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Experimental Medicine

MSc|Postgraduate Taught

Experimental Medicine

Entry year
2023
Entry requirements
2.1
Duration
1 year (Full Time)
Places available
30 (Full Time)

In this MSc program the students will be exposed to theoretical and practical training of Experimental Medicine skills giving a great emphasis towards clinical translation. The modules will focus on State-Of-The-Art Experimental Medicine Skills on the research and clinical translation related to vascular, respiratory and infection/immunity related diseases, which will be linked to a full spectrum of research projects based on translational experimental medicine covered from animal and human models of disease through to the design and implementation of clinical trials.

Experimental Medicine also aims to identify mechanisms of pathophysiology of disease, and demonstrate proof-of-concept evidence of the efficacy and importance of new discoveries or treatments. It spans fundamental research in the biosciences to the application of new strategies towards clinical translation that will improve delivery of healthcare. 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 the students with the rigorous research skills, and the innovative mentality to tackle the major medical and therapeutic challenges of the 21st century.

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 PhD 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 60 research groups and the state-of-the-art research facilities at the Wellcome Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine (WWIEM). Research facilities include Central Technology Units for Imaging and Genomics which are leading the way in research excellence and innovative healthcare.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 31st July 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

Please note a deposit will be required to guarantee a place on the course. Due to high demand, applications may not be considered if the course has reached its maximum class size and will be placed on a waiting list. Please see deposit terms and conditions for more details.

Experimental Medicine highlights

The strong links between the Wellcome Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine (WWIEM) and the biotech or biopharmaceutical sectors provides a stimulating experimental and translational environment, while also expanding your career opportunities.

Professional Accreditations

  • 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 Wellcome Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine (WWIEM): 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 57 research groups and the state-of-the-art research facilities at the Wellcome Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine (WWIEM). Research facilities include Central Technology Units for Imaging and Genomics which are leading the way in research excellence and innovative healthcare.

Student Experience

  • 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

Course Structure

Students may enrol on a full time (1 year) basis.

Students will undertake 3 taught modules (20 CATS each; 60 CATS).

Students also undertake an intensive research project (60 CATS)

The MSc is awarded to students who successfully complete 60 CATS of taught modules, Research Project (60 CATS) and a Dissertation (60 CATS).

A Diploma Exit qualification is available to those students who have successfully complete 120 CATS points. A Certificate Exit qualification is available to those students who have successfully complete 60 CATS points

Semester 1The 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 PhD 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 60 research groups in the Wellcome Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine (WWIEM) and state-of-the-art research facilities.

Semester 1

Semester 1 comprises 3 months of intensive teaching, which includes essential and advanced experimental medicine research skills followed by a module on Clinical Translation'.

SCM8145 Fundamental Research Skills in Experimental Medicine – 20 CATS

This module will teach the skills that embed excellence and rigour into the scientific approach to a research question. Active researchers will teach students the core skills of designing and methodological approaches to testing a research hypothesis. Taught elements will include database searches and approach to systematic reviews, basic principles of laboratory and clinical research design, regulatory requirements governing research, public involvement with science, data analysis, presentation, dissemination and communication of science. Students will have the opportunity to undertake additional training in Good Clinical Practice, or training in animal handling procedures for a Home Office personal licence.

SCM8180 Advanced Research Skills in Experimental Medicine – 20 CATS

It provides a detailed theoretical and practical introduction to advanced research skills in Experimental Medicine. This will be a state of the art Module. It will provide a depth of knowledge of the research process and practical skills for the design and conduct of research studies, including data collection and analysis.
Topics, which will be covered in this Module:
• Preclinical Research Experimental Design.
• Advanced human cell culture, including stem cells.
• Advanced Imaging Training such as confocal microscopy.
• Single Cell RNA Sequencing
• Multi-dimensional parameter analysis of cell populations
• Bioinformatics
• Statistics
• Organoids / 3D Culture Systems
• 3D Printing
• Microfluidics
• Proteomics and Metabolomics


Demonstrate knowledge on advanced research skills
Design an experimental plan to investigate a research question.
Describe research methodology used to culture human cells, perform advanced microscopy and flow cytometry.
Explain single cell RNA sequencing data.
Describe uses of organoids/3D culture systems, 3D printing, and microfluidics in research.
Critically evaluate current scientific literature in the field


SCM8181 Experimental Medicine towards Clinical Translation – 20 CATS

It provides detailed theoretical and practical introduction of Experimental Medicine towards clinical translation. It focusses on state-of-the-art methods on the research and clinical translation related to vascular, respiratory and infection/immunity related diseases. Current therapeutic approaches are also covered together with potential future strategies based on cutting edge translational research. The full spectrum of translational experimental medicine is covered from animal and human models of disease through to the design and implementation of clinical trials.

Topics to be covered:

Gene Therapy /CRISP/CAS9
Drug development / repurposing
Stem Cells / Reprogramming- Cell based Therapies
Harnessing the immune system for therapeutics
Pharmacokinetics / Pharmacodynamic studies
Vaccine Development
Developing new ways to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
Exploiting omics for therapeutics
Harnessing the Microbiome
High throughput drug screening
Biomarker discovery
Commercialisation
Clinical Trials

Demonstrate understanding on state-of-the-art methods on the research and clinical translation related to vascular, respiratory and infection/immunity related diseases.
Discuss vascular, respiratory, immunology and inflammation related disorders, and the current clinical needs and emerging research developments shaping future practice.
Critically evaluate the use of in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo models to support clinical translation.
Explain and critique the therapeutic approach to designing a new intervention (vaccine/therapeutic) or diagnostic tool.
Know and explain basic concepts behind clinical trials
Critically analyse relevant current scientific literature
Semester 2RESEARCH PROJECT
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 WWIEM 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.

Dissertation
You will write up your dissertation during the summer months

ACCREDITATION
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.


FACILITIES
Students will be taught and mentored within the Wellcome Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine (WWIEM), 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.

Teaching Times

9:00am - 4:00pm

Career Prospects

Introduction
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 PhD programmes either in Queen’s or worldwide.

Learning and Teaching

Introduction

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 recognised 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 rigour, the innovation culture and the leadership skills to be at the forefront of 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

Assessment

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

Prizes and Awards

  • MacQuitty Experimental Medicine Scholarship

Modules

The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study. Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Dissertation (60 credits)
    Research Project (60 credits)

Entrance requirements

Graduate
Normally a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree or 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

i) QUB

Intercalating medical and dental students within QUB will 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 degree standard. Intercalating applicants should also ensure they have permission to intercalate from either the Director of Medical Education or Dentistry as appropriate.

ii) External

An external medical or dental student wishing to intercalate must have successfully completed all assessments at first attempt for the year in which they are applying. External intercalating applicants should also ensure they have the permission of the Head of Undergraduate Medical/Dental Education or equivalent from their home University.

iii) International

• Applicants who are currently studying an overseas Medical (e.g. MBBS or MbChB) or Dental degree at a recognised institution acceptable to the University, may apply.

• Applicants must have passed all assessments at first attempt for the year in which they are applying, normally 3rd year for those completing a 5 year programme or 4th year for those completing a 6 year programme.

• Applicants may be required to provide details of the medical or dental curriculum they are studying in order to confirm compatibility.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 31st July 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

Please note: A deposit will be required to secure a place on this course.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

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)

Career Prospects

Introduction
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 PhD programmes either in Queen’s or worldwide.

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards

MacQuitty Experimental Medicine Scholarship

Graduate plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £9,520
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £9,520
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,520
EU Other 3 £23,150
International £23,150

Experimental Medicine/Cancer Medicine

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2023-24, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. 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.

Experimental Medicine costs

Students have the option to hire a locker, at a cost of £5 per student, per year.

MSc Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship (Experimental Medicine)


Application criteria : 2018/19

Introduction
This scholarship is open to students wishing to undertake the MSc in Experimental Medicine, specifically in the area of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) research. CF is a life limiting multi-organ genetic illness. This scholarship presents an exciting new opportunity to enter a prestigious new MSc programme in Queen’s University Belfast.

The successful student will undertake a 38 week Cystic Fibrosis research project in the Centre for Experimental Medicine. This research project will be supervised by Dr Damian Downey.


Application criteria

1. Applicants should submit the following documentation to support their application by the closing date: 31 May, 2018 at 12 noon to pgoffice.smdb@qub.ac.uk

i) 500 words declaring your interest in, and understanding of, research in Cystic Fibrosis,
ii) Curriculum Vitae, with a particular focus on your research experience

2. Applications received after this date/time will not be considered

3. Applications will be reviewed by a specially convened Committee

4. Short-listed applicants will be called for interview

5. Decisions will be made based on:
 the quality of the candidate
 their progress to date
 suitability for the programme
 their performance at interview

6. The decision of the Committee in relation to the successful candidate will be final.

7. Funding will cover the full UK/EU postgraduate taught MSc tuition fee (£5,500 for 2018/19) and a small maintenance bursary of £1,000 only. Applicants must be UK or EU residents. International students are not eligible.

8. Please direct any queries regarding the MSc in Experimental Medicine to the Programme
Co-ordinator, Dr Ultan Power (u.power@qub.ac.uk). For specific queries on the CF research project please contact, Dr Damian Downey (d.downey@qub.ac.uk)

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. Tuition fee loan information.

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.

More information on funding options and financial assistance.

International Scholarships

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

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

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.


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