Translational Medicine

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Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length *

1 year(s)

Places available



Full-Time, Part-Time


Medicine, Health and Life Sciences


Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

* 1 year full-time or 2-3 years part time


Translational Medicine takes bioscience research knowledge and applies it to the delivery of 21st-century health care.

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 Master’s by Research (MRes) will equip you with the rigorous research skills, and the innovation and the leadership skills to be at the forefront of meeting this global need.

Why Queen's?

We have an international reputation in this area, achieved through:

  • high-impact peer review publications
  • significant international research funding,
  • the establishment of successful spin-out companies.


Our new partnership that gives you the chance to study in the USA.

The new Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology – National Cancer Institute Doctoral Training Programme in Precision Cancer Medicine gives you the opportunity, to undertake your research at an international powerhouse for cancer research, the National Cancer Institute in Washington.


We benefit from our partnership with the Queen's Management School and the William J Clinton Leadership Institute, giving you as postgraduate students, grounding in principles of business development, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship.

Translational Medicine is the crucial bridge that allows basic research findings to be translated into new strategies that will improve delivery of 21st century healthcare. 

We have an international reputation in translational medicine, achieved through the recognised metrics of high impact peer review publications, significant international research funding, the generation of novel intellectual property and successful spin-out companies.

Professor Mark Lawler
Director, MRes in Translational Medicine

Did you know?

The strong links between us and the biotech and biopharmaceutical sectors provides a stimulating translational environment, while also expanding your career opportunities.


Course Details

Semester 1

  • Genomics and Human Disease
  • Research Translational: from Concept to Commercialisation (Full Year)

You will:

(i) learn key principles of disease biology;

(ii) understand new technological developments that increase our understanding of disease processes; and

(iii) develop an appreciation of the importance of innovation, business awareness and leadership skills in the translation of discovery science to clinical implementation.

Semester 2

  • Research Translational: from Concept to Commercialisation (continued)

You will specialise in one of these three research streams:

I. The Precision Cancer Medicine Stream provides students with a unique opportunity to study cancer biology and perform innovative cancer research within the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB). Prospective students are immersed in this precision medicine milieu from day 1, providing for them the opportunity to understand the key principles in discovery cancer biology and how these research advances are translated for the benefit of cancer patients. The strong connectivity with both the biotech and biopharmaceutical sectors provides a stimulating translational environment, while also opening up potential doors for the student’s future career.

A recent development within CCRCB is the exciting new CCRCB - National Cancer Institute USA (CCRCB-NCI) Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) in Precision Cancer Medicine. The CCRCB-NCI DTP in Precision Cancer Medicine is a unique partnership between Queen’s and the world-famous NCI in Washington, USA and offers students the opportunity to undertake their research at an international powerhouse for cancer research. Students enrol in the Precision Cancer Medicine stream of the MRes in Translational Medicine and participate in a competitive process during the latter six months of their MRes to be selected to visit the NCI in Washington. Successful candidates meet potential NCI mentors and chose a laboratory project for their PhD. In Years 2-4, students are enrolled on the CCRCB-NCI Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) in Precision Cancer Medicine and perform innovative research at the NCI from Years 2-4, culminating in the award of a PhD from Queen’s.

II. The Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Stream is a specialised pathway within the MRes in Translational Medicine which builds on our major strategic research strength in this globally significant area. It contains two complementary taught modules which develop the foundation provided by undergraduate medicine or biomedical science to provide students with an advanced insight into current understanding of diabetes and cardiovascular complications. These modules will instil 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 affects over 400 million people worldwide. Within this MRes programme, we offer a wide range of complementary translational research projects focused on the major cardiovascular complications of diabetes, including retinopathy, cardiomyopathy, peripheral vascular disease, nephropathy and pre-eclampsia. Students who select the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Medicine Stream will be taught and mentored within the Centre for Experimental Medicine which is a brand new, purpose-built institute (~7,400m2) 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 a world-leading research-intensive faculty, ensuring that all of our postgraduate students are exposed to a top-quality training experience.

III. The Inflammation, Infection and Immunity Stream is another specialised pathway within the MRes 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 prevents response. Lectures will provide an in-depth understanding of the immune system, an overview of research models used, key areas of research in inflammatory and immunemediated 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. There will be an opportunity to obtain a formal accredited certificate of training in good clinical practice (GCP) via this module.


III. The new Drug Discovery Stream has been introduced to provide students from both a biological and chemistry/pharmacy background with an opportunity to explore this exciting research area. The two specialist modules will give students a greater understanding of both the research and industry aspects of drug discovery. Students will learn alongside Queen’s researchers who are currently undertaking ground breaking research in the areas of target identification including the development of new chemical compounds and the process for drug development including licensing of new chemical equity. Students within this stream will also benefit from exposure to novel methods of drug delivery being developed at Queen’s and the close links with industry specialist who will present seminar talks to students during the course.


You’ll undertake a project in one of the School's three Centres, depending on the research stream that you have chosen.


You will have an opportunity to obtain a formal accredited certificate of training in good clinical practice (GCP) via the Inflammation, Infection and Immunity module.


If you choose the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Medicine Stream, 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.

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment is by a combination of oral presentations and written assignments. The research project is written up as a dissertation.

Learning and Teaching

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 student to achieve their full academic potential. 

On this course 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, afternoon and evening, and through a combination of course lectures, practical experiences and Self-directed study to enhance employability. 

Students perform their research project throughout the programme, which may necessitate working (under supervision) at out-of-hours times, including weekends.

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a relevant biological subject is required. Evidence of equivalent professional qualifications (MBBS, BDS or BVSc) or experience will be considered on an individual basis. Intercalating students are encouraged. Applicants may be required to undertake an interview.


For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.


International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. 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).

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner

INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

Please see below for more information:

English for University Study - 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

How To Apply

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Postgraduate and Professional Development

School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Whitla Medical Building

Tel: (028) 9097 2615


How To Apply

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

This course will equip you with the skills to work in a translational medicine setting in an academic or hospital environment and in the biotech/ pharmaceutical industries. You’ll gain an insight into the financial, management and entrepreneurial aspects of translational research, so you may end up working in industry or even starting your own. You’ll also be able, should you wish, to progress to a PhD in a biomedical discipline.


My project was in Cystic Fibrosis and the inflammation in the lung, so we took some cell lines and tested drugs to see if we can reduce inflammation.

This year was the first time I've been able to present my work at a conference where I did a poster presentation and met with the wider scientific community. I will also have the chance to represent in Sweden at the European Cystic Fibrosis Society which I'm looking forward to immensely.

Ruth Barsden
(now working as a Research Assistant at Curtin University, Western Australia)


What types of jobs do students go on to do after finishing the MRes Translational Medicine?

As this is a research intensive degree many of our students go on to pursue further PhD study in healthcare research within the Institute of Health Sciences here at Queen’s and further afield at other academic institutions.  Others go on to work in a wide variety of roles in both the private and public sector here in Northern Ireland and internationally. The following are some of the jobs they have taken on:

  • Scientist, Randox
  • Research Assistant Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • Assistant Peer Review Officer- BBSRC
  • Project Coordinator Almac Group
  • Research Project Coordinator, Almac Diagnostics
  • Graduate Software Engineer BT TSO 

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Find out more

Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Find out more

For tuition fee information see

Postgraduate loans
From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

Tuition Fees for 2017/18

Home/EU Fees: £5,500  (standard fee)

International Fees: £19,000  

For more information please see Tuition Fees

International Scholarships

Queen’s University offers a number of scholarships to talented international students. Please refer to the International Scholarship section for further details.

US Loans

Please refer to the US Federal loan webpages to find out if you are eligible.

Other Sources of Funding

For information on other potential sources of funding please refer to the University’s Postgraduate Funding webpages .

For fees, funding and further information see:



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