Diabetes MSc (Med Sci)

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In response to the global epidemic in obesity and diabetes the University of Glasgow has developed this MSc in Diabetes. To address the immense challenge presented by this disease, it is essential that the researchers and medical practitioners of tomorrow understand the cutting edge advances and technologies to tackle diabetes.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • This is one of the only MSc in Diabetes programmes focused entirely on research rather than health care management. You will be taught by clinicians and scientists known for their world-class research.
  • The University has state-of-the-art research facilities to study obesity, metabolic disease and diabetes from the whole body to the molecular level and students will undertake a research project/dissertation in this area.
  • The University of Glasgow is expert in establishing disease-specific bioresources linked with routinely-acquired anonymised data from the National Health Service in Scotland.
  • The collective expertise within the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences spans a full range from molecular and biomarker/ “-omic” techniques through clinical investigation to population-level epidemiology, clinical trials and cardiovascular endpoint adjudication.
  • This Degree in Diabetes is ideal for those who aspire to build their future career in diabetes whether in the fields of basic research, medical practice, pharmaceutical industry, public health or nutrition. We aim to provide an excellent research training that will inspire and provide students with the confidence to join the global research effort in tackling diabetes.
  • Using world-leading experts and experienced and dedicated teaching staff, this programme aims to provide students with state-of-the-art knowledge of pathological mechanisms and methodologies used for studying diabetes as well as providing a firm grounding in generic research skills.
  • You will develop and enhance your skills in literature searching and critically evaluating relevant scientific evidence; application of knowledge to novel concepts and situations; experimental design; research methods and ethics; data handling and statistics; interpretation and evaluation of experimental data; scientific writing; and oral presentations.
  • The MSc Diabetes programme is taught predominantly at the new Teaching and Learning Centre on the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus. This has state-of-the-art teaching facilities, Wi-Fi, computer clusters and cafe area. There is frequent convenient transport to this campus from the central University campus.

Programme structure

The MSc in Diabetes is a 12 month, full time programme. The programme is made up of eight compulsory courses, two are of 20 credits (one in each semester) and 6 are of 10 credits (four in the first semester and 2 in the second semester). In addition, students will select two optional 10 credit courses from a choice of six in the second semester. A dissertation/research project of 60 credits is undertaken to fulfil the requirements of a Masters degree.  The taught courses will be undertaken in the period October to March during the academic session, with the dissertation commencing in June with submission in mid August.


To fulfil the requirements of a Masters degree, students must undertake an independent piece of research in the area of diabetes under the supervision of a project supervisor. Projects may take a number of different formats including a literature review, meta-analysis, data audit or secondary analysis, laboratory-based project, clinical/human volunteer based investigation. The student must then submit a report demonstrating an in-depth, critical understanding and evaluation of the project and deliver an oral presentation summarising their project.


Core and optional courses

Core courses

  • Clinical aspects of diabetes
  • Cardio-metabolic disease
  • Basic Science of diabetes and vascular disease
  • Human physiological and metabolic assessment
  • Evidence based research in medicine
  • Statistics 1
  • Topics in therapeutics - general topics and cardiovascular drugs
  • Established and novel techniques in cardiovascular and medical sciences research

Optional courses

  • Applied research in human nutrition and metabolism
  • Clinical and research audit
  • Statistics 2
  • Principles and critical interpretation of laboratory methodologies

Teaching includes lectures, journal clubs, essay writing skills, observation in diabetes clinics, tutorials and practical laboratory classes.

In addition you will undertake a dissertation/project supervised by an established researcher in diabetes.

Academic staff

Diabetes research at Glasgow

As a group of established Principal Investigators and emerging young researchers, we encourage and foster collaborations within the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, within the University of Glasgow, nationally and internationally. 

Our Aims

(i) better understand the mechanisms of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases affecting people with the conditions covered by our clinical specialties (i.e. diabetes, renal disease, endocrine conditions), and the implications for the wider population - including groups defined by ethnicity, gender and deprivation;

(ii) understand the pathways and processes linking obesity and physical inactivity to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in order to develop better strategies to prevent and treat obesity, and alleviate its metabolic and vascular complications; 

(iii) use this knowledge both to develop new cardiovascular therapies and target existing ones more effectively.

Our Expertise

The collective expertise within Metabolic Disease & Diabetes Research Theme spans a full range from molecular and biomarker/ “-omic” techniques through clinical investigation to population-level epidemiology, clinical trials and cardiovascular endpoint adjudication.  We are leading in establishing disease-specific bioresources linked with routinely-acquired anonymised data from the National Health Service in Scotland.

For further information on Metabolic Disease & Diabetes Research, click the following link: Metabolic Disease & Diabetes Research 


Entry requirements

for entry in 2017

A degree in Medicine (MBChB) or at least a second class honours degree (2:2) or equivalent in a relevant degree (biological/biomedical sciences or other health professional/health-related area).

Medical graduates are required to possess a degree recognised by the GMC, or appropriate professional body. In exceptional circumstances, other science graduates, or bioscience graduates with an Ordinary degree may be eligible, on demonstration of appropriate postgraduate professional experience and will be considered on a case by case basis.

A British Council IELTS score of at least 6.5 with no component less than 6.0 (or equivalent qualification) is required for overseas students who do not have English as their first language

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18

MSc (Med Sci)

Home and EU
Full time fee£7250
Full time fee£19500

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only


The University requires a deposit of £1000 to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme.

Deposits terms & conditions

The University requires a deposit to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programmes and who require a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University in order that they can apply for a student visa. This is required where the programme is competitive and the deposit is required in order to demonstrate your commitment to attend the programme should you meet all the conditions of your offer.

If you are made an offer for this programme the University will write to you and request a deposit with information on how to pay your deposit and the deadline for making the deposit payment. Please note that if you are unable to pay a deposit because you are planning to fund your studies through an official financial sponsor then you should upload a copy of your scholarship application or award letter to your application by the deadline date.

The following guidelines will apply in determining whether or not a deposit will be refunded. Where the deposit is refunded, a 10% handling fee will be deducted.

Deposits WILL be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the University is unable to offer you a place.
  2. Where the applicant has personal circumstances such as illness, bereavement or other family situations that has prevented them coming to the UK. Medical or other proof may be requested.
  3. Applicant can prove that they have applied for a visa to attend the University of Glasgow, but the VISA has been refused. The applicant must have shown ‘real intent' to study at the University of Glasgow but has been unable to obtain their visa.
  4. Applicant does not meet his / her conditions of offer: this may be academic or language test requirements. Satisfactory evidence must be uploaded to the student’s online application to prove that they have not met the conditions of their offer (note that applicants who do not meet the language condition of their offer must show reasonable attempt to meet this, i.e. they must provide a language test which was taken after the date that the deposit was paid).

Deposits WILL NOT be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:

  1. Applicant decides to go to another institution.
  2. Applicant cannot be released from work to study at the University of Glasgow.
  3. Applicant does not send completed documentation as requested in the condition of the offer: this may be required in order to prove that the offer has not been met for academic or language test conditions - failure to respond to requests for this information will result in no refund.
  4. Applicant has not secured funding to attend the University of Glasgow: this may be as a result of not being successful in applications for scholarships, OR simply not having sufficient funds in bank at time of visa application. This condition will apply unless it can be proven that there are clear mitigating circumstances which have significantly changed the applicant’s position since the time of application.
  5. Applicant has decided to defer – in this situation the University will retain the deposit and credit it against the applicant’s account for securing their place for the following year of entry. 

Refund requests must be made by 30th October, 2016: requests made after this date will be subject to discretion.

Additional fees

  • Fee for submission by a research student: £460
  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
  • Registration/exam only fee: £110
  • General Council fee: £50

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the MSc (Med Sci). This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

Graduates may wish to pursue a career in diabetes clinical research entering clinical translational diabetes research or commercial industrial research. Other opportunities for diabetes specialists are available in education, public health and professions allied to medicine. The MSc Diabetes also provides an excellent basis to pursue PhD level research.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
  • A two-page personal statement highlighting:
    • How your academic career to-date makes this programme a suitable next step
    • Why you want to study this programme
    • How you think this programme will help you in your future career development

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2017 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2017

Classes start September 2017 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now