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MRes Media Research

Our Masters in Media Research provides you with the skills needed to carry out advanced, interdisciplinary research in the broad field of media and communications studies.

Media Research

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MRes, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MRes full-time: 12 months
  • Mode of study Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

The University of Stirling is ranked 3rd in Scotland and top 10 in the UK for Media and Film Studies (The Guardian University Guide 2020).

This interdisciplinary Masters degree is jointly taught by leading academics in media and social science research. You’ll gain both a theoretical and practical understanding of social science research methods, and learn how to apply these to the media and cultural industries. Covering social sciences and humanities approaches, our Masters will give you solid, extensive training in advanced media research methods. You’ll be encouraged to explore your own research interests, gain real-world experience of research and develop your own approach to research throughout the course.

The degree is primarily targeted at anyone needing research training before embarking on a higher research degree, such as a PhD. The course also offers an excellent grounding in social science methods, which are transferable to media research for industry, journalism, marketing and advertising research, production research and wider aspects of social research consultancy.

Enhancing your employability is one of our top priorities. That’s why all MRes students are given the opportunity for a research placement as part of our course where you can apply your learning to the real world.

Reflecting on my experience during the MRes in Media Research at the University of Stirling, I consider it to be not only beneficial from academic and research points of view, but also a life-changing one.

Damyan Kachulski (Bulgaria)
MRes Media Research, 2014

  • 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

    The University of Stirling was ranked first in Scotland for research impact in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies in the most recent UK Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF 2014), with 70% of our research classed as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

    Research interests in the Division of Communications, Media and Culture currently include:

    • Film Theory and Analysis
    • Television Studies
    • Creative Industries and Cultural Policy
    • Media Economics and Regulation
    • Digital Media and Activism
    • Journalism
    • Political Communication
    • Sport and the Media
    • Public Relations
    • National Identity and Globalisation
    • Representations of Gender and Ethnicity
    • Celebrity Culture
    • New Media and Intellectual Property
  • 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.

  • 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 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with 56 in each sub-skill
    • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Merit in all sub-skills, 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.

The MRes Media Research degree consists of two components: a taught course and a dissertation. The taught course takes place over an academic year. You’ll take three modules in the Autumn Semester and three modules in the Spring Semester, making for a total of six taught modules across the year.



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

    The course involves lectures, seminars, tutorials, a research project and case study work. A dissertation proposal must be submitted by the beginning of the Spring Semester when supervisors are allocated. You’ll be expected to stay within the areas of current staff interests and expertise. Each dissertation is approximately 12,000 words in length, and may take the form of a written publishable academic article or a project report, depending on its focus.

  • Assessment

    Assessment is conducted by means of coursework as specified for each module. This includes essays, a literature review, a research report, a seminar presentation and a media text.

  • Classroom hours

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



    Timings to be confirmed


    Timings to be confirmed


    Lecture – Fri 12.00-14.00

    Seminar – Fri 14.00-15.00



    Personal study time with pre-arranged tutorials


    Friday 09.00-17.00 (weeks 1, 3 and 7)

    Friday 09.00-12.30 (week 9)





    Please note this is an illustrative timetable, and not the timetable for 2017/18.

  • 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

    Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

    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

    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

Our course is ideal preparation for those wanting to go on to complete a PhD. It also offers an excellent grounding in social science methods that are transferable to media research for industry, marketing research, advertising research and production research.

Graduates have gone on to successful careers as academic researchers and in a range of careers in the media and related industries.

  • Testimonial quotes

    The programme is well organised, balanced and encompasses a range of courses that are designed to prepare me for postgraduate research at a more advanced level; and continued academic research throughout my career. The Faculty has well-prepared lecturers, as well as caring, responsive teachers who take the time, whenever solicited, to give individual attention to ensure my understanding of the subject areas.

    Monique Toppin
    MRes Media Research, 2013

  • Employability skills

    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 and a Careers and Employability Service that 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.

    Students have access to advice, information and career opportunities not only in the UK, but worldwide.

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