UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


Surgical Sciences iBSc

The Surgical Sciences iBSc introduces surgical skills, surgical practice and research methodology to medical trainees, in a different way to the standard undergraduate curriculum.

With changes in higher surgical training, there is an identified need to introduce the concept of research methodology for surgical trainees early in their career, so that they become equipped to contribute fully to advancing medical care and the application of evidence-based medicine.

The programme is aimed at those who want to find out about how surgery and science come together in current surgical practice, but also includes a variety of transferable skills to help each student develop a confident and professional approach to the application of scientific principles in medicine, whatever their future career plans may be.


Core Modules

The 4 compulsory half-units are a mixture of theory and practice and include:

  • Surgical Skills; taught in specialised theatre environments, at the Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research.
  • Molecular and Cellular Laboratory Techniques; taught in the Research Laboratories, at the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, Hampstead campus (Royal Free Hospital).
  • Professional Surgical Practice; taught at the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, Hampstead campus (Royal Free Hospital).
  • Research Methodologies; taught at Bloomsbury, UCL.


Additional to the compulsory core units, students are asked to choose two further half-units (these options may be subject to change) from:

  • Surgical Oncology 
  • Minimally-Invasive Surgery
  • Fundamentals of Anaesthesia, Surgery and Acute Physiology
  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM)
  • Materials in Medicine

Dissertation / report

The final component of the iBSc is an intense, in-depth research project.

The research project allows students to join leading groups in translational medical research, including research to improve surgical procedures, diagnosis, imaging and treatment of cancer, and the development of materials for use in surgery. Example projects include:

  • 3D printing of implantable materials
  • stem cell research
  • drug targeting
  • minimally invasive cancer treatment
  • advanced functional materials for tissue regeneration

Students are strongly encouraged to present at conferences and publish their work in peer-reviewed journals.

Candidates are examined in the year in which they complete the programme.