MSc in Endovascular Neurosurgery (Interventional Neuroradiology) | University of Oxford
Operating theatre
MSc Endovascular Neurosurgery students in the operating theatre with neurovascular imaging
(Image Credit: James Byrne)

MSc in Endovascular Neurosurgery (Interventional Neuroradiology)

About the course

The MSc course in Endovascular Neurosurgery (Interventional Neuroradiology) is a taught degree course run by the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences. Its aim is to train medical graduates in this sub-specialty discipline. To benefit from the course, you will need to have had specific experience in clinical neurosciences and neuroradiological techniques.

This course is open to registered medical practitioners (GMC) with previous experience in the clinical neurosciences. It is intended for doctors who intend to practice minimally invasive neurological therapies and has particular focus on endovascular treatment technique.

You will typically be senior trainees in neuroradiology, neurosurgery or neurology – at or above a level equivalent to that of a UK specialist registrar - who wish to develop an interest in endovascular and image-guided interventions to treat neurological diseases.

You are taught vascular neuroanatomy, interventional neuroradiology treatment techniques and the pathology of conditions amenable to these types of treatments. The degree is awarded after completion of the taught curriculum and a final examination. The components of the examination are a logbook of cases, three written papers, a 15,000-word dissertation and a viva voce examination. 

The taught curriculum consists of three sections: The first section covers basic cerebral vascular anatomy, pathology and physiology relevant to the subject. The second section focuses on the diagnosis of diseases and patient selection for endovascular neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology treatment. The third section covers the technical bases of endovascular treatments and the practical use of these techniques. These subjects form the essential knowledge for the MSc and are specifically examined in three written examination papers, but are also relevant to the rest of the learning on the course.

Teaching is provided in weekly term-time tutorials attended by all students with departmental case discussions and individual clinical attachments. You will be encouraged to collect material for your log book and data for your dissertation throughout the course. You will be assigned a course supervisor, whose role is to ensure that the subject chosen for the dissertation is appropriate and to provide guidance during the development of this piece of work.

You will attend clinical sessions during which you will assist in patient assessments and treatments. These sessions are under the direct supervision of a designated clinical tutor and may include placements to hospitals out of Oxford. You are expected to attend relevant departmental review meetings and may assist with out-of-hours work on a voluntary basis.

The course is limited to a maximum of three students per year group in order to ensure that each has sufficient exposure to ‘hands-on’ clinical training and experience working as an operator or assistant. 

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Medical Sciences Graduate School website for details of the department and application process.

Graduate destinations

The MSc Endovascular Neurosurgery is a specialised programme with up to three students on the course at any one time. The course is oriented towards doctors who want the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of their field, as part of their career development. In choosing this programme you should have a good idea of how the training will benefit your future medical career and development.

Related courses

Changes to the course

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2017-18

Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.

However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a GPA of 3.7, a first-class degree or the equivalent.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

Applicants should be medically qualified and be able to show graduate experience on an area relevant to the course, eg a neuroscience clinical speciality. 

In order to study on the course, students must be registered with the UK General Medical Council. To satisfy this requirement students must be able to provide proof of having completed an approved medical training.

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other appropriate indicators will include:

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview(s)

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.  

Applicants who are shortlisted are normally interviewed by telephone or Skype as part of the admissions process. There will normally be a minimum of three academics on the interview panel.


Publications are not required.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Applicants must have previous experience in radiology or neurology or neurosurgery. A basic knowledge of clinical neurosciences is required and candidates would normally be expected to have sufficient previous experience of neurovascular imaging to benefit from the practical skills training provided.

Graduate medical experience in other neuroscience disciplines will be taken into consideration but preference may be given to those with imaging or endovascular therapy experience.

Applicants will be expected to show how the training would benefit their future medical career and development. The support of a current employer is helpful in this regard.

Applicants must be registered with the UK General Medical Council and hold a licence to practice in order to be eligible for a clinical contract with the teaching hospitals. 

2. English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.

3. Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places

The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • The ability of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work
  • Minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to Oxford's research and taught programmes.

The provision of supervision, where required, is subject to the following points:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff
  • Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include sabbatical leave, maternity leave or change in employment.

4. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the entry requirements appropriate to the course.

Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available in our guidance for applicants with disabilities.

5. Assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgment of at least two members of academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and additionally must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent departmental persons or bodies).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

6. Other information

Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer of a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until you have completed a Financial Declaration.

In order to qualify for the granting of an honorary contract to work at the John Radcliffe Hospital and Southampton General Hospital, applicants will be required to demonstrate their mental and physical fitness to practice medicine and may be required to take a DBS check. The granting of the honorary contract by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust criteria can be found on their website.


As a maximum of three students are taken on each year, all teaching is one-to-one or small group teaching. Responsibility for your progress is taken by a designated supervisor and the Course Director.

You will have access to a desk and computing facilities in the Oxford Neurovascular and Neuroradiology Research Unit (ONNRU) of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, and access to the NHS Department of Neuroradiology. Both departments are located at the John Radcliffe Hospital. IT facilities within are supported by the Medical Sciences Division’s IT support department.

The NHS Department of Neuroradiology has its own small library. You will also have access to online journals and to University's libraries.

You are encouraged to attend talks given in the NHS Department of Neuroradiology and the wider Medical Sciences Division. You will also receive information about the University and Medical Sciences Division seminars on general skills such as scientific writing, and you are included in departmental social activities.


There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available across the University, and these cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs. If you apply by the relevant January deadline and fulfil the eligibility criteria you will be automatically considered. Over two thirds of Oxford scholarships require nothing more than the standard course application. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out which scholarships you are eligible for and if they require an additional application, full details of which are provided.

Full funding opportunities are available for all Medical Sciences Graduate School programmes, whatever your nationality. The Medical Sciences Graduate School website provides further details of these, as well as information about external funding opportunities.


Annual fees for entry in 2017-18

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The fees shown above are the annual tuition and college fees for this course for entry in the stated academic year; for courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Tuition and college fees are payable each year for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay tuition and college fees).

For more information about tuition fees, college fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees and living costs.  However, as part of your course requirements, you may need to choose a dissertation, a project or a thesis topic. Please note that, depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your tuition and college fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2017-18 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between £1,002 and £1,471 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our Living costs page. If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.


How to apply

You are encouraged to communicate with the department prior to submitting an application to discuss the course content, teaching, assessment and to answer any questions.

You are also encouraged to approach the Course Director for information and to ensure your previous experience is suited to the practical training provided during the course.

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.


A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.

Personal statement:
Up to two pages

Your personal statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for wanting to undertake this course, details of any previous experience in the field and how you would use the training in the future. 

It will be assessed for:

  • your reasons for applying for this course
  • why you think the course is suitable for you
  • evidence of motivation for, and understanding of, the subject
  • capacity for sustained and intense work.

References/letters of recommendation:
Three overall, all of which must be academic

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

Academic references are required and professional references are not normally accepted. You should nominate referees who are capable of providing an informed view of your recent academic ability.

Your references will support your suitability for training in endovascular treatments as well as your intellectual ability, academic achievement, and motivation.

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