Delivered within a dedicated cardiovascular research centre involving both clinical and laboratory scientists funded by multiple major charities and government funders, this programme provides a truly research-led teaching experience for students.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
Location of Study

Our programme will provide you with a leading-edge view of cardiovascular and metabolic science through delivery of a research-led teaching experience that includes a laboratory research project supervised by leading cardiovascular and diabetes science researchers.

Our programme is distinct in a number of ways.

  • The Institute of Medical Sciences, from which the MSc programme is delivered is co-located with the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, allowing the delivery of a Masters programme uniquely integrating elements of cardiovascular and metabolic science in the context of obesity and cardiovascular disease.
  • The Masters programme benefits from the excellent cardiovascular laboratory facilities and clinical cardiovascular imaging expertise available to us on the University’s Foresterhill site, one of the largest health campuses in Europe.
  • The clinical relevance of the programme is directly strengthened by the location of the teaching, with Aberdeen Royal Hospital on site, and by the input of cardiovascular and diabetes clinicians into the MSc training and research projects.

The combination of internationally recognised cardiovascular laboratory research, input of clinicians to the teaching and the established excellence in nutrition research at the Rowett Institute provides a unique experience for students. You will be equipped with knowledge and skills needed to secure subsequent PhD training in academia, or employment in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. Students will study core courses in molecular medicine, genome-enabled medicine and bioinformatics, alongside cardiovascular and metabolic sciences taught in the context of health and disease.

What You'll Study

The taught part of our MSc programme extends over two semesters. Over the last four months of the programme, students will undertake an individual research project.

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

In semester 1, students undertake three compulsory courses:

  • Cardiovascular Health and Disease
  • Molecular Pharmacology
  • Basic Skills - Induction
Cardiovascular Health and Disease (BM5003)

15 Credit Points

The aim of this programme is to develop a rigorous scientific approach to understanding of cardiovascular health and the underlying causes of cardiovascular disease. This will be achieved through a series of lectures, laboratory practical, case study sessions and interactive clinical demonstrations. This will be delivered by academic staff from the Institute of Medical Sciences and clinical staff from NHS Grampian. This will equip you with the full range of academic, critical thinking, research and investigatory skills necessary for laboratory research and/or PhD study.

View detailed information about this course
Molecular Pharmacology (MT5024)

15 Credit Points

The course focuses on the molecular mechanisms of drug action and how cutting edge research can advance current therapeutic approaches to disease. The utility of molecular pharmacology will be highlighted in the context of current and future drug discovery for cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic diseases and cancer.

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Basic Skills - Induction (MT5010)

This course is designed to provide or revise the basic skills you will require for your MSc. These skills include basic laboratory skills and techniques, but also IT skills and the use of University of Aberdeen specific systems (e.g. MyAberdeen etc), writing skills, literature researching and analysis of journal articles. The overarching aim is to develop these skills to a level required to undertake graduate studies and projects in the medical science discipline areas.

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Optional Courses

In semester 1, students select two elective courses from the following:

  • Profiles of Immunology
  • Foundations of Nutrition
  • Assessment of Nutritional Status
Profiles of Immunology (MB5028)

15 Credit Points

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of how behaviours (e.g. smoking, diet, medication adherence, etc) can protect, promote, risk or damage health; the key drivers of (un)healthy behaviours; and techniques to change health behaviours.

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Foundations of Nutrition (RN5003)

15 Credit Points

Course Aims:

The course aims to enable you to develop a broad knowledge, understanding, and application of the scientific basis of human nutrition.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. Summarise the underlying physiology related to human nutrition.
  2. Explain the key concepts of nutrient and energy metabolism.
  3. Distinguish between the metabolism of different macronutrients.
  4. Outline the role of micronutrients and non-nutritive dietary components in human nutrition.
  5. Assess the interactions between nutrients as part of a whole diet.
  6. Prepare, process, interpret, and present topics in human nutrition using formal presentation.
View detailed information about this course
Assessment of Nutritional Status (RN5008)

15 Credit Points

This course will give you a detailed theoretical and practical understanding of the methods used to assess nutritional status, including dietary intake, assessment of body composition and energy expenditure applied in the context of energy balance. Theory will be put into practice through a series of practical workshop and laboratory sessions to give you ‘hands-on’ experience of using a range of assessment techniques using state-of-the-art equipment routinely employed by nutritional scientists.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

In semester 2, students undertake two compulsory courses:

  • Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Health
Diabetes and Metabolism (BM5502)

15 Credit Points

The aim of this programme is to develop a rigorous scientific approach to understanding of diabetes and metabolic complications associated with poor nutrition, obesity, lifestyle and ageing. This will be achieved through a series of lectures, small class tutorials, case study sessions with clinicians from the NHS Grampian, nutritionists and research scientist from the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health. Later on in the session, this can also be achieved by conducting an independent and original research project, working alongside experienced laboratory researchers. This will equip you with the full range of academic, critical thinking, research and investigatory skills necessary for laboratory research and/or PhD study.

View detailed information about this course
Nutrition and Health (RN5507)

15 Credit Points

This course will provide a detailed knowledge of the relationships between diet, human development, health, and disease. Topics covered include diet and nutrition across the life course, integration and adaptability of different metabolic pathways to e.g. starvation, exercise, and the role of diet in the development of diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition, it will also provide insight into the effects of malnutrition and food processing on health. A combination of lectures, and a laboratory class will help consolidate your understanding of the impact food and nutrients on health.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

In semester 2, students undertake two electives from a choice of the following courses:

  • Basic Research Methods
  • Biologic Drug Discovery
  • Genes and Immunity
  • Research Tutorials
  • Clinical nutrition
Biologic Drug Discovery (BT5509)

15 Credit Points

Biologic therapies represent one of the most important and novel areas of drug discovery in the 21st century. The aim of this course is to provide an insight into the success of protein, peptide or antibody based biologic therapies and to examine how this exciting new area will develop over the next decade.

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Basic Research Methods (MT5515)

15 Credit Points

This course reviews a range of essential methodologies that are currently used in medical research from molecular technologies to human studies. Experts in the various techniques will describe the fundamentals of the methodology and show how they can be applied.

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Genes and Immunity (MB5526)

15 Credit Points

The genetic basis of self/non-self discrimination underlies all immune responses and can influence disease susceptibility at the level of both individual and populations. This course addresses this topic through lectures from research active experts in the main areas covered.

The course workshop involves students delivering a poster presentation on a course-related topic, providing the opportunity for students to practice presentation skills before undertaking the Masters Research project later in the academic year.

View detailed information about this course
Research Tutorials (MB5518)

15 Credit Points

A course that leads you through research-level study of your subject through study of a range of areas of the science literature

An introduction to the subject of your summer research project through the writing of an extended essay on the subject of your forthcoming research project.

The course provides an opportunity to study advanced science concepts led by an experienced member of academic staff.

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Clinical Nutrition (RN5505)

15 Credit Points

Clinical nutrition is the study of diet in relation to the development and treatment of human disease. This specialism course provides an up-to-date and detailed knowledge on the role of nutrition in the aetiology, prevention and treatment of disease in humans, with particular emphasis on disease prevention. The course covers key topics surrounding nutrition and disease, and how clinical nutrition links with public health and molecular nutrition. The course also provides an overview of research tools widely used in clinical nutrition research, and a training on evidence-based analysis of nutrition case studies.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

In semester 3, students undertake an individual research project.

Masters Research Project (PU5922)

60 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity to complete a substantial piece of data-driven, empirical work within their field of study under the supervision of an experienced researcher.

Topics available will be varied but within the domain of their field of study. Alongside supervisors, students will identify a suitable topic area, describe an appropriate study design and implement an empirical study to be completed within a laboratory setting. Students will be involved alongside the supervisors in the process of defining the research question, and developing the research plan and, where appropriate, obtaining regulatory approvals. This course is for non-laboratory based projects (if you are intending to undertake a project in a scientific laboratory setting you should register on MB5913)

View detailed information about this course

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

The teaching on this programme will encompass research-led learning using laboratory practical classes, workshops, clinical demonstrations and tutorials to support the lecture material. Lectures are recorded and can be viewed again when required. The MSc makes the most of hands-on learning to enable repeated exposure to evidence-based practice in cardiovascular and diabetes research using clinical case studies. Some of the teaching methods employed in the programme include:

  • Inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary learning
  • Exposure to leading academic and clinical experts
  • Research-led teaching taught by key opinion leaders in cardiovascular and diabetes research
  • Literature-driven critical assessment and analyses
  • Practical laboratory skills and state-of-the-art techniques
  • Individual laboratory or literature based project within the research centre

On-going support is provided by the University’s dedicated, interdisciplinary team of experienced researchers within the Aberdeen Cardiovascular and Diabetes Centre (both laboratory and clinical), who will be tutoring you. Peer support will develop throughout the course(s) as engagement with students from other countries and disciplines is actively encouraged. Much of the teaching on this course is participatory and you are expected to consolidate all taught content by completing related tasks and activities and engaging in independent study in your own time.

Learning Methods

  • Clinical Learning
  • E-learning
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lab Work
  • Lectures
  • Peer Learning
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

Taught courses are assessed by a combination of written assignments and reports, oral presentations, and by examination. All students undertake a research project, which is submitted for assessment in the form of a short research thesis. Students also present an oral presentation on their project.

Why Study Cardiovascular Science and Diabetes?

  • We offer a truly research-led teaching experience for students within the Aberdeen Cardiovascular and Diabetes Centre, which has been awarded more than £3m in British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK funding within the past 5 years alone.
  • You will have the opportunity to carry-out a research project supervised by internationally recognised experts in cardiovascular, diabetes or nutrition researchers.
  • The programme uniquely integrates elements of cardiovascular and nutritional science in the context of obesity and metabolic health.
  • You will benefit from the excellent clinical cardiovascular imaging facilities available to us on the Foresterhill Healthcare Campus, one of the largest health campuses in Europe.
  • Upon graduation you will be well-equipped for career destinations in cardiovascular, diabetes and nutrition research in industry and academia.
  • The programme helps meet the skills gap in this area which has been identified by the Scottish and UK governments and major research funders.
  • The programme runs from the Foresterhill Health Campus which includes a large teaching hospital, Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.
  • You will benefit from skills training to help with scientific writing, analytical skills, CV writing, interview skills and reading scientific literature.
  • Our small class sizes give you the opportunity to participate in class discussions and to have good access to the teaching and research staff.  
  • The University of Aberdeen is a World Top 160 University (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022).

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A second class Honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent qualification in biological science degree is required for entry onto this programme. Other degree classes (2.2 is a minimum) and subjects may be considered as long as the applicant demonstrates experience in biological subjects.

Please check the In My Country pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £23,500
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £10,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Aberdeen Global Scholarship (EU)

The Aberdeen Global Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is a £2,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Postgraduate Masters students who are classed as International fee status and are domiciled in the EU, plus another £3,000 discount for eligible Postgraduate Masters students who would have previously been eligible for Home fees (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Aberdeen Global Scholarship


The MSc in Cardiovascular Science and Diabetes will provide you with the academic, analytical and practical skills to assist you in many careers. Many of our graduates choose to continue in research careers and begin PhDs or become research scientists (research assistants or technicians). Our scientists have obtained posts in Universities, industry, biotechnology and hospital diagnostic and pathology laboratories.

More generally, cardiovascular and diabetes researchers can use their training in education, working in schools, colleges of further education and in Universities. Further opportunities are available to apply your training in scientific publishing, in patent offices working on biological patents, in science outreach and contributing to the public understanding of biological issues.

Dedicated Cardiovascular and Diabetes Centre

The Aberdeen Cardiovascular and Diabetes centre is the only centre of this type in the UK, combining cardiovascular and diabetes research with nutrition.  

Research-led Masters programme

A leading-edge view of cardiovascular & diabetes research science through research-led teaching and a laboratory research project supervised by cardiovascular, diabetes and nutrition researchers.

Learn more

Our Experts

Other Experts
Professor Mirela Delibegovic
Dr Justin Rochford
Dr Frank Thies
Dr Alex Johnstone
Dr Heather Wilson
Dr Mary Macleod
Dr Fiona Murray
Professor Stefan Hoppler
Dr Sam Philip
Dr Dana Dawson
Dr Nicola Mutch
Professor Graeme Nixon
Programme Coordinator
Dr Nimesh Mody

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.


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The Institute of Medical Sciences

The Institute of Medical Sciences

Focused on developing future effective therapies, the Institute of Medical Sciences houses nearly 400 researchers and support staff working on cutting-edge biomedical subjects aimed at understanding the human body's response to infection and disease.

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Rowett Institute

Rowett Institute

The purpose built Rowett Institute, on the Foresterhill Health Campus, is equipped with state-of the-art laboratory facilities, write-up areas and a specialist Human Nutrition Unit.

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Opening 2022 - Science Teaching Hub

Opening 2022 - Science Teaching Hub

Our state-of-the-art Science Teaching Hub will provide students with a digitally focussed environment including advanced analytical tools, research-grade equipment and flexible laboratory spaces.

Find out more

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX