Biomedical Research: Cardiovascular Sciences MRes

Start date
Full time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Combined research and taught, Taught

Annual tuition fee for 2024/25
UK: £10,530
International: £27,360

More details

Alexandra de Prendergast - Student, MRes Cardiovascular Science

Providing you with an in-depth knowledge of the field of cardiovascular research and allowing you to gain practical experience working as part of a leading research group in the Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences you will investigate molecular, physiological and pathological processes underlying cardiovascular homeostasis in health and disease.

Cardiovascular diseases, a group of disorders affecting the heart and the blood vessels, are the leading cause of death globally (World Health Organization). Our programme aims to start postgraduate scientists on their career journey in helping to understand better the mechanisms of cardiovascular disease so we may be able to develop better treatments.

The programme consists of a mixture of taught and research elements. In the taught components, you will also study specific modules on cardiovascular biology and clinical cardiology to ensure that you have a grounding of all aspects of the field and to introduce the topics and research questions on which your project will be based. The taught aspects also include training in key research skills including scientific writing, critical analysis of literature, presentation skills and key experimental techniques in cardiovascular sciences. In the research component you will join one of the Institute's research themes for 8 months and carry out a piece of independent research in a relevant cardiovascular area.

You will develop skills including:

  • Gaining experience of designing and running a lab-based research project
  • Practical experience of a wide range of general and cardiovascular specific experimental techniques
  • The ability to critique and assess scientific literature

MSc or MRes intercalation

Please note that this programme can be taken as an intercalated option for those studying MBChB Medicine and Surgery at another Institution. To apply for the Intercalated MRes in Cardiovascular Sciences please fill in this registration form and we will be in touch with details about how to apply. For more information, please contact us on

Dr Steve Thomas, programme lead, talks about the MRes Biomedical Research - Cardiovascular Sciences programme at the University of Birmingham.


MRes Biomedical Research - Cardiovascular Sciences student, Georgina Neog, talks about her time on the programme at the University of Birmingham.

Why study this course?

  • The Institute for Cardiovascular Sciences is one of the University of Birmingham's Research Centres of Excellence.
  • Research projects will allow you to join a leading cardiovascular research group with access to our state-of-the-art facilities in the Institute of Biomedical Research, the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Unit, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Birmingham City Hospital.
  • You will work on relevant biomedical research questions with experts in their fields.


During the programme you will study on three taught modules:

  • Cardiovascular biology

This module will consist of taught lectures, discussion sessions and Journal Clubs where you will learn about the current knowledge and research questions in cardiovascular science and further develop your skills in critical analysis and presentation of research data.

  • Cardiovascular practical skills toolkit

This module will provide experience of the experimental techniques used in many cardiovascular/biomedical research projects along with developing wider research skills such as experimental design, development of research proposals, data analysis and presentation, etc.

  • Clinical Cardiology

This module looks at cardiovascular research from a clinical perspective. Joining with intercalating medical students, researchers will provide insight into the way that cardiovascular research is carried out in hospitals, with patients and how the interaction with lab based research works.

After consulting with potential supervisors you will select an 8 month research project which will begin in January and end in August. The project will generally be laboratory-based within one of the research groups in the Institute of Cardiovascular Science.

Being an integral member of an active research group will give you the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to ongoing cardiovascular research in Birmingham, and provide you with a real insight into how this research is conducted.



UK: £10,530
International: £27,360

Intercalation option:

UK: £10,530


Applicants will need to pay a non-refundable deposit at the point of accepting an offer to study on this programme. The deposit is put towards payment of fees when students join the course.

  • Home - £500
  • International - £1000

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

You can apply for a government loan for postgraduate Masters study. This is a contribution towards the costs of study and whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs will be at the discretion of the student. Find out more about the Postgraduate Loan.


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 and International funding opportunities please visit the Postgraduate Funding Database.

How To Apply

IMPORTANT NOTE: You should only apply to the intercalated version of the programme if you are a current 4th year Medical student at a UK HEI.

Applications are accepted all year round but applications from overseas students must be received by the end of April to be considered for a start date of October. For home students applications should be submitted by the beginning of August for an October start.

International students - We encourage you to apply early, so that you have plenty of time to prepare the necessary travel, study and immigration documents. In some cases, it may be a time-consuming process to apply and receive the necessary travel and study documents.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

A good BSc Honours degree, normally first or upper second class, in a science subject (e.g. Biomedical Science, Biology, Biochemistry, etc.). Other equivalent qualifications and work experience will also be considered alongside University regulations. All suitable applicants will be interviewed, either face to face or by Skype/conference call.

International Requirements

International Students

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

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

If you need help with your English language skills then support is available.

The English for Academic Purposes Presessional course is for international students who have a conditional offer to study at the University, but who do not currently meet the English language requirements. The course is tailored to your level of English and allows you to meet the English language requirements for your programme without retaking IELTS. The EAP programme runs throughout the year and offers different programme lengths ranging from 42 weeks to 6 weeks. The length of course you need depends on your future course, your existing IELTS score and the English level you need for your university degree.

Find out more about the English for Academic Purposes Presessional course.

In the first term, you will undertake three taught modules covering cardiovascular biology, clinical cardiology and research techniques. During this time you will find out about the research projects on offer and select your project. In the second and third terms (January to August), you will work full time in the lab on your chosen project and produce a research thesis.

From September to December, you will have approximately 10 – 12 contact hours per week. From January to August you will have a full-time lab-based project where you will be in the lab every day (Monday to Friday).


Assessment for the taught modules is via a mixture of essays, exams and presentations. The research project is assessed through the submission of a Thesis which will be examined by an internal and external examiner.

It is envisaged that students successful on the course will be appropriate for PhD in the research area.

Graduates from this programme go onto a wide range of careers. This includes further study via a PhD, graduate medicine courses, and wider careers such as medical writing, hospital-based lab work, etc.

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. 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. For more information visit the Careers Network website.