We are writing to you in our capacity as Programme Directors for the MSc in Surgical Innovation. You currently hold an offer from us to commence study on the MSc in September 2020 and we are looking forward to welcoming you to the Department at the start of the new academic year.  

We are contacting you today with the final plans for delivery of our 2-year part-time MSc programme, for the Academic year ahead. Your programme would normally be delivered in-person on campus. In 2020-21, we plan to deliver it in multi-mode for the Autumn term in the first instance. If you are unable to travel to campus for the Autumn term, multi-mode means that you will not be disadvantaged in your learning experience over the course of your programme.  


Institutional guarantees 

All on campus provision will be subject to the requirements of the current Public Health advice from the UK Government, College guidelines on social distancing and any additional health and safety measures. In the event that there is an escalation of the current outbreak or a new outbreak of COVID-19 during your programme then, in line with Public Health Advice from the UK Government, we may be forced to suspend on-campus activity. This may be in connection with either national or local requirements. Since we will already be delivering the taught elements of your programme remotely to some students as part of the multi-mode format, we will continue to be able to deliver these elements to all students remotely. 

The College will deliver your programme to ensure the approved learning outcomes are met and will take steps to make alternative arrangements in any extreme circumstances where this is not possible. The College is also developing community building activities to support the multi-mode experience for students. 


Introduction to the programme 

College-wide induction and enrolment activities will operate in a remote format at the start of the academic year and there will be no requirement to visit the campus in-person to begin your studies. Your MSc online induction session will be taking place on the 17 September and is an opportunity for you to meet us, your fellow students on the programme, and some of your tutors in our virtual session. This session will also be an opportunity for you to familiarise yourselves with the online platforms and tools we will be using in the year, and for all of us to set expectations around the programme and online/on campus learning and teaching. 


Autumn term 2020 

We are offering blended multi-mode delivery in the autumn term. To access the content of the programme remotely you will be expected to have access to a computer, reliable internet connection and be able to use Microsoft Teams. Your College IT account will provide you with free access to the Office365 suite of tools, and further information about how to use Microsoft Teams is available here. Training and support for how to use other systems and software will be provided during the programme induction and through specific modules. 


  • Module: Principles of Surgery (18 – 29 September 2020)

Lectures, workshops, and presentations will be delivered remotely for this module. The MSc team has prepared an exciting programme for you to investigate the Principles of Surgery. Before the start of the module you will be provided with pre-sessional material including clinical and scientific papers, guidelines, web links, and videos (asynchronous delivery). The module leads then plan to hold an informal session on Friday 18 September so that they might get to know you all and to break the ice.   

The module will then be delivered synchronously Monday - Thursday (21 – 24 September) via an initial live online session with the faculty where you can explore the topic of the day and where you will be encouraged to have pre submitted questions relevant to the subject.  After a break, there will be a second session before lunch where interactive cases scenarios and papers will be used to explore the concept of surgical innovation. In the afternoon there will be an opportunity for virtual group work to prepare for the popular Dragons Den style sessions where you will pitch ideas to innovate in surgery. All synchronous sessions will be delivered 9am – 5pm (UK timezone). In course assessments will be split between Friday 25th September and Tuesday 29th September.   

  • Module: Interventional Technology and Imaging (2 - 6 November 2020)

This module will be delivered synchronously in face-to-face sessions at our St Mary’s campus, where we have secured space and put in place procedures to ensure you and our staff will be as safe as possible at all times. All synchronous sessions will be delivered 9am – 5pm (UK timezone). The module will consist of live talks by experts in the field, group work and interactive sessions. It will also be an excellent opportunity for us to meet you in person for the first time and, of course, for you to meet the other students. There will be exposure to and hands-on experience in a range of technologies in surgery and diagnosis. These include commercial, pre-commercial and research surgical robots (e.g., DaVinci, Cyclops, microIGES), and novel imaging techniques.  

If you are unable to attend campus in-person we will ensure that all core teaching is available online. 

  • Module: Research Methods (7 - 11 December 2020)

The final module of the Autumn term is also planned to be delivered online, covering applied quantitative statistics, how to conduct a systematic literature review, applying for research ethics, observational techniques, simulation in healthcare, and qualitative methods of data analysis. The skills learnt will be consolidated by practical experience in designing, constructing and presenting a research project by dissertation. Such skills will support your Library Dissertation, and your research project in Year 2 (2021/22). 


Spring Term 

  • Improving Safety, Implementing Change (18- 22 January 2021)

  • Surgical Education (15 - 19 March 2021)

We are currently planning for these modules to be delivered through a blended multi-modal learning model, with a combination of online and on-campus teaching. The on-campus teaching will be based at our St Mary’s campus. In the event of a suspension of on-campus activity at this time, all teaching activities will be delivered remotely. 


Summer Term 

The elective speciality stream modules will run over the summer period from June to September on the weeks laid out in the table below. You will pick one of these elective specialities and carry out both modules for that specialty - as will be explained on the day. We are currently planning for these modules to be delivered on-campus. The on-campus teaching will be based at our St Mary’s campus. In the event of a suspension of on-campus activity at this time, all teaching activities will be delivered in a blended multi-mode format. 



Bariatrics – Obesity Medicine 

7 – 11 Jun 2021 

Bariatrics – Bariatric Surgery 

12 – 16 Jul 2021 

Transplant – Principles of Transplantation Surgery 

7 – 11 Jun 2021 

Transplant – Transplant Surgery Techniques & Complications 

12 – 16 Jul 2021 

Trauma – Casualty Reception & Initial Management 

14 – 18 Jun 2021 

Trauma – Operative Management of Injuries 

6 – 10 Sep 2021 

Oesophagastric Cancer 

14 – 18 Jun 2021 

Oesophagastric: Benign conditions of the oesophagus & stomach and OG emergencies 

6 – 10 Sep 2021 

Orthopaedics: Elective Practice 

21 – 25 Jun 2021 

Orthopaedics: Trauma and Fracture Care 

6 – 10 Sep 2021 

Vascular Surgery: General and Aortic Surgery 

5 – 9 Jul 2021 

Vascular Surgery: Peripheral and Venous Surgery 

20 – 24 Sep 2021 

ENT – Basic Science, Education, Training, Outcomes and Technology I 

7 – 11 Jun 2021 

ENT – Technology II and Clinical Innovation 

19 – 23 Jul 2021 



The assessments for the year are designed to be varied and authentic, teaching skills that are useful in the academic and clinical environments. Some modules have an in course MCQ, which will be delivered online and then assessed presentations, pitches or debates that will either be delivered via virtual online sessions (e.g. Principles of Surgery), or in person for modules being delivered face to face (e.g. Interventional Technology and Imaging). Each module also includes a written piece of coursework that is completed after the module and submitted online through Blackboard Learn, our virtual learning platform. The assessments will be a chance to expand knowledge on theory, principles and examples taught in each module, and a chance to explore further topics of interest. 



As you are joining us for an MSc, we appreciate you may be concerned about your research dissertation plans. The individual expectations for projects will vary depending on your chosen pathway, however, a significant proportion of projects will be able to be conducted fully or partially remotely. Once you begin to discuss your project options with prospective supervisors during Year 1 (2020/21) following the Research Methods module, you will gain a clearer understanding of your project plan. Further support will be offered in the form of research clinics, dissertation presentation evenings and special lectures on dissertation planning before you begin your research project in Year 2 (2021/22). 


Digital literacy skills 

Digital literacy skills will be required for online study, however we do not foresee expectations for these skills as being more complex than in previous years, for example using Blackboard Learn. If you require further guidance such as using Microsoft Teams for class discussion, we will direct you to the relevant College supported resources and will also run a test call in week one to identify any issues. Further College learning resources are available, such as library or graduate school academic skills training and we will also direct you towards these.  


Cohort cohesion 

We are offering on-campus face-to-face sessions 2 – 6 November, where we will be delivering the Interventional Technology and Imaging module at our St Marys campus. During this week you will have an opportunity to meet one another through a range of teaching & social activities. Throughout the year, we will strive to provide a rich programme that offers everything that the previous in-person course had to offer, through varied learning exercises and tasks. We will also provide opportunities to socialise (virtually) and feel part of your MSc cohort. Please also be assured that, in addition to our programme specific plans, the College is also developing community building activities to support the mixed-mode experience for students.   


Length of the programme  

We anticipate you will be able to complete the programme within the 2 year timescale previously advertised.  


Additional costs  

To study remotely you will be expected to have access to a computer and to a reliable internet connection, and you will need to cover any associated costs for these. There are no other expected additional costs (beyond those previously advertised) to participate in the programme if you choose to study remotely. 


Student Experience 

Your experience at Imperial goes beyond just your academic studies. With the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Imperial has been working with your Union to ensure that we are able to provide, enhance and facilitate all areas of your student experience under all eventualities.  We identified key pillars of the wider student experience:  academic experience; research culture and environment; amenities and accommodation; student community; wellbeing support; co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities.   Information on how we will deliver these, along with information on our Library Services, considering current social distancing restrictions, as well as a full lockdown, are set out on our website


How we can answer your questions  

As always, should you have any questions, please contact us and we will be delighted to talk to you and clarify anything we have not yet made clear. 

Thank you for choosing Imperial as the institution to undertake your postgraduate studies. We are enthusiastic about you joining our outstanding student body; and look forward to welcoming you in the Autumn. 


Mr Christopher Peters & Professor Fernando Bello, Programme Directors 

MSc Surgical Innovation in the Department of Surgery and Cancer