MSc Orthopaedic Research Methods and Evidence Based Medicine

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Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences
Awards available MSc , PG Certificate (Postgraduate Certificate), PG Diploma (Postgraduate Diploma)
Programme length Two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes, part-time only
The is a part-time programme requiring weekday attendance each month for lectures and seminars. Online participation is available. The annual examination day requires attendance on a weekday. Meetings with supervisors are to coincide with attendance for learning activities.
Start date September 2021

Programme overview

This part-time MSc programme gives you the opportunity to complete a personalised and relevant master's-level degree that requires minimal study time away from clinical practice and will contribute to the CCT requirements for Trauma and Orthopaedic Higher Specialist Training. It makes use of motivated and experienced clinical academics and researchers to deliver a programme that will translate to excellent, individualised academic surgical practice. The programme complements your clinical career, will expand your academic skills and offers the flexibility to focus on areas of practice that are relevant to your career plans.

The programme is comprised of three main sections; research methods, clinical units and a research project, all of which are completed on a part-time basis. The clinical component is designed with practical clinical relevance in mind. You will direct your own learning towards topics and sub-specialty areas that you are interested in and are relevant to your career. Learning is assessed through case presentations, poster displays and reflective writing, which requires minimal time away from patient care and mirrors the professional activities of a clinician scientist in orthopaedic surgery.

The research project module offers an opportunity to carry out and deliver a high-quality study with academic supervision; the expectation is that this work would be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The project will take the format of a manuscript edited to meet the submission requirements of a popular Trauma and Orthopaedic journal.

Fees for 2021/22

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

UK/EU: part-time
Overseas (including EU): part-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: part-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2021/22


Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

Research Methods (two mandatory 20-credit units): The two compulsory research methods units run over the full two years of the programme and will train you in research skills that are translatable to clinical practice. These include (but are not limited to) defining a research question, strengths and weaknesses of different study designs, data analysis (using statistics packages), systematic searching of literature, health economics, and statistics. Skills learnt on the research methods modules will inform the conduct of your clinical and research project units. All learning will take the form of monthly teaching days held on the final Friday of the month and will either be held in person or at the Learning and Research Centre at Southmead hospital or online using our virtual learning environment. All learning material will also be accessible remotely to be accessed asynchronously if you cannot make the session.

Clinical modules (four 20 credit units): Candidates will complete four self-directed clinical units in orthopaedic sub-specialty areas of their choosing. Candidates will define their own learning objectives for each unit by asking a clinically relevant question for life as a Consultant orthopaedic surgeon. Using the skills learned on the course, the student will then provide a structured, evidence-based answer to that question.

Research Project (60-credit unit): In collaboration with one of our expert team, candidates will produce a piece of research, which in addition to forming the MSc thesis may also be submitted to journals for publication. Candidates may either choose their own research project or select from a bank of projects ready to go and supervised by our own team of academics.

Assessment is through a combination of practical assignments (ethics application, search strategy design and data analysis), reflective written work, and poster/oral presentations as well as the production of a research dissertation in the form of a journal article. There are no formal written examinations.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Orthopaedic Research Methods and Evidence Based Medicine.

Entry requirements

Applicants should be Specialist Registrars, Core Trainees or equivalent in orthopaedic surgery. For Core Trainees and equivalent, rotations and placements must be applicable to orthopaedic surgery and allow coverage of four of the clinical modules. They must hold a primary medical degree (e.g. MBChB or equivalent) plus be qualified to the level of MRCS or equivalent.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile B
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement


Students participating in this programme will already be enrolled in higher surgical training, with the expectation that they will complete their training within orthopaedic surgery and combine this with an academic surgical practice.

How to apply
Application deadline: 31 July 2021 for international applicants. 19 August 2021 for UK applicants. Early applications recommended; places may fill before the deadline. As students from different regions tend to apply at different points in the application period, applications from some regions may close earlier in the year.

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Get in touch

Enquiries Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email:

School website: Bristol Medical School: Translational Health Sciences

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

REF 2014 results

  • Clinical Medicine:
  • 31% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 48% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 20% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1*)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.


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