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.

First choice for health logo

First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.


Key features

  • Aligned with key Health Education England (HEE) and National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) objectives: to develop clinical academics skilled in evidence-based practice with the capacity to research.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • From 2023, students in Plymouth can train and practice their 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

    Postgraduate Certificate

    To achieve a postgraduate certificate, you will need to obtain 60 credits. This must include one core module and two additional core or optional modules.

    Core modules

    Optional modules

    Optional modules - 20 credits

    Optional modules can be chosen from the masters level modules A-Z list. Please contact the Professional Development Unit Admissions Team to discuss your options.

    Postgraduate Diploma

    To achieve a postgraduate diploma, you will have first completed the PgCert and need to obtain an additional 60 credits (to give 120 credits in total). This must include one core module and two additional core or option modules.

    Core modules

    Optional modules

    Optional modules - 20 credits

    Optional modules can be chosen from the masters level modules A-Z list. Please contact the Professional Development Unit Admissions Team to discuss your options.


    To achieve a full master degree, you will have first completed the PgDip and need to earn an additional 60 credits (to give 180 credits in total).

    • MCR703 Research Dissertation (80 credits)

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

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New student 2022-23  2023-24
Home £9,100 £9,900
International £15,700 £17,500
Part time (Home)  £1,000 per 20 credit module £1,100 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.

How to apply

When to apply

Applications for this programme can usually be made throughout the year. Please check the closing date and apply as early as possible as our programmes are popular.

The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2023 for entry in September 2023.

Expressions of interest are also welcomed – please contact Dr Lisa Bunn, Programme Lead for further information -

Applying for this programme

Please visit our PDU admissions homepage for full details on the application process and to download the relevant forms.

Please return your completed forms to:


Professional Development Unit
4th floor, Rolle Building
University of Plymouth
Drake Circus
Plymouth, PL4 8AA

Tel: +44 (0)1752 586951

What happens after I apply?

After your application is received by the PDU Admissions team, 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.

If you have applied for an HEE-NIHR funded place you will be contacted after a shortlisting process about whether or not you are required to attend and interview.

Applying for this programme

Please visit our PDU admissions homepage for full details on the application process and to download the relevant forms.

Please return your completed forms to:


Professional Development Unit
4th floor, Rolle Building
University of Plymouth
Drake Circus
Plymouth, PL4 8AA

Tel: +44 (0)1752 586951

First-class facilities to prepare you for your career in healthcare

From 2023, InterCity Place will be where undergraduate and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines learn together under one roof.
Complementing existing clinical facilities, our new innovative suites, simulations and practice labs will help us to train and develop the next generation of nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals.

<p>InterCity Place facilities</p>
<p>Lisa Bunn</p>

Meet the programme leader – Dr Lisa Bunn

“Being a good clinician is at the heart of all good clinical research but equally, good quality research underpins the work of all good clinicians! I am passionate about making engagement with clinical research accessible to the health and care professions at all stages of their clinical careers. The MClinRes at Plymouth is inspirational and of a world-leading standard, whilst at the same time mindful of the need to offer flexible and pragmatic delivery of education to busy clinicians in practice. As programme lead I am delighted to now be able to facilitate new clinical research journeys for the allied and health professions whilst continuing to provide my own contributions to the field of rehabilitation.”

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.

Find out more about Dr Gautam's work
<p>Dr Aban Gautam</p>
<p>Sasha Johnston</p>

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.

Find out more about Sasha's work


What our students say...

  • @ “The MClinRes programme has provided me with the skills and knowledge to develop my career as a clinical academic; and to learn from a diverse and exceptionally knowledgeable group of people from the clinical research community.” Tim Powell, graduate

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.

<p>Contact the Graduation Team</p>

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

Automatically awarded – no need to apply
The University applies a discretionary alumnus reward where alumni meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.
  • A 20% discount on home tuition fees (10% for MSc Research Methods in Psychology, MSc/PgCert/PgDip Clinical Psychology, MSc/PgDip Psychology and MSc Occupational Therapy Pre-Registration, MSc Physiotherapy Pre-Registration).
  • Or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.
If you have previously studied at the University of Plymouth or at one of our partner colleges, you may be entitled to our Alumnus discount to help towards the tuition fees of your Postgraduate Taught course. For further details, programme exclusions and contact information, please see our fees policy.

Scholarship for international applicants to MClinRes Clinical Research

A £1500 fee waiver will 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) OR an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of at least 7.0.

<p>MClinRes Clinical Research hero image</p>

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.

Find out how we can help you reach your potential.

Plymouth Hoe