MSc Research in Health Practice

Qualifications and durations

This is a distance-learning course.

  • Part-time MSc (3-5 years)

This course can also form part of the Professional Doctorate in Health.


Research in Health Practice is a modular postgraduate course which has been designed to meet the professional needs of a range of health and social care practitioners who are interested in developing their skills as researchers in practice.

This flexible course enables you to build knowledge and skills in designing and conducting courses of research. Most appealing is the online aspect, meaning that you can remain within the practice area whilst gaining an all-important Masters level qualification (helping you progress to specialist practitioner or consultant level within the NHS).

The course provides an innovative and integrated blend of knowledge-based, activity-based and experiential learning, underpinned by self-reflection and peer review. A virtual learning environment will form the focus for organising the learning, providing a platform for discussion and sharing of ideas.

By utilising web-based delivery blended with Summer Schools (typically five days in length), the course aims to meet the learning needs of busy health and social care practitioners. Learning is supported throughout the course by a Personal Development Adviser (PDA) who will utilise learning needs analysis and personal development planning techniques to provide motivation.

Course structure

This is a flexible course. Our students typically study over three years, however there is opportunity to complete units in up to five years.

Year one (Certificate)

  • Introduction to practice-based research
  • Research design and methods
  • Evidence into practice
  • Research in practice: preparation and planning

Year two (Diploma)

  • Research in practice: design and development
  • Professional, organisational and quality issues in practice
  • Health Policy in an international context
  • Optional Units

Year three (MSc)

  • Dissertation

View summary table or Programme & Unit Catalogue for further information (this is the current structure of the course).

Learning and teaching

Our courses are modular, consisting of self-contained units, taught and assessed on a semester basis. As you progress through each semester and successfully pass the examinations, you will receive credit for the units, thus providing you with a clear indication of your academic progress.

The majority of the content of the course is delivered online to allow you to engage in flexible study, alongside your clinical practice. To complement the online resources, there are face-to-face teaching events at various stages of the course.

Methods of assessment

Assessment consists of a combination of written assignments, literature reviews, research protocols and reflective accounts.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you have studied, but not completed or received an award, for postgraduate units from another institution, you may be eligible to transfer credit for this prior learning.

Depending on the course of study, you can gain APL for up to 50% of the total credits required (this credit must have been obtained within the previous five years).

Claims for APL will be considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us for further details or view the FAQ page.

Entry requirements

Academic and professional requirements

Typically a 1st or 2:1 Honours degree (or its international equivalent) and two years post qualification/graduation/registration experience in an appropriate context such as health, social care, education or a clinical/medical context.

A strong personal statement (typically 500-1,000 words) that provides evidence of:

  • how your academic, professional and personal experiences equip you to meet the demands of the course
  • your reasons for wanting to study on the course at University of Bath
  • how your studies may fit with your subsequent professional/academic intentions 

English language requirements

  • IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in each of the four components)
  • PTE Academic of 62 with no less than 59 in each component

Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the course of study.

There is further information about meeting the English requirements.

If you wish to improve your English proficiency before commencing your studies, pre-sessional language training can be arranged through the Academic Skills Centre.

You may be eligible for a combined offer to include both pre-sessional English 5 (PS5) and the master’s degree.


One reference is required, either an academic or a practice based/employer reference.

How to apply

You must apply to study online.

Financial information


  • Tuition fees
  • Cost of attending the Summer School, meeting your supervisor during the programme, and attending the Transfer Seminar and the final Viva Voce, including travel, breakfast and evening meals and accommodation
  • IT equipment and miscellaneous costs to enable participation on the course from a distance
  • Cost of Printing final Soft-, and then Hard-Bound theses


We suggest you apply before the following dates:

  • 30 June 2017 for International Students (who need to apply for a UK Visa)
  • 31 July 2017 for Home/EU students


Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 4332

Related links

Our Department for Health carries out high-quality research with a strong applied focus, promoting population health and wellbeing and the efficiency and quality of health services.

Find out more about our research

The Department for Health is one of the largest departments for student numbers at the University. Our research promotes wellbeing and enhances functional performance.

Find out more about the Department for Health