MRes Experimental Medicine (Respiratory) / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course description

Our MRes Experimental Medicine (Respiratory) programme will give nurses, doctors, clinical researchers and research programme managers the skills needed to work in early phase clinical studies.

You will learn how to master experimental medicine with a focus on respiratory through a combination of traditional teaching and hands-on learning, through spending a year working closely with the Experimental Medicine Respiratory Team of the Biomedical Research Centre while also taking four structured taught units.

The taught units will see you learn the details of designing and delivering early phase clinical studies, understanding the pre-clinical data required before a clinical programme can commence, and how to optimise early clinical studies to provide evidence for progressing a promising drug or intervention into Phase II/III clinical testing.

Alongside the taught elements, you will have a named supervisor and be exposed to tasks required in the setup, delivery, interpretation and audit of a clinical study.

Nursing and physician students may participate in patient care, including new and follow-on patient clinics, treatment and care-giving episodes with patients.

For non-registered clinical researchers and research programme managers, no direct patient contact is envisaged and you may participate in clinical trial setup, protocol amendments, database setup, data entry, costing and billing for clinical research.

You will be able to choose two aspects of your direct clinical trial research experience to write up for your two research projects in a dissertation format. This will give you the skills and knowledge required to critically report medical, scientific and clinically related sciences for peer review.


The primary purpose of the MRes in Experimental Medicine (Respiratory) is to provide you with the opportunity to work within a premier Biomedical Research Centre and, through a mix of taught and experiential learning, master the discipline of experimental medicine related to respiratory.

Special features

Extensive practical experience

You will spend most of your time gaining hands-on experience through completion of two research projects working closely with the Experimental Medicine Respiratory Team of the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre

Taught by experts in Experimental Medicine within dedicated research and clinical trials facilities

You will also have opportunities to interact with and learn from experimental medicine researchers across a range of different fields within the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and the Manchester Clinical Research Facility and thereby broaden your knowledge and experience of experimental medicine.

Additional course information

Meet the course team

Dr Riina Richardson (Respiratory Pathway Lead)

Riina Richardson is a Senior Lecturer in Infectious Diseases and Medical Education at the University of Manchester and a Consultant Medical Mycologist at the Manchester University Hospital Trust (MFT). She is a member of the MFT Infectious Diseases team and associated with the National Aspergillosis Centre. To date she has published a total of over 100 peer-reviewed articles and books or book chapters in the field of infectious diseases, medical microbiology and mucosal immunology.

Professor Jacky Smith

Prof Jacky Smith is a Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University and Honorary Consultant at Manchester University Foundation Trust. She has extensive experience of running early phase clinical trials testing novel anti-tussive therapies and currently holds a Wellcome Investigator in Science Award

Professor Jørgen Vestbo

Prof Jorgen Vestbo is a Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University and Honorary Consultant at Manchester University Foundation Trust. He has taken part in developing international guidelines for the diagnosis and management of COPD for The American Thoracic Society / European Respiratory Society, 2001-2004, and for the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2006-2013. He served as President of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) 2015-16. His research interests are in clinical experimental medicine in COPD, testing novel therapies, exploring lung function trajectories and biomarkers of exacerbation.

Professor Angela Simpson

Prof Angela Simpson is a Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of the Division of Infection, Immunity and Respiratory Medicine in the University and also Honorary Consultant at Manchester University Foundation Trust. Her research focusses on early life risk factors for asthma and allergies, in particular phenotypes, endotypes and genetic epidemiology. She coordinates the MRC funded national network of five asthma birth cohort studies (Study Team for Early Life Asthma Research) and am co-investigator of the Manchester Asthma and Allergy Study.

Professor David Denning

Prof David Denning is Professor of Infectious Diseases in Global Health at the University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Medical Mycology at Manchester University Foundation Trust. He is also President of the Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections. His research interests relate to antifungal susceptibility testing and resistance, pathogenesis of invasive aspergillosis, clinical studies of antifungal agents, Aspergillus genomics and the burden of fungal infections globally and in different countries.

Teaching and learning

Our course is structured around a 2:1 split between clinical-based research projects and taught elements respectively.

Taught course units will predominantly use lectures and workshops.

For the research projects, teaching and learning will take place through one-to-one mentoring from a member of the Experimental Medicine Respiratory team.

The clinical and academic experience of contributors to this course will provide you with an exceptional teaching and learning experience.

Coursework and assessment

  • You will be assessed through oral presentations, single best answer exams, written reports and dissertation. For each research project, you will write a dissertation of 10,000 to 15,000 words. Examples of suitable practical projects include the following:

Research proposal

  • Compilation of a research proposal to research council/charity
  • Writing a protocol and trial costings for sponsor
  • Research and write a successful expression of interest selected by grant funder for full development

Publication-based/dissertation by publication

  • Writing a clinical study report
  • Authoring a peer-review journal review/original article  

Service development/professional report/ report based dissertation

  • Public health report/outbreak report/health needs assessment/health impact assessment
  • Proposal for service development/organisational change
  • Audit/evaluate service delivery/policy
  • Implement recommended change from audit report

Adapted systematic review (qualitative data)

  • Compiling the platform of scientific evidence for a new drug indication from literature
  • Review of alternative research methodologies from literature

Full systematic review that includes data collection (quantitative data)

  • Referral patterns for Phase 1 patients

Qualitative or quantitative empirical research

  • Design, conduct, analyse and report an experiment

Qualitative secondary data analysis/analysis of existing quantitative data

  • Compilation, mining and analysis of existing clinical data sets

Quantitative secondary data analysis/analysis of existing qualitative data/theoretical study/narrative review

  • Policy analysis or discourse analysis/content analysis
  • A critical review of policy using framework analysis

Course unit details

This course consists of four taught 15-credit units and two practical 60-credit research projects. Students achieving 180 credits will be awarded the MRes; students may receive a PGDip in Experimental Medicine (Respiratory) upon achievement of 120 credits. There is also an option for students to register for a PGCert and complete only the four taught units on a part-time basis for 60 credits.

The four taught units run as follows:

  • Research Methods (October)
  • Introduction to Experimental Medicine (November/December)
  • Assembling Pre-clinical and Early Clinical Development Strategies for a new Candidate Drug (February/March)
  • Designing a Translational Medicine Strategy for a Clinical therapy or Intervention (June)

See the course unit list below for more information on each unit and project.

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
Laboratory Skills Unit MEDN66111 15 Mandatory
Assembling preclinical and translational medicine strategies for a new candidate drug MEDN66212 15 Mandatory
Research Project 1 MEDN66230 60 Mandatory
Research Project 2 MEDN66242 60 Mandatory
Introduction to Experimental Medicine MEDN69631 15 Mandatory
Designing a translational medicine strategy for a clinical intervention MEDN69632 15 Mandatory
Research Methods MEDN69910 15 Mandatory


Teaching will take place within The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, the Manchester Clinical Research Facility and The University of Manchester campus. Projects may be conducted within one of the Biomedical Research Centre affiliated NHS Trusts.

Disability support

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