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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Medical Research

BSMS > Postgraduate > Medical Research

Medical Research

Key facts

MRes, PGCert

Full-time: 1-3 years

Part-time: 3-5 years

Eligible applicants: UK, international

Due to visa restrictions, international students requiring a student visa (including EU/EEA who require a student visa) are eligible to apply for BSMS full-time Masters courses only. Part-time Masters courses, all PGDip and all PGCert courses are open to UK and Irish students and international students (including EU/EEA) who have an alternative visa/immigration permission to stay in the UK (such as settled/pre-settled status, Tier 2/work visa, indefinite leave to remain etc).

Location: University of Brighton, Falmer campus

Course Lead: Ceri Butler

Read Ceri Butler's profile here >

Course Co-Ordinator: Camila Seligson

Read Camila Seligson's profile here >

General enquiries:

Download the course application handbook for more information about this course.

Download the course application handbook here >

This course is validated by the University of Brighton. Applications for 2024/25 entry are now open.

apply for the medical research course here >

students in a lab

Key areas of study

This course is research focused and core and optional modules explore: 

  • Research methods and critical appraisal of research literature
  • Essential statistics for health and medical research
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Clinical trials management
  • Advanced research skills (eg, interview and focus groups; systematic reviews; statistical analysis; qualitative data analysis)
  • Epidemiology

Course overview

The course has been designed to develop clinicians’ research skills and promote independent research skills in future principal investigators.

Education and training is provided in quantitative and qualitative research through classroom teaching, workshops, self-directed learning and the development of research skills. Students engage with a supervised research project at an early stage and are encouraged to develop autonomy in project design, management, governance and reporting. They are also expected to give presentations and publish their research work.

Laura Hughes photo

"Doing my PhD at BSMS taught me invaluable academic skills and provided a wide and varied network of researchers and academics. These experiences have been influential in my continuing research at postdoctoral level at BSMS and in building my research profile. " 

Dr Laura Hughes, Research Fellow, BSMS

Course structure

Modules are assessed by 3,000 word written assignments which are centred on case studies or a relevant topic agreed between the student and the module leader. In addition there is a 16,000 word dissertation and 3,000 word draft paper for publication.

PG Cert

  • Research Methods and Critical Appraisal (20 credits)

PLUS TWO of the 20 credit modules listed below 

  • Essential Statistics for Medical Research
  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Trials Management
  • Evidence-based Practice


  • Clinical Trials Management (20 credits)


  • Research Methods and Critical Appraisal (20 credits)
  • Essential Statistics for Health and Medical Research (20 credits)

PLUS two of the following modules:

  • Evidence-Based Practice (20 credits)
  • Clinical Trials Management (20 credits)
  • Epidemiology (20 credits)


  • Research Dissertation (100 credits)

Career opportunities

The course is a stepping stone to PhD studies and collaborative or independent research in the future. Course graduates will be research-literate, research-skilled and equipped to be research-active in their careers. 

It is expected that they will present their studies at conference presentations and in appropriate professional journals.

Entry requirements

A first degree plus a stated desire to develop as a researcher.


Evidence of involvement in an ongoing research programme, award of a research grant or employer support for a research project.


Successful completion of at least three years’ basic medical science at a UK medical school (having gained at least 360 credits) with a guaranteed place to continue medical studies on completion of the MSc.

Applications will be considered from NHS staff, those in the pharmaceutical industry and others who wish to develop their skills and experience in research. Academic clinical fellows at BSMS will be accepted automatically on the course.

It is possible to take the MRes Medical Research as an intercalated degree. For more information on intercalating at BSMS click here.

For international students, a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required.

Fees and funding

The fees listed are the overall costs for full-time courses taken in the academic year 2024/25. Where courses are taken part-time over more than one academic year, fees are usually charged pro-rata for the modules taken during each academic year. 

With effect from 2021/22 onwards, EU nationals starting new postgraduate courses will pay international fees and will not be eligible for student funding from the UK government. However, there are exceptions to this for Irish nationals and EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. For the latest information, please see If you do not have settled status in the UK and require a work visa, then you will be fee assessed as Overseas and will therefore be subject to the International fee rate.

Find out more about fees and funding >


All BSMS students on Masters courses accredited jointly by the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton are eligible to apply for University of Sussex postgraduate scholarships in 2024/25. 

Read more about scholarships here >


A number of bursaries are available for trainees employed by the NHS in the HEESE region. Please contact the Course Leader for further information.