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MSc Surgical Skills and Sciences


The MSc in Surgical Skills and Sciences is run by the Barts Cancer Institute ( at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, part of Queen Mary, University of London. The Barts Cancer Institute is ranked fifth in the country for research quality in cancer studies and is based in one of the UK’s top four research-focused medical schools (Research Assessment Exercise 2008). The mission of the Institute is to establish a major international centre of excellence in both cancer research and clinical cancer care on the West Smithfield site at St Bartholomew's (Barts) Hospital and in Charterhouse Square. The modernisation of medical education and reduced training periods will have a profound effect on the development of future surgeons. The operating room is therefore no longer the only ideal classroom for acquiring basic skills, especially for the newer videobased procedures. This MSc course fills the gap by giving students the ability to practice using our surgical simulation centre. Simulation is the replication and modelling of real-life situations for training, testing, and other purposes. It 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. Facilities in the Surgical Simulator Centre include state-of-the-art simbionix virtual reality laparoscopy and endoscopy simulators, and bench models for training in anastomosis and knot-tying techniques.


The Surgical Simulator Centre Programme outline

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• Benefits of course • Learning outcomes • Educational aims • Career prospects Programme structure


• Core modules • Conferences and workshops • Assessments Student experiences


Further information


• Admission criteria • Information for overseas doctors • Fees • Note to applicant • How to apply • Enquiries


About us • Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry • Our campus • Queen Mary, University of London

The information given in this brochure is correct at the time of going to press. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any statement in it and accepts no responsibility for the consequences of any such changes.

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The Surgical Simulator Centre

The MSc in Surgical Skills and Science will provide you with a unique opportunity to gain postgraduate training in both laboratory and clinical research methodology relevant to surgical practice. The skills component aims to accelerate surgical training and improves surgical skills that are essential for building confidence in clinical practice. Through completion of a dissertation, you should gain experience in research design, methodology, analysis, and presentation of work for publication. The programme will provide a valuable opportunity for both home and overseas trainees who wish to gain more experience in understanding basic research methodology, study an area of interest in depth, and writing a dissertation to obtain a higher degree before entering their higher surgical training. This MSc programme will also enable trainees to enhance their surgical skills, thereby fast-tracking surgical education. The MSc Surgical Skills and Sciences course is hosted by the Barts Cancer Institute, which currently consists of six research Centres: • Centre for Cancer and Inflammation • Centre for Cell Signalling • Centre for Haemato-Oncology • Centre for Molecular Oncology • Centre for Tumour Biology • Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine

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Programme outline

Awarding body/institution Queen Mary, University of London Teaching institution Barts Cancer Institute Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary, University of London Name of final award Master of Science (MSc) Programme Director Mr Bijendra P Patel

Educational aims • To accelerate the development of cognitive and motor skills, using a surgical simulator specifically for: laparoscopic surgery and upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy • Learning and practicing anastomosis techniques using non-biological material, synthetic double layer bowel • To develop skills in research methodology with application to clinical methodology and surgery.

Benefits of course

Career prospects

• Hands-on training using simulators in skills lab

• Accelerates your surgical training and improves technical skills

• Training and skills acquired to build confidence and competence in an operating theatre • Flexible teaching so that you can study alongside your NHS clinical job

Learning outcomes The MSc in Surgical Skills and Sciences will develop your experience in the methodology and principles of conducting research with application to clinical medicine and surgery. At the same time you will improve your surgical training using simulation and accelerate the development of your spatial skills and eyehand coordination.

• Enhances future career prospects in general surgery • Provides you with clinical and academic training for career enhancement • An excellent foundation for MDRes/PhD studies.

On completion of the course you will be able to: • perform basic and advanced laparoscopy tasks • perform laparoscopic suturing • perform laparoscopic Cholecystectomy • perform endoscopic tasks • understand the tools and methodologies for conducting research. Queen Mary, University of London 05

Programme structure

Programme structure The programme is comprised of the following surgical skills areas and a research/literature project:

Core modules: • Laparoscopic Skills: this module will provide you with a broad understanding and practical skills on laparoscopic instrument manipulation eg camera manipulation and orientation with precise hand-eye coordination, bimanual movement and depth perception. • Laparoscopy Procedural Skills: this module is aimed at developing judgement andlearning interpretation of anatomical and operative findings of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. You can practice complete lap cholecystectomy with life-like sensations that mimic the feel of an actual lap procedure. • Laparoscopic Suturing Skills: this module teaches proper skills on laparoscopic needle handling and extracorporeal and intracorporeal suturing. • Endoscopy Skills: this module is to develop psychomotor skills required for performing flexible endoscopy. The training exercises will help enhance the hand-eye coordination required for precise manipulation of endoscope camera and tools for performing diagnostic gastroscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy. • Research Methods: this module will provide you with a clear understanding of the concepts and theories surrounding the issues of research and critical appraisal and the research methodologies required to conduct research.

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• Dissertation: you will be required to complete a masters-level dissertation in an appropriate research area. This will be an independent piece of research, requiring you to conceive, plan and execute an appropriate piece of research based on academic foundations, application of relevant theory and methodology and critical analysis of findings.

Conferences and workshops You will be encouraged to attend workshops and conferences throughout the year and will be taken to a national event relevant to the course to enhance knowledge and understanding of the fields of surgery.

Assessment • Practical skills assessments by simulation and certification by the course tutor • Written exam for Research Methods module and a final theory exam consisting of short and essay questions • Continuous assessment • Dissertation project write-up and presentation.

Find out more: Additional information on the course and Institute can be found by visiting the Barts Cancer Institute website:

Student experience

“There are few MSc courses which offer such practical and hands-on teaching and training, which can directly be applied to the future practice of trainee surgeons. The emphasis on both academic and practical aspects makes it a well rounded and interesting course. Highly recommended!” Dr Asim Hasan, graduate “This was an excellent course. It is one of very few courses in the world where simulators are used for training and assessment. I was lucky to find something of this calibre in one of the UK’s leading universities.” Dr Y Rushdi, graduate

Further information

Admission criteria Both UK and overseas doctors with a degree in medicine are eligible to apply. Some postgraduate experience in surgery is desirable but not essential. Target candidates • Surgeons in training – SHO or post-foundation year trainees and specialist registrars • Non-career grade surgeons – staff grade and associate specialist. Information for overseas doctors In addition to the above criteria, all overseas doctors should provide scores of any English language test, eg TOEFL/IELTS (minimum score required TOEFL 590 and IELTS 6.5).

Fees See for the most up-to-date fees information.

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Further information (cont.)

Note to applicant


It is not essential to have passed PLAB or any Royal College Membership exam (MRCS). This programme does not involve any direct patient contact and hence GMC registration is not necessary.

General enquiries Tel: 0207 882 2081 email:

Training is lab-based and surgical skill is acquired by simulation. On successful completion of the MSc in Surgical Skills and Sciences, you are not eligible to apply for GMC registration. Further information on obtaining registration can be acquired directly from the GMC, or you can visit their website for further details at

How to apply Visit to apply for this course. You must provide your CV, transcript, personal statement and two academic references with your application form.

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Programme Director Mr Bijendra Patel MS, FRCS, FRCS (Gen Surg) Clinical Senior Lecturer (Laparoscopy & Upper GI Surgery) Barts Cancer Institute Queen Mary, University of London Joseph Rotblat Building Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 2081 email:

Scan this QR Code with your mobile phone to visit the MSc Surgical Skills and Sciences webpage. QR readers can be downloaded for free online. Data charges may apply.

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About us

Barts and The London School Queen Mary, of Medicine and Dentistry University of London Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry is a major centre of medical and dental teaching and research in London. It was formed in 1995 following the merger of the Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital and the London Hospital Medical College, both important training institutions with long and distinguished histories. This united the strengths of these institutions and the skills of the staff who are involved in clinical care and internationally acclaimed research.

Queen Mary, University of London is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutions. With around 16,900 students, 3,800 staff and an annual turnover of £300m, we are one of the biggest University of London colleges. We teach and research across a wide range of subjects in the humanities, social sciences, law, medicine and dentistry, and science and engineering. We are ranked in the top 150 universities in the world (THE World University Rankings 2012) and this summer we joined the Russell Group of leading UK universities.

Barts and The London offers international levels of excellence in research and teaching while serving a population of unrivalled diversity. At the heart of the School’s mission lies worldclass research, the result of a focused programme of recruitment of leading research groups from the UK and abroad and a £100m investment in state-of-the-art facilities.

Our campus Barts Cancer Institute is based on the beautiful grounds of Charterhouse Square campus, in the heart of the City of London. The historical and modern buildings set the backdrop for this diverse area of London, which is just a short tube journey from the West End. The local area is buzzing with cafes, restaurants, and markets, with the Barbican Centre on your doorstep hosting year-round events and exhibitions relating to theatre, dance and music ensuring there is something for everyone. 10 Queen Mary, University of London

“Queen Mary has caught the mood of regeneration in east London.” Sunday Times Good University Guide

This guide has been produced by Marketing and Communications for the Barts Cancer Institute – Teaching Centre – Pub9951 For further information contact: Barts Cancer Institute – Teaching Centre Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Joseph Rotblat Building Charterhouse Square London EC1M 6BQ email: Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 2081

The information given in this brochure is correct at the time of going to press. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any statement in it and accepts no responsibility for the consequences of any such changes. Any section of this publication is available upon request in accessible formats (large print, audio, etc.). For further information and assistance, please contact: Diversity Specialist,, 020 7882 5585

MSc Surgical Skills and Sciences  

Guide to studying MSc Surgical Skills and Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London

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