Masters in Clinical Research (MClinRes)

Victoria Tavares, The University of Manchester

The taught MClinRes aims to equip health professionals with the essential skills to manage and deliver research in clinical and healthcare settings; it supports pharmacists to develop their career in both clinical and academic practice.  The course can be completed over two years part time and takes a blended approach of online learning and face to face residential courses.  

Over the two years, six units are undertaken from the following areas:  

  • Research design 
  • Managing research in the clinical setting OR Foundations of research 
  • Critical appraisal and evidence synthesis 
  • Quantitative research design and analysis 
  • Qualitative research design and analysis 
  • Statistics 

Four units are completed in year one and two in year two. In addition to the year two units a supervised research project is completed throughout the year, which is written up as a dissertation comprising 15,000 to 20,000 words.  This project helps to apply and consolidate the learning achieved in the taught units, and whilst many (commonly NHS based) students undertake a clinical research project, we have confirmed that a project based in a university setting, with relevance to clinical practice, is appropriate and acceptable.  I have already identified two supervisors for my projectDr Ellen Schafheutle (Senior Lecturer in Law & Professionalism in Pharmacy) and Dr Sarah Willis (Lecturer in Social Pharmacy), within the division of pharmacy and optometry at Manchester.  Dr Schafheutle has more than 20 years’ experience as a health services researcher, with a strong track record in research grants and academic publications.  She is currently supervising four PhD students and has supervised four PhD, one MPhil and one MClinRes students to completion.  Dr Willis’s research interests are in workforce development and pharmacy education, and she too has over 20 years relevant experience in the field, and as with Dr Schafheutle is an experienced supervisor. 

By completing the taught units and dissertation under the guidance of the course tutors and my project supervisors I will be able to develop my current research idea into a feasible research question, develop my skills in critically reviewing the literature, learn how to design appropriate data collection tools, identify suitable people to collaborate with, learn about the processes involved in seeking ethical approval, and collect and analyse data. 

This project ran from September 2017 to August 2019.