School of Health Professions

MClinRes Clinical Research

Do you want to become a leader in clinical research? The MClinRes covers the whole research process from initial question generation through to designing, managing and undertaking research and the dissemination and implementation of findings. Learn from a team of experts in clinical research, drawn from a wide range of disciplines including nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, optometry, dietetics and medicine as well as representatives from patient and public support groups.

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This programme is part of the largest range of healthcare study options in the South West.

Key features

  • 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 implementation of research in clinical practice.
  • Aligns with key Health Education England and NIHR objectives to develop clinical academics and increase research capacity in nurses, midwives, allied healthcare professionals and healthcare scientists.
  • Learn from nurses, midwives, allied healthcare professionals and healthcare scientists actively involved in the management and delivery of relevant clinical research, with national and international reputations in their specialist areas.
  • Experts drawn from across Plymouth University, other higher education institutes, the Research Design Service, the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) and the Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit
  • Strong input from patient and public support groups, NHS staff, managers and commissioners in developing and running the programme so that its content reflects the current needs of the NHS.
  • You’ll be encouraged to join the Institute of Health and Community, and will be mentored and supervised by experienced clinical academics on your own research project. Specific research supervisors relevant to your profession and area of interest are allocated within two weeks of the start of the programme.
  • The MClinRes is specifically designed to help you gain future funding to further your clinical academic career. The programme specifically aims to progress you along the new NIHR clinical academic training programme for registered non-medical/dental healthcare professionals.
  • An additional module on research management and mentorship, provided at the end of the programme, supports you in publishing and disseminating your research findings, presenting at national and international locations and applying for NIHR internships and fellowships.
  • Make the most of our blended learning approach, which combines short study blocks and distance learning technologies with face-to-face teaching, enhancing the learning process by allowing time for reflection.
  • Benefit from an enriched student experience – you will share core and optional modules with health and social care students studying across faculty MSc pathways. Students and alumni have been involved in the programme management, design and recruitment.
  • Choose from three award pathways – PgCert, PgDip, MClinRes. A range of assessments are used across modules designed to link your knowledge and skills to your area of practice. 

Course details

  • Year 1
  • The MClinRes will be delivered by blended learning, in one year full time or on a part time basis. 

    Pathways in this programme will include four core modules: applying evidence to practice, project design for research, applied qualitative research methods and applied quantitative research methods, as well as the research dissertation. Choose a 20 credit optional module from the diverse array on offer in the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences. The core modules build 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. 

    To gain a postgraduate certificate, you’ll need to earn 60 credits by studying three core modules worth 20 credits each. To gain a postgraduate diploma you will need to earn 120 credits by studying the four core modules, the optional module and an additional module from the MSc Advanced Professional Practice. To be awarded the full MClinRes masters, you’ll need to earn a total of 180 credits - you’ll study the same modules as the postgraduate diploma, with the extra 80 credits coming from your research dissertation.

    Core modules
    • ADV702 Applying Evidence to Practice

      Focusing on the application of evidence based practice (EBP) to professional practice; you’ll learn how to use research to guide best practice. You will also identify a question relevant to your area of practice, review and critique the literature in this area, and plan and evaluate any necessary change to professional practice.

    • ADV715 Project Design for Research

      You’ll explore methodology and methods relevant to the development of a research project and by the end of the module you’ll formulate a research proposal. You’ll learn how to define and refine a research question, select and appraise methodology, address ethical considerations, and select and appraise data collection and analysis techniques.

    • MCR701 Applied Qualitative Research Methods

      This module enables the student to acquire the knowledge and skills to design and conduct a qualitative research project. The students will have advanced understanding of different qualitative research methods, data collection strategies, qualitative data analysis approaches, writing skills in qualitative research proposals and final manuscripts.

    • MCR702 Applied Quantitative Research Methods

      This module enables the student to acquire the knowledge and skills to design and conduct a quantitative research project. The students will have advanced understanding of different quantitative research methods, data collection strategies, statistical data analysis techniques, writing skills in quantitative research proposals and final manuscripts.

    • MCR703 Research Dissertation

      Over the course of this module students will complete their dissertation as part of their MClinRes programme under supervision from the module team and a named dissertation supervisor.

    • MCR704 Research Management and Mentorship

      This module provides students with additional skills and knowledge required for publication, successful grant applications and long term clinical academic career planning.

    • MCR706 Systematic Review

      This module focuses on the appraisal and synthesis of evidence from research literature and documentary sources. Participants gain hands-on experience using JBI software (SUMARI). You will learn more about the systematic review methodology, critically analyse research and text or opinion papers as part of the review process and use software to perform a meta-analysis and meta-synthesis of selected studies.

    Optional modules
    • ADV703 Occupation as the Focus of Contemporary Practice

      This module explores occupation in contemporary occupational therapy practice. This includes current and emerging theory and research on occupation, occupational performance and models of practice. The module develops students ability to reflect on, challenge and articulate application to practice.

    • ADV708 Injection Therapy for Health Professionals (Botulinum Toxin)

      Participants on this module must be registered with a suitable health professions council or Nursing and Midwifery council. A suitably qualified supervisor within practice should be identified prior to attendance on the module. Participants must demonstrate a suitable level of expertise prior to attendance on the module, this will usually be through interview.

    • ADV709 Injection Therapy for Health Professionals (Corticosteroid)

      Participants on this module must be registered with a suitable health professions council or Nursing and Midwifery council. A suitably qualified supervisor within practice should be identified prior to attendance on the module. Participants must demonstrate a suitable level of expertise prior to attendance on the module, this will usually be through interview.

    • ADV710 Pathomechanics and Rehabilitation of Gait and Balance

      This module focuses on the diagnostic and therapeutic interventions of health professionals managing patients with gait and balance problems. Gait and balance are explored alongside theoretical and practical approaches to rehabilitation in a wide variety of conditions.

    • ADV712 Supported Independent Study

      This module is specifically designed to enable students to develop their own professional practice by undertaking and reflecting on learning and experience gained through a period of supported independent study related to agreed learning objectives.

    • ADV735 Advancing the Management of Long Term Conditions

      This module focuses on critically applying knowledge and understanding to support service development for people with long term conditions' that is person centred; promoting self-management and collaborative working. This module is based on best practice discussed within national and international policy and guidelines. It will explore in depth the impact of long term conditions on the individual, their family and carers.

    • ADV737 Neurological Rehabilitation: Sensorimotor Disorders

      The module will (a) highlight how understanding neuroanatomy/physiology can aid in the interpretation of the signs and symptoms of commonly encountered neurological conditions affecting sensorimotor control (b) facilitate the development of problem solving and clinical reasoning skills in neurological rehabilitation.

    • ADV739 Rehabilitation: Cognition, Perception and Behaviour

      This module will draw on the fields of neuropsychology, neuroscience and rehabilitation to explore cognitive and perceptual domains such as memory, executive function, attention and language. An inter-disciplinary team will highlight the functional and psychosocial impact of dysfunction to these domains and provide a critical review of current clinical interventions.

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:

MSc Clinical Research FT 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. BSc (Hons) at 2:1 or above, or European first cycle equivalent. Clinicians without a degree but with appropriate experience may be eligible to apply. Overseas students require IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent required. If you need to improve your English language to get onto a degree programme at Plymouth University, 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.

Programme requires ATAS

ATAS is the Academic Technology Approval Scheme which was introduced by the British government to certify students from outside the EU who wish to study or conduct research in Britain in certain sensitive technology related fields. For selected courses, obtaining a valid ATAS certificate is a requirement for gaining visa approval so should be taken seriously as part of any application. Areas related to ATAS include chemistry, engineering, physics, biophysics, metallurgy and microbiology. ATAS is used at all British universities and is enforced by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. More information.

Fees, costs and funding


Home/EU (full time) International (full time)
£6,750* £13,250
Home/EU (part time) International (part time)
£750 per 20 credits N/A

*This fee is based on undertaking 180 credits at £750 per 20 credits. Please note that some of the optional modules for this programme are specialist modules and therefore may have different fees . Module fees can be found on the individual module webpages.  

Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

Information about loans and funding for postgraduate study.

Please be aware that there may be additional costs to undertaking your studies relating to printing of course materials, parking charges if you are studying at PAHC, 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

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.

Applications for NIHR funded places for the 2017/18 cohort are now closed.

Apply for this programme

Applications should be made by using the relevant PDF or Word application form.

Postgraduate application form DOC – A 10 page DOC application form for postgraduate students to print, fill in and mail to University

Postgraduate application form PDF – A 10 page PDF application form for postgraduate students to print, fill in and mail to University

International student postgraduate application form DOC – Postgraduate taught programmes application for international students

International student postgraduate application form PDF – Postgraduate taught programmes application for international students

Printed application forms are also available and can be obtained from the Professional Development Unit. Please send your completed application form to the address or email listed below:

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

Tel: +44 1752 586951

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information, to take part in an interview (which in the case if you are an overseas student may be by telephone or video conference) or you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

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.

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Assist website.

Support is also available if you are an overseas students applying to the University from our International Office.

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.

Teaching and learning

The delivery structure of the programme is intended to be compatible with your busy life as a postgraduate student, and enhance the learning process by giving you time for reflection between study blocks.

You’ll develop your skills in reflection, analysis and critical debate, as well as increasing your knowledge base to the cutting edge of your subject.

Discover more about teaching and learning

Research in this area

Our staff have varied teaching and research interests and come from a range of backgrounds and settings.

You’ll be encouraged to join the Institute of Health and Community, and will be supervised by clinical academics on your own research project.

Learn more about the Institute of Health and Community

Meet the programme leader – Jonathan Marsden

My research interests are in the field of neurorehabilitation and human motor physiology. My current research is to identify the cause of balance and gait impairments after neurological dysfunction and evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic interventions.

Jonathan Marsden is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health Professionals Council.

Learn more about Jonathan

MClinRes – career opportunities

The MClinRes aims to provide clinicians with the skills to develop, undertake, manage, disseminate and implement research findings. It is intended to be the first step to developing you as a clinical academic leader within the NHS.

We will support you to publish your research findings and develop you as a researcher beyond the programme.

Find out how this programme can help you achieve your goals