HAR6051: Practical Aspects of Clinical Research

The Practical Aspects of Clinical Research (30 credits) module is led by Rebecca Palmer. It runs in the Autumn and Spring semester and is worth 30 credits.


The Practical Aspects of Clinical Research (30 credits) module is led by Rebecca Palmer. It runs in the Autumn and Spring semester and is worth 30 credits.

It is one of the modules on:

This module is available as a CPD option

This module is available Department-wide in any year as a DDP module


This module 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.

This module runs across both semesters. Students need to register for the Autumn semester and then continue into the Spring semester until completion. There is no option to start in Spring and continue to the following Autumn semester.


To equip students with the knowledge and skills required to plan, undertake and complete a research project within clinical or health related settings.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Design and plan a research project with regard to the appropriate research governance, ethical and legal frameworks.
  • Understand and apply the principles of Good Clinical Practice when designing and undertaking clinical or health related research.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the purposes of, and methods for, patient and public involvement in research.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of cultural competence and diversity when planning and undertaking clinical or health related research.
  • Evaluate and reflect on personal effectiveness when developing and undertaking research within a clinical or health related environment.

Teaching methods

The module will make use of a variety of learning methods including distance learning materials, e-learning, workshops, seminars and independent study.

Semester one is delivered online. Students will work through the materials independently and post their contributions directed using the online discussion forum. Posts on the online discussion forum are used to guide students’ understanding of their own knowledge to date, and thus future learning needs. Posts are not formally marked although feedback will be given to facilitate learning.

Semester two uses blended learning (online material followed up with face to face seminars) to orientate students to topics and prepare them to engage in more detailed consideration of issues. Independent study is expected throughout to follow up issues introduced through the distance learning materials and taught seminars.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is 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.

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International Merit Scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students including 75 undergraduate scholarships worth £10,000 towards the annual tuition fee and 125 postgraduate taught scholarships worth £5,000 towards the tuition fee. Applications are now open for existing offer holders.