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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, Stand-alone modules

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 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 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 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.

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 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

    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
    2020/21 fees
     Home/EU studentsOverseas students
    Total course fee £6,000 £6,000
    20-credit module fee £667 £667
    60-credit module fee £2,000 £2,000

    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, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    For more information on courses invoiced on a modular fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

  • 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.

Grace  Messenger
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.
Grace Messenger
MRes Health Research (Online)
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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
MRes in Health Research
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