Postgraduate menu

Surgical Skills and Sciences

MSc ( 1 year Full-time )


Postgraduate Open Afternoon

Surgical training has recently undergone significant change. Trainees are expected to learn surgical skills in a shorter time with less time in the operating theatre. This has resulted in a move to train surgeons outside of this environment. Simulators offer a solution; allowing trainees to learn the essential surgical skills in a safe and controlled environment, which focuses on the trainee and takes away any patient risk. Our state-of-the-art Virtual Reality Surgical Simulation Centre removes the patient from the equation to allow novice learning and skill mastery to occur in a low-stress, high-feedback environment while protecting the patient from procedural inexperience.

This unique MSc accelerates surgical training and improves surgical skills that are essential for building confidence in clinical practice. The programme offers you the opportunity to develop or extend your expertise in the established and rapidly developing areas of laparoscopic surgery and gastrointestinal endoscopy.

You will be taught techniques of secure suturing, knot tying and bowel anastomosis using non-biological materials. You will also gain a clear understanding of the concept and theories surrounding the issues of research and critical appraisal along with academic writing. This programme is designed to enhance your future career prospects in surgery. If you perform well and express an interest, you may be given the opportunity to proceed to MD(Res) or PhD studies.

This programme will:

  • Teach you basic and advanced laparoscopy tasks
  • Give you skills in laparoscopic suturing
  • Teach you how to perform endoscopy
  • Give you the tools and methodologies for conducting research.

Why study your MSc in Surgical Skills and Sciences at Queen Mary?

Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry is comprised of two world renowned teaching hospitals, St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London, which have made, and continue to make, an outstanding contribution to modern medicine. We were one of the top five in the UK for medicine in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

MSc Surgical Skills and Sciences is based at the Barts Cancer Institute. The Barts Cancer Institute (BCI) is a Cancer Research-UK Centre of Excellence and a leading cancer research institute in the UK. The Institute was ranked third in the 2008 Research Review based on the number of international and world-leading cancer researchers.

  • This course accelerates your surgical training and improves technical skills.
  • It will enhance your future career prospects in General Surgery.
  • The programme is associated with Barts and the London, giving you opportunities of placements and observation in theatre and clinics.
  • You will have the opportunity to attend a national and International surgical conference and interact with surgeons and surgical reps.
  • Integrated careers programme with surgical ‘mock interviews’.


You will have access to Queen Mary’s comprehensive libraries, including the Postgraduate Reading Room, and The British Library can also be accessed as a research resource.

You will have access to a range of specialist facilities including: medical libraries located at the Royal London and St Bart's hospitals and at the main College campus at Mile End. You will have access to laboratories and equipment, including those at the Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Sciences with its world class facilities.

Resources include:

  • Five fully equipped, state-of-the-art research laboratories.
  • Purpose built facilities including the Molecular Imaging Facility, and a dedicated Teaching Centre laboratory for BCI students.
  • State-of-the-art Virtual Reality Surgical Simulation Centre.
  • Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Virtual Reality Simulators with objective feedback for instant appraisal.


MSc Surgical Skills and Sciences is currently available for one year full-time study.


Undertaking a masters programme is a serious commitment, with weekly contact hours being in addition to numerous hours of independent learning and research needed to progress at the required level. When coursework or examination deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly. Please contact the course convenor for precise information on the number of contact hours per week for this programme.

Core modules

  • Laparoscopic skills
  • Suturing skills
  • Laparoscopy procedural Skills
  • Endoscopy skills
  • Research skills
  • Dissertation

In addition to the core modules, compulsory attendance of one international conference will be required. There will also be opportunities for observing in wards, clinics and operating theatre, which is particularly useful for international students for understanding medical and surgical practice in the NHS.

Further information

Find out more on the BCI website.


For general enquiries, please contact:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 3847

For informal admission enquiries, please contact Bijen Patel:


Entry requirements

This programme is aimed at surgeons in training, trainee and specialist registrars, non-carrier grade surgeons, associate specialists. You need to have a medical degree from a recognised institution is required and some postgraduate experience in surgery is desirable. The programme does not involve any direct contact with patients, so GMC registration is not required for overseas doctors.

International applicants

Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency. Find out more about our English language entry requirements.

If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge.

Many different teaching methods are employed during the course, including lectures, seminars and practical classes and demonstrations using surgical simulators in the BCI Teaching Centre. In addition, you will be attending and participating in the multidisciplinary cancer management meetings and the Surgical Grand Round and have the opportunity to observe in theatre.

Each unit will have approximately 30 hours of contact time and will require 120 hours of self study.

You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.

Independent Study

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


You will be assessed in a variety of ways: practical skills assessments carried out through simulation and certification by your course tutor; a final written theory exam consisting of short and essay questions; continuous assessment through essay writing, critical appraisals and presentations; and a dissertation project write-up and presentation.


You will also be assessed on a 5,000 words laboratory project write-up.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2017 entry
Full time £13,700

Tuition fees for International students

2017 entry
Full time £25,700


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide [PDF] for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717

Graduate Employment



Return to top