A new masters programme aimed at promoting and developing a culture of research in the health sector is set to launch at Plymouth University.
Ten health professionals from the South West, all working in non-medical areas, will become the first cohort of the Masters in Clinical Research when they enrol in September.
It follows a call from Health Education England and the National Institute for Health Research for the creation of such a programme, and Plymouth was one of ten universities in the country – and the only one in the South West – to secure funding from them. The £1.01 million awarded to the University will cover course and other tuition fees, as well as the students’ salaries.
“The launch of this new degree programme represents a tremendous joint effort from the South West’s health research community in answer to what is regarded as a national issue. The University has worked with a number of organisations, including Research Design Service South West, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, and the Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit to make this happen.”
There were more than 50 applications from non-medical health professionals in the region, and following a rigorous interview process, a cohort of ten was chosen, consisting of four nurses, three physiotherapists, two occupational therapists and a dietician.
The programme includes modules on Applying Evidence to Practice; Project Design for Research; and Applied Qualitative Research Methods, and will see the cohort studying alongside other masters students in the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences.
“There will be opportunities for the students to apply their learning in their own clinical fields, and disseminate best practice,” said Jos Latour, Professor in Clinical Nursing, in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. “The new degree will greatly enhance the research capacity and leadership of non-medical healthcare researchers within the South West region.”