Research Degrees

What is a research degree?

Research degrees are at the apex of tertiary education and awarded by UK universities. A research degree (PhD programme) takes into consideration Master of Research and is sometimes offered as part of a 4-year PhD programme of study and research. As part of a research degree, you are expected and or required to submit a succinct research proposal outlining what you intend to do, why, when and how while outlining your research outcomes. However, with the help of your research supervisor, submitting a proposal is not difficult. Entry to a research programme will require normal entry requirements for any masters or PhD level of education. Depending on the institution, the average requirement is to hold a first degree.

However, you can choose to study for a masters by research as a stand-alone subject. In some universities and institutions, Masters by research are abbreviated as MScR and in science and technology it is abbreviated as “MRes”, and in the art and humanities disciplines it is abbreviated as “MARes”. They are all research degrees at master’s level.

Masters degree in research

A Masters degree by research is an excellent route if your aim is to pick up a PhD degree programme. It gives you a wonderful grounding in research approaches, provides you with a wider research experience than any other master’s programme and finally a masters by research provides improved employment chances especially with research companies and institutions.

A master’s degree in research will vary by discipline and institution in just a few ways. You can study for this master’s degree programme in one-year, full time or two years, part time. However, in other words, research degrees are the highest certification or degree level of tertiary education awarded by UK universities. As you already know, we call them PhD holders and professional doctors with a common designation “doctor”.

MRES is a professional master’s qualification that involves and or focuses on research though with element of teaching. With the MRES, 2/3 of the studies focus on practical research projects and a dissertation of 15000-20000 words is required at the end of the program. The emphasis on studying on this program is not on a subject, it is about your independent research abilities and you will be awarded an MRES qualification on any subject that focuses on independent research activity.

PhD and MPhil programmes

PhD and MPhil programmes are research degrees and equally different from other taught degrees because the focus is on individual research projects and as opposed to those where your coursework is assessed. The importance of these research degrees is that they focus on the creation and innovation of knowledge. The one good thing about these programmes is that, each researcher is entitled to a supervisor who is there to help you but you will have to lead and manage the project. Some dissertations request up to 100,000 words but on average, a dissertation is approximately 70,000 words.

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