MRes Education

Qualifications and durations

  • Full-time MRes Education (1 year)
  • Part-time MRes Education (2 years, allowing three months for the final dissertation*).

*At the discretion of the Director of Studies, part time students may be able to have an extension of three months (giving a total of six months for the dissertation and an overall total registration period of 27 months). Students extending into their 3rd academic year may be liable for a pro-rated continuation fee.


Staff and students discuss the MRes programme.

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The Master of Research is a Faculty wide, cross-disciplinary research training course with an Education strand. It provides high quality training to potential doctoral students as well as a stand-alone qualification to train social science researchers.

Depending on your research interests you will be placed within a research group within the Department of Education, which will have seminar and reading group activities that you can join.

You will also spend a small period of time shadowing an experienced researcher.

The programme aims to:

  • teach you to systematically review alternative approaches, methodologies and paradigms of research in social and educational enquiry
  • enable you to critically evaluate the application of these approaches in the specific areas of social and educational enquiry in which students are specialising
  • support you within an active research community, in identifying and investigating your own original research questions
  • equip you with the skills to contribute to research projects using any of the main methodologies of the social sciences.

South West Doctoral Training Centre

This MRes is accredited by the Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC), specifically, as part of the larger South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC). It forms part of the Education Discipline-specific Pathway.

The MRes can be taken as a course in its own right, or as part of the 1 + 3 (MRes + PhD) pathway, where successful graduates could proceed onto an PhD in the Department of Education.

If applying for an MRes + PhD (the 1 + 3 programme) you should indicate on the Application Form, your preferred PhD route.

Progression from the MRes to the MPhil or PhD stage is dependent on achieving an acceptable level of achievement (typically an overall average of 60% on at least the taught component of the MRes).

Programme structure

Semester one

  • Contemporary Issues in Educational Research 1 : Critical Users
  • Principles and Skills of Social Research
  • Qualitative Methods 1
  • Quantitative Methods 1: introduction to quantitative methods
  • Short Research Apprenticeship Project

Semester two

  • Contemporary issues in educational research 2: competent producers
  • Quantitative methods 2 or Qualitative methods 2
  • Independent research essay
  • Long research apprenticeship project

You will also complete a 15,000 word Dissertation.

View Programme & Unit Catalogue for further information.

Learning and teaching

Our programmes are modular, consisting of self-contained units, taught and assessed on a semester basis. As you progress through each semester and successfully pass the examinations, you will receive credit for the units, thus providing you with a clear indication of your academic progress.

Teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars and workshops. Lectures are quite formal, whereas seminars involve interaction between the lecturer and a small number of students for study skills and discussion. Additionally, you will work independently with a supervisor to develop and put into practice your research ideas.

Core teaching staff

Teaching staff are drawn from across the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, enabling you to benefit from a broad range of social science research.

Methods of assessment

Assessment consists of a combination of coursework essays, group work, projects, oral presentations.

During the course of the programme you will devise and carry out a piece of empirical research.

We also place strong emphasis on developing presentation and discussion/communication skills, which in many units is part of the assessed work.


Graduates of this programme are well placed to apply for research posts within the education, government and voluntary sector. You will also be well prepared for further PhD study.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university.

English Language requirements

Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the programme of study.

  • IELTS 7 (with no less than 6.5 in each component)
  • PTE Academic of 69 with no less than 62 in any component

If you wish to improve your English proficiency before commencing your studies, pre-sessional language training can be arranged through the Academic Skills Centre.

You may be eligible for a combined offer to include both pre-sessional English 5 (PS5) and the Master's degree programme. The advantage of this offer is that overseas students can apply for a Visa for the full duration of the programme rather than re-applying for a Visa at the end of the pre-sessional course.


  • Two references are required. At least one of these must be an academic reference.

How to apply

You can must apply to study through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.

Financial information


Potential sources of funding


  • 30 July 2016 for International Students (who need to apply for a UK Visa).
  • 31 August 2016 for Home/EU students.
  • Funding deadlines for Studentships and Scholarships


Admissions Officer
Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 6180

Related links

Main areas of research

The Department of Education is committed to a broad coverage of substantive areas of research interest and methodological orientations.

Our research clusters provide the focus for research activity:

Departmental staff

Find out more about our staff and their research interests.



The Department of Education is a thriving academic community focused on furthering our understanding of policy, culture, pedagogy and diversity within a global educational context. We hold a strong national and international reputation for our research.

We have an excellent network with a wide range of educational institutions including, schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and government departments, within the UK and also internationally.

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