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    MSc PG Certificate PG Diploma
    2023 start September 

    Health and Clinical Research Delivery

    School of Health and Related Research, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

    This innovative postgraduate course has been created for experienced healthcare practitioners, clinicians and professionals in related fields who are looking to advance their research careers. The flexible online programme allows you to fit your studies around work and other commitments. It is designed so you can gain the skills and knowledge to confidently deliver and lead this research in your own field.
    Student nurse talking to a patient

    Course description

    Our new, online MSc in Health and Clinical Research Delivery has been designed for aspiring researchers and research leaders, offering a practical look into the world of health, care and clinical research.

    The skills and knowledge you gain in this programme will prepare you for the role of Collaborator, Co-investigator or Principal Investigator (PI) in your organisation. You’ll leave the course feeling confident in your ability to critically understand, deliver and lead clinical and health-related research within the context of your own field of expertise.

    You’ll plan, analyse and evaluate clinical research, reflecting on the challenges, impact and ethical implications of existing research, and apply this learning back to your own area of expertise.

    The course is aimed at professionals working in health and health-related settings such as doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, healthcare scientists, allied health and healthcare professionals. This includes practitioners who are new to research as well as those already championing research in healthcare.

    We have created the course in line with the new NIHR-AoMRC Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework - designed by both the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) - to bridge the research skills gap within the NHS and other healthcare services. We have also worked collaboratively with partners from across these services to develop the course and tailor it to your needs in the field.

    The programme has been designed to be as flexible as possible, to fit around you and your work and life commitments. The online course structure means those actively working in clinical settings can benefit from high-quality teaching and support wherever they are.

    There are also multiple entry pathways to our Health and Clinical Research Delivery course, allowing for Recognition of Previous Learning (RPL):

    • Top-up a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Clinical Research Delivery (or related subject) gained at another university to a Diploma or full masters degree. Using RPL, these 60 credits will be added to our top-up programme. Completing an additional 60 credits will lead to a Diploma, and completing 120 credits will lead to a masters. Equivalent work-based experience may also be considered for this route.
    • Alternatively, this course has exit routes at PGCert, Diploma and masters level for those without a previous PGCert.

    Do you have a question? Talk to us

    Book a 15-minute online meeting with our Programme Lead to find out more information and ask further questions.

    Book an appointment with Jennifer Read


    Our course is accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC). It has been developed in line with the new NIHR-AoMRC Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework. This framework was designed by both the NIHR and the AoMRC to bridge the research skills gap within the NHS and other healthcare services.

    We have also worked collaboratively with partners across these services to develop the course and tailor it to your needs in the field. The University PGDip and Masters awards can build on the NIHR-AoMRC PGcert programmes available at the University of Exeter and the University of Newcastle.

    Alternatively, you can study our PGCert in Health and Clinical research delivery to progress to an accredited PGDip or Masters award.


    Students with a PG Certificate (60 credits) from the University of Exeter or Newcastle University can transfer their 60 credits to the University of Sheffield to continue on our PG Diploma or MSc.

    Students completing the PG Certificate at the University of Sheffield will take the following core modules:

    Practical Aspects of Clinical Research

    This unit is intended to run alongside the clinical research portfolio that is a part of the Masters course for NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows. It is also offered as one of the Core Modules for UK and overseas students on the generic MSc in Clinical Research. The course covers many of the practical and regulatory issues associated with carrying out clinical or health related research within a variety of national and international settings including the NHS. Face-to-face and web- based learning packages cover a variety of issues around research planning, project management, research governance, ethical and legal frameworks for research, good clinical practice, patient and public involvement, cultural competence, and dissemination and impact. The module runs across both semesters and students need to register for the Autumn semester and then continue into the Spring semester. There is no option to start in Spring and continue to the following Autumn semester.

    30 credits
    Introduction to Research Methods Online

    This module, which is delivered via online learning, provides students with an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods and to the types of skills necessary for the planning, data gathering and dissemination stages of health-related research.
    Topics covered include:
    •Research Design;
    •Methods of Data Collection;
    •Approaches to Analysing Data and Writing a Research Proposal.
    The course provides a foundation for further learning in specific research methods. It is primarily designed for new students beginning Masters courses in the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and there is an emphasis on research techniques used in public health and health services research (HSR).

    15 credits
    Leading and Managing Health Services Online

    This module integrates the principles of managing health care services and leading on rapid changes and advances in regional, national and international contexts. Principles of health management will be demonstrated through case-based teaching, in order to enable students to understand how to solve common management problems. Cases will be used to illustrate the complexity of the operating environment for health systems and health services. Students will be supported in developing critical thinking about the relative effectiveness of different approaches to management by analysing their own health care services within a broader cultural, political and policy context.

    15 credits

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.

    Upcoming open days and campus tours


    • MSc: 2 years (via RPL top-up)
    • PGDip and PGCert: 1 year


    Teaching and support will be delivered by clinical academic staff as well as leading researchers in Sheffield’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health. During your studies, you will be supported by an academic supervisor, a research delivery supervisor and a practice experience mentor.

    The online format of this course means we can offer you a range of engaging, interactive content, including

    • online reading
    • presentations from expert researchers and topic experts
    • video/audio content
    • screencasts
    • guided reading
    • group work and tutorial groups using collaborative online workspaces

    We will also host optional live webinars during the course so you can build a sense of community with your tutors and peers.


    Throughout the course, you will be assessed in a number of ways, including

    • peer and tutor feedback on short videos
    • written assignments, essays and reports
    • a practice-based placement e-portfolio
    • a dissertation (MSc only) based on an area of personal interest, including an original piece of research, a service evaluation or a literature review

    Your career

    This course is aimed at professionals from across a range of healthcare services who want to enhance their skills and knowledge of health and clinical research delivery.

    As a graduate of this course, you may want to use the knowledge you have gained to introduce or develop clinical research in your workplace, working as a Collaborator, Co-investigator or Principal Investigator (PI). Alternatively, you may wish to progress your career within research-intensive healthcare or clinical academic research environments – for example, as a research nurse or therapist, research assistant, trial coordinator or data analyst).

    The course also provides an excellent foundation for a PhD or fellowship as the next step to becoming an independent research leader.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in a clinical subject or equivalent qualification or an equivalent professional qualification or relevant work experience.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in each component).

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


    You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    +44 114 222 5454

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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