MRes Musculoskeletal Ageing

Photo of knee x-ray and older people hiking

This unique one year research masters programme is delivered by the MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing, or CIMA, and in collaboration with the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle. Although you will be registered at the University of Sheffield,you will enjoy modules, placements and an expert supervisory team from all three sites.

What you will study

The course focuses on understanding why our bones, joints, ligaments and muscles function less well as we age, and how age related decline of the musculoskeletal tissues and age related clinical disorders (such as Osteoporosis, Arthritis and Sarcopenia) can be prevented and treated.

With dramatically ageing populations worldwide, Musculoskeletal Ageing is fast becoming one of the key global public health challenges of the future and researchers and clinicians trained in this area are consequently highly sought after.

To find out about about why Musculoskeletal Ageing is so important, click here.


During semester 1 (Oct-Dec), you will be taught online by experts in the area from across the three Universities as part of our highly interactive distance learning programme. Learning online with CIMA offers you flexibility, independence, lots of peer and staff support, and puts YOU firmly in the driver’s seat.

Our modules cover diverse and stimulating topics that will give you an in-depth knowledge of the whole Musculoskeletal System as it ages and include:

  • The Biology of Ageing
  • Muscle in the integrated Musculoskeletal System
  • Biology, Assessment and Maintenance of Skeletal Health
  • Principles of Human Nutrition: Relevance to Ageing

There will be weekly formative tasks for you to take part in and the formal assessments include online exams, essays based on real life scenarios and a mock grant proposal application.


In the second semester, you will undertake a piece of original research under expert supervision from staff members across all three Universities. You can choose from a number of existing projects or suggest your own to suit your individual interests. You will also take part in exchange visits at other Universities to liaise with your co-supervisors and students and use the facilities and learn new techniques.

Who is this course for?

The MRes is ideal preparation for a PhD and for those interested in following career paths in Orthopeadics, Geriatrics, Sports and Exercise Science, Rheumatology, Physiotherapy, Bioengineering.

Whatever you future career plans, the MRes allows you to focus seriously on your goals. We will train you to take ownership of your own skills development, to choose your own development activities according to your own needs and to create an e-portfolio of your skills for presentation with future job or PhD applications.

We also have strong links with industry and can offer students the chance to have industrial mentoring.