EGA Institute for Women's Health


Prenatal Diagnosis and Screening

Module code: IFWH0007
Credit value: 15 credits
Module leads
Professor Anna David
Professor Eric Jauniaux


Module aims

The aims of the module are to provide knowledge into the theory and practical aspects of prenatal diagnosis and screening.  The module is taught by clinical leaders in the field of prenatal diagnosis.  The module includes a one day visit to the Fetal Medicine Unit at UCLH and an afternoon visit to the North Thames Region cytogenetics laboratory.

Module topics

Topics covered include basics of ultrasound; differences in anatomy between the fetus and adult, basics of fetal circulation, the normal fetus, screening using the first trimester scan, screening using the 20 week anomaly scan, cytogenetics in prenatal diagnosis classical and molecular methods.


Summative assessment

  • 3,500 word essay: the aim of this assessment is to enable students to gain a wider understanding of current prenatal diagnosis and screening techniques, and to explore in the literature the changes that are coming rapidly in this area.  The students will learn how to discuss the topic as well as draw conclusions from the literature.

Formative assessment

  • Journal Club: students make a 5 minute presentation in pairs on a paper on non-invasive prenatal diagnosis/newer methods of prenatal diagnosis and take questions from the audience. Through this assessment, students learn to critically appraise the literature and to summarise it for presentation.

Learning activity

  • Visit to the fetal medicine clinic:  to observe clinical procedures as they happen.
  • Visit to the North East Thames Regional Genetics Service cytogenetics laboratory:  to see genetic testing in action.