A Masters by Research degree allows you to carry out an independent supervised research project on an approved topic of your choice. At the end of your studies you will submit a thesis of up to 40,000 words. As with all research degrees examination is a two-part process: examination of the thesis followed by a viva examination.
You can complete your Masters by Research on a full or part time basis, on campus or remotely, if the nature of the research allows. A Masters by Research takes one year full time or two years part time, and is available in most subject areas.
There are no classes to attend as the Masters by Research is based on research. Full-time students are expected to spend around 35 hours per week on self-study and part-time students 12 hours.
Postgraduate researchers are assigned a supervisory team who have the expertise and experience to support them in their studies. Supervisors will help you to shape your research project, give feedback on work in progress and guide you to completion.
For those coming to the end of their undergraduate studies, a Masters by Research can be an attractive alternative to a taught masters. If you have enjoyed researching your dissertation, you may want to take it further or perhaps take a year to develop additional skills before joining the job market.
For professionals, a Masters by Research allows you to develop a research outlook to explore and address projects, and bring about change in your professional practice or within your organisation.
Applicants will normally hold a UK 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent); or appropriate, relevant qualifications / experience regarded by the University as equivalent. International applicants must evidence either a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (including 5.5 in reading and writing) or a recent Masters from an English speaking country. Please note, some subject areas require a higher IELTS score.
There are three admission dates - October, January and April.
As part of your application for a Masters by Research programme, you will need to submit a research proposal demonstrating your knowledge of your field and outlining your project’s aims and expected outcomes. When you are ready to submit an application, this is how you do it.
Browse staff profiles and find a potential supervisor who you can contact to discuss ideas for a research topic. You can also contact the Graduate School for advice
If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate School. We are here to help.
"Long before the pandemic hit our shores, I had been supervising students remotely using Skype, with it been very easy to read drafts of the thesis and comment on them asynchronously and synchronously. In terms of process, we ask students to send drafts of their work a few days before supervision meetings, so the team can document detailed comments prior to the meeting. It works very well, as many of our students are professionals, living in places such as the USA and Europe." Professor Paul Carr, Professor in Popular Music Analysis, Music, Performance and Media Research Unit
"I've found that remote supervision via our online meeting facilities has been excellent for both supervisors and students, especially given the busy schedules and many other commitments at home and in work we all often have. The time and money saved from not having to physically get from A to B has been enormous, but there are clearly other advantages too. The sessions can be easily recorded for everyone's benefit and to track progress and share ideas, but also I think students usually feel more at ease talking with supervisors in their own environment, and/or having ready access to all their work and supporting literature/other materials." Professor Steve Smith, Professor of Social Policy, Centre for Social Policy