Clinical Research


  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Full time 1 year, Part time 2 - 3 years



MSc Clinical Research comprises three core modules providing an introduction to clinical research and applied methodological skills and will enable students interpret and communicate healthcare and clinical research. Students will choose then from a range of optional modules tailored to their needs to complete the Master's. The structure of the Master's is very flexible and it can be completed full-time over 1 year or part-time over 2 or 3 years.

Programme overview

The programme is delivered by whole day sessions of face-to-face teaching supported by flexible online learning resources and interactions. Face-to-face teaching sessions led by experts in their respective fields focus on sharing knowledge and group activities, while online interactions use our virtual learning environment and include discussion forums and collaborative digital spaces.

Taught Core Modules
  • The Life Cycle of Clinical Research
  • Methodological Foundations
  • Translating Research into Healthcare Policy and Practice
Optional modules including:
  • Evidence-Based Improvement Science
  • Quality Improvement and Measurement
  • Drug Development (from concept to clinic)
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Infectious Disease Modelling
  • Spatial Statistics
  • Secondary Data Analysis

There are a total of 120 taught credits, followed by a 60 credit dissertation, which can be taken over a one, two or three year pathway.


For the 60 credit practice-based dissertation module, you will develop and undertake a research project designed, delivered and submitted as a dissertation. This project is undertaken in your own professional context, under academic supervision. Supervisors will be chosen based on relevant theoretical or methodological expertise within a student’s area of interest where possible.

Our academic staff have expertise in:

  • Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • Public health and population health
  • Palliative care
  • Cancer
  • Social and Ethical Aspects of Health and Medicine

Programme outcomes

The Master's in Clinical Research aims to:

  • Promote advanced knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of research in a healthcare setting.
  • Foster critical approaches to evidence review
  • Develop advanced skills in awareness of research designs, data analysis, presentation and dissemination

The programme is available to study full-time over one year, part-time over two years, or as a Clinical Academic Fellow over three years. Depending on which option students choose, the study modules take place in the following years:

1) Three year/ Academic Clinical Fellow pathway Year 1

The life cycle of clinical research MED706 (30 credits)

Methodological Foundations MED707 (30 credits).

Equivalent to a PG Certificate/60 credits

Year 2

Translating research into healthcare policy and practice MED708 (30 credits)

30 credits from optional modules

Year 1 and year 2 equivalent to a PG Diploma/ 120 credits]

Year 3

Dissertation MED703 (60 credits)

2) Part time/ two-year MSc pathway Year 1

The life cycle of clinical research MED706 (30 credits)

Methodological Foundations MED707 (30 credits)

Translating research into healthcare policy and practice MED708 (30 credits)

Year 2

30 credits from optional modules

Dissertation MED703 (60 credits)

3) Full time/ one-year MSc pathway Year 1

The life cycle of clinical research MED706 (30 credits)

Methodological Foundations MED707 (30 credits)

Translating research into healthcare policy and practice MED708 (30 credits)

30 credits from optional modules

Dissertation MED703 (60 credits)

Optional Modules

30 credits from optional modules within the faculty allowing the student to develop specific research interests. The Course Director should meet with students to discuss research interests and provide further information.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in a relevant subject including medicine, nursing, psychology, biological sciences or related subjects. Applicants with relevant professional experience and without a first degree should contact the Course Director.

We may also consider non-standard applicants. Please contact us for information.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 5.5 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email

Course structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.


Fees and funding

The Clinical Research programme is designed for professionals working in healthcare settings who are interested in building a research career. The programme offers a flexible pathway through study, with a tiered exit structure allowing students to exit with a PG Certificate, PG Diploma, or MSc over three years. The MSc can also be studied full time over one year, or part time over two years.

The full MSc Clinical Research programme (180 credits) is £13,600 for home students and £29,150 for international students.

Home students can also choose from two study programme pathways:

• Part time/ 24 month route: (90 credits per year for two years; £6,800 per annum at 2024/25 prices).

• Part time tiered exit/36 month route: (60 credits per year for three years; £4,530 per annum at 2024/25 prices).

For most home students, it is likely they would complete the Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) in their first year, progressing on to the Postgraduate Diploma (a further 60 credits) in their second year, and the Master's (60 credit Dissertation) in their third year.

General fees and funding information

Scholarships and bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course. You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities.

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We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

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We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.