- Course: Medicine MRes intercalated program Medicine and Surgery MBChB
I chose the MRes because, contrary to many beliefs, it was actually one of the most straightforward intercalated degrees on offer. You simply choose or design a project, and then manage the process from start to finish, with a few useful modules along the way. Research felt a bit puzzling to me, but I knew I wanted to do it and that it would be important no matter what career I ultimately chose. I wanted to finish the MRes with a new found confidence in the process of planning and executing research, and I definitely achieved this goal. Plus, you have a whole year deciding how and what you want to learn, and are completely in control of your own time.
The best part was having the freedom and flexibility to manage your own time. Your learning can be very independent, so it is up to you to read what you wish and learn the statistics you need. Although this can be challenging, because it is alien for us to direct our own learning, it's so useful! And will be really beneficial in the future. You will also become a bit of an expert in whatever field you choose to pursue, and sometimes you'll even know more than your supervisors. It's great to have so much ownership in your work. Plus presenting at four conferences in one year was pretty cool too.
I would recommend the MRes to anyone with a special interest. I think students are often scared about the prospect of a masters, and don't think they like research. The truth is, almost every intercalated degree involves a research project (so you won't escape that!), and students shouldn't be daunted by the prospect of a Masters, because we are all well-equipped to do it. If you know vaguely where you might want to head in the future, or there is an area of medicine that interests you, the MRes gives you the opportunity to focus on that interest and helps you create an excellent piece of work for presentation or even publication. You will carry your achievements during MRes with you throughout the rest of your career. And honestly, it's not as hard as you think.