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MSc Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Modules

  • The MSc in IBR provides a broad and balanced foundation of biomedical research skills, including knowledge and practical experience in other natural science disciplines that enable the student to undertake an interdisciplinary PhD project at the end of the MSc course.
  • Teaching is through lectures, seminars, practical workshops, tutorials, and laboratory-based research projects. The course is assessed in a number of ways, including reports, research projects, poster and oral presentations, and written and oral examinations.
  • Students will attend 6 Core Modules (4 taught and 2 practical)
  • Students will choose 4 Additional Core Modules

Core Modules

Research Topics in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research
(MD978-20 CATS)

This module is a series of masterclasses on biomedical research topics with a focus on infection, cellular dynamics and neurobiology as well as quantitative methods applicable to biomedical research.

Each session will be led by a researcher with direct experience of the topic and will consist of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, laboratory demonstrations and literature review.


  • 9 x Short written reports (200 words) on the masterclasses.
  • 2x Essays of 3,000 words summarizing 2 sessions.
  • 1 x Oral presentation

Frontier Techniques & Research Skills in Biomedicine

(MD997-15 CATS)

The module aims to develop students’ understanding of state-of-the-art methodologies and ability to mine data for biomedical sciences. Students will develop research skills and appreciation of research integrity.

The module will equip students with the necessary skills to develop research ideas, questions and hypotheses, and propose suitable methodologies to address these.


  • 1 x Research proposal of 2,000 words
  • 1 x Oral presentation
  • 2 x In-class tests

Physical Biology of the Cell
(MD991-10 CATS)

The module explores the basic physical concepts underlying the behaviour of biomolecules, dynamic cell processes, cellular structure and signalling events, and equips students for a research career at the interface of biology and physics.


  • 10 x written assignments (problem-solving after each class).
  • 1 x Restricted open book written exam

Laboratory Project 1 & Laboratory Project 2
(MD979 & MD980 - 40 CATS each)

Students undertake two 12-week research projects in two disciplines. In most cases, this will be a biology-focused project and one in either chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering or computer science.

Assessment for MD979 (Project 1)

  • 1x Research project report (10,000 words)
  • 1x Poster
  • 1 x Oral presentation (3-min technical flash talk)
  • 1 x Performance in laboratory work

Assessment for MD980 (Project 2)

  • 1x article style report in lay language (4,000 words)
  • 1 x audio podcast (3 min, non-technical)
  • 1 x Performance in laboratory work

Warwick Interdisciplinary Transferable Skills
(CH948- 20 CATS)

This module equips students with transferable skills to prepare students for their future career, whether in academia, industry or elsewhere.

• Portfolio of evidence


How to apply


Optional core Modules

Statistics for Data Analysis
(CH923-10 CATS)

This module gives students a basic understanding of the statistical methods appropriate to data analysis in analytical science. Topics include: basic probability; error analysis and calibration; summarising data and testing simple hypotheses; statistical computing; experimental design and analysis of variance; sampling methods and quality control; simple analysis of multivariate data.


  • 1 x class test
  • 1 x written assignment

Programming for Biomedical Data Analysis
(NT-908-10 CATS)

This module provides the foundations in programming in R. Students will learn basic principles of programming through learning-by-doing workshops and a series of mock exams with increasing complexity from one-line statements to multi-loop programs.

• 1 x Written exam

Microscopy & Imaging
(CH922-10 CATS)

This module provides a foundation in the principles and applications of microscopy, starting with basics of light microscopy and progressing to state of the art super-resolution microscopy, electron microscopy and scanned probe microscopy.
The module includes workshops on image analysis and seminars that cover the most recent developments in the field.


  • 1 x Image analysis assignment
  • 1x Oral exam

Mass Spectrometry

(CH908-10 CATS)

This module introduces the student with the many facets of modern of mass spectrometry. Emphasis is placed both on the interpretation of spectra and on instrumental methods, covering modern methods of ionisation (including ESI and MALDI) and mass analysis (including orthogonal TOF and FT-ICR) and the use of linked methods such as GC/MS, HPLC/MS and tandem mass spectrometry. Practical sessions include practice at interpretation and experiments using various mass spectrometric techniques.


  • 2 x written assignments
  • 1 x Written exam

Mathematical Modelling for Biosystems
(MD9A5-10 CATS)

This module provides a basic understanding of the mathematics of ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations (ODEs and PDEs), how to solve elementary problems analytically, and how to solve them numerically on the computer using MATLAB.


  • 2 x written assignments (Problem-solving)
  • 1 x written exam

Molecular Biology: Principles & Techniques
(MD998-10 CATS)

This module provides students with a physical sciences background with a comprehensive understanding of the principles of molecular biology.


  • 1 x Laboratory report
  • 1 x Oral examination