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MRes Educational Research

Build towards a future in educational research with our Masters course. Study full-time or part-time and broaden your career opportunities.

Educational Research

Economic and Social Research Council Logo

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MRes, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September or January
  • Duration MRes full-time: 12 months, MRes part-time: 27 months
  • Mode of study Campus based, Mixture of online and classroom delivery

This innovative Masters course prepares you for a career in educational research, whether you plan to go on to a doctorate or take your research in other directions.

Under the expert guidance of our team of leading academics, you’ll develop a broad range of research skills. You’ll learn to design and plan research projects and collect, analyse, interpret and report qualitative and quantitative data. By the time you graduate you’ll have a deeper understanding of the theoretical, ethical, political and comparative aspects of carrying out educational research.

The course also covers digital methodologies, and you’ll be involved with cutting-edge research projects currently being carried out by staff in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    This course is designed to equip you for a career in educational research or act as preparation for doctoral study (as a 1 + 3 route to a PhD). You’ll develop a range of invaluable research skills and engage closely with current research projects underway at the University and beyond.

    The course offers you:

    • a structured taught course in educational research
    • excellent preparation for doctoral studies by research
    • first-hand experience of current education research projects in the Faculty of Social Sciences
    • the award of a Masters degree
    • a course recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Professional accreditations

    Our Educational Research course has been recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council as meeting its criteria for postgraduate research training, helping students learn core and transferable research skills and improving their future employability. It also forms part of the recognised pathway in educational research for the Scottish Graduate School in the Social Sciences.

  • Work placements

    An opportunity to undertake a research placement will be available to you as you work towards your MRes.

  • Flexible learning

    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

    In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Educational research at the University of Stirling had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish university, with 100% classed as either world-leading or internationally excellent. Our expert teaching team are on hand to introduce you to cutting-edge empirical and theoretical research in a multi-disciplinary and professional environment.

Entry requirements for your country/region

  • 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 minimum 6.0 in speaking and listening and minimum 6.5 in reading and writing
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade B or above
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B or above
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with a minimum 60 in reading and writing and minimum 56 in speaking and listening
    • IBT TOEFL: 90 with minimum 23 in reading and writing and minimum 20 in speaking and listening

    More information on our English language requirements

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Grow your expertise through a diverse range of modules covering multiple aspects of Educational Research.

It comprises six core taught modules and – for students seeking to earn the MRes – a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Modes of Study






12 months

9 months

4 months


27 months

21 months

16 months


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

    The course is designed to meet the Economic and Social Research Council’s requirements for broad knowledge, practical skills and both generic and specific competencies in educational research. The taught modules are delivered by education experts from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

  • Assessment

    Assessment for modules is based on coursework, which includes assignments of approximately 3,000 words in length.

  • Classroom hours

    The expected period of study for each module is 200 hours, with an approximate amount of 20 hours face-to-face teaching time.

  • Course director
  • Fees and costs

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


    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    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 £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    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.

  • Scholarships and funding

    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.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • 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 Masters in Educational Research improves the career prospects of researchers in education, training and related subjects, and professionals who need to understand and commission research in these fields. It’s valuable preparation for doctoral research in education, and is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting its criteria for postgraduate research training that helps students improve their employability while learning core research skills.

  • Open up a wide range of future possibilities in educational research
  • ESRC accreditation helps to broaden your opportunities after graduating
  • Benefit from our strong focus on employability
  • Testimonial quotes

    This masters in research is ideal for those looking to develop their understanding of the role of research in educational settings of all kinds and provides an excellent precursor to the EdD pathway. This course is designed to assist those working in education and training in all kinds of professional settings who wish to learn how to understand, design, enact and employ cutting edge educational research to create desired impacts.

    Greg Mannion, Course Director

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