Biomedical Research: Integrative and Translational MRes

This programme will equip you with the necessary ethos, critical evaluative skills and technical competence to pursue a research career in the in vivo sciences. Such an approach is essential to understand the complex interactions among body systems, and how these may be modified with adaptations, by drugs, and during pathologies.

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External Examiner

“"This is a highly innovative programme which addresses a real need in the UK Higher Education sector to train scientists in in vivo techniques, which have almost universally been abandoned at undergraduate level. As such there are really very few institutions that run such a course, all of which are very high in the World Rankings" ”

You will graduate equipped with essential skills for training to PhD level with an excellent grounding for future careers in biological research, the pharmaceutical industry or higher education.

A Home Office Personal Licence, for which training is provided, is a prerequisite for this course. The research project will normally require students to carry out licensed procedures. This module will be taught at the beginning of the MRes.

The programme is split into two components - taught and research. The taught component comprises three taught modules and aids the students to gain the skills required to undertake the research component. The first module covers physiology of major body systems in order to ensure all students have a common knowledge regardless of their first degree background.

A practical in vivo research skills module involves progressive training with equipment using in vitro and ex vivo approaches. This research modules also provides seminars from research-active scientists about their approaches, and a series of taster projects where you observe current research projects in action. A research methods module gives theoretical and practical instruction in common techniques, experimental design and data analysis. The in vivo research project takes 20 weeks and gives you the opportunity to develop your skills in publishable-quality research.

Why study this course

In vivo research provides the key translational step between basic medical science and clinical medicine. The course will give you a thorough training in the practical and theoretical aspects of a wide range of in vivo research techniques. You will gain an in-depth appreciation of the special requirements of in vivo experimentation, its advantages and pitfalls.

By gaining practical and theoretical skills in integrative physiology and pharmacology you will expand the boundaries of your first degree discipline thereby increasing your employability and utility in a research environment.


The programme consists of both taught modules (60 credits) and a research project (120 credits) comprising a total of 180 credits for the whole programme.

  1. Integrated Body Systems (20 credits)
    This module provides an overview of the function and regulation of the major body systems and their integration to achieve homeostasis. Examples (such as exercise, stress, dehydration) will be discussed and will provide a firm foundation for students to consider scenarios in a problem-based manner to develop understanding of integrative physiology.
  2. Practical In Vivo Research Skills (20 credits)
    This module provides practical lab-based experience using both humans and animal tissues to develop experimental design, practical application of skills and data analysis. The students will develop a critical sense of observation in order to refine protocols and data presentation to answer a research question.
  3. Research Methods (20 credits)
    This module covers the skills to critically appraise published research and undertake original research. Topics include areas such as application of scientific method, literature search techniques, experimental design. Additionally, an overview of analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data is included in this module.

Related staff

Fees and funding

Home/EU - £4110 + bench fees (approximately £3,500)
International - £17910 + bench fees (approximately £3,500)

Self funding students can choose to pay in instalments by direct debit.

Learn more about fees and funding.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Visit our website for information about scholarships for international students.

For information about all Home/EU and International funding opportunities please visit the Postgraduate Funding Database.

For other funding queries contact the School directly or get in touch with the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system.

Entry requirements

You must possess, or be expected to achieve at least a good upper second-class degree in a relevant subject.

Learn more about entry requirements 

International students:

Academic requirements
We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

English to IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

How to apply

Formal applications need to be made on the University application system. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online (please also submit an up-to-date CV, however, the 'Research Details' section does not need to be completed for this MRes).

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues. Additionally, you will be allocated an experienced postgraduate student to act as a mentor.

The MRes students have a dedicated laboratory for the first semester, where they have access to all the equipment and resources needed to perform their skills training.

Our facilities

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences houses state-of-the art facilities to support a range of teaching, learning and research activity. 

Our facilities ensure that students receive the best possible learning experience by working in a modern environment. Among our most recent developments include a refurbishment of the Medical School foyer, Barnes library and Wolfson Centre for Medical Education.

Explore our facilities and take a tour by moving around our 360-degree panoramas:


Assessment methods

Assessment will vary between modules. These include assessment methods such as case-based scenario, laboratory report, scientific conference (oral & poster presentation), journal format. The research project will be written up in thesis/dissertation format and be examined by viva voce.

Related research

The skills and knowledge gained on this programme will make you attractive both to employers in the pharmaceutical and related industries, and to major academic research centres. The practical skills and knowledge acquired in design, performing and analysing experiments are highly transferable to a wide range of scientific areas. 

Previous students have gone on to study for PhD, graduate entry medicine and teaching. Ashleigh Wilcox went on to study for a DPhil at the University of Oxford.

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career 

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market.

Here are just a few ways in which we can help postgraduates to get ahead: 

  • Careers Networking opportunities
  • Effective careers strategy toolkit
  • Year planner for all postgraduate students
  • Masters Career Coaching Workshops
  • One to one careers guidance 

The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. They also have a dedicated careers website for international students where you can find useful resources and information. 

For more information visit the Careers Network website.

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