School of Health Professions

MClinRes Clinical Research

Do you want to lead, direct or manage clinical research? Interprofessional teams of clinical researchers are needed in order to bridge a transitional gap between scientific innovation and healthcare, and to optimise patient care and ensure efficiency of costs for healthcare providers. This programme provides in-depth training in qualitative and quantitative research methods and equips you with the skills to direct, develop, manage and deliver research in any clinical setting.

International application deadline

Applications for 2024–25 are open with a deadline of the end of May 2024.

Key features

  • Aligned with National Health Service England (NHSE) and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) objectives: To develop a research active workforce, skilled in evidence-based practice and research leadership.
  • Programme delivery via flexible and blended learning – experience an inclusive curriculum designed specifically for health professionals, continually developed in line with student feedback. This currently features 2–3-day face-to-face study blocks and supported distance learning. 
  • Study full-time over 1 year or part-time over 2 years.
  • Receive mentorship and supervision from experienced clinical academic researchers. A research mentorship 'mini-module' is available.
  • Develop a critical understanding of research.
  • Learn advanced qualitative methods and analysis using a variety of approaches. 
  • Incorporates quantitative study designs such as RCTs and observational studies. 
  • Join the Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research to further engage with contemporary clinical research during and beyond your studies.
  • Progress your career and become a leader in clinical research with a programme that provides both theoretical and first-hand practical experience of the whole research process from developing a clinically relevant question through to implementing research in clinical practice.
  • Learn from experts from across the University of Plymouth, other higher education institutes, the Research Design Service, the National Institute for Health and Care Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) and the Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit.
  • Train and practice your professional healthcare skills in an inspiring purpose-built environment, InterCity Place.
  • Study a contemporary MClinRes founded on ongoing consultation with patient and public support groups, NHS staff, managers and commissioners and international partners.
  • Receive support with onward funding applications to further your integrated clinical research career. Opt for the research management and mentorship module to gain protected time and support with academic writing to publish your research, develop your profile and compose onward funding applications.
  • Choose from three award pathways – PgCert, PgDip or MClinRes.
Please note that when you enrol on this programme, you always enrol to study the master's degree but we offer three exit awards: PgCert, PgDip and MClinRes.

Course details

  • Programme overview

  • This programme originated as a result of close collaboration with the NIHR, HEE and the student voice. The programme offers either full-time or flexible part-time pathways, designed to accommodate busy clinical caseloads/postgraduate occupations. The interprofessional programme is delivered via a structured pathway with core modules building on each other, providing skills in literature searching and implementing findings to the workplace; designing research protocols; understanding applied qualitative and quantitative methods; and undertaking a clinically relevant research project. 
    The full programme involves four 20-credit modules and an 80-credit dissertation module as core elements, plus an additional optional 20-credit module. 
    Step-off points with accreditation (PgCert and PgDip) are available if you wish to study the MClinRes in part. This may be appropriate for those undertaking an intercalation year or a larger personal award, such as an NIHR/HEE clinical academic fellowship. If you are interested in applying for an NIHR fellowship or any other personal award involving the MClinRes as a training element, contact the Programme Leader via
    Core modules

    Optional modules
    • 1 x (level 7) 20 credit optional module from across the MSc pathways offered within the Faculty of Health. 

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MClinRes Clinical Research programme specification 5540

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

You will normally be a healthcare professional with a first degree or a related academic degree at 2:2 or above, or European first cycle equivalent. Clinicians without a degree but with appropriate experience may be eligible to apply. You must also provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English in accordance with the University’s Admissions Code of Practice – IELTS requirement is 6.5 average with a minimum of 5.5 in each category. If you need to improve your English language to get onto a degree course at the University of Plymouth, you can book a pre-sessional academic English course
Claims for credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential, are accepted and will be assessed following University regulations and faculty procedures.
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
This programme is equivalent to 90 ECTS credits (second cycle) with 30 ECTS credits at postgraduate certificate, 60 credits at postgraduate diploma and 90 credits at masters degree. Each 20 credit module has the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits and assumes a notional student effort of between 200-300 hours.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-24 2024-25
Home £9,900 £11,000
International £17,500 £19,000
Part time (Home) £1,100 per 20 credit module £1,220 per 20 credit module

Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding
Additional costs
Please be aware that there may be additional costs to undertaking your studies relating to printing of course materials, and requirement for an initial outlay for travel and accommodation in respect of practice placement. If you have any questions regarding these costs please contact
If you are studying on a programme where placements are integral to your study there are costs associated with travel and accommodation. Please speak with the programme admissions tutor to find out more.
Applicants to this programme are eligible for a Student Loans Company Postgraduate Loan, if studying the full 180 credits (no Accreditation of Prior Learning is allowed) within the one year (full-time) or two year (part-time) study period. 

Tuition fee discount for University of Plymouth graduates

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Plymouth, you may be eligible for a fee discount if you complete your postgraduate studies here as well.
  • 10% or 20% discount on tuition fees for home students 
  • For 2024/2025 entry, a 20% discount on tuition fees for international students (International alumni who have applied to the University through an agent are not eligible to receive the discount)

How to apply

Applying for this programme
Applications for the full-time programme need to be completed via the PG apply online form.
Applicants for the part-time programme need to complete the application via the Postgraduate Application Form. You will also need to provide two Referee Forms completed and signed by your referees, and a copy of your degree (or higher) certificate(s). Please return the forms and certificate copies to
Any questions please contact:
Professional Development Unit
4th floor, Rolle Building
University of Plymouth
Drake Circus
Plymouth, PL4 8AA
What happens after I apply?
After your application is received, it will be processed and sent to the Programme Lead for a decision to be made on your suitability to study. You may be asked to provide additional information or to take part in an interview (for overseas students this may be by telephone or video conference). Once this decision has been made, you will be sent an email either confirming your place on the programme, or rejecting your application and giving the reasons for this decision (you may request further feedback in order to improve your chances of selection at a later date).
Please note that you will be enrolled on the full MSc programme. You may choose to exit with the qualification of PgCert upon completion of an appropriate 60 credits, or a PgDip upon completion of an appropriate 120 credits. More information is contained within the programme specification.
For applicants with disabilities
If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by the University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services webpage.
Applying for this programme
Applications for the full-time programme need to be completed via the PG apply online form.
Applicants for the part-time programme need to complete the application via the Postgraduate Application Form. You will also need to provide two Referee Forms completed and signed by your referees, and a copy of your degree (or higher) certificate(s). Please return the forms and certificate copies to

NIHR INSIGHT Programme for the South West Peninsula 

The NIHR INSIGHT Programme for the South West Peninsula has allocated 30 master's funded studentships to be hosted by the University of Plymouth and the University of Exeter. This initiative aims to provide individuals with academic training in research, equipping them with the essential skills and experience needed to pursue various research careers, spanning from research delivery to academia.
Funded by NIHR logo
Successful applicants will receive 100% course fee payment plus £18,622 (full time route study or 0.5 FTE each year for two years part time) studentship for living expenses. 
This South West Peninsula funding provides an opportunity for 30 people per year (for three years) to study one of three programme options from the University of Plymouth (UoP) and the University of Exeter (UoE):
  • Masters of Clinical Research (UoP) – ten part-time and five full-time places available
  • Masters in Leading Clinical Research Delivery (UoE) – seven part-time places available
  • Masters in Health Research Methods (UoE) – two part-time and six full-time places available
Funded by the NIHR INSIGHT programme. 
Register your interest in this opportunity
This is an inclusive opportunity for all with a professional registration with one of the following regulatory bodies:
  • Academy for Healthcare Science
  • General Chiropractic Council
  • General Dental Council
  • General Medical Council
  • General Optical Council
  • General Osteopathic Council
  • General Pharmaceutical Council
  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Social Work England
  • UK Public Health Register

What our students say...

MClinRes student Dr Aban Gautam

Dr Aban Gautam has been selected to receive the David Nott Foundation scholarship following his work to treat over 25,000 people cut off from healthcare after the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal.
Dr Gautam plans to use the scholarship and his postgraduate study to train colleagues in his home country and help even more people in remote areas.
Dr Aban Gautam

MClinRes student Sasha Johnston

Sasha is a paramedic with SWASFT and advocates for paramedic mental health after losing a colleague to suicide. She is currently exploring perceptions of mental health services for paramedic staff through her MClinRes.
She has presented at a summit supporting the mental health of paramedics and gained a place on the College of Paramedics mental health steering group.
Sasha Johnston


Did you know that you can undertake our MClinRes Clinical Research programme as a component of a personal award?

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is now taking applications for Pre-Doctoral Personal Awards. Applications for these awards can be made directly to the NIHR – the NIHR Trainee Co-ordinating Centre webpage gives further information about the scheme. If you wish to discuss an application to the scheme, and in particular supervision, for your pre-doctoral or doctoral award, please contact Dr Lisa Bunn.
If you wish to undertake some or all of our MClinRes Clinical Research programme as a component of a pre-doctoral award, please contact Dr Lisa Bunn (programme lead) for information about module options and costs.

Postgraduate Taught International Student Scholarship

A £2000 fee waiver will be awarded to international applicants who exceed the entry requirements for this programme.
You need to have a BSc (Hons) degree at 2:1 (or equivalent) and meet our English language requirements.
MClinRes Clinical Research hero image
Plymouth Hoe

English Language Centre

We offer a range of courses to help you develop your academic English language skills.
These include pre-sessional academic English courses for undergraduates, taught postgraduates and research students along with insessional language classes, tutorials and activities to support students who have English as a second language.