School of Health Professions

MClinRes Clinical Research

Do you want to lead, direct or manage 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, 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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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

  • 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.
  • Learn from experts 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.
  • Receive mentorship and supervision from experienced clinical academic researchers.
  • Experience an inclusive curriculum designed specifically for health professionals, incorporating flexible and blended learning. Continually developed in line with student feedback this currently features 2-3 day face-to-face study blocks and supported distance learning.
  • Align your CPD 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.
  • Study a contemporary MClinRes founded on ongoing consultation with patient and public support groups, NHS staff, managers and commissioners and international partners.
  • Join the Institute of Health and Community to further engage with contemporary clinical research during and beyond your studies.
  • 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.
  • Benefit from an enriched student experience sharing core and optional modules with inter-professional health and social care students studying across faculty MSc pathways.
  • Choose from three award pathways – PgCert, PgDip, MClinRes.

Please note that when you enrol on this programme, you always enrol to study the master degree but we offer three exit awards: PgCert, PgDip and MClinRes.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • You can choose from three awards with full and part-time options:

    Award postgraduate certificate – to achieve a postgraduate certificate, you will need to earn 60 credits. Please refer to the below programme specification for further information on modules to be studied.

    Award postgraduate diploma – to achieve a postgraduate diploma, you will have first completed the PgCert and need to earn an additional 60 credits (to give 120 credits in total). Please refer to the below programme specification for further information on modules to be studied.

    Award MClinRes – for 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). Please refer to the below programme specification for further information on modules to be studied.

    The MClinRes will be delivered by blended learning. 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.

    The 20 credit optional module can either be an APL claim from previous learning or an additional 20 credit optional module from the MSc Advanced Professional Practice programme.

    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.

    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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

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. BSc (Hons) at 2:2 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.

Fees, costs and funding


Home/EU (full time) International (full time)
£7,380* £14,000
Home/EU (part time) International (part time)
£820 per 20 credits N/A

*This fee is based on undertaking 180 credits at £820 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.

Students applying for a postgraduate loan will be subject to stipulations regarding the duration of the programme. Please contact the pathway lead for advice before applying.

Additional costs

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

Postgraduate Merit Scholarship for international students

Scholarship value: £2000 off your tuition fees in year one.
You may also receive:

  • 10% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 60% or above is maintained
To be eligible you must:

This scholarship will be offered automatically, providing you meet the eligibility criteria. A separate application will not be required.

Further information about Scholarships for international students

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.

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

Apply for this programme

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

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

Postgraduate application form PDF – A 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
University of Plymouth
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 University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.

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

Please note that when you enrol on this programme, you always enrol to study the master degree but we offer three exit awards: PgCert, PgDip and MClinRes.

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.”

Learn more about Lisa


Join in our conversation on Twitter:

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

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

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, 2017 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 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 or visit our Institute of Health and Community webpages for alternative contacts.

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.

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

From September 2018, the University applies a discretionary alumnus reward where alumni meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.

  • a 20 per cent discount on home/EU tuition fees
  • or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.

PGCE programmes, Master of Architecture, MChem, MEng, MGeol, MPsych, MSci, ResM and postgraduate research degrees are not included in this reward. Please note that students must have applied directly to be eligible. 

For further details, and contact information, please see our alumnus discount 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.

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.