MSc in Health Research Methods


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Our most reliable knowledge about health, diseases and their treatment comes from high-quality research. This programme develops the skills you need to understand the critical elements in planning, undertaking and analysing research in health care - vital skills for anyone wanting to develop or enhance their career in health care and health-related research.

Our modules can be accessed in a variety of ways including as standalone modules (10 or 20 credits each) or through the 60 credit PG Certificate; 120 credit PG Diploma or the 180 credit Masters

If you wish to study this programme to Postgraduate Diploma level then you will need to complete the taught elements of the programme but will not need to complete a dissertation, which is only available to those studying for the Masters.

This modular multidisciplinary programme offers a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or a Masters in Health Research Methods and is particularly suitable for:

  • Clinical and allied health professionals (including doctors, nurses, midwives, dietitians, physiotherapists).
  • Laboratory-based scientists wishing to further understand or transition to population-based research.
  • Graduates looking to launch their career in health research.
  • Intercalating medical students who have completed at least three years of full-time study.
  • Those in the commercial health care sector (including the pharmaceutical or devices industries), public sector organisations (including local government), NGOs, voluntary sector and charities.
  • Foundation skills for postgraduate research programmes (including PhD).

The aims of the course are to provide a world-class programme that meets the needs of those wanting or needing:

  • A detailed understanding of the range of methodologies and analyses utilised in applied health research.
  • The necessary skills to critically interpret the findings of health research resulting from different methodologies.

Why study this course

  • You will gain an advanced understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods in a global healthcare context. The programme provides in-depth knowledge and practical experience of the range of methodologies and analyses applied in health-related research and will enable critical interpretation of the findings of health research resulting from different methodologies.
  • This programme is run and taught by researchers and lecturers actively involved in leading health research nationally and internationally.
  • The programme has a modular nature which allows the flexibility for participants to shape the programme to fit their needs and teaching takes place in one-week blocks.
  • The programme is delivered in a progressive dynamic environment of up-to-date health research that employs rigour, discipline, and high standards.

The University of Birmingham is a thriving and dynamic institution that combines over a century of heritage with one of the most compelling and ambitious agendas in higher education. It is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions for clinical, pre-clinical and health. With world-leading activity across a range of subjects, it remains one of the UK’s most broadly-based research-led universities.

The University has a particularly strong track record in Health Research and Health Research Methodology.

Entry requirements

Enthusiasm and commitment are vital, while formal entry requirements include:

  • Usually a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in medicine, a life/ biological science or another relevant subject
  • Interest in health research methods
  • Interest in evidence-based healthcare

On a case by case situation, we also consider:

  • Other classes of degree and or relevant professional qualifications
  • Experience of working in health or a related field

Applications are also welcome from UK medical students who wish to intercalate and have completed at least three years of full-time study.

Please note: applications are considered as they are received throughout the year with places awarded to candidates meeting the entry requirements as they are received. Therefore we suggest that overseas students apply early and applications will need to be received by June to enable enough time for processing.

Applications from UK students can be accepted until early August.

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

  • by holding an English language qualification to the right level
  • by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students
  • English to IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) or TOEFL Internet-based 95 overall with no less than 22 in any band.


The programme provides a range of benefits for potential future employment and the flexibility of module choice enables learning tailored to meet your specific needs.

For example, the programme:

  • Provides an excellent basis for a future study towards a PhD in health.
  • Develops further skills to augment progression in your current or next position.
  • Enhances your role within the commercial health care sector (e.g. pharmaceutical, devices and related industries).
  • Develops your health research skills within the clinical and allied health professions, the public sector including local government, NGOs, voluntary sectors and charities.
  • Provides a robust foundation for a transition or entry to population-based health research from a laboratory research background (this is a frequent transition which many of those teaching on the programme have followed, including both Programme Directors) or as a new graduate wishing to launch your career in health research
  • Develops skills in applying translational research methodologies.
Last updated Sep 2020

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About the School

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham is a major international centre for research and education in medicine, medical sciences, dentistry, nursing and physiotherap ... Read More

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham is a major international centre for research and education in medicine, medical sciences, dentistry, nursing and physiotherapy. Read less