MRes Health Research (Online)

Study online and boost your health research career with a Masters degree in Health Research from the University of Stirling.

Health Research (Online)

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MRes, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Start date September 2024
  • Duration MRes full-time: 12 months, MRes part-time: 24 to 30 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery online


Recognised by ESRC as training eligible for 1+3 awards


The health and social care sectors are constantly changing in order to provide better treatment and access to care. Improving health and social care services would not be possible without the work of well-trained researchers.

Our Health Research Masters degree equips you to conduct high quality, rigorous research. You’ll benefit from our strong emphasis on both theoretical and practical skills and you'll be supported by a multidisciplinary team of experienced researchers and health professionals.

The course is suitable for diverse backgrounds including medicine, nursing, midwifery, allied health, social work, social and natural sciences. It's for anyone wishing to pursue a career in health research or to study for a PhD.

The course is entirely online, giving you the freedom to work towards a Masters around your personal and professional commitments.

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

The aim of our MRes Health Research programme is to develop skilled and knowledgeable researchers, able to understand and apply a full range of research methods and approaches to conducting research in health. We focus on equipping you with a combination of skills and experience, as well as placing an emphasis on developing confidence in both independent study and working as part of a team.

This course has been designed to be suitable for both novice and experienced researchers. No matter what your level of expertise may be, we will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare for a career in research or to study for a PhD.

Professional accreditation

This course meets the requirements for the ESRC 1+3 awards, which means prospective students are eligible to apply for a studentship providing funding for a one-year research training Masters linked to a three-year PhD. Prospective applicants should apply approximately one year in advance of their intended start date.

Read more at the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science website.

Work placements

The Research in Practice module will give you experience of working within a research team. Students are allocated to research projects and these can also be completed remotely. Some students opt to spend some time on campus to benefit from the full experience. 

Flexible learning

Our flexible degree structure means you can study the following modules from the MRes Health Research (Online) individually as stand-alone continuing professional development (CPD) short courses:

You can study most MRes Health Research modules as standalone Continuing Professional Development (CPD) short courses.

These modules can link into appraisal systems such as the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework to help you record your professional development as you study.

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

Our research is world-class and is recognised for its quality and innovation. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) analysis 100% of our research environment, 80% of our research impact and 83% of our overall research in Allied Health Professions and Nursing is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.

Entry requirements

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.

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 6.0 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with 60 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Course details

Study part-time or full time as you work towards a Health Research Masters degree. Advance your knowledge and skills in how to conduct high quality, rigorous health research.

This course includes six modules and a dissertation project, all of which need to be completed in order to earn the Masters award. Full-time students will be expected to take 12 months to complete this work. Part-time students can complete the course in two or three years. If you are working full time, you are strongly recommended to undertake the programme part-time. 


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details


How you'll learn online

This course benefits from considerable staff expertise in online learning.  All lectures are delivered as podcasts or recorded in real-time with student participation. Additionally, ‘virtual classroom’ sessions offer the opportunity for students to engage in discussions, ask questions and collaborate on tasks.  

Online teaching sessions are delivered in the evenings (UK time), but are recorded to allow those who are unable to attend to catch up at a later time. Students will also access resources such as workbooks, electronic reading lists and online assignment submission and marking. As a fully online experience, this course offers the flexibility to study at your own time and wherever you are in the world.


You’ll be assessed in a variety of areas, including:

  • essay-based assignments
  • verbal presentations
  • writing analytical research reports
  • completing data analysis exercises
  • producing reflective reports/journaling

Classroom hours

Each 20 credit module requires around 200 hours of study time, including lectures, independent study and assignment preparation.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

2023-24 fees

2023-24 fees

Total course fee


20-credit module fee


60-credit module fee



2024-25 fees

2024-25 fees

Total course fee


20-credit module fee


60-credit module fee


You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every module you enrol on.

Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course. If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

This fee is charged as a module fee. Details of the tuition fee policy relating to module fees can be found in our tuition fees policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Some intakes of this course are 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 (or part-time if they complete the course in 24 months or less) 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 £12,167 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,770 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.

Fully funded places

Fully funded places are available on this course through the ESRC. Details can be found on the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science website.

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

Our Health Research course suits students who are interested in a variety of careers in health research. It will give you all the practical and theoretical skills and knowledge you need to progress as a researcher or go on to pursue a PhD.

The majority of our students are already working in health or social care prior to starting the course and remain employed throughout the duration of their studies. Others use the MRes as preparation for PhD studies. Whatever your situation, the course provides valuable training in conducting high quality research that can make a genuine impact on the health and social care sector – a skill that is valued in a vast range of professional and academic roles.

96% of our graduates were in employment or further study 15 months after graduation (Graduate Outcomes 2020/21, HESA).

Employability skills

You’ll develop a wide range of transferable skills during your studies that will boost your career opportunities, including:

  • Team-working
  • IT skills
  • Literature searching
  • Critical appraisal
  • Presentation skills
  • Writing and data analysis

Companies we work with

The MRes team consists of experienced health professionals and social scientists. Through their work they collaborate with various national and international bodies.

What our students said

Grace  Messenger
Grace Messenger
MRes Health Research (Online)
I live out in Kuwait and work as a podiatrist, so when I decided to take on a Masters I knew I needed a distance learning degree that was fully online. The course at Stirling has been fantastic for me.
Read Grace's story
Jonathan Bryce
MRes in Health Research
The beauty of the programme is that it works for a whole range of backgrounds. That actually helps with your learning as you meet people from other backgrounds who can give you insight into their work and you learn a lot from each other.
Read Jonathan's story

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