MSc Experimental Medicine
The MSc in Experimental Medicine offers advanced research training in a broad range of laboratory-based biomedical sciences.
The MSc in Experimental Medicine is designed for students wishing to pursue a career in experimental medicine, whether it is in academia, clinical practice, industry or government. The programme will also provide an excellent platform for progression to Ph.D. programmes either in Queen’s or worldwide.
The MSc in Experimental Medicine will develop a strong fundamental understanding of high-quality biomedical research, including experimental design and execution, data management and interpretation, and scientific communication, including publishing, presentation, and use of social media.
The programme offers comprehensive research training with access to over 40 research groups and the state-of-the-art research facilities at the Centre for Experimental Medicine (CEM). Research facilities include Central Technology Units for Imaging and Genomics which are leading the way in research excellence and innovative healthcare.
Experimental medicine aims to identify mechanisms of pathophysiology of disease, and demonstrate proof-of-concept evidence of the efficacy and importance of new discoveries or treatments. There is an increasing need for graduates who can undertake basic and clinical research, and translate it into improved medical treatments for patients.
This research-intensive MSc programme in Experimental Medicine will equip you with the rigorous research skills, and the innovative mentality to tackle the major medical and therapeutic challenges of the 21st century.
EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE HIGHLIGHTS
The strong links between the Centre for Experimental Medicine and the biotech or biopharmaceutical sectors provides a stimulating experimental and translational environment, while also expanding your career opportunities.
You will have an opportunity to obtain a formally accredited certificate of training in good clinical practice (GCP) via the Inflammation, Infection and Immunity module. Students working with animal models of disease will also receive official training in animal handling, leading to a UK official animal handling personal license.
WORLD CLASS FACILITIES
You will be taught and mentored within the Centre for Experimental Medicine: a brand new, purpose-built institute at the heart of the Health Sciences Campus, boasting state-of-the-art research facilities. The programme offers comprehensive research training with access to over 40 research groups and the state-of-the-art research facilities at the Centre for Experimental Medicine (CEM). Research facilities include Central Technology Units for Imaging and Genomics which are leading the way in research excellence and innovative healthcare.
A strength of this MSc incorporates transdisciplinary elements throughout the degree programme, which contribute to the delivery of innovative postgraduate education and research training. Central to this programme is a multi-disciplinary team of academic and clinical specialists, with expertise ranging from molecular disease phenotyping, functional genomics, infectious disease biology, vascular biology, genetic epidemiology, imaging, immunology, stem cell biology and exploitation, unique pre-clinical models of disease, and patient-based investigation and clinical trials. The transdisciplinary expertise provided is complemented with programme access to state-of-the-art research facilities, including a diverse range of new and emerging technologies in genomics, advanced imaging, and patient-orientated research tools
The MSc in Experimental Medicine offers advanced research training in a broad range of laboratory-based clinical and biomedical sciences.
The programme is designed for students wishing to pursue a career in experimental medicine, whether it is in academia, clinical practice, industry or government. The MSc in Experimental Medicine will also provide an excellent platform for progression to Ph.D. programmes either in Queen’s or worldwide.
Students will develop a strong fundamental understanding of high-quality biomedical research, including experimental design and execution, data management and interpretation, and scientific communication, including publishing, presentation, and use of social media.
The MSc in Experimental Medicine offers comprehensive research training, with access to over 40 research groups in the Centre for Experimental Medicine (CEM) and state-of-the-art research facilities.
The course is 11 months in duration.
Semester 1 comprises 3 months of intensive teaching, which includes essential research skills followed by a choice of the specialist module in 'Infection & Immunity' or 'Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease'.
The remaining period will provide a unique opportunity to focus on an extensive research project chosen from a large panel of projects offered by Principal Investigators in the CEM in one of the above themes. This period will be interspersed with monthly training to develop project-specific transferable skills, such as oral and poster presentation, and scientific writing.
You will specialize in one of these two research streams:
The Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease stream is a specialized pathway within the MSc in Experimental Medicine which builds on our major strategic research strength in this globally significant area. This stream contains two complementary taught modules focusing on fundamental, experimental and translational principles of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, thereby providing a good understanding of the pathophysiology of the diseases as well as current and experimental treatments. These modules will instill an appreciation of how this knowledge is being applied in the search for novel diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic approaches for the clinical management of cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients, which is the biggest killer worldwide. Within this MSc programme, we offer a wide range of complementary experimental and translational research projects focused on the major cardiovascular complications of diabetes, including retinopathy, cardiomyopathy, peripheral vascular disease, nephropathy and pre-eclampsia (in pregnancy).
The Infection and Immunity stream is another specialized pathway within the MSc in Experimental Medicine programme and exposes students to exciting concepts and their application in the field of infection biology, antimicrobial resistance, inflammatory processes and the role of immunity in health and disease. There is a strong emphasis on current developments in this rapidly accelerating field of translational medicine. Students will learn how the immune system maintains health, identifies and responds to invading pathogens or allergens and prevents repeated infections through strong adaptive immune responses. Lectures will provide an in-depth understanding of the immune system, an overview of research models used, key areas of research in inflammatory and immune-mediated pathology, and how to use this basic knowledge to identify and test new therapies. There is a considerable emphasis on clinical trial methodology within this stream and students will be introduced to the concepts of clinical trials and approaches to designing a trial to test novel methods to diagnose/prevent or treat illness.
You will undertake a project at the Centre of Experimental Medicine, QUB, relating to the research stream that you have chosen.
You will have an opportunity to obtain a formally accredited certificate of training in good clinical practice (GCP) via the Infection and Immunity module. For those employing animal models as part of their research projects, training leading to a UK Personal Animal License will be provided.
Students will be taught and mentored within the Centre for Experimental Medicine, which is a brand new purpose-built institute (~7,400 m2) at the heart of the Health Sciences Campus. This building represents a significant investment (~£32m) by the University and boasts state-of-the-art research facilities which are supported by the world-leading research-intensive faculty, ensuring that all of our postgraduate students are exposed to a top-quality training experience. In addition, there are also four Core Technology Units, including cutting-edge bioimaging, the latest genomics facilities, mass spectrometry, and state-of-the-art animal handling and disease models.
The programme is designed for students wishing to pursue a career in experimental medicine, whether it is in academia, clinical practice, industry or government. The programme will also provide an excellent platform for progression to Ph.D. programmes either in Queen’s or worldwide.
LEARNING AND TEACHING
Learning opportunities associated with this course are outlined below:
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high-quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
Queens University Belfast (QUB) has an international reputation in experimental and translational medicine, achieved through the recognized metrics of high impact peer review publications, significant international research funding, the generation of exploitable novel intellectual property and the establishment of successful spin-out companies. Recognising the need for the development of a cohort of appropriately qualified scientific and medical graduates, we are offering a research-intensive, student-oriented MSc Programme in Experimental Medicine that will provide high-quality candidates with the research rigor, the innovation culture and the leadership skills to be at the forefront of the global biomedical revolution.
We do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.
Class times vary throughout morning and afternoon, and through a combination of course lectures, practical experiences and Self-directed study to enhance employability.
Students perform their research project throughout the programme, with complete dedication to the projects following completion of the taught modules.
Assessment is by a combination of oral presentations, written assignments, and MCQ/MEQ questions. The research project is written up as a dissertation.
Normally a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a biological sciences-related subject. Evidence of equivalent professional qualifications (MBBS, BDS or BVSc) or experience will be considered on an individual basis.
Intercalating medical and dental applicants from within QUB will also be considered if they have successfully completed the third year of their course at first attempt and achieved at least an upper second-class Honours standard. Intercalating applicants should also ensure they have permission to intercalate from either the Director for Medical Education or Dentistry as appropriate.
An external medical or dental student wishing to intercalate must be ranked in the top half of their year cohort to have their application considered. Applicants must have passed all assessments at first attempt for the year in which they are applying.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required *taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
FEES AND FUNDING
ADDITIONAL COURSE COSTS
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks, and printing charges. Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs. If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Experimental Medicine Costs
Students have the option to hire a locker, at a cost of £5 per student, per year.
HOW DO I FUND MY STUDY?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.