Media Research

MRes, Postgraduate Diploma


Our graduate media studies Masters award, Media Research (MRes), has an illustrious background, and has received awards, along with our other degrees.

1st in Scotland, top 15 in the UK for Communications and Media Studies (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017)

The Masters degree in Media Research, which can also provide the first year of the doctoral course, is designed to give you the necessary skills to carry out advanced interdisciplinary research in the broad field of media studies.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MRes, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Richard Haynes
Download postgraduate prospectus

Richard Haynes

Communications, Media and Culture
University of Stirling

Course objectives

A suite of MRes courses has been developed concurrently by six subject areas: Applied Social Science, Education, Communications, Media and Culture, Management, Nursing, Midwifery and Health and Sports Studies. These courses have a shared core of four modules in generic research skills, plus specialist disciplinary modules and a range of options.

They combine high quality with flexibility and choice for students. Employability is another important focus, with the opportunity for a research placement offered to all MRes students.

This course is designed to provide a basic but extensive training in media research methods. The training provided is multidisciplinary, covering social sciences and humanities approaches. Ideal candidates are those looking for employment in the media for which research training is seen as valuable, as well as those intending to pursue academic careers in the field.

The course:

  • Provides a structured analysis of established practices in film and media studies research.
  • Offers a critical overview of the intellectual frameworks that inform media research to enable you to develop your own approach to researching media institutions, texts and audiences.
  • Encourages you to explore your personal research interests and support the development of original enquiry through student-centred teaching and assessment.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

Library shelves

Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

Watch our videos now

Live Life

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.

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 Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information, go to English language requirements.

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email to discuss your course of study.

Fees and costs


2018/19 Overseas £15,250
2018/19 Home/EU £6,300






Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

Contact Communications, Media and Culture for information.

Information on possible sources of funding

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. Further information on the scholarships is available here.

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Delivery and assessment

The course involves lectures, seminars, tutorials, a research project and case study work. Assessment is by means of coursework as specified for each module and includes essays, a literature review, a research report, a seminar presentation and a media text. A dissertation proposal must be submitted by the beginning of the Spring Semester when supervisors are allocated (you will be expected to stay within the areas of current staff interest 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. 

Research interests
Research interests in 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 and other aspects of media and popular culture.


Academic Year 2017/18

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

SemesterModule 1 Module 2 Module 3 
Semester 1 ASRP002 - Research Design and Process core ASRP004 - Quantitative Data Analysis core MERPP08 - Media Research Methods 1 core
Semester 2 ASRP005 - Qualitative Data Analysis core MERRP13 - Applied Methods core Select 1 module from:
  • ASRP001 - The Nature of Social Enquiry
  • ASRP026 - Advanced Quantitative Methods
  • ASRP027 - Advanced Qualitative Methods
  • MERPP14 – Media Research Placement
  • MMAPP14 – Media regulation and Policy
Semester 3 MERPP07 - Dissertation core

This listing is based on the current curriculum and changes may be made to the course in response to new curriculum developments and innovations. Module information for 2017/18 will be made available in due course.

Modes of study

Full Time

Study method

Full Time

Example timetable

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.


Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


The University is top in Scotland in communication, cultural and media studies, as rated by the most recent UK Research Assessment Framework exercise (REF 2014), with 70% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .

Our students

“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. Initially, I chose this course because of the flexible, yet robust way it was designed. It comprised two parts: research and taught. For the former, I was challenged to do self-managed research supervised by Professor Richard Haynes, which allowed me to understand the fundamentals of independent research in a world-class academic institution in collaboration with first-class scholars. For the latter, I was exposed to the principles of copyright, managing research data, and advanced qualitative / quantitative techniques taught by academics from two different academic faculties, which gave me a broad scope of knowledge and vastly increased my employability.

Yet, the best part of the course was the hands-on experience I had working with the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive: I was tasked with archival research and cataloguing of the Archive as well as producing research articles for Professor Haynes’ blog “Sport Heritage” and contributing towards organising the exhibition “Hosts and Champions”.

Beyond the programme, I was able to use the pedigree the MRes in Media Research gave me to secure funding for my PhD, which I am currently undertaking, and am still using the practical and theoretical knowledge I obtained during the period of my Master degree.”

Damyan Kachulski,  MRes in Media Research, 2014



"I find the University of Stirling a stimulating and enriching arena for postgraduate study. Since starting my course in Media Research, I have grown significantly in my aptitude and knowledge of the subject. As a mature student, my transition back into academia has had its challenges but the transition was made to feel relatively seamless, primarily due to the innovative design of the course, and the respect and support of the faculty and staff with whom I have interacted. The support services and staff are principally student focused; I have generally been treated with respect, and my enquiries and concerns have being addressed with professional courtesy and efficiently. 

As regards the Masters in Media Research, I have only high praises. The programme is well organized, 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.  Overall, my postgraduate experience at the University of Stirling has been very enriching both academically and culturally."

          Monique Toppin, MRes in Media Research, 2013

Careers and employability


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16

The MRes provides students with both theoretical and practical knowledge of social science research methods and an ability to apply these to the study of the media. The degree is primarily targeted at students needing research training prior to registration for 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. Former graduates have successfully developed careers as academic researchers and a range of media industry related careers.

Industry connections

The Division of Communications, Media and Culture actively supports and encourages its staff to engage with a wider non-HEI audience for its research evidenced through contributions to policy fora, funded research for government agencies, collaborative work with NGO’s, engagement with the trade associations, unions and institutes of communications, media and culture professionals, active dialogue and contributions to media organisations across the spectrum of broadcasting, the press, film and the Internet, professional contributions to charities and pressure groups in relation to public media issues and policies, and a range of cultural heritage activities at national and international film festivals and exhibitions.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon