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Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

This MSc aims to provide medical and science students with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the field of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine, specifically human genetics, human embryonic development and fetal medicine. There is a strong focus on the development of key skills and careers advice in the programme.

Degree information

Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of the field of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine, specifically in the areas of basic genetics and technology, genetic mechanisms, medical genetics, organogenesis and fetal development, gametogenesis and IVF, prenatal diagnosis and screening, fetal and perinatal medicine, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis and developing technology. They gain transferable skills including information technology, analysis of scientific papers, essay writing, seminar presentation, research techniques, peer review and laboratory skills.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of eight core modules (120 credits, full time nine months, flexible study two to five years) is offered. There are no optional modules for this programme.

Mandatory modules
-Basic Genetics and Technology
-Gametogenesis, Preimplantation Development and IVF
-Genetic Mechanisms
-Medical Genetics
-Organogenesis and Fetal Development
-Prenatal Diagnosis and Screening
-Fetal and Perinatal Medicine
-Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Developing Technology

All MSc students undertake a clinical, laboratory, audit or library-based research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical demonstrations in laboratories, observation days in fetal medicine and IVF units, and student presentations. There are a number of peer-led learning activities. Assessment is through essays, patient case reports, critical reviews of papers, online problem booklet, examinations and the dissertation.


On completion of the programme, all students will have gained knowledge of both the clinical and laboratory aspects of prenatal genetics and fetal medicine. This will enable the science-orientated students to go on to pursue research degrees, careers in embryology or prenatal diagnosis, or other careers in the field or in general science. Medically-orientated students will be able to develop their careers in the field of fetal medicine.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Ob/Gyn Surgeon, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale
-Trainee Embryologist, Homerton University Hospital (NHS)
-PhD Medical Genetics, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CI
-Clinical Research Nurse, University College London (UCL)
-Trainee Embryologist, Life Hospital

Throughout the MSc programme students learn key skills through peer-led activities, such as evaluating and presenting orally on patient cases and media coverage of scientific papers. Basic laboratory techniques are taught as are essay writing, the critical evaluation of papers, debates and ethical discussions. We also offer a comprehensive careers programme involving our alumni, covering job applications, CV writing, general careers in science and specific advice on careers in embryology, clinical genetics, medicine and research degrees.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute for Women’s Health delivers excellence in research, clinical practice, education and training in order to make a real and sustainable difference to women's and babies' health worldwide.

The institute houses the UK's largest group of academics working in women's health and the UCL/UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust collaboration at its core provides an academic environment in which students can pursue graduate studies taught by world-class reseachers and clinicians.

Our diversity of expertise in maternal and fetal medicine, neonatology, reproductive health and women's cancer ensures a vibrant environment in which students develop subject-specific and generic transferable skills, supporting a broad range of future employment opportunities.

Visit the Prenatal Genetics and Fetal Medicine - MSc/PGDip page on the University College London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Zofia Litwinska

I was impressed with the choice of lecturers, as we were taught by well-known researchers in this field. It was also great to know that my future career is important for academic staff.


The Suha and George Farha MSc Scholarship - Single Award

The Suha and George Farha Scholarship is an individual award of £25,500 for a maximum of one student. The award will cover tuition fees (currently £11,090 for 2016/17 entry for UK/EU students and £25,140 for 2016/17 entry for Overseas students) with any reminder given to the award recipient as a grant towards their living costs. Students will be assessed on the basis of the scholarship application form and in particular on their personal statement, as well as their original application for the programme. The Scholarship will be awarded on the basis of both academic merit and financial need.

Value of Scholarship(s)



The award is open to UK/EU and Overseas applicants who have an unconditional or conditional offer to study on the UCL MSc Prenatal Genetics & Fetal Medicine programme or the MSc Reproductive Science & Women’s Health programme for entry in September 2016 full time or modular/flexible.

Application Procedure

Please submit this application to Angela Poulter ([email protected]) by 5pm on 30th of June 2016. Any applications submitted after this deadline will not be considered. The successful applicant will be contacted by 31st July 2016. If you have not heard from us by this date we regret that your application has been unsuccessful.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

To be eligible for registration, normally a candidate must have obtained a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant science-based discipline, or a medical qualification (MBBS) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

Last Updated

05 May 2017

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