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Course content

The Musculoskeletal Science MSc covers a broad spectrum of musculoskeletal topics, including basic science and clinical aspects. It aims to give students, in a multidisciplinary setting, a holistic view of musculoskeletal science, orthopaedic bioengineering and medicine, and provides an in-depth knowledge of specific areas appropriate to each student's individual interests.

About this degree

Students on this MSc programme acquire essential scientific knowledge, improve their basic research skills, and are equipped with the ability to solve the musculoskeletal problems emphasised within the NHS framework. The programme emphasises the four major areas as identified by the Bone and Joint Decade - arthritis, osteoporosis, trauma and spinal disorders, and transferable skills and research methodology in orthopaedic bioengineering.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

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.

Core modules

  • Clinical Aspects of Musculoskeletal Medicine and Surgery, Part I
  • Musculoskeletal Tissue Biology - Form and Function
  • Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Biomaterials, Part I
  • Research Methodology and Generic Skills

Optional modules

Up to 60 credits of optional modules (four modules) drawn from the following:

  • Clinical aspects of Musculoskeletal Medicine and Surgery, Part II
  • Musculoskeletal Biology, Part II
  • Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Biomaterials, Part II
  • Musculoskeletal Epidemiology and Research Methodology, Part II
  • Clinical Experience in Musculoskeletal Surgery

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project, which can be carried out at their own institution or hospital, and culminates in a dissertation and oral examination. The project thesis has an upper word limit of 12,000 words (40-50 pages). 

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of web-based taught lectures, seminars, tutorials, online research forum, group project work and workshops. Assessment is through unseen written examination, coursework, and the dissertation and viva voce. Candidates are examined in the year in which they complete the programme.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Musculoskeletal Science (by Distance Learning) MSc

Careers

This programme offers students from a wide variety of disciplines the opportunity to gain a higher degree in an exciting and rapidly developing field, and equips them to make a strong contribution to the development of musculoskeletal services. The students can develop their careers in the healthcare sector, medical device industry and bio-industry, regenerative medicine, regulatory bodies, as well as the academic community.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Trauma and Orthopaedics, NHS Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and studying Engineering, Open University

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Division of Surgery & Interventional Science is part of one of the most prestigious medical schools in Europe, with a team of nearly 400 people, from surgeons, biologists, bioengineers and material scientists and oncologists to clinical trials specialists and researchers. Our aim is to understand the causes of human musculoskeletal disease and develop innovative therapies and technology to improve the quality of life of the people around us.

Students on this MSc will gain an unparalleled grounding in musculoskeletal science and orthopaedic bioengineering including a holistic view of clinical care as well as orthopaedic sciences and bioengineering. The programme is run at the internationally renowned Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Surgery & Interventional Science

80%: Clinical Medicine subjects; 95%: General Engineering subjects rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Musculoskeletal Science (Distance Learning) (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!

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