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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 Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MRes full-time: 12 months, MRes part-time: 24 to 48 months
  • Mode of study Online, Part-time, Full-time

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 where research is a core component. The entire 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 in Health Research is to develop skilled and knowledgeable researchers, able to understand and apply a full range of research methods and approaches to exploring 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 MRes 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 abilities to prepare for a career in research or to study for a PhD.

  • Professional accreditations

    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

    You’ll have the opportunity to do a research placement – either virtually or on campus – with world-class research teams working on live projects.

  • Flexible learning

    Most of the modules on our MRes Health Research are available to study individually as part of your continuing professional development (CPD). UK/EU students can study a 20-credit module for £522, while overseas students can do so for £857. 

    For further information see the modules on the course details section or visit the MRes Health Research CPD page.  

    If you’re interested in studying one or more of them you can also email to discuss your course of 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

    Our Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport was ranked 1st in Scotland for Health Sciences in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) – highlighting our commitment to producing world-leading research that improves healthcare and reduces health inequalities on a global and local scale.

  • 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.

  • 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 skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 with minimum of 169 in each skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 with minimum 169 in each skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

    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.

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, three or four years. If you are working full time, you are strongly recommended to undertake the programme part-time.


The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2019/20 on this course of study.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    This course is taught via a virtual learning platform where you can access module reading, podcasts of lectures and other educational resources. We also have a virtual online classroom, where we can teach in real-time through interactive seminars, online team-working and skills development sessions. This enables students to study with us from virtually anywhere in the world.

    Online teaching sessions are delivered in the evenings (UK time), but are usually recorded so that those who can’t attend can listen to the session later on.

  • Assessment

    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.

  • Course director
  • Key staff
    Ask an expert

    Jayne Donaldson

    Professor Jayne Donaldson explains why Stirling is the ideal place to study health sciences and sport.

    Ask an expert in health sciences and sport

  • Fees and costs

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

    Fee status2020/21

    Home/EU Students

    Course fee: £6,000

    20 credit module: £TBC

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Course fee: £6,000

    20 credit module: £TBC

    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.

    Home/EU Students

    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 £10,000 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan SchemeWelsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £10,280 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

  • Scholarships and funding

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

    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.

  • 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 Health Research course suits students who want a variety of careers in health where research plays a core role. 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.

  • 1st in Scotland and top 15 in the UK for Health Sciences (REF2014)
  • 96% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey, 2016/17)

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.

  • Testimonial quotes

    I applied to study for the Master of Research in Health Research chiefly because my work experience and career plan aligns with what the course offers. The modules and teaching approaches offered by the University of Stirling through the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport seemed like the perfect fit for me because the programme greatly improved my previous knowledge and subsequently Job skills. The knowledge gained and applied where I currently work has earned me employer’s recognition and promotion.

    Samuel O Ikani, Nigeria
    MRes Health Research 2014

  • 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.

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.
Mr Jonathan Bryce
Scotland MRes in Health Research
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