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MRes is a research focused Master's which provides an ideal platform for professional development or prepares you for PhD study. Pursue your own research interests; do what excites you. Specialisms include: Sport, Psychology, Health, Education, plus much more. Scroll down for the full list.

MREs student reading books for his research

Design and do research based on your own interests

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Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree or equivalent.

We welcome applications from experienced practitioners with non-traditional qualifications.

Applicants may be assessed at interview

UCAS code Apply to Marjon

UCAS institution code P63

Duration One year full-time or two years part-time

Any questions about postgraduate study at Marjon?

Contact Rachel Bailey-Lewis, our Student Recruitment Officer (Postgraduate).

Course Summary

The Master of Research (MRes) is a flexible programme based around three taught research methods modules, an independent project relating to your specialist subject area, and a Master's thesis (supported through academic tutorials). The supervisory team are all research active within their subject specialisms.

The programme promotes collaborative engagement between students and research active academic staff. This engagement has already resulted in a number of research publications. It provides an opportunity for individuals from a range of professional and academic backgrounds to gain a critical appreciation of developments in their specialist subject area and to enhance the analytical and research skills necessary to engage in advanced research projects. 

The MRes forms an important part of the Higher Degree portfolio of the University. The MRes programme provides a good grounding in the research process and can be used as a stepping stone into Doctoral research.

It provides an opportunity for individuals from a range of professional and academic backgrounds to gain a critical appreciation of developments in their specialist subject area and to enhance the analytical and research skills necessary to engage in advanced research projects. The flexibility of the programme makes it suitable for both those who are experienced practitioners undertaking senior roles, as well as less experienced students looking to lay the foundations for a new career pathway following an undergraduate degree.

Popular subject specialisms include:

  • Psychology
  • Criminology
  • Forest School
  • Outdoor Education
  • Sport Coaching
  • Sport Performance Analysis

Additional subject specialisms include:  

  • Applied Sport Development
  • Business
  • Communication disorders
  • English Literature
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Inclusive Physical Education
  • Journalism
  • Linguistics
  • Outdoor Learning
  • Physical Activity and Public Health
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling
  • Social Sciences
  • Socio Cultural Studies in Sport
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Sport and Health Sciences
  • Sport and Leisure Management
  • Sport and Public Policy
A Marjon psychology student has a pair of glasses with a camera attached adjusted by a lecturer

Why this course at Marjon?

Design your own research projects with a supervisor with related expertise and a real interest in your ideas

Be positioned at the cutting edge of contemporary issues and debates about literature

Flexibility to pursue your research projects over one or two years

Scope to be original and innovative in your approach and thinking

Research based Masters which provides an ideal platform for professional development or prepares you for PhD study

We welcome applications from experienced practitioners with non traditional qualifications

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

The MRes course enables students to explore a very specific topic within their chosen subject area. The lecturers are extremely knowledgeable and give help and guidance at every opportunity. You’ll learn essential research design skills to help you to develop your Master’s thesis. The modules are the same no matter what subject you study and you’ll be assigned a specialist tutor from your own subject area who will guide you through the process to ensure you gain the most out of the course.
Adam - MRes Sport and Exercise Science student

1st Year

Critical perspectives on the research process
This is a taught module that critically explores the characteristics of the research process, contending research paradigms, methodological considerations, research design and selection of research methods, data analysis. The module addresses key considerations relating to validity and reliability and ethical dimensions of research.
Interdisciplinary qualitative and quantitative research methods
This is a taught module that critically engages with the key principles and characteristics of qualitative and quantitative research methods and their relationship to contending research paradigms. The module will consider these methods in relation to research design, data collection and, data analysis.
Disciplinary specific research methods
The module revolves around a series of academic tutorials linked to subject specialisms, that considers the research process in the context of their intellectual traditions and disciplinary origins. It explores, from a task orientated perspective, the adoption of specific methods in response to challenges presented when carrying out critical investigations within the subject specialism.
Contemporary contextual issues
A supervised project based module that enables practitioners to identify and critically analyse the wider contextual issues that define the parameters their subject specialism. Typically projects could explore; scientific, technical, policy and / or strategic developments that impact on areas of professional activity associated with the subject specialism, as well as local, regional, national and global influences on the development of professional roles.
Master's project
This project, supported through a schedule of academic tutorials, enables the student to explore critically and systematically, an area of particular interest associated with their subject specialism. This could involve engagement with applied or action research.

Current students say...


“At Marjon, I’ve been able to put an idea into action by running a Menopause Café on campus. This has enabled me to create an environment that allows women to share their experiences and feelings, and meet some amazing people. After graduating, I’m considering progressing to a PhD in clinical psychology, or maybe a psychology role in the NHS, using the skills and knowledge I’ve gained at Marjon."

Research areas and topics that might interest you

Understanding a new approach to supporting children of excessive weight as part of a multi-disciplinary team

Investigating factors that contribute to 'plant blindness'

Investigating attitudes to maths in children and young adults

Female performance, health and well-being in sport and coaching

Dehumanisation and Pathologisation of female offenders

Outdoor educators relationship with place

I hadn’t appreciated, prior to engaging on the course, the tremendous amount of resources that Marjon provides; not just in terms of outstanding laboratory research facilities; but in terms of people.
Gary Baker - MRes graduate

See where our graduates are now

Ron Kiddle

“MRes is structured with the individual student in mind. Personal supervision from an enthusiastic and highly insightful supervisor offered an open approach to project design. This granted me the means to release my intellectual energies in a productive way. I found the process not only helped to expand my investigative abilities but also increased my self-confidence. MRes was a gateway to PhD, and an enjoyably rigorous undertaking. It has been an experience for which I will always be grateful.”

Ron is now a PhD student.

What might you become?

Your MRes experience with Marjon is customised to reflect your own professional aspirations and increase your potential to progress with your current employer or within the wider sector. The MRes programme also provides a good grounding in the research process and can be used as a stepping stone into Doctoral research. 

Two students track golf performance on the Trackman simulator in the biomechanics lab

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Teaching combines interactive lectures, seminars and workshops, all supported by online materials and tutorials. The research project supervisor will have expertise in the chosen area and will provide guidance throughout the process. Where appropriate, a second supervisor will also be involved.


How will you be assessed?

Our assessments are throughout the year and include portfolios, reports, research proposals, presentations, a literature review and the Master's research project. The assessments are designed to offer you the ability to demonstrate your knowledge and provide you with research skills. 

Rosanna Walters-Symons

Dr Rosanna Walters-Symons

Course leader

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Rosanna manages the MRes framework, she is an experienced researcher and the first point of contact for enquiries about the MRes framework.

Your schedule

Students can expect to be on campus one day a week.  

Course location(s):

You are required to attend sessions at our Plymouth campus.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £8,000 per annum

Fees for International students: £14,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more about funding


Dr Hazel Bending

Associate Professor in Psychology

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Hazel is an Associate Professor in Psychology. She teaches community psychology, neuropsychology, qualitative research methods and conceptual and historical issues in psychology.

She is a chartered member and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS), and a senior fellow of the HEA.  

She is a member of the BPS Member Board and UEC. She is the manager of the Marjon Memory Cafe and supports students in providing wellbeing interventions for people across Plymouth and the local area.

Her interests include identity, student wellbeing and academic buoyancy, and student leadership. She is currently supervising 3 PhD  students on projects relating to mental health, embodiment of cognition and supporting transitions in early years.

Professor Professor Saul Bloxham

Dean of School

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Saul's research focuses on the prevention and treating non communicable disease through lifestyle interventions. He has established several health and wellbeing clinics in partnership with the NHS and charitable organisations to support patients with back pain, cancer, fibromyalgia and leg ulcers.

Dr Phil Brown

Senior Lecturer

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Dr Katheryn Edwards

Lecturer in Psychology

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Dr Katheryn Edwards is a BPS Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her PhD investigated a dual process account of human mind-reading. Katheryn teaches across a number of modules relating to cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, research methods and study skills.

Dr Kass Gibson

Associate Professor

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Kass is a qualified PE teacher who has taught in schools, colleges, and universities in New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and the UK. He is a member of the University of Toronto’s Suffering, Pain and Ethics Lab Scientific Team. His research examines experiences and practices in physical activity health promotion, sport, and physical education.

Elena Golder


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Georgios Katsogridakis


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Having worked as an educator and adventure sports coach in Greece, The Netherlands, and now in the UK, Georgios carries with him a breadth of international experience and a passion for teaching outdoors. His research focuses on key issues such as the relationship between adventure practice and peoples' cultures, and the use of digital technologies for educational purposes. As the leader of the BA (Hons) Outdoor Adventure Education, Georgios constantly strives to ensure that the programme is up to date with current research and modern educational approaches, and that all students are given the support they need to succeed in their studies.

Dr Mark Leather

Associate Professor - Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning

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Mark is an all-rounder in outdoor activities and is known for his research on Forest Schools, Outdoor Learning and Place Based Outdoor Education. He teaches paddling, sailing, hill walking and expeditions. He is an experienced tutor who is internationally known through his publications, research and conference presentations. He draws on previous experience as an Adventure Centre Manager, Sailing Instructor, Head of Science and as Director of a Counsellor in Training program for Camp America summer camp in Connecticut.

Daniel Underdown

Senior Lecturer

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Dr Jonathan Waddington


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Jonathan specialises in applied neuropsychology and has a research background investigating the therapeutic use of gamified cognitive training for young people with visuocognitive difficulties. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority and teaches across a number of modules on the undergraduate and postgraduate psychology programmes related to cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychology, and applied research methods.

More information

 If you are thinking of applying for the MRes here are some tips for things to cover in your application.

  • Why you would like to do an MRes?
  • Why you would like to do an MRes in your particular subject?
  • What are your current research interests?
  • Are you considering full-time or part-time study?
  • We also want to know about you as a person. What are your interests? Provide detail about relevant research and work experience.

Frequently asked questions

Q1   What is the difference between part-time and full-time options?

The full-time course, all modules are completed over 1 year. This option is typically suited for those students that have a developed research project idea and have minimal additional commitments outside of their Masters course.  The part-time course allows for the completion of the modules over 2 years; 3 modules in the first year and 2 modules in the second year. This option is typically suited to those students that have additional commitments and who intend to work alongside their Masters course.  

Apply now for this course


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