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Course content

The course will enable biomedical & clinical students (including research midwives and nurses) to develop an academic and contemporary understanding of the biological and environmental influences that impact on pregnancy and the lifelong physical and mental wellbeing health of women and their infants

Students will gain insight and knowledge of how translation of basic science and clinical observation can lead to cutting edge research studies into new diagnostic and treatments both in the UK and in low resource settings globally. .

Students will develop scientific and clinical practical research skills, including statistics, so that they can confidently critically evaluate others research design and results, and apply these to their own research. They will also be given the necessary research knowledge and skills to design, plan, navigate research governance pathways, and conduct and analyse their own research project. Both scientific and clinical research projects are offered. 

Key Benefits

  • Substantial student-tutor contact time
  • Cross disciplinary teaching with a focus on translating research to the clinic and the global community
  • Research project in world class laboratories and research groups in Women’s, Perinatal and Child Health, Paediatric Allergy, Mental Health, Nutrition, Mental and Global Health.
  • Access to the latest leading cutting edge technologies housed at KCL and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre including next generation sequencing, a range of ‘Omics and neonatal imaging, as well as dedicated clinical research units.
  • Lectures delivered by experienced and internationally recognised researchers and clinicians covering contemporary issues in Womens and Children’s health research 
  • Interactive tutorials and workshops on writing successful research grants, clinical study protocols and ethics applications.
  • The programme offers advanced practical experience and supervised training together with an in-depth research project
  • The programme prepares students for future MD and PhD study

Description

The MSc Women and Children's Health comprises three core taught modules, including ‘Fundamentals of Womens and Children’s Health’ which covers health and disease from the periconception period to birth and early childhood. Research led lectures will cover topics such as infertility, pre-pregnancy health, placentation, preeclampsia; immunology of pregnancy and autoimmune disease, metabolic disease in pregnancy, parturition and dysfunctional labour, miscarriage and preterm birth, lactation and infant nutrition, the developing brain and prematurity, childhood diet and dental health, premature infant and the neonatal lung, gut microbiome, obesity, childhood allergy, epigenetics and lifelong health, nutrition and global health and perinatal mental health.

The other required taught modules are Statistics and Research Governance, and Scientific and Clinical Research skills followed by an intensive six month core research projectwithin a lab or clinical research group.

Students can also select 1-2 optional taught module(s) to tailor the course to their developing interests, examples include Perinatal Mental Health, Ethics in Child Health, Regenerative Medicine, Principles of Implementation and Improvement, Science, Leadership and Management, Birth Defects, Assisted Conception, Regenerative Medicine and Global Women's Health.

The programme fosters intellectual skills of students through:

  • Critical assimilation and appraisal of the research literature pertaining to Womens and Children's Health.
  • Production of original pieces of written work that explain, review and evaluate primary research literature and using this evaluation to develop ideas and hypothesises.
  • Understand research governance and demonstrate compliance with research regulations.
  • Understand and apply scientific and clinical study design and statistical analysis principles.
  • Recognise the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciate the need for ethical standards and professional codes of conduct.
  • Think critically about their own work/research and to input into the synthesis and design of future hypotheses and experiments.
  • Use subject knowledge and understanding to explore and solve familiar and unfamiliar problems.
  • Collect, interpret and analyse data with a critical understanding of the appropriate contexts for their use through the study of primary research articles, and the student's own data.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

A typical week would be have approximately 10-15 hours teaching with the remaining hours dedicated to self-guided learning. In the final semester, research projects are full time with hours dedicated to practical and data collection, data analysis and writing.

You will study via a combination of lectures, journal clubs, group discussions, practicals, workshops and independent study.

Peer feedback, in course assignments such as data handling, research project and project report write-up, journal club, presentations and essays. All will be actively encouraged throughout the research project.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

We will assess you through a combination of coursework, seen/unseen written exams, essays, problem directed learning exercises, case studies, ethical problem debate, data-handling, creation of clinical study materials such as patient information sheets and consent forms, research proposal, oral presentations, and a final research project report.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course modules change.

Career prospects

The course will prepare scientists and clinicians for further research into Womens & Children’s Health

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Visit the Women & Children's Health - MSc page on the King’s College London website for more details!

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