Undertaking the MClinRes in Clinical Research as a midwife

The MClin Res Clinical Research course at Manchester is for qualified nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and all other non-medical and dental healthcare professionals who have an interest in clinical research. It offers students who graduate in the aforementioned degrees an alternative career path to the one in which their degree sends them. 

Midwifery graduate, Daisy Tudor, decided after a year of working as a Rotational Midwife in the NHS that maybe clinical research was for her. Find out what she’s got to say about the course below…

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Introduction:

I’m not sure how many people would admit to missing university once graduating, but I am unashamedly one of those people! I graduated from Midwifery at the University of Manchester in September 2016 and went on to work as a rotational midwife in the NHS for one year.

Whilst at university we were introduced to the Masters of Clinical Research (MClinRes) course as an alternative career pathway to purely clinical midwifery, and after completing my dissertation I had cultivated a strong interest in clinical research. Whilst taking a break from practice, I reflected on my career trajectory and knew that the MClinRes course would be a good option for somebody like me.

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Part-time, distance-learning:

I am currently undertaking the MClinRes course part-time which I feel works really well for me as I also work part-time. This approach to studying helps when you are also working at the same time, whether in clinical practice or not, or if you need to balance university alongside family life. The course is also conducted on a distance learning basis, which involves online modules with weekly content. Usually, this will include an online presentation or collection of resources about a particular topic, followed by or intertwined with activities to complete and discuss with your course mates. Again, this works well as online learning can be flexible around work and home life.

When completing the course part-time, there are a number of ‘face to face’ sessions in university spread throughout the first year of study (consisting of two days and two full weeks). These are useful to keep in touch with course mates and also contain useful sessions about clinical research, ethics submissions, modules, assignments and dissertation advice.

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Course content:

The MClinRes course contains a number of relevant and interesting modules including ‘Research Design’, ‘Qualitative and Quantitative Design’, ‘Analysis and Statistics’ and more. The course culminates with the completion of an original research project, which can be completed in a topic of your choice, particularly if more research is already needed in that field. Whilst at first this may seem daunting, there is always support from a knowledgeable supervisor.

After qualifying as a midwife and working in clinical practice, I was interested to further explore the experiences of newly qualified midwives and, as further research was needed, I chose to complete my project on this. I have found the course structure incredibly helpful in that module assignments are planned to help you with different stages of the research project. For example, the assignment for the ‘Research Design’ module involved the creation of a research proposal, outlining your proposed topic which is a huge part of submitting an application to the ethics committee for your project. In this way, the course learning follows a useful trajectory to support your dissertation and essentially save you time.

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Conclusion:

To conclude, I have found the MClinRes both interesting and well organised. In particular being taught by expert, approachable teaching staff with the ability to complete assignments and online work around my work and family life. This course brings together individuals from a variety of clinical backgrounds, including physiotherapists, nurses and paramedics, allowing a mix of opinions, perspectives and experience into discussions.

Whilst distance learning means you might not see your course mates on a regular basis, we have kept in touch and support each other through the face-to-face university sessions and our WhatsApp group. For all these reasons, I would highly recommend the course to anyone interested in pursuing a future in clinical research!


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