Postgraduate study

Medical Sciences MMedSci by Research

Awards: MMedSci by Research

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Medical Sciences

Study length

You can study this masters programme over:

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Why choose this course?

The Masters in Medical Sciences (MMedSci) programme offers the opportunity to learn robust research skills that you may not gain elsewhere.

Medical training is often very full with the clinical skills and knowledge you have to learn, that there is little time to learn how to do research.

This degree in medical sciences allows you to complete a full range of research projects, supervised by principle investigators within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is designed for medical graduates wishing to carry out a dedicated year of research training.

You will have the option to choose an area of research relevant to you career aspirations. The extensive breadth and depth of biomedical research training carried out at the University of Edinburgh offers you, as a clinician in training, opportunities to find a research area suited to your goals.

What will I study?

The programme begins with a taught month which aims to give you an overview of the whole range of techniques used in medical research.

The first two weeks include lectures covering a variety of subjects from stem cell biology to ethics and clinical trails. You will also receive several days of statistics training.

This is followed by two weeks of practical workshops in cell biology and molecular medicine. During this time you will be taught practical techniques including:

  • basic tissue culture
  • how to set up polymerase chain reaction PCRs
  • how to run Western Blots

Completing your research project

After the initial taught month, you will move to the laboratory or department relevant to your speciality. The range of research projects carried out is wide, and varies from bench research to clinical research. You will need to find a supervisor and project before starting the degree.

You can get an idea of the range of research opportunities available at the University of Edinburgh at Edinburgh Clinical Academic Training (ECAT), or contact the Programme Director for advice.

Transferable skills training

We also offer transferable skills training. These take place during a series of half or one day meetings, subject to lab timetables.

Training skills covered include:

  • effective presentations
  • writing up science
  • good research practice
  • assessment

How will I be assessed?

Individual components of this programme are scored through the year. These are:

  • background reading and project plan
  • oral presentation
  • laboratory book
  • poster presentation
  • final thesis

Each piece of work is marked by two examiners and ratified by an exam board.

As with most professional degrees, this is a degree you either pass or fail. Around 10% of our students may get distinctions.

How will I study?

The MMedSci programmes utilises:

  • laboratory work
  • lectures and workshops

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MMedSci by Research1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21
MMedSci by Research2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

The programme begins with a didactic series of lectures and workshops.

Students have two supervisors to ensure a broad range of supervisory support

Facilities are dependent on the research project chosen.

The University has world class infrastructure and facilities across most research areas.

Dedicated time spent in research, and the award of a research degree, gives you significant career boost in the early and mid-stages of your career as a doctor.

There is also the possibility, decided on an individual basis, to continue research started during the MMedSci programme to PhD level. You may also have the opportunity to switch to a PhD during the programme.

Graduates of the MMedSci programme have had significant benefits to their career with acceptance onto competitive training programmes and progress into medical leadership positions.

A medical degree (MBChB or equivalent).

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MMedSci by Research1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MMedSci by Research2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status.

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Course Director, Dr Richard Weller
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 536 3229
  • Contact: r.weller@ed.ac.uk
  • Postgraduate Office
  • The Chancellor's Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB
Programme start date Application deadline
13 September 2021 30 July 2021

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.

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

  • Course Director, Dr Richard Weller
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 536 3229
  • Contact: r.weller@ed.ac.uk
  • Postgraduate Office
  • The Chancellor's Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB