UCL Graduate degrees


Cell and Gene Therapy MSc

The Cell and Gene Therapy MSc provides you with an in-depth insight into the cutting-edge and rapidly developing field of biological therapies. The programme is delivered by scientists and clinicians researching, developing and testing new treatments for genetically inherited and acquired diseases using gene delivery technology, stem cell manipulation and DNA repair techniques.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: 2-5 years

Part-time students will take four modules per year plus the Research Project in year 2. Modules on this programme tend to be taught in week long blocks with assessments taking place 3 or 4 weeks afterward.

Application dates

Visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£14,300 (FT)
£7,150 (PT)
£31,200 (FT)
£15,600 (PT)

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

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Applicants should be: a qualified medical practitioner, with a qualification equivalent to a UK MBBS; a non-clinical scientist with a minimum of an upper second-class BSc or equivalent in a life or biomedical science subject; or a healthcare, pharmaceutical or biotech professional and scientist with equivalent experience (minimum of three years).

English language requirements

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: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

International students

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.

Select your country:

About this degree

The programme covers all aspects of cell and gene therapy, including biomedical science, molecular basis of disease, stem cell biology and tissue repair, current and developing technologies and clinical applications. Students also receive training in research methodology and statistics. Optional modules provide the opportunity to explore in more depth some areas within the field and enhance analytical and communication skills. The broad range of skills acquired from the taught modules underpins development of an independent research project and critical analysis and reporting of data in the form of a dissertation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five compulsory modules (75 credits), three optional modules from a list of six (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months or flexible up to five years) is offered

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, part-time nine months, or up to two years flexible) is offered.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Cell and Gene Therapy. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Cell and Gene Therapy. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Cell and Gene Therapy.

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.

Compulsory modules

  • Molecular Aspects of Cell and Gene Therapy
  • Clinical Applications of Cell and Gene Therapy
  • Applied Statistics for Health Research 1
  • Stem Cells and Tissue Repair
  • Applied Genomics
  • Research Project

Applied Statistics for Health Research 1 is not a compulsory module for the PG Certificate. Students of the PG Certificate can choose an optional module.

Optional modules

Students take 45 credits of optional modules drawn from the list below. It may not be possible to take your preferred optional module because of timetabling and capacity constraints. The list below is subject to change by the time of enrolment. Options may include the following:

  • Clinical Genomics Genetic and Rare Diseases
  • Molecular Biology of Normal Development and Birth Defects
  • Understanding Research and Critical Appraisal: Biomedicine
  • Molecular and Clinical Aspects of Childhood Cancers
  • Novel Therapies from Concept to Clinic*
  • Personalised Medicine*

* Students can take either Personalised Medicine or Novel Therapies from Concept to Clinic as optional module. 


All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation.

Teaching and learning

Teaching includes lectures, seminars, problem classes and tutorials. Assessment varies depending on the module, but includes written coursework, multiple-choice questions, written examinations, a practical analysis examination and the dissertation of up to 8,000 words

Additional costs

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


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


Visit the funding and studentship pages of the GOS ICH website for details of funding available to students, including the GOS ICH bursary and Pall Biotech Scholarship.

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


This programme aims to equip students for careers in research, education, medicine and business in academic, clinical, industrial and regulatory settings. Examples of potential careers could include:

  • conducting clinical trials as part of a team of clinicians, scientists and allied health professionals
  • monitoring and analysing the results of clinical trials as part of a clinical trials unit
  • developing new therapies or intellectual property in the pharmaceutical industry or other business venture
  • academic research and/or lecturing in a university or other higher education setting,

Several of our graduates have gone on to secure PhD places. You can read testimonials from past students which include their destinations following graduation.


The programme provides opportunities to develop specific scientific and analytical skills including skills in data gathering, critical appraisal, writing scientifically, scientific presentation, debating, maintaining scientific dialogue, experimental design, clinical trial design, decision making, and an awareness of topical as well as ethical and legislative issues.  Students are encouraged to keep a portfolio of transferable skills learnt through teaching practices and assessments, which will prepare them for progression to higher research degrees and/or the workplace.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Development of biological therapies is rapidly expanding and poses different challenges to traditional drug development, hence the need for a new work force with appropriate training for this task. This programme offers access to the breadth of expertise and cutting-edge research in this area available within UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (UCL GOS ICH), its clinical partner Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), and UCL at large. This programme, taught by leading academics and clinicians in the field of cell and gene therapy, prepares you to become a scientist or researcher in academia or industry, or join regulatory bodies, as well as for progression to a higher research degree.

The UCL School of Life & Medical Sciences (SLMS) has the largest concentration of clinicians and researchers active in cell and gene therapy research in Europe. This is reflected by the many groups conducting high-quality research and clinical trials in the field including researchers at UCL GOS ICH, the Division of Infection & Immunity, the Institute of Ophthalmology, the Institute for Women's Health, the Institute of Genetics and the Cancer Institute. UCL GOS ICH, together with GOSH, is the largest centre in Europe devoted to clinical, basic research and postgraduate education in children's health, including haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and gene and cell-based therapies.

Department: Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

Application and 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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is designed for medics and scientists who would like to develop their knowledge in this distinct and fast developing area, with a view to contributing to clinical and basic academic research, therapeutic developments in industrial settings, regulatory aspects of biological therapies, or clinical trials in the field.

Application deadlines

Visa nationals
31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
30 July 2021

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Cell and Gene Therapy at graduate level
  • why you want to study Cell and Gene Therapy at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional 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 illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021