Cardiovascular Science MSc

London, Bloomsbury

Cardiovascular diseases remain a major cause of death and ill-health worldwide. This established MSc programme, taught by leading scientists and clinicians, explores topical areas in cardiovascular science and offers a laboratory and a clinical module, preparing you for further research or a career in medicine, healthcare, industry or beyond. You may study full-time (1 year), part-time (2 years) or in flexible/modular mode (2-5 years). 

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 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 Bachelor's degree in a scientific or medical discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a recognised taught Master's degree.

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.

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

You'll develop a detailed knowledge of molecular and cellular cardiovascular science, animal models of cardiovascular disease, microvascular biology and mechanisms by which the heart and vasculature function in health and disease, as well as laboratory principles, research methods and an introduction to statistics. You'll also gain an awareness of research integrity and practice valuable research skills relating to developments in cardiovascular science.

You conduct a research project, offering the opportunity to benefit from active collaborations between researchers at the bench, on the computer and in the clinics, as well as relationships with industry, gaining insight into preventative and therapeutic cardiovascular medicine that will support your future career and enable you to make an impact in cardiovascular science.

You will attend taught modules in terms 1 and 2. Research project activities also start in terms 1 and 2 and run full time during term 3 and the summer months. If you study full-time or part-time, you will have a defined timetable and may be eligible for a Postgraduate Master's Loan from Student Finance England. If you study in flexible / modular mode, you will not be eligible for a Postgraduate Master's Loan, but you will have more flexibility around how many modules you take each year.      

Who this course is for

This course is designed for scientists, healthcare professionals and clinicians, who may be studying or working in the UK or anywhere in the world, who wish to gain a thorough background in cardiovascular science, either for further research or education in this field, career development or for entry into healthcare, industry, and related fields. The course is for both full-time students as well as those studying in part-time or flexible modular mode, alongside their career or other responsibilities.

What this course will give you

You will become part of the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science, which brings together scientists and clinicians working in cardiovascular research to conduct innovative research for the prevention and treatment of diseases of the heart and circulation, as well as education and policy development. UCL has one of the largest, most dynamic cardiovascular research bases in the UK, being ranked 2nd in the UK for research power (REF 2021). UCL is also ranked among the top 10 universities worldwide for the 12th year running, in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

This interdisciplinary programme is taught in collaboration with UCL partner hospitals and London's largest Heart Centre, offering you access to a community of scientists and clinicians at the forefront of cardiovascular research, who are focused on developing novel preventative and therapeutic strategies in cardiovascular medicine. There is an annual careers event for MSc students, which includes alumni, clinical, industry and healthcare representatives.

The foundation of your career

Our students come from a range of academic and professional backgrounds. Clinical students and students working as healthcare professionals mostly return to their clinical path with enhanced academic skills, which they may apply to research or grant applications or taking on leadership roles. Occasionally clinicians or healthcare professionals may use the MSc to change track into another field, such as full-time research, pharma or patient-focussed valve technologies. Some clinical students use the MSc as a stepping-stone to PhD studies, with an intention towards a research-active clinical career.  

Students with science and medical science backgrounds may take the MSc either directly after their undergraduate degree or following a period of research or work experience. These students often go on to either PhD research or to medical school; one student went on to study law. Some may qualify for the NHS Scientists’ Training Programme or work as a research assistant in a laboratory, in education or medical writing and communications, in pharma or healthcare innovation and technology companies. 

Our Alumni include a Paediatric Cardiology Consultant at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a Cardiac Physiologist and Lead for Echocardiography Services at a major heart centre, and a Senior Specialist in Transcatheter Mitral and Tricuspid Therapies at Edwards Lifesciences.

I came from a Pharmacology background and my undergraduate university research project focused on the cardiotoxicity of chemotherapy drugs. I am also was very passionate about certain cardiovascular diseases, so I knew that I wanted to study cardiovascular disease further as a Master's course. The programme provided further breadth and depth in cardiovascular science, which extended through to my research project.


Cardiovascular Science MSc


As a graduate of this programme, you will be well placed for a PhD in this field and a career in research. You will also have a sound basis for entry into the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

Basic scientists may use the MSc as a stepping-stone to MBBS studies. The programme also provides excellent training for related fields such as scientific journalism and in areas requiring critical appraisal of complex data.

You will:

  • acquire comprehensive knowledge of cardiovascular science and an appreciation of how research findings are applied to clinical practice
  • develop a wide range of skills to support your further study and employment
  • have the opportunity to enhance your oral and written communication skills.

In addition to academic insights into cardiovascular science, this programme provides you with a wide range of skills sought by employers:

  • oral and written communication skills
  • selection and interpretation of written content and organisation of complex ideas - through essays and the research project dissertation
  • quantitative analytical skills - through a statistics module
  • project management - through both group and independent projects
  • research planning and time management.

In addition, during the programme, you will be supported by a personal tutor and informed by careers events and UCL Careers.


Students joining the Cardiovascular Science MSc programme come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, from the UK and countries around the globe, so there are great networking opportunities available within the course. Seminars within ICS and the Medical Grand Rounds are advertised on the MSc Moodle page, and some of these provide a basic lunch beforehand with a great opportunity to chat over a sandwich. You are also encouraged to attend the PhD students’ “3 Minute Thesis” competition in the Institute of Cardiovascular Science. This is a great way to develop an “elevator pitch” to explain simply what you are doing and why it is important, which is useful for job and research grant applications. Because UCL is in central London, there are also opportunities to attend the London Vascular Biology Forum and other external cardiovascular conferences in London. 

Teaching and learning

You will study the essentials of cardiovascular science, research methods and statistics and more detailed optional modules. You will learn through a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, journal clubs, small group work, laboratory practicals and, optionally, sequential systematic analysis of normal human hearts and hearts representing a range of congenital heart diseases, using anatomical specimens from a unique human archive, as well as undertaking private reading and research.

You will experience two approaches to learning: adoptive learning, in which you are taught knowledge by experts in the field, and adaptive learning, in which you apply knowledge and methods to new circumstances and settings, involving evaluation, reasoning and justification.

You will experience high-level learning in each module, to ensure that you explore the subject. In addition to lectures, you will conduct individual and group tasks, to engage in adaptive learning.    

You will be assessed by a mixture of formative and summative assessments, to test a range of different skills and enable you to achieve the intended learning outcomes.

Assessment is through written examinations, a multiple choice question examination, coursework essays, critical appraisal, a case report, journal club and other oral presentations, laboratory practical session reports, preparation and presentation of a poster and the research project dissertation.

The range of assessment methods will enable you to develop a wide range of personal, professional and academic capabilities and key skills that will be useful in your future careers. You can use the feedback from your assessments to make a portfolio that may be useful to add to your CV and for job applications.

15 credit modules have an average of 20-30 contact hours and 30 credit modules have an average of 30-60 contact hours.

On average you would expect to spend a total of about 150 hours studying for a 15 credit module and 300 hours studying for a 30 credit module. This would include contact hours, self-directed study time and assessment.

All taught modules are taught on particular day(s) and time(s) over 10 weeks, either in term 1 or term 2.

On average, you would expect to spend a total of about 600 hours working on your research project.


You will undertake between 5 and 7 taught modules and the research project.

Term One:

You will take 3 compulsory modules, one of which will involve research methods and an introduction to statistics.

Term Two:

You will take 2-4 optional modules.

Term Three:

You will conduct your research project and dissertation writing full-time in term 3 and during the summer months.

The compulsory modules in term one provide a theoretical understanding of the basis of cardiovascular disease with consideration of how these translate in practice. One optional module is delivered using object-based learning with a unique archive of human heart specimens. You will select from a range of optional modules to deepen your knowledge in your specific areas of interest or to develop molecular laboratory skills. You will start to plan your dissertation in term one and will conduct the research and dissertation writing in term three and the summer.

Year One:

In term one, you will take 2 compulsory modules. In term two, you will take 2-3 optional modules.

Year Two:

In term one, you will take 1 compulsory module. In term two, you will take 1 optional module. Subject to agreement with your Project Supervisor, you will be able to start your research project in term two. In term three and over the summer, you will complete the research project and dissertation. You will be expected to work on the project for a minimum of 12 weeks full-time or the part-time equivalent.

You can register for any module that best fits your personal circumstances. You are expected to register for a minimum of one module in each academic year. You should complete Research Methods and introduction to statistics before registering for a research project. The research project dissertation must be taken in your last year.

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.

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Cardiovascular Science.


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.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £17,300 £8,650
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

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

There are no additional costs for 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

Home applicants may apply for the MSc Cardiovascular Science Bursaries. If you study in full-time or part-time mode, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Master's Loan from Student Finance England.

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

MSc Cardiovascular Science Bursary

Deadline: 26 July 2024
Value: £2,000 (1 yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK

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 Cardiovascular Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Cardiovascular Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, 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.

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

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.