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MSc Clinical Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Medicine / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our MSc Clinical Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine course is designed for doctors/allied health professionals who are pursuing a career in rheumatology or a related subject.You will cover topics including:

  • aetiology and pathogenesis;
  • epidemiology;
  • diagnosis and management of the different forms of musculoskeletal disease;
  • the structure and function of joints and supporting tissues in health and when diseased.

You will also gain an understanding of the principles of clinical research methods, including:

  • clinical trials;
  • developing measurement tools;
  • designing and conducting observational studies;
  • reading scientific papers critically.

In addition, you will build the knowledge and skills you need to carry out and write up a piece of supervised research.


This course aims to:

  • develop your knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the clinical practice of rheumatology;
  • enable you to contribute to rheumatology service development regionally and nationally;
  • provide experience in undertaking and analysing research;
  • emphasise the importance of research as a basis for evidence-based practice;
  • help you to gain skills required for scientific and clinical presentations.

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, seminars and demonstrations.

Find out more about postgraduate teaching and learning at Manchester.

Coursework and assessment

Each unit is separately assessed by a written examination and, where appropriate, by a clinical examination. In addition, as part of the preparation for the research project, a research skills teaching day is run each year. Students who complete the units and dissertation to a satisfactory standard will qualify for the MSc. 

Course unit details

MSc Course Units  

The MSc course consists of six taught course units. Each course unit runs for six weeks, with the formal teaching elements of lectures, seminars and demonstrations concentrated on Thursdays.

Two course units are run in the first semester of each academic session and are examined in January, and one course unit is run in the second semester of each academic session and is examined in March.

Each course unit is separately assessed by a written examination and we hold one Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) at the end of March for all three modules where appropriate.

PGCert Course Units

The PGCert course consists of the following four taught course units:
  • Basic Science
  • Connective Tissue Disease and Vasculitides
  • Epidemiology
  • Research Skills

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Research Skills (33RH) BIOL60501 15 Mandatory
Connective Tissue Disorders & Vasculitis (33RH) BIOL60511 15 Mandatory
Clinical Skills BIOL60521 15 Mandatory
Epidemiology of Rheumatism (33RH) BIOL61222 15 Mandatory
Peripheral Joint Problems BIOL61231 15 Mandatory
Spine & Bone BIOL61252 15 Mandatory
Basic Science BIOL63211 15 Mandatory


Teaching will take place at various locations around Manchester, including:
  • University Hospital of South Manchester
  • Manchester Royal Infirmary
  • Salford Royal Foundation Trust
  • The Stopford Building, The University of Manchester
The University also offers extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .