Neuroscientists at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology are discovering new ways to treat vision disorders using regenerative therapy with stem cells and genes. In this MSc they will teach the complete translation process by which scientific discoveries become clinical applications that enhance vision. Knowledge gained will qualify students for careers in biomedical disciplines such as pharma (drug companies) or research in neuroscience and beyond.
Students will study the entire process of translating basic neuroscience discoveries into diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The programme focuses mostly, but not exclusively, on the visual process. Students will study the theoretical framework specific to translation, and have the opportunity to explore the entire field (molecular cell biology, pharmacology, and psychophysics), gaining hands-on experience in an original research project.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
Core modules: -Bioscience Research Skills -Masterclasses in Translational and Regenerative Neuroscience -Ocular Cell Biology -Research in Practice -Translating Science into the Clinic
Optional modules include: -Cost Benefit Analysis and Health -Genetics and Epidemiology of Ocular Disease -Introduction to Visual Neuroscience -Microvascular Biology -Modern Aspects of Drug Discovery -Ocular Development in Health and Disease -Pharmacogenomics, Adverse Drug Reactions and Biomarkers
Dissertation/research project All students will undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words and an oral presentation.
Teaching and learning The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and student group presentations. Assessment is through a mixture of unseen examinations, coursework (essays, bioinformatic tasks, practicals), a major dissertation, and oral presentations.
The first cohort of students on the Applied and Regenerative Neuroscience MSc are due to graduate in 2016, therefore no information on graduate destinations is currently available.
However, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology has been making headway against blindness and there is an anticipated need for highly trained generations of scientists to capitalise on these advances in the future.
Employability Studying the fundamental methods underlying translational research will give students a deep understanding that is highly transferable to applied therapies in other organs. Participating in this programme is likely to prove highly valuable for those science graduates considering working in industry, clinical trials administration, and for regulatory bodies such as NICE, as well as for anyone wishing to pursue an academic research career in translational research.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL is the largest centre for biomedical research in the UK, and the Faculty of Brain Sciences contains the UK’s largest concentration of neuroscientists. The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is an international leader in translational research, with a broad range of innovative therapies being developed.
The eye offers a unique site for therapies, particularly in neuroscience. Approaches to repair defective vision include and major advances in these fields have been made by academics.
The programme will include input from other departments and there will be many opportunities for networking with specialists teaching on the programme.
A medical degree or a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience, biomedical science, psychology or a related science discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with a degree in another area, or experience in life sciences or pharmacology will be considered on an individual basis.
Recipient: University College London
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