Masters in Research (MRes) Culture

Entry year
Course code
Creative and Cultural Industries
One year full-time; two years part-time
Full-time; Part-time
Programme leader
Andrew Spicer

Please note we are no longer offering this course to new applicants

Page last updated 20 February 2020


A postgraduate course that allows you to focus your studies directly on the cultural or creative area that most interests you (see 'You set the direction' below), by carrying out an extended piece of research of your own choosing.

If you are looking to undertake research in a specific area of humanities, the creative arts, culture, journalism or media, this Masters in Research (MRes) is the ideal postgraduate course.

This course is designed for individuals with a clear idea of which direction they want their academic studies to go in by enabling you to study your chosen cultural or creative field in depth and develop the necessary research and study skills.

Our staff are experts in a range of different disciplines with extensive experience in research. They are actively engaged in a number of varied research projects.

You set the direction

The MRes differs in a number of ways to a taught MA through its emphasis on an in-depth independent study.

You will select the subject you want your research to focus on which will determine the name of the award you are working towards. Your research project can take the form of either a solely written dissertation or a combination of writing and practice.

Award titles available include: Creative Practice, Culture, Media, English Literature, History, Film, Linguistics, English Language, Journalism, Applied Arts, Art, Design, and Digital Media.  

Well supported on your journey

Having a high degree of autonomy is central to this type of postgraduate study, but you will also be well supported by your supervisor, who will be there to guide and advise you throughout.

In addition, you will study two taught modules, designed to give you a solid grounding in research methodologies, and also develop your knowledge of your chosen discipline.

Part of a vibrant community

You will be joining a vibrant postgraduate research community, which includes a number of established research centres in different cultural and creative fields, including the Digital Cultures Research Centre, the Bristol Centre for Linguistics and the Regional History Centre.

You will benefit from these centres' strong connections and collaborations with a range of partners in Bristol, regionally and internationally.

We encourage applications from those who have studied their subject at undergraduate level, as well as those already working in professional practice. It is ideal preparation for PhD study and for careers in the cultural and creative industries.



The course consists of two taught modules, and a fully supervised major research project. The content of elements of the course will vary according to which award you have enrolled for and will be determined by your supervisor.

In the first semester (October - February), you will take the following compulsory module:

  • Module 1: Research Methodologies (30 credits) - This is an interdisciplinary research methodologies module that runs for 12 weeks. The first six weeks consist of a series of interdisciplinary lectures and seminars focusing on particular research skills,methodologies and approaches. In weeks 7 - 12, you will work with your supervisor to develop discipline-specific research methodologies.

Over the first two semesters (October - April) you will take:

  • Module 2: Research Portfolio (30 credits) - This is a discipline-specific research module that runs for 24 weeks. Based on the original research proposal you develop, your supervisor will draw up a reading list of significant works that will support or extend your project. Through a series of supervisions, you will develop your discipline knowledge and complete a research portfolio.

From February, you will work to complete your extended project, which will be handed in by the beginning of September.

  • Extended Project Module (120 credits) - The extended project can take a variety of forms depending of the nature of the discipline you are researching. It could be a written dissertation of up to 25,000 words; or, if practice-based the practice element could account for 50% of the project. In this latter case, the written component would be at least 12,500 words. Your supervisor will help you determine the appropriate balance for your research.

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.

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

Learning and Teaching

Teaching will consist of a mix of scheduled lectures and seminars to the whole group, and one-to-one supervision with your designated supervisor.

You will be supported through directed learning and independent study, and will engage in essential reading, research, assignment preparation and completion.

You will benefit from a higher level of close supervision than you would on a taught MA, allowing you to hone and develop your research skills.

You will also learn valuable presentation skills, covering not only how to present your research to your peers and at conferences, but also how to present yourself online by developing a compelling research portfolio.

The tutors you will work with are all experts in their field, with extensive experience of research themselves. Many of them are active members of UWE Bristol's research centres and have extensive links with industry and other organisations.

See our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

Study time

The MRes lasts one year full-time or two years part-time, running from September to September in both cases.

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 and there will be timetabled sessions for the first six weeks of the Research Methodologies module.

The formal teaching sessions will take place at Frenchay campus and individual tutorials will be located where your assigned supervisor is based.


Research Methodologies is assessed by:

  • A presentation lasting approximately ten minutes examining different disciplinary and methodological approaches to your study (30%)
  • A Research Proposal that contains a detailed description and justification of your proposed research (70%)

Research Portfolio is assessed by:

  • A literature/texts review of material supplied by your supervisor (30%)
  • A portfolio containing analytical readings of key texts/sources/artefacts relevant to your project that includes material you have generated through your own research (70%)

Extended Project is assessed by either:

  • A written dissertation of up to 25,000 words
  • If practice-based, a 12,500 written component and an artefact (for example, a film, sculpture, exhibition, installation, online material or other creative or cultural output)depending on what is appropriate to your practice

See our full glossary of assessment terms.


Study facilities

While you are studying with us, you will have access to a range of facilities to enhance your learning experience. This includes Frenchay campus Library, which is open 24 hours a day and includes computer facilities.

The library is well stocked with a wide range of electronic and print books, journals and other resources.

You will also have access to studios and workshops if appropriate, as well as relevant online resources.

Opportunity to network with PhD students

The Research Methodologies and Research Portfolio modules are also taken by PhD students, who you will have the opportunity to meet, and network, with.


Careers / Further study

The MRes at UWE Bristol is designed primarily to provide a foundation for further study at doctoral level. It also suited to those wishing to establish or advance their career in the creative and cultural industries.

You will be equipped with a range of transferable skills, including skills in research, communication, presentations, critical analysis, independent study and intellectual rigour all of which will prove invaluable, whether you are looking to pursue further academic study or establish yourself as an expert in your chosen creative or cultural field.

You will have access to career planning and employability support while you are studying with us (and for three years after you graduate) through the University's careers service.

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.


There is currently no published fee data for this course.

Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information. 


Entry requirements

You will need:

  • A good honours degree (minimum 2:1) in the discipline you have chosen or a related subject, or
  • Equivalent evidence of experience through portfolio work.

For further information