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Clinical Health Research MRes

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

Annual tuition fee for 2024/25:
UK: £6,780 full-time
International: £27,360 full-time
More details on fees and funding.


This programme provides a first step in research training for health professionals currently working in clinical areas who want to develop a health related research component to their career. Guided by a supervision team you will undertake a research project and gain confidence in using research methods, project management, and research governance.

There is an opportunity to work alongside existing research staff on established research projects. We are particularly interested in supporting applicants who wish to research palliative and end of life care across the life span, and in various healthcare settings. We are also interested in projects related to organisation and delivery of healthcare services and risk, abuse and violence.

Health research is extremely valuable to society. It can provide information about disease trends and risk factors, treatment outcomes or public health interventions, functional abilities, care patterns, and health care costs and utilisation. The MRes Clinical Health Research programme contributes to the National Institute for Health and Care Research vision to embed a research culture within health and care organisations to give patients wider access to clinical research and improve patient care and treatment options. 

The compulsory taught elements of the programme cover essential aspects of quantitative and qualitative research, while the optional module gives the opportunity to students to expand further their research knowledge (e.g. mixed methods research, systematic reviews, statistics). The supervised thesis offers students the opportunity to apply their research knowledge and complete a project that will allow them to become confident researchers.

Studying the Clinical Health Research (MRes) will give you research and project management skills that can be used in clinical research projects. You may be motivated to answer a clinical question, improve health, or be seeking to develop your research or academic career. The combination of flexible learning, taught modules and the research thesis makes this a flexible and stimulating programme which gives students skills, awareness and the intellectual discipline required to carry out rigorous, effective, patient centred research. The programme will provide you with support to acquire practical research skills, help you to develop your understanding of Good Clinical Practice in research, and to explore various research methodologies and methods.

You will be supported by a supervisory team in designing your research question, exploring the background to your project, designing rigorous methods, and completing ethical review (as appropriate). Your supervisors will also challenge you to develop your writing and interrogate your assumptions and conclusions.

My favourite thing about the course was being able to start learning again as part of my career. I also valued the support I had from my supervisors as well as connections that I made through the University. Since graduating, the MRes programme has helped me within my career and the further research which I’m doing as part of my day-to-day job.

Stephanie Haig, MRes Clinical Health Research Graduate

Why study this course?

  • The University of Birmingham is positioned among the world's top universities for research.
  • We are ranked in the UK’s top 20 institutions for Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy (Research Excellence Framework, 2021).
  • We have established research programmes in Risk, Abuse and Violence, and Palliative Care.


You will study three modules (two core and one optional) and you will complete a thesis based on a research project.

The taught modules provide opportunity for flexible learning, with the Programme Management and Research Governance module delivered online.

Compulsory modules

You will select one optional module from those on offer (20 M level credits), for example:

Students intending to gain the MRes qualification undertake a research project equivalent in effort to 120 taught credits and submit a 15,000 word thesis.



UK: £6,780 full-time
International: £27,360 full-time

Self funding students can choose to pay in instalments by direct debit. Learn more about fees and funding.

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.


New funding opportunity for Nurses, Midwives and AHPs

Nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, pharmacists and healthcare scientists seeking to undertake support for research training can apply for the HEE/NIHR Integrated clinical academic (ICA) training programme. This programme is designed especially for clinicians working in the NHS organisation (or health and social care organisation who deliver services for NHS patients) who wish to develop their research skills whilst remaining clinically active. They are competitive awards and usually open for applications once per year closing in April. If you want to find out more about these programmes contact Professor Annie Topping and/or if based in the West Midlands and would like to know about the Clinical Academic Internship Programme or pre- and post-doctoral bridging programmes view further information on the Birmingham Health Partners website and contact the Birmingham Health Partners Integrated Clinical Academic Team on

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

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

If you have a first degree:

  • A 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a healthcare related subject (medical, nursing, midwifery, allied health professionals, pharmacists and healthcare scientists degrees are considered).

If you do not have a first degree:

  • Postgraduate qualification and or experience in a relevant health related area will be considered
  • Capability to study at masters level for those not holding a degree should be evidenced by completion of at least one master’s level module.

All applicants must have:

  • Current registration with an appropriate healthcare regulatory body (e.g. NMC, GMC, BPS or HCPC)
  • Access to a research population
  • A minimum of 18 months post qualification experience
  • Two academic/employer references in support of your application and professional and academic capabilities
  • Transcripts of your degrees so far (certified and translated in to English if appropriate)

International 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 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 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.

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.

The majority of taught modules are delivered in a week-block pattern. There are a number of distance learning modules.

Taught modules are assessed using a variety of methods, including written essays, exams, poster presentations etc. The thesis forms a 15,000 words report and is examined by an internal and an external examiner.

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.

Course delivery

We have two intakes per year, the autumn term and spring term. Term dates can be found on our website.

As a full-time student, you will typically take three modules, and complete a thesis within one year. Depending on the modules you take, you can typically expect six to nine hours of classroom time per week, two or three per module. If you are a part-time student, you will typically take three modules across one year, followed by a thesis in year two.

Each 20 credit module represents a total of 200 hours of study time, including preparatory reading, homework and assignment preparation.

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