Business and Management (MRes)

Study Business and Management and graduate with a university degree

Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, MRes

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Business and Management (MRes)
  • Type Full-time
  • Duration 12 months
  • Start date September

Stirling Management School Stirling Management School
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1786 467396

The MRes in Business and Management is part of a new suite of MRes programmes that has been developed by six Schools including Management, Social Science, Education, Film, Media and Journalism, Nursing, Midwifery and Health and Sports Studies. These programmes have a shared core of four modules in generic research skills, plus specialist disciplinary modules with a range of options combining high quality with flexibility and choice for students.

Whilst the programme provides specialist research training for those seeking academic careers employability is another important focus, with the opportunity for research placement offered to all MRes student and with a strong practical management and business focus.


The MRes Business and Management is part of the Economic and Social Research Council-approved provision for research training for ESRC sponsored PhD research students in Scotland.

Course objectives

The MRes programme in Business and Management is aimed at students wanting to:

  • Undertake doctoral research in business and management
  • Equip themselves for an academic or commercial career in business and management research
  • Undertake, evaluate, commission or manage research in the commercial, public, or voluntary sectors

Our philosophy is that postgraduate business and management students need the understanding and skills associated with high quality academic research. This approach applies equally to those who become either academic scholars or professional practitioners.

This programme also serves as a generic entry point for the Stirling Management School Doctoral Programme. The Stirling Management School is a member institution of the ESRC Scottish Doctoral Training Centre. It welcomes applications for 1+3 or +3 doctoral studentships in the following areas: Accounting and Finance and Business and Management.

The MRes programme provides you with a broadly based and advanced research training that covers business and social science research skills that are not subject specific: 

  • Skills in research methodologies and techniques that are specifically appropriate for undertaking, analysing and writing up academic research, or applied/practitioner and consultancy research, in the business and management area
  • Knowledge of advanced theory within a chosen sub-discipline of business and management; its application to contemporary issues, and personal and professional skills that are transferable to other areas

Entrance requirements

A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent.  Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (5.5 in all bands).

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.

Our range of pre-sessional courses.

Modes of study


MRes: one year
Diploma: nine months
Certificate: six months

Course start date


Structure and content

Stirling’s MRes in Business and Management follows the two semesters, which run from mid-September to late December, and from January to the end of May.

Students on the MRes in Business and Management will start the semester at Stirling Management School with an intensive period of 'learning to learn' and teambuilding activities.  This induction period (15th to 26th September) is introduced to enable students to develop new learning styles and understand the expectations that will be placed on them through an engaged and exploratory approach.  Students will learn about themselves and their own interactional and learning styles.

Students also learn about others and gain an appreciation of a diverse range of approaches to learning, along with cultural and individual differences.  They will also discover more about the exciting year ahead, and what is expected of them.  This induction period provides a foundation of activities to help students to fully integrate with the course and their fellow students so that they have the opportunity to gain the maximum out of the course and their interactions with others.

The overall aim is for students to be fully engaged so that they are equipped to embark on the formal teaching course invigorated and committed to the journey ahead with newly developed intellectual, interactional and presentational skills.

Autumn Semester             

Research Study Skills
Research Design & Process
Quantitative Research & Analysis
Qualitative Research & Analysis

Spring Semester

Nature of Enquiry
Management Research Methods
Plus two options from Master degree modules from across University Schools including :

Policy Analysis and Evaluation Research
Advanced Quantitative Research & Analysis
Advanced Qualitative Research & Analysis
Discourse Analysis
Sustainable & International HRM
Contemporary Issues in HRM
Project Management in Context
Ethics & Legal Issues

Option modules selected must be agreed with the Programme Director and are necessarily subject to availability.


MRes students write a dissertation of up to 15,000 words on a topic approved in advance by the Programme Director. The dissertation must be submitted within 3 months of completion of the taught programme.  The Examiners may allow a dissertation which is considered unsatisfactory to be revised and submitted for re-assessment within a specified time period.

Delivery and assessment

Delivery takes the form of structured lectures, seminars and practicals that are supplemented by opportunities for independent learning and exploration. Assessment is by coursework, including written assignments and presentations, as well as the dissertation.


Some modules are assessed by exams and some by assignments.

For the award of the Certificate a student must complete at least 60 credits, which must include the specified Certificate modules.

For the award of the Diploma a student must have grade C or better in all modules, totalling at least 120 SCQF credits.

For the award of the MRes a student must successfully complete the Diploma programme and achieve a passing grade in the dissertation (at least 180 SCQF credits in total).


At the discretion of the Examination Board, exceptional candidates may be awarded the MRes or Diploma with Distinction. 

Recommended reading

There are many books on research and no single text covers the content of this programme. However two texts are recommended:

  • Blumberg B, Cooper D, Schindler P. (2011) Business Research Methods, McGraw Hull, London, 3rd European Ed.

Another excellent and almost unique text about making evidence based argument is:

  • Booth W, Colomb G, and Williams J. (2003) The Craft of Research, Chicago Press, Chicago, 2nd ed.

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
0900-1000       Lecture  
1000-1100     Seminar Lecture Workshop
1100-1200   Lecture      
1200-1300 Seminar Lecture     Seminar
1300-1400 Seminar       Seminar
1400-1500   Lecture      
1500-1600   Lecture   Lecture  
1600-1700       Lecture  

Course Director

Dr Scott Hurrell

RAE rating

The School is committed to a research led approach, and this is endorsed by the results of Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) all outputs were rated at an international level, with an impressive proportion deemed to be world leading. Indeed, across all three units of assessment relevant to the School (Accounting and Finance, Economics and Econometrics, and Business and Management Studies), 85 percent of outputs were assessed to be at an international level. Accounting and Finance was ranked 1st in Scotland, and in Business and Management Studies the School was identified as having world leading activity in Retail Studies; Social Marketing; Public Sector; Consumption, Markets and Cultures; Contemporary Workplaces.


The MRes Business and Management provides both a stand-alone Master of Research in Business and Management and a programme of training for PhD researchers. It is part of a suite of very high prestige courses approved by the Economic and Social Research Council (the chief government sponsored agency that funds British-led economic and social research) for use in general research training of ESRC sponsored students undertaking  PhD research. Students from several University of Stirling Academic Schools are brought together on this programme for joint and inter – disciplinary learning on core general subjects (especially qualitative and quantitative methods). MRes Business and Management students then take core business and management subjects coupled with a wide choice of specialised subjects from across Schools. The programme can be seen as equipping students for academic careers but it can also provide or enhance managers critical skills in both generating and evaluating the validity, reliability and limitations of evidence for decision making and implementation.

Our students

Following studying a Master's degree in entrepreneurship in France, I wanted to pursue my passion in environmental entrepreneurship further with a PhD.  An MRes in management research offered an excellent foundation for doing this.

In addition to gaining a very good grounding in the core aspects of management research, I was also able to tailor the MRes to my particular research interests.  For example, I had the opportunity to take a module on energy policy which was relevant to my PhD topic.  Whilst developing an understanding of the sociological underpinnings of management research, I also learned practical skills through the MRes assignments which a researcher in academia and in other roles would use, such as preparing research proposals, designing surveys and conducting literature reviews.

It is certain that this programme is great preparation for a PhD and for entering management careers where research and analytical skills are increasingly important.

Chris Ball, ESRC sponsored PhD research student, April 2013


Career opportunities

The programme is aimed at those who wish to embark on an academic or commercial career in business and management research. It also provides essential research training for those planning to study for a PhD.



You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.


The MRes in Business and Management is part of the application for the Doctoral Training Centre for Scotland by consortium of Scottish universities and replaces the prior recognition by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) under its 1+3 and +3 awards scheme. Under the Doctoral Training Scheme, UK students can apply to the ESRC for funded studentships that will cover fees and maintenance for the four-year programme (including the MRes), leading to the award of a PhD. Candidates from EU countries other than the UK are eligible to apply for a ‘fees only’ award. Further details of ESRC funding for postgraduates are available from:

Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, enabling them to further their education with a reputable qualification from one of the many degree courses on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at the University of Stirling.

For further information on possible sources of funding, visit: