MRes Experimental Medicine (Musculoskeletal) / Course details
Year of entry: 2021
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Our MRes Experimental Medicine (Musculoskeletal) 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 musculoskeletal through a combination of traditional teaching and hands-on learning that includes spending a year working closely with the Experimental Medicine Musculoskeletal 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 Phase 1 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.
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 Musculoskeletal 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 Ben Parker (Musculoskeletal Pathway Lead)
Dr Ben Parker is a Consultant Rheumatologist at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Honorary Senior lecturer at University Of Manchester. Dr Parker is Medical Director Manchester (Adult) Clinical Research Facility at Central Manchester and training lead for the NIHR Manchester CRF, in addition to his role in Manchester BRC MSK theme. His research and clinical interests are in the outcomes and management of systemic lupus erythematosus, and he is Principal Investigator on several early and later phase clinical trials in SLE and related diseases.
Professor Anne Barton
Professor Anne Barton is a Professor of Rheumatology at University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Professor Barton is Theme Lead for MSK in the Manchester BRC. She has a program of work in pharmacogenetics, particularly in predicting response to treatment in patients receiving biologic therapies for their arthritic diseases. She has a strong interest in the genetic predisposition to psoriatic arthritis, the second most common of the inflammatory arthritic diseases.
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 Musculoskeletal 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.
- 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 (Musculoskeletal) 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)
Please 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.
|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|