We are writing to you in our capacity as Programme Directors for the MSc in Surgical Innovation. We understand that you may have some anxieties about continuing your studies in Year 2 of the MSc so want to clarify plans 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. 


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. 


Autumn term 2020 

  • Module: Research Methods (7 – 11 December 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 at here. Training and support for how to use other systems and software will be provided during the programme induction and through specific modules. 

The MSc team have created a range of exciting and dynamic online learning materials, such as pre-recorded videos, readings and case studies, mini activities and discussion forums, which you will work through.  In addition, this will be supplemented with a number of live interactive (synchronous) sessions where you will have an opportunity to interact with the module leads, guest speakers and your peers. All synchronous sessions will be delivered 9am – 5pm (UK timezone). Importantly, this approach will provide you with opportunities to develop your knowledge and skills, individually and in teams. 

Spring/Summer Term - Dissertations  

We appreciate you may also 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. We will, as always teach research skills and project planning in the autumn term supplemented, by research clinics and special lectures on dissertation planning. Each student will also meet with a dissertation tutor to discuss research ideas, before you begin your research project. 



The assessments for the year are designed to be varied and authentic, teaching skills that are useful in the academic and clinical environments. The assessments will be undertaken as individuals or amongst teams and are 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. 


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.  


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.  


Mr Christopher Peters & Professor Fernando Bello, Programme Directors 

MSc Surgical Innovation in the Department of Surgery and Cancer