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Clinical Research (MClin Res)

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Course description

The MClin Res programme will equip students with an in-depth understanding and knowledge and skills in a range of theoretical underpinnings and research methods relevant to applied research in a range of contemporary clinical practice contexts.

The programme is particularly aimed at qualified health professionals from a range of disciplines seeking a career in, or currently engaged in clinical research or wishing to pursue a variety of careers where research is a core component. The majority of modules within the course are shared with other students undertaking MSc and MPhil/PhD study.

The course is delivered mainly online but is complemented by two compulsory four-day campus-based introductory and winter study schools, and 1 mid-semester study day in both semester 1 and 2.

Aims

The MClin Res course is tailored to equip Nurses, Midwives, AHPs and others with essential skills to manage and deliver research in clinical and health and social care settings, and to develop careers in clinical research, clinical and academic practice, or academic research with a strong clinical practice component. The aims of the course are to:

  • Enable students to further develop systematic, in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the nature, purposes, methods and application of research relevant to clinical practice at an individual and/or organisational level
  • Contribute to building capacity and capability for research and evidence based practice by equipping students with in-depth knowledge and essential skills to critically appraise, apply, design and undertake high quality research in a range of clinical settings
  • Enhance the quality and evidence base for clinical research, practice and service development through the provision of robust research training in a stimulating, challenging and supportive learning environment that draws on outstanding resources and research and practice expertise
  • Promote lifelong learning in students and enhance their opportunities to pursue a variety of research careers and/or further research training which support and advance clinical knowledge, research and practice
  • Equip students with key transferable skills in critical reasoning and reflection, effective communication, team and multi-disciplinary working, use of IT/health informatics, logical and systematic approaches to problem-solving and decision-making

Special features

The MClin Res programme has a unique interdisciplinary focus drawing on the expertise of nationally and internationally renowned lecturers and practitioners from many different fields including nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, social work, speech and language therapy, audiology, psychology and medicine.

Although managed primarily through the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, the programme is delivered by and benefits from strong collaborations across the Faculty and NHS including the School of Psychological Sciences (SPS), the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) and the Institute of Population Health .

Therefore the delivery of the programme within the context of outstanding multi-professional research expertise, well established partnerships with the NHS, excellent teaching and learning and high student support, means that students undertaking the programme can be assured of an excellent research education and training and an award of which they can be proud.

Additional course information

School overview

The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work boasts a national and international reputation for teaching and research across nursing, social work and related disciplines. It was placed top of the table for nursing and midwifery research in the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). This combined with an excellent result from the 2006 QAA Major Review of Healthcare programmes means that by choosing to study at The University of Manchester students can be assured of a qualification of which they can be truly proud.

The School of Psychological Sciences is a centre of research and teaching excellence, encompassing psychology, speech and language therapy, audiology, and clinical psychology. All professionally qualifying courses received the highest rating from the QAA Major Review of Healthcare programmes and, in the 2008 RAE, 85-90% of research across all disciplines was recognised as being of international significance. The School also plays a major role in the Neuroscience Research Institute and is an important member of the University-wide Institute of Health Sciences.

Teaching and learning

The programme is primarily delivered online to maximise access and increase flexibility. A variety of summative assessment methods are utilised which enable the integration of theory and practice and build on continuous formative assessment exercises which are part of each module with a variety of interactive, stimulating online exercises with regular self-assessment and feedback being a key feature.

Online components of the programme are complemented by opportunities for face-face learning and networking between students, programme and research staff through two 4-day campus-based introductory and winter study schools and 2 mid-semester study days.

These study schools include workshops and seminars delivered by research experts from a range of disciplines. The winter study school includes a research conference, with key note speakers/concurrent sessions presenting overviews of recent and ongoing studies with an emphasis on the process and methods of conducting these studies as well as the outcomes.

Coursework and assessment

A variety of summative assessment methods are utilised which enable the integration of theory and practice and build on continuous formative assessment exercises which are part of each module materials - a variety of interactive, stimulating online exercises with regular self-assessment and feedback.

Online communication and academic support

The relationship and communication between academic staff and students is recognised as an essential element of the learning process. High standards of supervision and communication are facilitated on the course in a variety of ways:

  • Web-based audio-visual meetings and tutorials: individual and group
  • Email
  • Synchronous and asynchronous text-based discussion boards
  • Telephone
  • Personal web-based collaboration areas
  • Shared digital documents
  • Peer-peer support through course specific discussion boards and chat rooms

Digital communication technologies have been extensively used by the School for the support of postgraduate students since 2001. Evaluation has demonstrated the benefits of such in ensuring regular, frequent and rewarding communication between postgraduate students and academic staff and supervisors.

Course unit details

MClin Res comprises 6 taught units (90 academic credits in total) and a 90-credit dissertation unit.

Taught units focus on key areas:

  • Research design
  • Good practice in managing clinical research OR Foundations of research
  • Critical appraisal and evidence synthesis
  • Qualitative research design and analysis
  • Quantitative research design and analysis and statistics
  • Statistics

The dissertation unit comprises a thesis derived from the undertaking of a supervised, clinical research project

PGDip Clin Res comprises 6 taught units from the taught unit areas as above (90 academic credits in total) and a mini-dissertation (30 academic credits).

PGCert Clin Res comprises 4 taught units (60 academic credits in total) from the taught unit areas outlined above.

Course content for year 1

Full-time study

6 taught units in the following areas:

  • Research design
  • Good practice in managing clinical research OR Foundations of research
  • Critical appraisal and evidence synthesis
  • Quantitative research design and analysis
  • Qualitative research design and analysis
  • Statistics
  • +

  • Dissertation

Part-time study

4 taught units from the following areas:

  • Research design
  • Good practice in managing clinical research OR Foundations of research
  • Critical appraisal and evidence synthesis
  • Quantitative research design and analysis
  • Qualitative research design and analysis
  • Statistics

Course content for year 2

Part-time study

2 taught units from the following areas:

  • Critical appraisal and evidence synthesis
  • Quantitative research design and analysis
  • Qualitative research design and analysis
  • Statistics
  • +

  • Dissertation

Facilities

The School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work is based in a new building housing seminar rooms, IT facilities, clinical and interpersonal skills laboratories and lecture theatres.

The wider facilities of the University are of an excellent standard, with one of the best library collections and resources in Europe. The School has extensive experience and good practice in online learning with dedicated e-learning technologists and rich online audio/video technologies.

The School was the one of the first in the UK to develop a distributed learning PhD/MPhil programme undertaken by a wide range of health and social care practitioners from the UK and overseas.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Support Office. Email: disability@manchester.ac.uk