Programme title:
MSc Biology of Vision
Final award (BSc, MA etc):
(where stopping off points exist they should be
detailed here and defined later in the document)
Cohort(s) to which this programme
specification is applicable:
From session 2009/10 intake onwards
(e.g. from 2015 intake onwards)
Awarding institution/body:
University College London
Teaching institution:
UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
Brain Sciences
Parent Department:
UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
(the department responsible for the administration of
the programme)
Departmental web page address:
(if applicable)
Method of study:
Full time (1 year)
Criteria for admission to the
Length of the programme:
Applicants must have a minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's
degree in a relevant subject, or an overseas qualification of an
equivalent standard.
1 calendar year full-time
(please note any periods spent away from UCL, such
as study abroad or placements in industry)
Level on Framework for Higher
Education Qualifications (FHEQ)
(see Guidance notes)
Relevant subject benchmark statement
Level 7
None available yet.
(see Guidance notes)
Brief outline of the structure of the
(see guidance notes)
Six taught modules each worth 15 credits taking up half of the course.
Five are compulsory, one is optional with a choice a two. Most
modules are assessed by a variety of coursework (100%). One
compulsory and one optional module are partly assessed by unseen
written exam. The other half of the course is devoted to a laboratory
based research module worth 90 credits. This is assessed by the
written dissertation (15,000-18,000 words) and an oral presentation.
Board of Examiners:
Name of Board of Examiners:
Board of Examiners in Biology of Vision
Professional body accreditation
(if applicable):
Date of next scheduled
accreditation visit:
This programme a) introduces students to the eye as an integrated biological system; b) develops students’
analytical skills; c) develops students’ skills in devising experimental strategies and d) prepares students for future
research placements/PhD positions and imparts ability to analyse scientific discoveries during continuing
professional career.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding,
qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:
A: Knowledge and understanding
Knowledge and understanding of:
molecular basis of cell and
developmental biology in the eye
ocular immunology
neurobiology of the visual
genetics of eye disease
experimental techniques currently
employed in vision research and
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Lectures; seminars; tutorials and problem classes;
journal clubs; assignments; self-directed studies;
laboratory practical courses; research project
Long essays; seminar course work; assessment during
laboratory practical courses and research project;
dissertation; unseen written exam; oral assessment
B: Skills and other attributes
Intellectual (thinking) skills:
analytical thinking and problem
evaluation of methodologies in
current vision research and ocular
therapies and critically assess
scientific evidence
develop new hypotheses
design new experiments
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Lectures; seminars; tutorials and problem classes;
critical journal clubs; research project
Long essays; assignments; research assignment;
dissertation; unseen written exam; oral assessment
C: Skills and other attributes
Practical skills (able to):
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
This programme aims to help students
develop the following practical skills:
Laboratory practical courses or assignments; essay
writing; research assignment; dissertation
relevant techniques and
methodologies required for
modern scientific research
keeping accurate records of
scientific progress (e.g. laboratory
scientific writing
efficient database searches
Long essays; assessment during laboratory practicals
and research project; dissertation; oral assessment
D: Skills and other attributes
Transferable skills (able to):
perform basic statistical
assessment of data
proficiently use various computer
software (e.g. word processing,
citation based, spreadsheets,
graphical presentations)
discuss and present a complex
acquire independent learning
ability and self-direction
display initiative and personal
responsibility as well as improved
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Lectures; seminars; tutorials and problem classes;
journal clubs; assignments; self-directed studies;
laboratory practical courses; research project
Assignments; research project; discussions during
tutorials and journal clubs
The following reference points were used in designing the programme:
 the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications:
 the relevant Subject Benchmark Statements:
 the programme specifications for UCL degree programmes in relevant subjects (where applicable);
 UCL teaching and learning policies;
 staff research.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the
learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes
full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes,
content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the
departmental course handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by
UCL and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.
Programme Organiser(s)
Dr Tim Levine, Department of Cell Biology, UCL Institute of
Date of Production:
25th November 2008
Date of Review:
22nd October 2014
Date approved by Head of
November 2014
Date approved by Chair of
Departmental Teaching
Date approved by Faculty
Teaching Committee
November 2014
November 2014