A higher degree by research involves training in research methods and a laboratory based high level scientific investigation. The nature of the work and the time it takes to finish the research means a research degree is demanding and needs great commitment.
Your research takes place with the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre (BMRC). The BMRC has been established for over 15 years. We have over 40 postgraduate students enrolled on MPhil/PhD programmes, as well as a number of postdoctoral research assistants. This provides an active and stimulating research environment.
Whilst studying, postgraduate students are encouraged and supported to present their latest research findings at national and international conferences as part of the BMRC. You must present your results in a thesis, explain the methods used in your research and defend them in a viva voce examination.
To get an MPhil you must critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic and display an understanding of suitable research methods.
BMRC staff work in collaboration with UK and international scientists as well as clinical colleagues at a number of UK hospitals.
We have a broad range of facilities including
In the 2008 RAE Assessment, the BMRC was submitted under Unit of Assessment 12 - Allied Health Professions and Studies - which included 21 staff from BMRC and eight from the Centre for Health and Social Care. 65 per cent of the research in the joint submission was considered to be internationally recognised. When measured by the quality of its research and weighted by the number of staff submitted in this unit of assessment, Sheffield Hallam University was rated 16th out of the 42 post-92 universities who submitted (figure obtained from Research Professional). In terms of the publications submitted for consideration by the RAE panel, 75 per cent of these were of an international standard.
Evidence of the growth in research activity in the BMRC between RAE 2001 and RAE 2008 is the doubling of the number of staff returned in 2008 compared with 2001 and a three-fold increase in income. We currently have six postdoctoral researchers and 40 PhD students in BMRC, with 30 successful PhD awards being made during the period 2008-13.
Split MPhil option for international students
A split MPhil is a research degree programme for international students wishing to study from their home country university. You register for a Sheffield Hallam University MPhil degree and spend some time studying in Sheffield but are substantially based in your home country.
The balance of study between Sheffield Hallam and the overseas university is agreed between you and your supervisors, depending on the needs of your research programme, but will not exceed three months per annum in UK.
The benefits for students studying on the split scheme include
When you begin your research, we allocate you a director of studies and a supervisor. Regular meetings between you and your supervisors are scheduled, with targets set for written and oral presentation of research progress.
The research courses include:
University student induction
We designed this to give you the information you need to successfully begin your research at the University.
Research methods module
This module develops generic research skills including:
You have to attend relevant seminars from the Bioscience Forum series.
Thesis followed by viva voce examination.
Research degrees are a vital qualification for most academic careers, and for professional specialisation and development in an existing or planned career.
You gain advanced level knowledge and understanding of the scientific basis of disease, with focus on the underlying cellular processes that lead to disease. You also learn about the current methods used in disease diagnosis and develop relevant practical skills.
As well as studying the fundamentals of pathology, you can choose one specialist subject from
If you choose the MSc route you also take a project module.
Most of your practical work is carried out in our teaching laboratories which contain industry standard equipment for cell culture, quantitative nucleic acid and protein analysis and a sophisticated suite of analytical equipment such as HPLC and gas chromatography.
Many of our research facilities including flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and mass spectrometry are also used in taught modules and projects, and our tutors are experts in these techniques
You develop the professional skills needed to further your career. These skills include • research methods and statistics • problem solving • the role of professional bodies and accreditation • regulation • communication.
The teaching on the course is split between formal lectures and tutorials, and laboratory-based work. A third of the course is a laboratory-based research project, where you are assigned to a tutor who is an active researcher in the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre.
Three core modules each have two full-day laboratory sessions and the optional module applied biomedical techniques is almost entirely lab-based. Typically taught modules have a mixture of lectures and tutorials. The professional development and research methods and statistics modules are tutorial-led with considerable input from the course leader who acts as personal tutor.
This course is taught by active researchers in the biomedical sciences who have on-going programmes of research in the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre together with experts from hospital pathology laboratories.
The course content is underpinned by relevant high quality research. Our teaching staff regularly publish research articles in international peer-reviewed journals and are actively engaged in research into • cancer • musculoskeletal diseases • human reproduction • neurological disease • hospital acquired infection • immunological basis of disease.
The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.
The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.
The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.
Assessment methods include written examinations and coursework, such as:
Research project assessment involves a written report and viva voce.
As a graduate you can start or develop your career in pathology, biomedical sciences or research labs and industry within the biomedical field. It’s also for scientists working in hospital or bioscience-related laboratories particularly as biomedical scientists who want to expand their knowledge and expertise in this area.