Bioscience (Research and Development) MSc

London, Old Street

This programme will help you understand how to develop research from the lab to the clinic. With a bioscience background you will develop your scientific knowledge base whilst improving your ability to design experiments in the context of translational medicine. Understanding clinical trials design in more detail together with improving your critical evaluation of scientific papers and an extended lab based project will equip you with more knowledge and skills required for pursuing a PhD or other scientific career.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 31 Jul 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences, life sciences, or a medical degree (MBBS), or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

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.

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 MSc Bioscience (Research and Development) is an intensive, preclinical science-based programme intended for those who have a biomedical background, and have an interest in furthering their knowledge and understanding of the development of novel therapies, by learning about therapeutic approaches in stem cell gene therapy, the science of disease and treatment paradigms, engagement with the practical applications of therapies and the translational possibilities within these.

The programme is intended to develop practical skills and strategies for shaping their research practice for identifying science-based solutions and innovations, and shaping opportunities for these to be developed and actualised in lab based contexts.

The period of study provides you with an extended period of lab time, which then drives into a term of independent research activity and lab based practice, ensuring that you will leave with meaningful bench skills and a defined lab based research project completed, maximising your capacity to develop your practice further through PhD study/Institutional research or in workplace Laboratory contexts.

Who this course is for

Bioscience graduates are encouraged to apply.

What this course will give you

The programme will utilise the expertise available at the institute given that staff are all mainly translational researchers across the life sciences.

The programme is also predicated on you being able to shape your own area of interest from a suite of optional modules delivered by other UCL departments. The location allows for students to place their learning on this programme in a context that explicitly consolidates research into translational practice and implementation. 

The programme provides you with an intensive taught curriculum, which then feeds into periods of independent research activity, ensuring that you will leave with a substantial lab based skills and research portfolio, maximising your capacity to develop your practice further through PhD study/institutional research or in workplace laboratory contexts.

The foundation of your career

Graduates from this programme will have:

  • A systematic understanding of research and therapeutics, and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights informed by current research and practice at the forefront of the field.
  • A comprehensive understanding of the techniques and processes which drive both research practice and the therapies themselves.
  • A capacity to apply and generate new knowledge through their own research, with a practical integration of established techniques of research and enquiry in this area, and the potential to innovate new models for research in practice.


Graduates from this programme will also have:

  • The capacity to critically appraise existing research, methodologies and processes for developing therapies
  • The ability to formulate and evaluate complex decisions, solutions and communications of their findings
  • The autonomy to initiate, plan and actualise effective research projects independently
  • The potential to advance their learning and skillset, and to undertake further research and practice in both subsequent study and employment
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills, which support information and data management
  • A substantial individual research project, based on lab practice and experience


You will be invited to the annual ECR symposium which showcases PhD and post doctoral research projects. You will be working in labs alongside PhD students and post doctoral researchers. You will be sharing modules from other MSc programmes across UCL and meeting other MSc students during those sessions.

Teaching and learning

Module teaching is primarily in the form of attended lectures and seminars across terms 1 and 2. Face-to-face attended sessions form typically approx 18-20 hours per week in terms 1 and 2 and there is considerable independent reading and study expected through the module delivery period and in the periods of independent research.

Lectures allow for specific, in depth information to be provided while seminars allow for interrogation and discussions of material covered to develop understanding. Group tutorials allow for more detailed appraisal of the learning journey and further consideration of the material covered in lectures and seminars. Lab time and guided practical sessions allow for you to evolve hands on technical skills, facility and processes for lab based research activity

Module consolidation seminars involving problem or case based presentations relating to module content and informal quizzes allow for knowledge and understanding to be tested, and for formative feedback to be given, in advance of summative assessment, alongside focused revision sessions.

Research in practice seminars allow for investigative, analytical, synthesis and data interrogation skills to be developed, prior to being put into practice in the dissertation module. A considerable number of student-led journal club sessions will develop the crucial skills of scientific scrutiny, peer-reviewing and abstract writing.

Digital learning/VLE you can expect to engage in some online activities to support independent study, which may include guided learning activities (online quizzes), attendance on digital platforms for tutorials, discussion and presentations; review video material such as lectures to consolidate understanding and supply written tasks via digital methods such as e-portfolios, and Turnitin. Some tutorials and research supervision may be conducted via online/distance methods.

Independent research and reflection forms a substantial proportion of the study hours, encompassing time spent preparing for taught module sessions and assessments, and planning, shaping and conducting the research for your projects, which may include self led lab time as well as library based research. You will systematically gather and analyse research data to draw conclusions, with the assistance of academic supervisors.

Term 3 encompasses the research project modules which are fundamentally reliant on you learning autonomously, but with academic supervision and pastoral support throughout.

Students take a wide variety of assessments on the programme.

Summative assessments are taken in the form of:

  • Written exams – testing knowledge, and applying knowledge and understanding to case study/scenario analysis
  • Coursework essays – organisation of knowledge and understanding in order to develop cohesive argument
  • Written reports – demonstrating skills of reflection, evaluation, interpretation and conclusion
  • Coursework Portfolio– arrangement of short form written analyses of practice, skills, research, needs, case, scenario, product and/or data sources, demonstrating breadth of engagement and understanding of principles
  • Presentations – selection, synthesis and communication of information for varied audience/ purpose, media (oral/poster etc), precis/concision, including both group and individual projects. These may be online or in person
  • Abstract /Grant Proposal writing- shaping theses and research into coherent summaries that demonstrate aim and purpose of research, convincing and evidenced argument and integrated contextual understanding of audience and objectives
  • Independent research projects/dissertations – creating/modelling science based hypotheses and research design, interrogating current practice,  literature reviews, practical analysis of planning, implementation, evaluation of results and conclusions.
  • Research presentation and panel questions - communication, information, targeted, persuasive, professional interrogation of knowledge and understanding as demonstrated, capacity to take knowledge to new scenarios
  • Reflective evaluation – appraisal of personal practice and experience, evaluate projects and outcomes, identify personal learning objectives

Some variation of assessment tasks will result from the optional modules selected.

Face-to-face attended sessions form typically approx 18-20 hours per week in terms one and two and there is considerable independent reading and study expected through the module delivery period and in the periods of independent research.


The Bioscience (Research and Development) MSc programme is structured through a blend of compulsory and optional modules.

This allows a substantial base of key skills, knowledge and understanding to be developed intensively, while also allowing specialist lines of enquiry to develop in respect to shaping individual areas of research.

The diet of the optional modules from across UCL departments ensures a genuine translational approach is embedded and provides a focus on research driven identification of therapeutic problems to solve, through the range of current and emerging treatment innovations.

Study moves from compulsory taught modules in term one with a core skills and knowledge focus, to a diet of options in term two which allow you to construct your learning according to your evolving areas of research interest. This research interest is then focused and interrogated through a lab based research project based module in term 3 which will consolidate and expand your practical bench skills.

The primary location of study provides a distinctive environment in which to learn as the institute has a strong record. The institute’s record in innovating therapies through research to implementation is longstanding and globally recognised. The collaborative relationship between the institute and Moorfields Eye Hospital, not only provides a coherent microcosm of the direct application of research into clinical use, it also affords a particular insight into bench to bedside research in practice. The Institute of Ophthalmology's relationships with global partner institutions afford you contextual understanding of how research in this field is not only translational in application, but transnational in its engagement with global health challenges and solutions.

The Research Project, which forms the final assessment, develops your independent lab practice substantially; working from the science-based identification of need into shaping and realising research that may inform therapeutic innovations in the future that could transform treatments and lives in the context of a global society.

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 a in Bioscience (Research and Development).


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.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Bioscience (Research and Development) MSc

Join us to find out more about the Bioscience (Research and Development) MSc and Bioscience (Research and Development) with Practice MSc programmes. These programmes are fantastic choices for anyone looking to explore research skills or pursue a career as a research technician. You will hear from our programme leadership team and learn more about what you will study and the skills you will develop. There will be time for a Q&A with our academics and professors.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £19,300
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400

Additional costs

There are no additional costs on this programme.

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.

Institute of Ophthalmology Bioscience Research & Development Scholarship

Deadline: 30 June 2024
Value: £3,500 towards tuition fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK

Institute of Ophthalmology International Excellence Scholarships

Deadline: 30 June 2024
Value: £5,000 towards fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • Why you want to study MSc Bioscience (Research and Development) at graduate level
  • Why you want to study MSc Bioscience (Research and Development) at UCL
  • What particularly attracts you to this programme
  • How your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous 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.

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: 2024-2025

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