Master of Clinical Science

The Master of Clinical Science is conducted over two years of full time study or the equivalent in half-time candidature. The key aim of the program is to train experienced clinicians in research methodology and techniques and to engage them in the critical evaluation of literature and results in their chosen field of research at an advanced level. Whilst the Master of Clinical Science may contain a significant coursework component, the focus of the degree is on research. Master of Clinical Science graduates are well placed to progress to independent research at doctoral level and to translate their research training into improved clinical outcomes.

As one of the most highly research-intensive and respected universities in Australia and a member of the prestigious Group of Eight, The University of Adelaide is the smart choice for your research program. The University is committed to providing unique opportunities for graduates and researchers who are recognised as worldwide leaders for their vision and capacity to address global research challenges.

All research students at the University have the opportunity to broaden their research experience by choosing from amongst the extensive range of Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) programs on offer.

  • Careers

    Career Readiness

    A Master of Clinical Science is a great stepping stone to transition to a Doctor of Philosophy. It is the highest research award after a doctorate and can greatly increase your career opportunities in academia, government, industry and clinical practice.

    The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

    Potential careers

    Clinical Nurse Consultant, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Clinical Scientist, Research Manager, Clinical Studies Coordinator

  • Degree Structure

    A Master of Clinical Science provides an introduction to clinically based research for candidates presenting with clinical qualifications and work experience.  The objectives of the program are to:

    • train candidates in literature analysis, research methodology and techniques
    • develop critical evaluation skills appropriate to the chosen research topic
    • train candidates in the application of research methods during the conduct of an independent, supervised research project mutually agreed upon by the student, their supervisors and Head of School and
    • facilitate the candidate's ability to translate research into improved clinical outcomes.

    Students can choose to undertake the degree by either 100% research or, by mixed research and coursework.

    The award of the degree for students in the 100% research stream is based entirely on the examination of a thesis, however, students in the mixed research and coursework stream complete one third of the degree (15 units) by coursework and the remaining two thirds of the degree by research resulting in the production of a proportionally smaller thesis. All coursework can be selected, in consultation with supervisors, from amongst relevant Master by Coursework or Honours level courses offered by the University. 

    As you progress through the degree, you will complete a number of key milestones which will assist both yourself and the University to assess your progress and ensure that you are on track to complete in a timely manner.

    Examiners of a Master of Clinical Science thesis seek evidence that the candidate has:

    • a thorough understanding of the relevant techniques and methodologies in the field as demonstrated by a thorough critical review of the literature
    • demonstrated competence in the chosen field through judicious selection and application of appropriate methodology to yield meaningful results
    • demonstrated the capacity to evaluate critically these results

    Admission Requirements

    A successful application to a Master of Clinical Science program involves a number of considerations:

    Academic background and Experience

    An applicant must demonstrate that they have gained the required qualifications for admission to the Master of Clinical Science as detailed in the academic program rules.

    English Language Proficiency Requirement

    As English is the language of instruction at the University of Adelaide, all applicants must provide evidence of their proficiency before an offer of a place is made.

    Availability of supervision and resourcing

    In addition to the academic requirements, the Head of School must certify that your proposed research project is acceptable to the School and that there are sufficient supervisory and other resources and facilities available to enable your candidature to be completed successfully. Accordingly, discussing your research interests with your prospective supervisors/School is essential prior to submitting your Master of Clinical Science application.

    Fees for Domestic Students

    Eligible domestic students (including Australian citizens or permanent residents and New Zealand citizens) are covered by the Research Training Program (RTP) and are exempt from the payment of tuition fees. An RTP place is available for a maximum of 2 years of full time equivalent study for an eligible Master by Research student.

    Fees for International Students

    The tuition fees for international research students are available on the web at:  

    In addition to tuition costs, it is a condition of a student visa that you hold and maintain health insurance for the entire length of your stay in Australia. This insurance is called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
    Tuition fees for international students who have been awarded a Research Training Program stipend scholarship are covered by a Research Training Program (RTP) Fee-Offset for a maximum of 2 years of full time equivalent study for an eligible Master by Research student.


    The University of Adelaide offers a wide range of scholarships to assist both domestic and international students with the cost of their studies. For information on the opportunities available, closing dates and how to apply go to:

    Academic Program Rules

    The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

    Areas of Specialisation

    Students enrolled in the Master of Clinical Science can choose to specialise in one of the following research areas:

    • Nursing
    • Medicine
    • Dentistry
    • Public Health
    • Evidence Based Health Care or
    • Counselling and Psychotherapy 


    Your Master of Clinical Science thesis will be examined by no less than two examiners of international standing in their field of research including at least one external examiner. Any required coursework will be assessed by assignments and exams.
  • Related Degrees

  • Further Information

    Please direct enquiries to the Adelaide Graduate Centre

    Phone: +61 8 8313 5882

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020