Postgraduate Research

Master of Research

In this flexible course that can be taken online, you’ll develop professional-standard research skills in the subject of your choice. An MRes can give you a competitive edge in the researcher job market, and is also a valuable stepping stone towards a PhD. You can study for a post-nominal award where the specific subject of your degree is named in its title.  

If you are thinking about a career in academic or professional research, our MRes is an internationally recognised research qualification that you can complete flexibly and without the commitment of a full PhD. This course is also ideal if you want to expand your research knowledge as part of your continuing professional development (CPD).

You will find case studies on students and graduates of this course at the foot of this page.

Why QMU?

  • Gain advanced research skills, develop your own research project and earn an internationally recognised research qualification.
  • 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.
  • Develop your research passions into a fruitful career with the guidance and support of our expert staff.
  • You can tailor your MRes studies to your particular research interests and to your personal situation. You can study in any subject that we teach and attend online or on campus.

Course overview

First-class researchers are much sought after in academia and by commercial and third sector organisations who want to gain an edge in their marketplace. But this can be a hard field to break into. 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. This is done in two parts - firstly you will study and investigate the research area in depth and design a research programme to address your key questions. Then you will write it up in the format most useful in your field. This could be a research paper, a consultancy report or a briefing paper. Whatever form 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 students on this course 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. So you will have the freedom to explore what fascinates you while developing a portfolio of research and analytical techniques.

You can choose to specify the subject of your study in the title of degree. This ‘post-nominal’ award can be very useful in showing academic and professional organisations at a glance where your research expertise lies. Please see the ‘Structure’ section for a full list of the post-nominal awards that we now offer.

The MRes is flexible in terms of attendance and you can fit your visits to campus around your current work commitments. However you structure your work, 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.

You may be able to study individual modules if you wish to acquire particular research skills.


Exit awards

MRes (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)


To obtain a specific postgraduate award at QMU you must complete a number of credit-bearing modules. You can opt to study for the full MRes, a PgDip or a PgCert. 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.

You can study for a post-nominal award where the specific subject of your degree is named in its title. The subjects 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 (Social Sciences)
  • MRes (Cultural Leadership)
  • MRes (Cultural Practice)
  • MRes (Clinical Science) 
  • MRes (Education)
  • MRes **

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

Teaching, learning and assessment

There are two compulsory taught modules (Research Methods and Communicating Research) designed to develop skills in, and awareness of, the modern research environment. These are delivered via online learning. There may be opportunities to attend additional tutorials on campus. A major component of this course is the Research Project which offers you the opportunity to carry out an extensive piece of research with the expectation of producing an output suitable for submission to the peer-review process for potential publication, or a client report, or other appropriate document that would be useful in your specific field. 

Teaching hours and attendance

Each module that you study will require you to attend additonal classes, either online or on campus, and carry out self-directed, independent work. Your attendance requirements at QMU will depend on which module you are studying and whether you are studying full-time or part-time. For some students it will be possible to complete the course with very modest physical attendance, whilst others may wish to take advantage of QMU’s extensive onsite research facilities.

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

Students also select one 20 credit module from anywhere within QMU's postgraduate provision.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

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


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.    

Option module (20 credits): a 20 credit option from masters' level modules at QMU

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (August 2019) but are subject to change. In the event that modules are changed, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Class sizes

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

Single modules for CPD

Available. Register an an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact Dr Steve Darling for more information.


On campus or online. Taught modules will be delivered using online learning, with the possibility of additional on-site support. Online learning will be supported by video-conferencing based support and tutorials. There is the option to study for this MRes entirely online. The research project may be conducted in either an appropriate laboratory or an applied setting to be agreed between student and supervisor.


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.


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 measureable results.

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: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, 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.

Application deadline


More information and contacts

Admissions or Dr Stephen Darling on tel: +44 (0)131 474 0000

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

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Course Overview

Online including face-to-face tutorials via video conferencing. Some optional modules with attendance at QMU.
Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2.5 years
Start Date
September 2020
January 2021
Study Abroad
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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