Postgraduate study

Medical Sciences

Awards: MMedSci by Research

Programme website: Medical Sciences

The Masters in Medical Sciences programme is the only one of its kind in the UK and is proven to give graduates the competitive edge in the job market. It’s designed for high-calibre medicine graduates who want to explore and benefit from medical research, perhaps with a view to pursuing a PhD or a career in research.

We offer you the opportunity to undertake a research project in a laboratory or department relevant to your speciality. The choice of research projects carried out is wide and ranges from bench research to clinical research.

Examples of completed projects are:

  • Therapeutic Hypothermia Decreases Intracranial Pressure in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Renal Function in the 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 Null Mouse
  • Immune cell populations in the mouse lung during RSV infection
  • Salt Appetite in Stable Heart Disease and Healthy Volunteers

You will need to secure a supervisor and project before starting the degree.

Programme structure

The programme begins with a month of teaching, providing you with an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research. In the first two weeks you will attend lectures on subjects ranging from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trials.

You will also receive statistics training and practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine. While you are learning these subjects you will be taught practical techniques, including basic tissue culture, how to do PCRs and run Western Blots.

Around 20 per cent of the course will consist of taught classes and seminars. The rest is spent in your host department. To consider your research interests and opportunities we advise you to visit Edinburgh’s Clinical Academic Training centre (ECAT) or speak to the Programme Director.

The programme begins with a month of teaching, providing you with an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research.

In the first two weeks you will attend lectures on subjects ranging from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trials. You will also receive statistics training and practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine. You will be taught practical techniques, including basic tissue culture, how to do PCRs and run Western Blots.

Around 20 per cent of the course will consist of taught classes and seminars. The rest is spent in your host department.

To consider your research interests and opportunities we advise you to visit Edinburgh’s Clinical Academic Training Centre (ECAT) or speak to the Programme Director.

Around a quarter of our students continue on to a PhD. Those who choose to return to clinical practice go back with a broader experience of research than is afforded by the undergraduate clinical medicine curriculum.

Around a quarter of our students continue on to a PhD. Those who choose to return to clinical practice go back with a broader experience of research than is afforded by the undergraduate clinical medicine curriculum.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

You will be responsible for securing funding to cover all your tuition fees, additional fees and living costs for the duration of your studies. For guidelines on living costs see:

Find out more about tuition fees and studying costs:

  • Postgraduate Office
  • The Chancellor's Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

The apply links for September 2018 will open on 3 October 2017.

You must submit two references with your application.

When completing the online application form you are not required to complete a research proposal. You will select your research project at the beginning of the programme. (Please ignore any automatically generated emails requesting this information from you during the application process.)

You will be formally interviewed (in person, by video-conferencing or Skype).

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Office
  • The Chancellor's Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB