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Pursue your own research with this very flexible Master’s programme. Do what excites you!

Design and do research based on your own interests

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree or equivalent.

Sometimes applicants with other degrees are assessed at interview, and an appropriate reading programme prepared for them.

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



UCAS code Apply direct to Marjon

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

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 Masters 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.

The following subject specialisms are available:

  • Sport Coaching
  • Sport Performance Analysis
  • Sport and Health Sciences
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Sport and Leisure Management
  • Sport and Public Policy
  • Applied Sport Development
  • Communication disorders
  • Linguistics
  • Psychology
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling
  • Physical Activity and Public Health
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Inclusive Physical Education
  • Professional Studies
  • Socio Cultural Studies in Sport
  • Social Sciences
  • Criminology
  • English Literature
  • Journalism
  • Business
  • Outdoor Education

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, two, or three 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.
Masters 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.

This course is perfect if you're curious about

What is it I most enjoy about my subject and how might I pursue this at Masters level?

What are the current issues and debates around my area of interest?

How can I use my projects to further my professional development, or to prepare me for PhD study?

How can I successfully plan and structure my research projects around my busy life?

In what ways might my research projects be original and innovative, and enable me to think outside the box?

What do I want to specialise in when I finish the MRes?

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 - 2018 MRes graduate


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 at 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. 

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

It is anticipated that teaching of the three taught research methods modules will take place on one afternoon per week. Academic tutorials support students with their project work and Masters Thesis. Students have access to the research seminar series and the annual University Learning, Teaching and Research conference.

The 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. In addition to project supervision, research workshops will be offered during the course of the year, when students will be brought together to explore particular research themes and additional electronic resources and tutorial support will be made available as appropriate.

How will you be assessed?

The programme is assessed through a range of methods including essays, reports, research proposals, literature reviews and the Masters Thesis.

Course leader

Dr Rosanna Walters-Symons

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

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Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £6,500

Fees for International students: £12,000

Funding available for this course


Additional costs:


Your schedule



Course location(s):

You are required to attend some sessions at our Plymouth campus.



Mike Baker

Senior Lecturer

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Mike works as a Sports Sub-editor for The Guardian and prior to this he was Sports Editor for the Western Morning News.

Dr Sally Bates

Senior Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy

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Sally is a dual trained phonetician and speech and language therapist with a clinical specialism in developmental speech disorders. She teaches clinical linguistics and phonetics, psycholinguistics and developmental speech and language disorders.

Dr Hazel Bending

Senior Lecturer

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Hazel is a chartered member and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a senior fellow of the HEA.  She teaches psychology, mental health and wellbeing and neuropsychology. Her research focuses on identity, student engagement and hidden disabilities.

Dr Paul Bentley

Visiting Lecturer in English Literature

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Paul is an academic and author, specializing in poetry and culture.  His latest book, Ted Hughes, Class and Violence is about the political and cultural importance of this major twentieth-century poet. He has written on a diverse range of poets, including Keats, Sylvia Plath, and Paul Muldoon. His own poems have appeared in Poetry Review and other leading poetry magazines.

Professor Saul Bloxham

Dean of the School of Sport, Health & Wellbeing and Professor

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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 Gregory Borne

Senior Lecturer

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Greg is an interdisciplinary social science expert with an emphasis on sustainability. He has worked for international organisations such as United Nations as well as organisations in  government, education and the third sector. He is the author of numerous journal articles and four books on different components of sustainability.

Dr Mark Leather

Associate Professor - 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 the Counsellor in Training program for Camp America.

Fiona Nicholls

Senior Lecturer

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Fiona, is a qualified teacher and RYA qualified powerboat and senior sailing instructor, BCU Coach Inland kayak and Sea, Mountain Leader and Rock Climbing Instructor; teaching across the programme on the moor, crag and sea. She brings infectious enthusiasm as well as a wide networks of contacts from many years managing Plymouth City Council’s outdoor education provision before joining team Marjon.

Dr Julia Stewart

Associate Director of School & Associate Professor

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Julia is a senior academic who is an experienced speech and language therapist. She has extensive experience of working with children with a range of disorders and has worked with children of all ages. Her clinical experience includes work in a trailblazer Sure Start Project; in specialist provision for children with developmental language disorders and in community clinics. She is currently working with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists to shape the future of practice placement education.

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