Postgraduate Research

Master of Research (MRes)

Available for study part-time or full-time, our Master of Research (MRes) is for those thinking about a career in academic or professional research. It is also suitable for individuals who would like to develop their research skills within their professional field as part of their continuing professional development (CPD).

An MRes can give you a competitive edge in the researcher job market and can also be a valuable stepping-stone towards a PhD. In this course you’ll gain advanced research skills, develop your own research project and earn an internationally recognised research qualification. 

While this course is delivered entirely online, some of the optional electives are available on-campus for those students based in the UK. (International students will only be able to select from online electives as we are unable to sponsor students on a student visa for this course.)

NB This course is subject to review

Why QMU?

  • Flexible study mode: This MRes is delivered completely online with a mixture of asynchronous and synchronous delivery. For those based in the UK and not requiring a student visa to study here, you may be able to select an on campus elective module.
  • Supportive staff who are experts in their field: You will enjoy close support throughout your studies from our academic team and will be mentored by a specific supervisor who is expert in your area.
  • Graduate success: Our MRes students have successfully applied their enhanced research skills in a variety of fields, including academia, business, and government. You could also use the MRes as a step towards your PhD.
  • Tailor your studies: You can choose to specify the subject of your study in the title of degree (eg Business Administration, Sociology, Cultural Practice or Education). This ‘post-nominal’ award can be very useful when showing academic and professional organisations at a glance where your research expertise lies.

Master of Research (MRes): More information and what you will achieve

First-class researchers are much sought after in academia and by commercial and third sector organisations that want to gain an edge in their marketplace.  On this course, you will develop advanced research skills that are transferrable to almost any field. You will also learn how to apply your research techniques to real-world problems to make you more valuable to prospective employers.

On the Research Methods module you will develop advanced research and analytical skills. The module on Communicating Research is important in a different way: here you will learn to think about how your research will be read, used and applied in the real world. Your approach will move beyond ‘how do I do this piece of research?’ to ‘what can this research do for people?’

With this thorough grounding in research techniques and their relevance, you will move on to complete your own Research Project. You will comprehensively review the literature in your field, and then produce a final output, this could be either a research paper, a consultancy report or a briefing paper. Whatever forms it takes, your project is a major piece of work and is your chance to show the academic, scientific or commercial world exactly what you can do.

The topic that you choose to research is up to you, as long as it’s in a subject that we teach. Past MRes students have researched topics as varied as eyewitness identification, molecular biology, the experience of living with type-2 diabetes, food bank use, and microbusinesses in Mexico. You will have the freedom to explore what fascinates you when developing a portfolio of research and analytical techniques.

Post-nominal award titles

A post-nominal award titles means that the specific subject of your degree is named in its title. The award titles that we currently offer are:

• MRes (Business Administration)
• MRes (Global Health and Development)
• MRes (Psychology)
• MRes (Person-centred Practice)
• MRes (Public Administration)
• MRes (Rehabilitation Sciences)
• MRes (Speech, Language and Hearing)
• MRes (Sociology)
• MRes (Public Sociology)
• MRes (Cultural Leadership)
• MRes (Cultural Practice)
• MRes (Clinical Science)
• MRes (Education)
• MRes **

** The option of not specifying a subject remains open to all students

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

You can opt to study for the full MRes (180 credits), a PgDip (120 credits) or a PgCert (60 credits).

You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award. Contact Rosie Arthur or contact Rachael Davis (Programme Leaders) for more information on single module study.

Teaching, learning and assessment

There are two compulsory taught modules designed to develop skills in, and awareness of, the modern research environment (Research Methods and Communicating Research). These are delivered via online learning.

Students also take an elective module which you can choose to complement your research focus or develop particular skills. The majority of these electives are delivered online, however, those based in the UK and not requiring a student visa to study here, may be able to select an on-campus option for their elective module.

A major component of this course is the Research Project, delivered in two self-directed modules, which offers you the opportunity to carry out an extensive piece of research. This carries the expectation of an output suitable for submission to the peer-review process for potential publication, or useful for the student’s future career in other ways.

You will be assigned a supervisor with expertise in your area who will work closely with you on your Research Project.

Please take some time to browse our full website and consider staff members in the relevant area who you may wish to approach to discuss supervision. We expect applicants to have identified a potential supervisor prior to application and contacted them.

Depending on your research topic, our team will be able to facilitate engagement with industry/ stakeholder groups/professional bodies as necessary.

Work-based learning

While there are no formal placements organised as part of the MRes, you can choose to carry your research out in a range of environments including business, industry, workplaces, services, community organisations and charities.

Teaching hours and attendance

Each module will vary in terms of delivery, but each carries an expectation for you to manage your time and complete the necessary work. Most modules will involve weekly lectures and/or seminars delivered synchronously or asynchronously. Your attendance requirements at QMU will depend on the module you are studying and whether you are studying full-time or part-time.

Each taught module will require 120 hours of directed learning, most of which can be done at a time convenient to the student.


Online only (with the exception of some elective modules for students based in the UK)

Taught modules will be delivered using online learning.

Online learning will be supported by video-conferencing based support and tutorials. Research projects will be primarily conducted externally however the use of an appropriate laboratory or an applied setting may be agreed between student and supervisor (UK based students only).

Class sizes

We expect around 10-15 students to enroll for this course each year.

Teaching staff

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.


Research Methods (20 credits): The aim of the module is to provide the student with an understanding of research principles, a range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and appropriate analysis for these. This will enable the student to develop the research skills and knowledge necessary to undertake an independent research project. (20 credits)

Communicating Research (20 credits): This module aims to provide the student with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead, manage and disseminate findings from research projects. (20 credits)

Proposing, Designing and Pre-registering Research - MRes Research Project Part 1 (60 credits):

  • To enable students to learn how to produce an in-depth and comprehensive literature review and to draw a research question out of that.
  • To use this as the basis for creating into a full, transparent research proposal suitable for use as a research pre-registration.    

Answering Your Research Question - MRes Research Project Part 2 (60 credits):

  • To enable students to develop and apply the skills of research and enquiry to produce original work which has the potential to make a contribution to a subject, field or profession, and
  • To enable students to develop and demonstrate their skills in reporting and disseminating the outcomes of conducting research.    

Elective module (20 credits): a 20-credit option from masters level modules at QMU

International students will select from elective modules delivered online.

UK based students may be offered the option of an on-campus elective module.

NB  The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2023) but are subject to change following re-validation in April 2024. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students. Please check back here for any updates.

Career opportunities

The MRes may be the first stage in your academic career. The skills that you will gain are a sound basis to pursue doctoral studies for a PhD award or a career in undertaking research activities in other organisations, relevant to service users, industry or society.

This award may also give you an edge in the competitive job market for professional researchers. Companies, charities and governments are always looking for researchers who can produce work that solves problems and gets measurable results.

Master of Research (MRes): Entry requirements and application information

Entry requirements

A first class or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject that includes a preliminary training in research methods, or equivalent. Extensive relevant experience in the subject you wish to research may be considered in lieu of a first class or upper second class honours degree.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 and no individual component score below 6.0. Please note that we cannot sponsor students on a student visa for this course.

Applicants must produce a short research proposal and be prepared to discuss this with the Programme Team and potential supervisors.

Applicants are expected to use the staff profile pages on the QMU website to identify potential supervisors and make contact with them in advance of application. Projects will not be accepted without a suitable supervisor.

Applicants are asked to submit a research proposal that includes the following (max 3 pages):

  1. Area of Research
  2. Proposed Research Question
  3. Research Aim/Research Question (including primary hypotheses, if appropriate)
  4. Context (including short literature review)
  5. Proposed methodology, design, participants and analysis
  6. Proposed supervisor and outline of contact to date (if any)

Applying for this course

For more information on applying, or to apply for this course, please follow the links in the 'Start your application' box at the top right of this page.

Application deadline

1 August 2024 for September 2024 start.

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

More information and QMU contacts

Contact the Programme Leaders (Rosie Arthur and Rachel Davis) or contact Admissions

Course Overview

Online (with selected on campus elective modules)
1 year full-time OR minimum 2.5 years part-time
Start Date
September 2024
Fees & Funding

A Student Story (see bottom of page for more)

Jordon Phillips - Master of Research “The MRes allowed me to utilise the research skills I’d gained during my undergraduate degree and build on them to become a more well-rounded academic researcher.”

Read my story

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