Musculoskeletal Science MSc

London, Stanmore

Explore a broad spectrum of musculoskeletal topics, including basic science and clinical aspects, on this highly innovative, specialist master's in musculoskeletal science. You will work with leading medical professionals, gain a holistic view of orthopaedic bioengineering, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and take away in-depth knowledge appropriate to your career and interests.

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

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class medical degree or UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline, 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. International Preparation Courses

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

Modern healthcare-related careers need to embrace the advancement in treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders. Many of the current NICE guidelines promote early diagnosis, monitoring and early intervention, and recommend that healthcare professionals practise these techniques. There is also an increasing drive towards technology-based healthcare to improve patient outcomes and offer better value.

Our programme gives you the ideal preparation for this environment, supporting the unique combination of theory, practice, and innovation you will need in this fast-moving, highly competitive discipline. You will learn to treat patients with musculoskeletal issues such as arthritis, osteoporosis, trauma, and spinal disorders, develop your scientific knowledge, and hone your research skills in areas such as orthopaedic bioengineering, musculoskeletal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

This programme runs at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stanmore which is a world-leading tertiary referral centre and is delivered by experts and consultants attached to Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, where complex orthopaedic cases are referred. This means you will learn alongside renowned medical experts, including surgeons, biomedical scientists, tissue biologists and physiotherapists, and gain an unparalleled grounding in this field.

Who this course is for

The programme is designed to suit the needs of three groups:

  • Medical trainees or MBBS students who wish to take their career to the next level in orthopaedics and sports medicine
  • Complementary medicine professionals, nurses, physiotherapists, and other allied health professionals
  • Bioengineering, biomaterials, or biological graduates who wish to develop their careers in the healthcare sector.

What this course will give you

  • Insight into the causes of human musculoskeletal disease and the chance to study in an environment which is developing innovative therapies and technology to improve quality of life.
  • The chance to study at one of the most prestigious medical schools in Europe, at the internationally renowned Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.
  • The Division of Surgery & Interventional Science is made up nearly 400 people, from surgeons, biologists, bioengineers and material scientists and oncologists to clinical trials specialists and researchers.
  • An unparalleled grounding in musculoskeletal science and orthopaedic bioengineering, including a holistic view of clinical care as well as orthopaedic sciences and bioengineering.

The foundation of your career

Graduates gain a wide variety of high-standard research skills and clinical knowledge. Most return to healthcare-related sectors to develop innovative therapies for musculoskeletal disorders and advise on, and monitor, the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders.

You are working with leaders in orthopaedics - not just within the country, within the world. Allowing yourself to be nurtured and trained by inspirational people is the best aspect of doing this MSc.

Anand Shah

Anand Shah

Musculoskeletal Science, MSc


Whatever your career pathway, this MSc will help you to take your career to a more advanced level or to become more established.

You will gain cutting-edge knowledge in a specialised field as well as transferable skills in how to carry out research in musculoskeletal science and bioengineering. The programme will give you up-to-date perspectives on trends in the innovative therapies, diagnosis and approaches in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

This programme offers students from a wide variety of disciplines the opportunity to gain a higher degree in an exciting and rapidly developing field, equipping them to make a strong contribution to the development of musculoskeletal healthcare services.

Students can go on to develop their careers in the healthcare sector, the medical device and bio-industry sector, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and regulatory bodies, as well as in the academic community.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a mix of taught lectures, seminars, tutorials, group project work and workshops. The programme will be taught mostly at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, London. Some teaching will also take place in Bloomsbury.

Assessment is multi-dimensional. It includes essays, short answer questions, multiple choice questions, online forum discussions, oral examinations, clinical case studies and a research dissertation. Candidates are examined in the year in which they complete the programme.

Each 15-credit taught module should take roughly 150 hours of study to complete.

We provide around 30 contact hours for each taught module.

For full-time students, this equates to 12 hours of teaching, tutorial, and practical sessions per week during term-time, plus around 30 hours per week for independent learning.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months and flexible study up to five years) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time three months and flexible study up to two years) is offered.


The programme consists of eight taught modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

You study four compulsory modules covering 'Research Methodology and Generic Skills', 'Clinical Aspects of Musculoskeletal Medicine and Surgery (Part I)', 'Musculoskeletal Tissue Biology - Form and Function' and 'Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Biomaterials (Part I)'.

You take four out of six optional modules from a specific list within the department. You also complete a research project.

We recommend that two-year part-time students take four taught modules in each year and complete the research project in the second year.

However, we can be flexible to fit around your work commitments. You can usually split the modules unevenly between the two years to accommodate periods of time when you will have greater or less availability.

If you wish to study the programme flexibly, you can take as many or as few modules each academic year as you wish, provided you complete all the modules within the limit of five years. We usually recommend that you aim to complete in three or four years to allow extra time if it is absolutely needed. You will take the research project during your final year of study.

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. The programme consists of eight taught modules (120 credits), and a research project (60 credits). Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Musculoskeletal Science. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Musculoskeletal Science. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Musculoskeletal Science.


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.

Where you'll study

Medical lamp and equipment

As world leaders in medical and biomedical research, we design innovative courses for clinicians and scientists that meet new patient and industry needs. These are led by some of the greatest scientific minds, so you get a research-based learning experience. Our cutting-edge expertise ensures that you will be taught the latest techniques using the most advanced equipment. Our activities are split across three sites. Our Department of Targeted Intervention is based at Bloomsbury campus in central London. Our Department of Surgical Biotechnology is based at the Royal Free campus in Hampstead. Our Department of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science is based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, north-west London.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Musculoskeletal Science MSc

Join us to find out more about our exciting musculoskeletal science MSc programme. Explore a broad spectrum of musculoskeletal topics, including basic science and clinical aspects, on this highly innovative, specialist master's in musculoskeletal science. This session will include a course overview, followed by a Q&A session with our programme lead, Prof Chaozong Liu and teaching administrator, Ruth Williams.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £16,100
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100

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

  • The core textbooks for all modules are available in the UCL Medical Library and UCL IOMS Library (RNOH Stanmore). Journal articles in your reading lists are also mostly available electronically via UCL resources.
  • Some students like to purchase their own textbooks or to print course documents. We suggest allowing approximately £250 per year for this.
  • Students will need to print and bind two copies of their research project at approximately £25-£50. 
  • All students must pay for their DBS check if required for your programme, or placement if relevant. This can cost between £25-£44 (please check the government website for latest costs).
  • Students pay for their travel costs to teaching, work placements or project locations.

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 Musculoskeletal Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Musculoskeletal 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.

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.