Two students sat writing in a classroom.

Masters in Research (MRes)

Social Sciences

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Health and Social Sciences
One year full-time; two years part-time
Full-time; part-time
Programme leader:
Joel Allainguillaume
Key fact:
Join our world-class research community to develop specialist knowledge and research experience in your area of interest. As well as conduct research in your workplace or with our organisational partners.

Page last updated 9 April 2018


Why MRes Social Sciences?

Whether it's changing policy on human trafficking, tackling negative body image issues, or helping young people live healthier lives, we are pioneering exciting developments in social sciences.

Our Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) is world-renowned for its research on appearance, disfigurement and related issues.

Our Centre for Health and Clinical Research conducts life-changing research into long-term conditions, children and young people, emergency and critical care and patient and public involvement. This is done in collaboration with charities, health services, corporates, governments and academia from all over the world.

Find out more about our pioneering research at the Centre for Health and Clinical Research.

Why study our course?

With the option to study full-time at UWE Bristol or alongside your work, this course enables you to deepen your knowledge in an area of interest alongside our world-class research community.

After developing a solid grounding in academic research practice, you will focus your research in one of the following subject specialisms:

  • Criminology
  • Environmental Health
  • Philosophy
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Public Health
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Although there is plenty of autonomy, you will be supported throughout by a supervisor. And once you have decided on your research project, you can test hypotheses in well-equipped facilities, which include laboratories for eye tracking, electroencephalograms (EEG) and sports and exercise analysis.

Real world experience

If you are working, you can tailor research to your workplace. Thanks to our diverse partners, there are opportunities to work on innovative projects with organisations ranging from the NHS and Dove, to Avon and Somerset Police. Throughout the course, you will also record research engagement activity so you graduate with a professional training development portfolio that relates to your current or future employment.

Where it can take you

On graduation, you will have advanced skills in design data, collection and analysis, and a strong understanding and evidence base in your area of interest. You can also use credits towards a PhD, so you can continue to deepen your knowledge and research experience.



Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Research Training and Professional Development Portfolio
  • Extended Research Project.

Plus, up to two optional modules* from (according to credit requirements):

  • Qualitative Health Research
  • Quantitative Health Research
  • Research in Theory and Practice
  • Researching Beneath the Surface
  • Independent Study.

*These will need to be discussed with your programme leader (along with any other relevant modules recommended) and chosen in relation to your extended research project.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

You will learn through a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars, presentations, supervised and independent study.

The course starts with a short period of upfront learning at UWE Bristol. This will give you the chance to learn key research concepts and meet your teachers, peers and our research community.

Research is then delivered and supported online, supplemented with on-site group sessions throughout the year. During the extended research project module, you will define your focus area. 

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

This MRes is either one year full-time or two years part-time, and runs from September to September. As this is a research degree, most of your time will be spent on independent study, but you will have regular contact with your supervisor at UWE Bristol.

If studying part-time, you'll be able to schedule study around work and other commitments.


You will be assessed through coursework, a portfolio and a written dissertation.

The Research Training and Professional Development portfolio is a record of all your research engagement activities.

An extended research project of 21,000 words consists of a research proposal, written report, continuation proposal, and draft journal submission.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.



If you are already working, you can tailor your research and apply it to your workplace. We also collaborate with a diverse range of organisations regionally, nationally and internationally.

Once you've identified your focus, there may be opportunities to do research with one of our research centres or groups.

Study facilities

Whether you're learning online or in class, conducting experiments in laboratories, or accessing resources to inform your research, we provide everything you need to succeed in your studies, such as:

  • Studying in our interactive learning environments to access industry journals and comprehensive online resources.
  • Monitoring the effects of alcohol, hangovers, caffeine etc. on driving performance using our driving simulator.
  • Investigating perception and eye movements related to psychological phenomena in eye-tracking laboratories and examine brain activity in our EEG Lab.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

On graduation, you will have advanced skills in research design, collection and analysis, and a strong understanding and evidence base in your area of specific interest. You can also use credits from this qualification towards a PhD, so you can continue to deepen your knowledge and research experience.


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee6000
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)500
International-Full Time-Award Fee14500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1208

Part Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)500

Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information. 


Entry requirements

An honours degree with a minimum of a 2:1 in a relevant first degree or equivalent.

We welcome applications from students who have achieved a 2:2 degree which will be considered individually. In such instances  the applicant will need to demonstrate appropriate evidence of research engagement alongside professional experience within their personal statement.

Students starting this course will be conducting their extended research project within the Department of Health and Social Sciences.

Please download the research projects/topics for MRes in Social Sciences list to either select your preferred project or identify a topic of interest. The list identifies projects/topics that will be supported in the various research groups within the department has been compiled for 2017/2018. If you have a topic of interest that is not listed, please get in touch so that we can discuss this with you.

You should build your application around your topic of interest and if we choose to invite you in for interview, we will organise this with the most appropriate supervisor.

How to apply

Read more about postgraduate applications

For further information

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