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Cardiovascular Science - MSc

Course Description

Cardiovascular diseases remain a major cause of death and ill health worldwide. This established MSc programme, taught by scientists and clinicians who are leaders in their field, offers students the opportunity to learn about topical areas in cardiovascular science, preparing them for further research or a career in industry.

Degree information

Students will develop a detailed knowledge of molecular and cellular cardiovascular science, animal models of cardiovascular disease, microvascular biology and mechanisms by which the heart and vasculature function in health and disease, as well as laboratory and statistical methods. They will gain valuable research skills and an awareness of the ethical, legal and social aspects of developments in cardiovascular disease.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and the research project (60 credits).

Core modules
-Cardiovascular Diseases
-Animal Models of Cardiovascular Disease
-Congenital Heart Disease - Fundamentals
-Heart and Circulation (30 credits)
-Basic Statistics for Medical Science

Optional modules - 30 credits of optional modules drawn from the following:
-Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease
-Clinical Application of Pharmacogenetic Test
-Drug Discovery II
-Microvascular Biology
-An introduction to Molecular Laboratory Methods in Cardiovascular Research
-Clinical Cardiology (open to clinicians only)

Clinical Cardiology is an academic MSc module rather than a standard clinical placement. The emphasis is to appreciate the impact of advances in cardiovascular science upon clinical practice.

Dissertation/research project
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words and an oral presentation (60 credits).

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations, tutorials, journal clubs, a quiz, statistical and laboratory practicals and anatomical examination of human congenital heart disease specimens. Assessment is through written and oral examinations, coursework essays, case reports, journal club and other oral presentations and the dissertation.


All graduates of this programme will be well placed for a PhD in this field and a career in research, and will have a sound basis for entry into the pharma industry.

Basic scientists may use the MSc as a stepping stone to MBBS studies. The programme also provides an excellent training for related fields such as scientific journalism and in areas requiring critical appraisal of complex data.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Senior Lecturer, Lahore Medical & Dental College
-Doctor, Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
-GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law), BPP
-PhD Cardiac Electrophysiology, University of Surrey
-PhD Cardiovascular Science, University College London (UCL)

In addition to the academic insight into Cardiovascular Science, this programme supports the development of a wide range of skills which students will use at work. Oral and written communication skills are enhanced. Writing essays and the research project dissertation involves searching the literature, selection and interpretation of publications, and organisation of complex ideas into the final report.

Learning activities in the Statistics module develop quantitative analytical skills. Student develop group and independent projects. They gain insight into research planning and time management. They are supported by a personal tutor and informed by careers events and the UCL Careers Service.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science brings together world-leading scientists and clinicians working in cardiovascular research to conduct innovative research for the prevention and treatment of diseases of the heart and circulation, and provide world-class teaching and training, and forward-thinking policy development.

UCL has one of the largest, most dynamic cardiovascular research bases in the UK. This interdisciplinary programme is taught in collaboration with UCLH, the Institute of Ophthalmology, the Institute of Child Health, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Barts Heart Centre, offering students access to a world-leading community at the forefront of cardiovascular research.

Visit the Cardiovascular Science - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Tereza Stupková

"I wanted to study cardiovascular science because I was so fascinated by how common cardiovascular disease is and yet its development and progression is so little understood. It was always my dream to study at UCL since it is one of the best universities in the world and I wanted to work with people who are at the top of their respective fields. Also, the western system of teaching stresses the importance of critical evaluation of literature and research which is better than a system based on memorising as it teaches a 'way of thinking' rather than just pure facts. At the beginning I couldn't get used to the different lifestyle in London - how busy the city is. However I think the diversity and opportunities are huge. The environment is very stimulating and motivated me to want to achieve more. "


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a scientific or medical discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a recognised taught Master's degree.

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