MRes/PGDip/PGCert Health and Social Care / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Our MRes in Health and Social Care is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of research and the research methods relevant to applied research in contemporary health and social care contexts.

The course is designed for those who want to pursue a career in health and/or social care where research is a core component. Most of the units on this course are shared with other MSc and PhD programmes.

You will learn how to conduct and apply health and social care research to practice at both an individual and organisational level, drawing on the expertise of renowned lecturers and practitioners from disciplines including social work, nursing, midwifery, speech and language therapy, audiology, psychology and medicine.

The bulk of the course content is delivered online and is complemented by two compulsory four-day campus-based introductory and winter study schools, and one mid-semester study day in both Semester 1 and 2.

PhD with integrated master's

If you're planning to undertake a PhD after your master's, our Integrated PhD programme will enable you to combine your postgraduate taught course with a related PhD project in biology, medicine or health.

You can also visit this page for examples of projects related to integrated master's courses.


This course aims to:

  • enable you to further develop systematic, in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the nature, purposes, methods and application of research relevant to health and social care practice at an individual and/or organisational level;
  • contribute to building capacity and capability for research and evidence-based practice by equipping you with in-depth knowledge and essential skills to critically appraise, apply, design and undertake high-quality research in a range of health and social care settings;
  • enhance the quality and evidence base for health and social care 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 expertise in research and practice;
  • promote lifelong learning and enhance opportunities to pursue a variety of research careers and/or further research training that support and advance clinical and health and social care knowledge, research and practice;
  • equip you with key transferable skills in critical reasoning and reflection, effective communication, team and multi-disciplinary working, use of IT/health informatics and logical and systematic approaches to problem-solving and decision-making.

Special features

Interdisciplinary focus

You will learn from nationally and internationally renowned lecturers and practitioners from fields including nursing, midwifery, social work, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, audiology, psychology and medicine.

Strong collaborations

This course has strong links with other subjects within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, as well as the NHS and social care organisations.

Teaching and learning

This course is primarily delivered online to maximise access and increase flexibility. Online components are complemented by opportunities for face-to-face learning and networking between students, course and research staff through two four-day campus-based introductory and winter study schools and two mid-semester study days.

The relationship and communication between academic staff and students is recognised as an essential element of the learning process. We maintain high standards of supervision and communication through:

  • individual and group web-based audio-visual tutorials;
  • web-based collaboration areas and discussion boards;
  • shared digital documents;
  • online, telephone and face-to-face support from supervisor and academic advisors;
  • peer support through course-specific discussion boards and face-to-face meetings.
Find out more about postgraduate teaching and learning at Manchester.

Coursework and assessment

We use a variety of summative assessment methods that enable the integration of theory and practice. These methods build on continuous formative assessment exercises that are part of each unit with a variety of interactive, stimulating online exercises, with regular self-assessment and feedback being a key feature.

Course unit details

The MRes route comprises six taught units (90 academic credits in total) and a 90-credit dissertation unit.

The PGDip route comprises six taught units (90 academic credits in total) and a mini-dissertation (30 academic credits).

The PGCert comprises four taught units (60 academic credits in total).

Year 1

Full-time study

Six taught units in the following areas, plus a dissertation:

  • Managing research in health and social care
  • Research design
  • Critical appraisal and evidence synthesis
  • Quantitative research design and analysis
  • Qualitative research design and analysis
  • Statistics

Part-time study

Year 1

Four taught units:

  • Managing research in health and social care
  • Research design
  • Quantitative research design and analysis
  • Qualitative research design and analysis

Year 2

Part-time study

Two taught units, plus a dissertation:

  • Critical appraisal and evidence synthesis
  • Statistics

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
MResearch Dissertation NURS60013 90 Mandatory
Critical appraisal and evidence synthesis NURS60015 15 Mandatory
Quantitative design and analysis NURS60016 15 Mandatory
Qualitative design and analysis NURS60017 15 Mandatory
Research Design NURS60018 15 Mandatory
Statistics NURS60019 15 Mandatory
Managing Research in Health and Social Care NURS60020 15 Mandatory
Foundations of Research NURS60014 15 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.


This course is based in Jean McFarlane Building, which houses seminar rooms, IT facilities, clinical and interpersonal skills laboratories and lecture theatres.

The University of Manchester 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 and Advisory Support Service .