Skip header navigation

MRes Humanities

The MRes offers you the opportunity to pursue research-oriented Masters study across a range of subjects in Humanities. Tailor the course to your own interests.

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MRes, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration Full-time 12 months; part-time 27 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

The Master of Research in Humanities offers you the opportunity to pursue a personalised, tailor-made programme of Masters study in a structured, interdisciplinary and research-driven environment. It’s focused on your interests, and is available across a broad range of disciplines in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. You’ll undertake an extended piece of research within a programme of study designed together between you and your supervisor(s). The MRes can be pursued for personal or career development, or as a stepping-stone to doctoral study (PhD).

The MRes is a one-year, research-oriented taught course. You’re allocated a supervisor or supervisors, and together you’ll plan a curriculum that reflects your interests and needs. Much of your work is made up of self-directed research, with scheduled supervisory meetings to help guide you, discuss your work and review draft submissions. You’ll will have a different array of learning opportunities that complement your research project.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities welcomes students from all backgrounds, and has a longstanding tradition of supporting innovative, cross-disciplinary and forward-looking projects. Our research student community is international, diverse and plays a key role in the research culture of the Faculty, with staff and students working together on new initiatives. Students in Arts and Humanities can participate in the wider culture of the University through the Institute for Advanced Studies.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    Find out more about research in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. 

  • Academic requirements

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

    A research proposal is required along with your application. It should be a maximum of 1,500 words.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS 6.0 with 5.5 in each skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 54 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill
    • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Studying for the MRes Humanities will allow you to develop your own research agenda from beginning to end in conjunction with your supervisor(s).

The MRes follows two semesters, which run from mid-September to late December, and from January to the end of May. The summer period is for writing your dissertation.

The course is made up of the following elements:

Research preparation

This module allows you to begin work on a topic of particular significance to you personally – one that is similar to but not identical with your subsequent dissertation. It’s assessed by a written assignment of 5,000 to 6,000 words.

Dissertation preparation

Taken in Semester 2, this module consists in developing the theme and outline for the dissertation itself, which may include:

  • a detailed outline of the proposed argument
  • a literature review or an extended relevant book review
  • a description or proposal for the application of a methodological framework
  • or a combination of the above, depending upon the exact nature or the research in question

You’ll be supervised by the same member of staff whose expertise correlates with the research interest in Module 3. The module will feature a structure of five supervisions and one written assessment. The written assessment will be tailored to your proposed dissertation focus in consultation with the supervisor(s).

Research skills

Our innovative Arts Graduate Training for graduates stretches over both semesters, and enables you to build up a portfolio of skills preparing you for academic and professional life. The portfolio is adaptable to individual experience and requirements, and covers:

    • basic skills - presentation, bibliography, specific research methods, library research
    • employability skills - teaching experience, marking student work, career development event, broaden language knowledge
    • breadth of knowledge - conference attention, reading participation group, prepare essay of presentation on a topic beyond own research

    You’ll work with your supervisor(s) to select tasks from a menu of activities relevant to your future ambitions and their necessary qualifications.


    Subject to successful completion of all elements of the assessment in both Semesters 1 and 2, you will embark on an in-depth dissertation exploring the research topic of your choice, as agreed by and with your supervisor(s). Where feasible, you are encouraged to present your theme at an appropriate forum such as a postgraduate conference.



    The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

    Course Details

    • Teaching

      You’ll attend individual supervisory sessions and/or weekly seminars, depending on the pathway you choose. The research skills training will provide opportunities for various different learning environments. In addition, you’re entitled to take existing advanced level (level 10 or 11) tuition in the subject areas concerned and/or, where appropriate, to undertake language tuition at all levels in French and Spanish or in earlier varieties of English (Old and Middle English).

      All contributing staff are engaged in on-going research at the forefront of their disciplines, and are the authors of numerous books, articles and studies on a wide range of relevant subjects.

      You’ll be part of a thriving academic community that includes a rich research culture and seminar programmes of visiting academics and industry speakers.

    • Classroom hours

      Because of the highly personalised nature of the MRes Humanities, semester timetables will vary considerably from student to student. In an average month, you can expect to:

      • undertake much self-directed research
      • meet with your supervisor(s) a number of times
      • attend some seminars and workshops
      • engage with other postgraduate students formally and informally
      • attend audited lectures or seminars, depending on the activities you undertake as part of our Graduate Training Skills modules

      In the summer months, you will have regular meetings with your dissertation supervisor.

    • Course director
    • Key staff
      Ask an expert

      Dr Katherine Champion Lecturer in Media and Communications

      Lecturer, Dr Katherine Champion, a specialist in Media and Communications, explains how studying at Stirling can enhance your career prospects.

      Ask an expert in media, culture and communications

    • Fees and costs

      Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


      Home/EU Students

      Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

      If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

      If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

      English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

      *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

      If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


      Overseas (Non-EU) Students

      Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

      If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


      Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    • Scholarships and funding

      Merit scholarships

      The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full time on any taught Masters course, or £1,000 for part-time study. Get more information on the scholarships.

      If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

      Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

    • Additional costs

      There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

    • Cost of living

      If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

      EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

      Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

    • Payment options

      We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

    This postgraduate degree will help you to gain the skills for future research work at the doctoral level, and give you necessary training in and insight into the research environment of Higher Education. If academia is not your professional goal, this MRes has a strong interdisciplinary emphasis that will open up a wide range of fascinating and exciting career possibilities. The skills you will develop here become immensely transferable in a market awaiting highly competent and highly innovative thinkers and leaders.

    The Faculty of Arts and Humanities works closely with a wide variety of local and national employers and community organisations. This means students have access to a variety of work-related networks.

    Where are our graduates now?

    Students who have graduated from this course have emerged highly qualified for employment in many areas, including:

    • the public sector
    • the voluntary sector
    • the civil service
    • the foreign office
    • non-governmental organisations
    • international relations
    • primary and secondary teaching
    • journalism
    • publishing
    • the media
    • the arts
    • Employability skills

      The MRes Humanities will give you training in critical transferable skills including:

      • textual analysis
      • methodologies of empirical research
      • close reading and deconstruction of discourses
      • the expression of your ideas in coherent writing and argumentation

      We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the graduate attributes required by employers. We have a dedicated Faculty Employability and Skills Officer. There's also our Career and Employability Service who work in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the best out of your University experience and are given the right opportunities to make you ready for the world of work.

    Scroll back to the top

    Which course would you like to apply for?

    MRes Humanities

    Search for another course