honours degree in biomedical science or biological science from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Or registered healthcare professionals (examples are nurses or operating department practitioners) with at least three years clinical experience and evidence of recent academic activities or degree level studies with minimum upper second-class qualification.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

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.

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

The anaesthetic workforce is changing in the UK. Trusts will increasingly look towards Anaesthesia Associates to support anaesthetic services. This programme provides the professional qualification you need to enter this profession. It covers all components of the new UK Royal College of Anaesthetists' curriculum and includes aspects of professionalism, life sciences and practical skills. 

We focus on developing your clinical skills and knowledge to provide safe anaesthetic practice in theatres. This includes physiological and pharmacological aspects, practical anaesthetic skills like endotracheal intubation, spinal anaesthesia, regional anaesthesia, and the conduct of general anaesthesia.

You will learn how to support patients throughout the entire perioperative journey. This includes learning how to interact and examine patients, how to take an anaesthetic focused medical history, and how to care for patients postoperatively. 

You will also complete a quality improvement project, learning the fundamentals of data synthesis, analysis, and reporting in an area of clinical practice that interests you.

UCL is collaborating with trusts across the UK. If you are interested in this course, you can apply to a participating trust located most conveniently for you. Please check the NHS jobs website for available placements. If you are selected at interview by a hospital trust, you will then be invited to apply at UCL. You must be successful at both NHS and UCL selection to be offered a place to study.

Who this course is for

This programme is for biomedical or life science graduates who are interested in embarking on a rewarding and engaging career in healthcare. It is also attractive to healthcare professionals with three years' relative experience looking for a career change with more responsibility for perioperative patients.

What this course will give you

This programme offers you the following benefits and opportunities.

  • Access to one of a very limited number of university programmes that provides the professional qualification necessary to enter the profession of Anaesthesia Associate.
  • The opportunity to learn from world-leading perioperative medicine faculty and clinically practicing Consultant Anaesthetists and qualified Anaesthesia Associates, who provide expert teaching.
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise from UCL in collaboration with University College London Hospital. This high-quality programme is delivered directly by experts to students.
  • Access to state-of-the-art digital technology connecting students in trusts all over the UK.
  • A combination of innovative e-learning methods and clinical placements in selected partner NHS trusts. You receive one-to-one tuition in the hospital setting and engage with fellow students in weekly tutorial sessions.
  • An educational supervisor and mentor to guide you through the programme.

The foundation of your career

The UK anaesthetic workforce is evolving. Trusts will increasingly employ Anaesthesia Associates as a response to the workforce crisis to support the anaesthetic services in theatres. There will be options to specialise in certain anaesthetic skills and a career progression will be available in future, guided by the upcoming GMC regulation.


This MSc in Anaesthesia and Perioperative Science is one of only three university programmes which provides the nationally recognised qualification you need for entrance into the UK-based career as an Anaesthesia Associate.

Anaesthesia Associate is an engaging and evolving role in the NHS. It is an exciting opportunity to train to become a member of the perioperative team and to extend the NHS blended workforce.

International career opportunities are also possible. Graduates will have amassed clinical knowledge, skills and attitudes which are vital for the provision of safe anaesthetic and perioperative services.


We encourage students to broaden their skills and expand their networks whenever suitable opportunities arise.


Future regulation with GMC is expected to start in 2024. UCL will liaise with the GMC to comply with their regulations for the Anaesthesia Associates Registration Assessment (AARA). This will include sharing evidence of students' clinical and professional competence. All students will take the AARA written assessment during their programme. This is separate from UCL assessment and is compulsory to gain professional registration and work as an Anaesthesia Associate in the UK. Further details on the AARA will be provided by the GMC.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through distance e-learning, clinical placement, tutorial groups, practical skills training, and self-directed study.

We use Moodle as the main learning environment for interaction and theoretical learning as well as state-of-the-art virtual classroom facilities.

Much of your learning will happen during clinical placements and one-to-one learning sessions at the patient’s bedside guided by experienced teachers and anaesthetic consultants. Throughout your placement, you will be expected to adhere to the GMC’s Good Medical Practice guidelines and UCL’s fitness to practise policy.

Each module has formative and summative assessments. These include maintaining a record of in-training experience, essays, oral presentations, contribution to group discussions, reflective writing, written examinations, verbal and practical examinations, and also an annual review of clinical and professional competence in line with GMC requirements. We use a variety of methods to guide the learning and offer a fair and interactive process.

15-20% of your time will be spent in e-lectures, tutorials, and skills training.

Approximately 50% will be in the clinical environment, depending on your educational and practical requirements.

The remainder will be independent study.


Academic studies are continuous throughout the two years and do not follow UCL term dates. 

Students will undertake approximately 20 hours of academic work per week, plus approximately 20 hours of clinical placement per week.

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 are 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 MSc in Anaesthesia and Perioperative Science.


The clinical placement will be provided by selected NHS trusts with a partnership agreement with UCL. Applicants must understand that these placements will be in locations within the UK, with the same NHS trust, for the duration of the two-year programme.

Please see the NHS jobs website for available placements.


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

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Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £7,550

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

  • Access to a computer and internet.
  • Any transport and accommodation costs required for clinical placements.
  • Any transport and accommodation costs required for attending examinations.

Students will receive a salary or bursary from the NHS trust to support them during their training.

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

Funding is currently provided by NHS-E via the NHS Trust providing the clinical placement. This is subject to change.

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

There is no application fee for this programme.

Candidates will sit an online aptitude test to assess their numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and situational judgement. The results of this will be taken into account during the selection process.

When we assess your application we would like to learn the following.

  • Why you want to study Anaesthesia and Perioperative Science at graduate level.
  • Why you want to study Anaesthesia and Perioperative Science at UCL.
  • What particularly attracts you to this 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.

We're interested in motivated and eager individuals who are keen to work hard and are interested in developing this role within the NHS. We wish to see evidence to support your academic ability to study at graduate level.

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.