UCL Graduate degrees


Research Pathways in Advanced Therapeutics with Practice MSc

The MSc Research Pathways in Advanced Therapeutics with practice (MSc RPAT) is an intensive, preclinical science based course intended for those who have a bio/-medical degree background and have an interest in furthering their knowledge and understanding of the development of novel therapies. The programme is intended to develop practical skills and strategies for shaping research practice for identifying science based solutions and innovations.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 20 months

Various placement locations for year two.

Application dates

Visa nationals
Open: 7 December 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)

£16,000 (FT)
£28,500 (FT)

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. 180 credits in Year 1 and 120 credits in Year 2. As such, the fee in Year 1 will be £16,000 (UK) / £28,500 (Overseas) but the fee in Year 2 will be approximately two-thirds of that (subject to UCL’s annual fee increase).

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in relevant subject (e.g. Life Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Medical Sciences) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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: Standard

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

On completion of this programme, graduates will be able to:

  • Apply and evaluate your knowledge and understanding of evolving personal lab based practical skills and utilising appropriate systems, technologies and processes
  • Analyse and use evidence drawn from stats, case based analysis, lab/bench practice and other research data in order to identify theses for exploration and develop, evaluate and evidence conclusions.

Students undertake modules to the value of 300 credits with a level 7 qualification.

The programme consists of eight compulsory modules (240 credits), four optional modules (60 credits).

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

All modules in Terms 1, 3, 4 and 5 are compulsory.

  • Research in Practice (15 Credits)
  • Science of Diseases (15 Credits)
  • Stem Cells and Eye Repair (15 Credits)
  • In Vivo models in Research (15 Credits)
  • Research Project and Lab Skills (60 Credits)
  • Grant application proposal (30 Credits)
  • Reflective Evaluation AND e-Portfolio (30 Credits)
  • Lab based Research Project Dissertation (60 Credits)

Optional modules

Students select four from the following (or three if 'Pharmacology of Inflammation - Extended' is chosen).

  • Advanced Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (15 Credits)
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (15 Credits)
  • Immunodeficiency and Therapeutics (15 Credits)
  • Pharmacogenomics, Adverse Drug Reactions and Biomarkers (15 Credits)
  • Novel Therapies: From Concept to Clinical Translation (15 Credits)
  • Molecular Aspects of cell and gene therapy (15 Credits)
  • Pharmacology of Inflammation (15 Credits)
  • Pharmacology of Inflammation (Extended) (30 Credits)


The research project (Term Three) and dissertation modules (Term Five) are both the equivalent of four modules (60 credits). They allow the student to focus on core topics independently with direction, and to synthesise many of the research and practical skills learnt in the other terms, and to implement these in lab based contexts. There is no other applicable study that can demonstrate these outcomes, and without these modules, core learning outcomes cannot be demonstrated.


The study in Year Two (Terms Four and Five) will be supervised while you are in an external Lab placement intended to further develop your independent practice and bench skills in a lab context. The three modules studied alongside the placement intersect with your ongoing learning, practical skills and research activity, and ask you to shape, evaluate, implement and conclude in respect of these in the assessment tasks. You will remain under the supervision of your IoO tutor throughout for academic and pastoral guidance, through regular online tutorials and seminar sessions. 

Teaching and learning

Teaching is primarily in the form of attended lectures and seminars across Terms One and Two. Lectures allow for specific, in depth information to be provided. 

Seminars allow for interrogation and discussions of material covered to develop understanding. Group tutorials allow for more detailed appraisal of the learning journey and consideration of material covered in lectures and seminar

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.

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.

Additional costs

Students are responsible for arranging travel, accommodation and living expenses for the placement, as well as study at UCL.

Students should expect to have IT access to allow them to engage with distance learning methods across Year Two.

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.


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



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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

While the programme is located within the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, there is no assumption that only students with an interest in this area should apply. The core learning is not subject specific.

The programme will utilise the expertise available at the IoO given that the staff are mainly translational researchers across the life sciences and contains a placement with global partner institutions.  

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

The extended period of study (20 months) 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.

In Terms Four and Five there will be a more extensive Lab placement either at UCL IoO or with an international partner institution which will provide additional lab expertise within an academic environment and foster academic collaboration. There will be a preliminary module focused on preparing a grant funding application around the proposed project, allowing a thorough understanding of the background science and implementation of grant writing skills taught in Year One, and a reflective module which will ask you to appraise and evidence your practical bench and lab skills.

Department: Institute of Ophthalmology

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.

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 Research Pathways in Advanced Therapeutics with Practice at graduate level
  • why you want to study Research Pathways in Advanced Therapeutics with Practice 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.

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021