Biomedical Research

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2018
Campus: South Kensington*
ECTS: 90 credits
Dr Tim Ebbels introduces the course
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Our one-year full-time course provides a broad training to prepare you for a career in biomedical research.

The programme provides an excellent background in biomedical research, and will integrate chemical, biological and physiological aspects in a unified approach.

This course teaches a mechanistic approach to the problems encountered in molecular and cellular biomedical science, as well as emphasising an investigative and empirical approach to the practical problems encountered in experimental and human biomedical science.

Study programme

The course is made up of a general stream and number of specialist streams. All of our biomedical research streams have the same course structure, with taught elements and research project determined by your chosen stream.

Over 12 months, you complete two five-month research projects (4.5 days per week) and a core programme (0.5 days per week) including grant writing, technical workshops, journal clubs and transferable skills

The research projects incorporate cutting-edge developments in the field, and you will experience some of the most technologically advanced approaches currently being applied to biomedical research.


Whichever stream you choose, the emphasis is on a research-orientated approach comprised of both theoretical and practical elements.

You will acquire an understanding of modern molecular and cell science in world-class biomedical research laboratories through both theory and practical exposure, and will demonstrate practical dexterity in both commonly employed and more advanced practical techniques.

You have the option of choosing our general biomedical research stream, or one of eight specialisms in the following areas:

Microbiome in Health and Disease stream

The Microbiome in Health and Disease stream focuses on the multidisciplinary approaches to understanding gut microbiome and developing new targets for disease prevention and treatment.

You’ll perform novel laboratory-based research and learn to exercise critical scientific thought when interpreting the results. You’ll undertake two research projects and gain experience of developing research plans. By the end of the stream you will be familiar with writing grant applications and will improve your writing, presenting and communication skills when defining research reports.

The microbiome stream is aimed at students with a biochemical, microbiological or biological background interested in pursuing further education in microbiome and nutrition in health and disease, understanding fundamental mechanisms behind disease processes and developing therapeutic targets. It is also for students with a clinical background interested in understanding microbiome in clinical research.

Is this stream for you?

Our MRes Microbiome in Health and Disease stream is suited for students with a biochemical, microbiological or biological background. You should have an interest in the mechanisms behind disease processes and developing therapeutic targets as well as understanding the role of microbiome in clinical research.


Our MRes in Biomedical Research is designed for students looking to pursue a career in biomedical research, whether in academia, industry or government. The overwhelming majority of graduates, who have wanted to continue on to PhD study, have done so.

The course will equip you with the key skills needed to plan, conduct, publish and obtain funding for successful research. The programme offers training in a vast array of laboratories across the Faculty of Medicine (approximately 700 world leading research groups) and an opportunity to learn from leaders in the field.

* Location will depend on where your projects are based.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

View the programme specification for this course.


Core modules

You take all of the modules below.

  • Grant Writing Exercise
  • Project 1
  • Project 2

Example projects

You have a wide range of research projects available to you, and complete two projects during your studies. The projects available to you are determined by your chosen stream. You can also choose projects from other streams, though will only have priority within your own stream.

Past projects from students of this stream have been:

  • The role of gut bacteria in the activation of T cells
  • Can the vaginal and endometrial microbiota determine IVF outcomes?
  • Metabolic investigation of Endobarrier surgery for Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

Read more about MRes Biomedical Research projects on the Department of Surgery and Cancer website.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Computer tutorials
  • Journal Clubs
  • Laboratory/computational experience
  • Research supervision
  • Technical workshops
  • Tutorials and Seminars

Assessment methods

  • Laboratory/computer based research
  • Oral presentation
  • Poster presentation
  • Research reports
  • Viva voce

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (details at the bottom of this page).

If you have any questions about admissions, please see our frequently asked questions specifically for Biomedical Research degrees.


Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is at least a 2.1 UK Honour's degree in an appropriate subject.

Due to the nature of the course, we accept students from a wide range of backgrounds, therefore if you have any specific queries please contact the stream leader directly for clarification.

International qualifications

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification. 

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Before you apply

Our MRes Biomedical Research degree has several streams and the application process will differ based on your chosen stream.

The majority of streams are "open streams" meaning you follow the standard online application process (see Making an application in the How to apply section below). Open streams are those not associated with a specific studentship. If you are the recipient of a scholarship or studentship, please specify in your personal statement, regardless of which stream you choose.

All of the MRes Biomedical Research streams are open streams, with the exception of:

The two streams above are part of 1+3 PhD doctoral training courses. Applicants wishing to apply to these streams must first submit an application for the relevant studentship. It is only after studentships are awarded that successful recipients will be asked to submit an online application.

Please be aware the deadlines for studentships are much earlier than standard course deadlines and you are encouraged to submit an application prior to Christmas 2017 for 2018 entry.

The requirement to hold a studentship applies only to the two streams named above, and Respiratory and Cardiovascular Science does also accept self-funded students.

Making an application

All applicants must apply online.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Although courses will remain open until they are filled, applicants for this course are strongly encouraged to apply by 1 August 2018Places on the course are limited and the course receives many more applications than there are places available. Early applications are also encouraged as they allow us to communicate important information around key dates with applicants directly.

MRes Biomedical Research applicants must explicitly state their stream on the application form. If you select the MRes Biomedical Research course as both your first and second options and wish to be considered for two streams within the same course, please email the course team so they can pass your information on to the appropriate admissions tutor. You will not need to prepare an additional personal statement in this instance.

There is an earlier deadline of January 2018 for the Epidemiology, Evolution and Control of Infectious Diseases stream, because you must apply for a studentship for this stream by January.

If you need a visa to study in the UK, we advise that you apply by 1 July 2018 to ensure that your visa is processed and approved prior to the start of the course.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates. In addition, two references letters in support of your application are required for admissions tutors to assess your application.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

For full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2018 entry

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2018 entry

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,280 from the UK government. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

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