MRes Educational Research

Build towards a future in educational research with our Masters course. Study full-time or part-time and broaden your career opportunities.

Educational Research

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MRes, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September 2023
  • Duration MRes full-time: 12 months, MRes part-time: 27 months
  • Mode of study part time, full time
  • Delivery on campus, hybrid

Overview

This innovative Masters course, recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), prepares you for a career in educational research, whether you plan to go on to a doctorate or take your research in other directions.

Under the expert guidance of our team of leading academics, you’ll develop a broad range of research skills. You’ll learn to design and plan research projects and collect, analyse, interpret and report qualitative and quantitative data. By the time you graduate you’ll have a deeper understanding of the theoretical, ethical, political and comparative aspects of carrying out educational research.

The course also covers digital methodologies, and you’ll be involved with cutting-edge research projects currently being carried out by staff in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

This course is designed to equip you for a career in educational research or act as preparation for doctoral study. You’ll develop a range of invaluable research skills and engage closely with current research projects underway at the University and beyond.

Prospective students should also consider applying for the Doctor of Education EdD course as this may meet similar needs. Like a traditional PhD, the EdD meets the requirements for the doctorate via the production of a significant, original and rigorous contribution to the field. Like the MRes, the EdD starts with a taught phase and contains the same six core modules at the outset.

The MRes in Educational Research offers you:

  • a structured taught course in educational research
  • excellent preparation for PhD doctoral study
  • critical engagement with current education research projects in the Faculty of Social Sciences
  • the award of a Masters degree
  • a course recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • the option of applying for funding via the SGSSS

Professional accreditation

Our Educational Research course has been recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council as meeting its criteria for postgraduate research training, helping students learn core and transferable research skills and improving their future employability. It also forms part of the recognised pathway in educational research for the Scottish Graduate School in the Social Sciences.

Work placements

An opportunity to undertake a research placement will be available to you as you work towards your MRes.

Flexible learning

There are part-time and full-time options. Students may also study via hybrid optional provision in the taught modules. All modules make use of some form of synchronous online and/or face-to-face attendance. When classes are face-to-face we can arrange for hybrid attendance if students need to remain off campus. There is also the use of a virtual learning environment (Canvas) and most modules have considerable asynchronous participation online. Most of the classes for the initial taught modules are timetabled for synchronous activity (be that face-to-face or other) on Fridays – but check ahead for the semesterly timetable. Contact the programme director for more information and to discuss hybrid options. 

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 overview

In the Research Excellence Framework 2021, 100% of our research impact and environment in Education was classed as world leading or internationally excellent, placing us in the top 20 in the UK for research impact and research environment.

Our expert teaching team are on hand to introduce you to cutting-edge empirical and theoretical research in a multi-disciplinary and professional environment.

We have a vibrant and collegial research community of students and staff at Stirling. As you can see from our staff listings and publications, we have expertise across many diverse areas of research which can be deployed in supervision.

Entry requirements

Academic 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.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

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 Academic or UKVI 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing and 6.0 in speaking and listening
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 176 in reading and writing and 169 in speaking and listening
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 180 in reading and writing and 169 in speaking and listening
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with a minimum of 62 in reading and writing and 60 in speaking and listening
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with a minimum of 19 in reading, 24 in writing, 21 in speaking and 19 in listening
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 80 overall with a minimum of 19 in reading, 24 in writing, 21 in speaking and 19 in listening
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a minimum of Merit in speaking and listening and distinction in reading and writing, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator - High Pass with a minimum of 152/200 overall including 38 in reading and writing, and 33 in speaking and listening

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.

Course details

Grow your expertise through a diverse range of modules covering multiple aspects of educational research, paradigms, practices, methods and methodologies.

It comprises six core taught modules and – for students seeking to earn the full Masters MRes – a dissertation of 15,000 words. 

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2022). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details

Teaching

The course is designed to meet the Economic and Social Research Council’s requirements for broad knowledge, practical skills and both generic and specific competencies in educational research. The taught modules are delivered by education experts from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The six core modules are taken full-time across the Autumn and Spring two semesters (and over twice that period for part-time). Approximate days and commitments for scheduled taught components are below.

EDRP001 The Nature of Educational Inquiry
8 Friday afternoons: online / some optional face-to-face

ASRP002 Qualitative Research Design
8 Friday Mornings – a mix of online, hybrid optional attendance, and face-to-face classes

ASRP004 Quantitative Data Analysis
8-10 Monday Mornings – a face-to-face module. It may be appropriate for some students (with good mathematics/statistics backgrounds) to take an online version of this module: ASRP104.

EDRP002 Theory and Methods of Digital Social Research
6-8 Friday Afternoons – Online. One or two optional face-to-face sessions.

ASRP001 The Nature of Social Inquiry
5+ Friday Mornings – optional hybrid by arrangement, mostly face-to-face

ASRP005 Qualitative Data Analysis
5+ Friday Mornings – optional hybrid by arrangement, mostly face-to-face 

Modes of study

 

Masters

Diploma

Certificate

Full-time:

12 months

9 months

4 months

Part-time:

27 months

21 months

16 months

 

Assessment

You'll be assessed in each course module through assignments approximately 3,000 words in length but many modules have more than one assignment and take creative approaches to the use of digital, creative, and collaborative assignment production for assessment. The MRes also leads into the production of a dissertation (EDRP009) of 15k words under expert supervision by Education staff from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Classroom hours

Full-time students take 3 modes a semester with each module carrying 20 credits (approx 200 hrs each for study time). Part-timers take one or two modules in a given semester but must take three modules across the academic year. Most part timers find it easier to have a minimum of a day or two a week (or equivalent if you study in the evenings) to commit to study. For sure, you will need considerable time dedicated to study in certain phases to get assignments and projects completed. Either way, the commitment is important to realise, with each module carrying 20 credits (approx 200 hours each for total study time which includes both shared, synchronous and independent researching and assignment production).    

In the dissertation phase, we require you to be quite independent when your contact with faculty will be mainly via supervision meetings. Of course, across the faculty, there are many research groups, events and training opportunities which are open to you.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

  2022/23 2023/24
Students from the UK£7,100£7,600
Students from the Republic of Ireland£7,100£7,600
Overseas (non-EU) students£17,275£17,775
European Union students£17,275£17,775

Students from the UK

Course fees

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

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from the Republic of Ireland

Course fees

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

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

European Union students

EU Postgraduate Scholarship

Eligible EU students will automatically receive our EU Postgraduate Scholarship, which provides a 40% fee discount on full-time, on-campus postgraduate degrees at the University of Stirling.

Course fees

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

If you need to extend your period of study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Overseas students (non-EU)

We offer a range of funding options for overseas students.

Course fees

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

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

The full-time option for this course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

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.

Scholarships and funding

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students who study this course full-time may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £11,500 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £11,570 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,025 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

Other sources of funding

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.

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.

European Union 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

After you graduate

91% of Education students at the University of Stirling felt their course has enhanced their employability

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2021

Our Masters in Educational Research improves the career prospects of researchers in education, training and related subjects, and professionals who need to understand and commission research in these fields. It’s valuable preparation for doctoral research in education, and is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting its criteria for postgraduate research training that helps students improve their employability while learning core research skills.

  • Open up a wide range of future possibilities in educational research
  • ESRC accreditation helps to broaden your opportunities after graduating
  • Benefit from our strong focus on employability

Testimonial quotes

This masters in research is ideal for those looking to develop their understanding of the role of research in educational settings of all kinds and provides an excellent precursor to the PhD pathway. This course is designed to assist those working in education and training in all kinds of professional settings who wish to learn how to understand, design, enact and employ cutting edge educational research to create desired impacts.

Greg Mannion
greg.mannion@stir.ac.uk

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