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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 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 5 Additional Modules

Core Modules

Research Topics in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research
(MD978-15 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.

• Short written reports (200 words) on each masterclass.
• In-class oral presentation
• Essays of 3,000 words summarizing 2 sessions.

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.

• Solving a problem after each class.
• Restricted open book 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.

• Performance in laboratory work
• Research project report
• Poster and flash talk presentation (MD979) / Non-technical talk (MD980)

Additional Modules

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.

• Laboratory report
• Oral examination

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.

• Image analysis assignment
• Oral examination

Quantitative Skills for System Biology
(LF903-10 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.

• Written examination

Computational Modelling
(CH925-10 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
• Written examination

How to apply


Frontier Techniques & Research Skills in Biomedicine

(MD997-10 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.

• Research proposal of 2,000 words
• In-class oral presentation

• In-class tests

Warwick Interdisciplinary Transferable Skills
(CH948- 16 CATS)

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

• Portfolio of evidence


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

Frontier Instrumental Techniques for Molecular Analytical Science
(CH921-10 CATS)

This module will provide an understanding of the biophysical techniques and instrumentation used in structural characterization of biomolecules. Students will learn the origin of measured signal for each technique, prepare samples and collect data to deduce biomolecular structure and interactions.


  • Reports
  • Oral examination

Principles & Techniques in Analytical Science
(CH915-10 CATS)

This module will introduce theoretical and practical fundamentals of qualitative and quantitative analysis. This module is mostly laboratory-based. Students will discuss sources of errors in chemical and instrumental analysis, and will consider practical aspects of sampling and calibration techniques.

• 5 x lab reports
• Written examination

Molecular Modelling
(CH926-10 CATS)

This module introduces students to molecular modelling techniques as applied to biophysical systems. Students will gain a basic understanding of computational methods and their theoretical foundations; properties that can be computed; and methods are most appropriate for different molecular systems and properties.

• 2 x written assignments
• Oral examination