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.

Translational Medicine highlights

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

Global Opportunities

  • Our new partnership 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.

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • 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.
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
Dean of Education, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, QUB.

Course content

Course Structure

Semester 1

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

You will:

learn key principles of disease biology;

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

develop an appreciation of the importance of innovation and integration of the latest technological advances in the translation of discovery science to clinical implementation.

Semester 2

Research Translational: from Concept to Commercialisation (continued)

You will specialise in a cancer focused research steams:

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.

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.

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.

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 the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology.

The CCRCB is situated in a £25M 5000m2 purpose-built research building that currently has 36 PI led research groups composed of 50 postdoctoral staff, and 74 PhD students. The CCRCB remit is translational research, and there are close links with the NI Cancer Care Centre, and the NI Cancer Trials Unit, facilitated by 10 joint Academic-Clinical appointments. The CCRCB also hosts the NI Molecular Pathology Laboratory (NI-MPL) at QUB, which is CAP/CPA-accredited for clinical diagnostic testing. The CCRCB is one of 18 centres in the UK which make up the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) network (funding £1m), whose role is to drive early phase clinical research. The CCRCB is currently a Movember/Prostate Cancer UK Centre of Excellence in conjunction with the University of Manchester (joint funding of £5m). CCRCB also plays host to a number of Invest NI funded industrial partnerships including Almac, PathXL, and CV6 therapeutics, with a number of seconded staff from these companies working in the Centre,

People teaching you

Postgraduate and Professional Development


Teaching Times


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 potentially initiating a spin-out company of your own. You’ll also be able, should you wish, to progress to a PhD in a biomedical discipline.

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. In addition to the comprehensive training offered by this Master’s programme, the Graduate School at QUB offers a range of supplementary courses ranging from Project Management and Leadership qualifications to development of personal proficiencies such as Academic Writing and Presentation skills.

Employment after the Course
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

Learning and Teaching

Learning opportunities associated with this course are outlined below:

Read more


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.


Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

Read more

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

Entry Requirements

Entrance requirements

A 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 Applicants

Intercalating medical and dental students 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 English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

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.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) £5,500
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £5,500
Other (non-UK) EU £5,500
International £19,600

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2018-19 and relate to one year of study only. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

All Students

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.

Translational 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?

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.

More information on funding options and financial assistance.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2018 Entry.

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Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
Whitla Medical Building
97 Lisburn Road Belfast

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