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Postgraduate study
Clinical Research

Clinical Research MRes

This course provides you with the opportunity to develop the research skills you need to undertake clinical research within the field of health. The course focuses on preparing you to undertake clinically relevant research and develop your knowledge, understanding and practical skills within a range of primary and secondary research methodologies.


Course overview

You also have the opportunity to develop skills in project management, research governance and writing for publication and to gain an in-depth understanding of the context of health-related research and policy.

The course enables you to:

  • develop the skills and expertise necessary to undertake clinically relevant research
  • develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a wide range of research methodologies and data analysis techniques relevant to clinical practice
  • foster a commitment to life-long learning and the independent learning ability necessary for a clinical research career.

A flexible approach to course delivery has been taken. You can choose to study either by attending taught sessions, through distance learning or through flexible learning (a combination of both attendance and distance).

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Course details

You study a number of modules throughout the course which aim to develop your knowledge, understanding and practical skills in quantitative, qualitative and systematic review methodologies and data analysis techniques. You also gain an in-depth understanding of the context of health-related research, managing a research project, research governance, applying for ethics and writing for publication. Towards the end of the course you have the opportunity to plan, manage and undertake a research study in an area of interest to you and to write this up for publication.

Course structure

Core modules

Clinical Research in Context

This module is designed to prepare you to plan and conduct clinical research by providing you with a comprehensive and critical understanding of the principles and practices of clinical research and the contextual factors surrounding it.
The conceptual, philosophical and theoretical issues relevant to clinical research are explored. Contextual factors influencing clinical research include health and social care policy drivers, funding bodies, regulatory and research governance frameworks, principles of good practice, public and patient involvement; legal, ethical and economic issues are also considered.

Clinical Research Trials

This module enables you to understand and apply appropriate principles and practices in relation to the design and conduct of randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental clinical research trials.


Here you consolidate and develop further skills and knowledge from previous modules. More specifically you synthesise learning as you apply your research-related knowledge to identify a researchable problem, plan and execute a study. You use a range of different methodologies for your study, such as quantitative, qualitative or systematic review.

Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis

This module is designed to explore and contextualise the use of qualitative research methods based on an understanding of the theoretical philosophical underpinnings of qualitative methodologies.

Quantitative Research Methods and Analysis

You gain an understanding of experimental and observational approaches to research and methods of data collection. You focus on statistical techniques available to analyse data, with emphasis on identifying the appropriate test/method and assessing the underlying assumptions associated with it. It enables you to critically interpret results and findings. If you are involved in the design of investigations and the collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of quantitative data this module will be of interest to you.

Research Evidence Synthesis

This module is designed to provide you with an understanding of all the steps necessary to undertake different types of evidence synthesis for clinical research including systematic reviews, meta-analysis, best evidence synthesis or narrative reviews of qualitative or mixed methods research.

Research Project Management

This module is focused on learning about the practical, everyday aspects of the management of primary (‘live’) research projects in health-related areas. You will be introduced to the principles and practices of effective research project management. This module focuses primarily on the second and third stages in the life-cycle of the research project (the execution and dissemination stages). You will learn about: the basics of costing research projects, how to engage in good ethical practice, some of the issues involved in the effective management of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) (including those relating to safety reporting) and the good management of sensitive data. Other areas covered in the module include: participant recruitment strategies, compliance with data protection law, the different elements and activities associated with dissemination of research findings and working with others.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

A range of teaching and learning methods is used throughout the course. You can choose to study either by attending taught classes or through distance learning or through flexible learning (a combination of attendance and distance). Learning and teaching methods for taught classes include key lectures, seminars, group discussions, computer lab work to develop skills in searching for literature and analysing data, and a range of practical activities to develop your practical research skills. Teaching and learning methods for distance learning are supported through the use of a virtual learning environment, where learning materials are available in a range of formats such as written materials, narrated power points, and practical activities to develop your searching, data analysis and practical research skills. Electronic discussion forums also support your learning. Personal development planning is also a key aspect of the course to support your learning.

Supervision and support are provided throughout the course by the personal tutor, course leader, module leaders and dissertation supervisor.

How you are assessed

A range of assessment methods are used throughout the course. These include formative assessment, written essay, written report, proposal, oral and poster presentation, written project and an article for publication.


Entry requirements

You should have a relevant degree at 2.2 level or above.

International applicants are required to have IELTS level 7 or above (or equivalent) with no component scoring below 6.5.

Applicants with non-standard entry requirements are considered on an individual basis.

Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credits for previous study or related work experience which can be credited towards the course you want to study. Find out more about RPL.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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Career opportunities

The course enhances your career progression by developing your ability to undertake clinically relevant research and will prepare you for either a clinical research career or a PhD.


Information for international applicants


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2023/24 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£6,710 a year

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Fee for international applicants
£15,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: within 1 year full-time
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

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2023/24 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£750 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: 2 years standard/maximum 6 years
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

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