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Professional Doctorate in MRes Health Research (Online)

  • Full or part time
    Distance learning , Full time & Part time available
  • Course fees
    Please see University website
  • Course Disciplines
  • Course Start
    September, January
  • Course Duration
    Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2-3 years
  • Professional Doctorate Type

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description


There is an increasing need for health professionals to be directly or indirectly involved with a range of research, evaluation, clinical audit and quality improvement activities as part of their practice. Current policy and practice developments are also placing greater emphasis on the Clinical Academic Career pathway and there are now many health professionals with a clinical/practice and research focus to their roles. These developments point to the need for rigorous, high-quality interdisciplinary and flexible research programmes to prepare health professionals for these challenging and rewarding roles.
The MRes Health Research provides this. There is a strong emphasis placed on the application of knowledge and skills. The course can be taken as an advanced qualification in its own right or as excellent preparation for doctoral level study. Students can choose to study for a postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Master's degree. Stand-alone modules are also available for those interested in Continuing Professional Development.
The course has been designed to suit students from a range of backgrounds. Most students (and graduates) have a health professional qualification e.g. nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, occupational therapy. Other students are from the social care or research sectors. Our students are from across the UK and overseas with most choosing to study remotely online as that offers flexibility around their work and family commitments.

Key information

- Study methods: Online, Full-time, Part-time, Campus based
- Start date: Part-time: September and January - see Full time route: SeptemberStand-alone modules: most modules are available as Continuing Professional Development starting in September or January Please note that full-time route is not advised for those that are in full-time employment.
- Course Director: Dr Nicola Ring

Course objectives

The MRes Health Research develops skilled and knowledgeable multi-disciplinary health care researchers, able to understand and confidently use research techniques appropriate to their practice/subject area. Helping students to become conversant with approaches used by other social and healthcare researchers is also key as well as developing practical research skills, for example, in user involvement and the use of new technologies.
The course builds capacity and capability in individuals, and the healthcare workforce more generally, by promoting lifelong learning. It supports those who wish to access a range of research career pathways, and/or further research training by advancing knowledge, research and practice in different settings. There is a focus on both skills and experience concurrently and an emphasis on proactive team and network collaborations.

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 6.0 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Careers and employability

- Career opportunities
The MRes Health Research is designed for students who wish to pursue a variety of different careers in health where research is a core component and who wish to make a contribution to applied research in a range of contemporary health and social contexts. Most of our students are employed as health professionals whilst they study part-time with us. When they complete their studies most students will stay in their clinical speciality but use their enhanced research skills/knowledge in their roles e.g. by conducting their own research or service evaluations. Other students wish to use their Masters study as preparation for a PhD. Our students have been very successful in gaining recognition for their research work and for winning funding for PhD study.

- Employability
The majority of our students are already working in health or social care prior to commencement and remain employed throughout the duration of their studies.
Our students develop a wide range of transferable skills during their study that make them attractive to other employers e.g. team working; IT skills; literature searching; critical appraisal; presentation skills; writing and data analysis. Many of our students use the MRes as preparation for PhD studies. The MRes has ESRC approval as part of the 1 + 3 years PhD schemes.

- Industry connections
The MRes team consists of experienced health professionals and social scientists. Through their work they collaborate with various national and international bodies.

Visit the MRes Health Research (Online) page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jonathan Bryce

3559.jpg [[Why did you decide to study a postgraduate course?]]

I had studied sociology and social policy at undergraduate at Stirling, graduating in 2014 so I was keen to also do my masters there as well. The focus of my undergraduate dissertation was on alcohol and substance use, so although it was written from a social science perspective a lot of themes covered were closely related to health.
I had been set to apply for the MSc Applied Social Research, however I met Niamh Fitzgerald (lecturer in alcohol studies at Stirling) at a conference and she suggested that I might be better to consider the MRes Health Research. So after that I met Nicola Ring (programme director at the time) who gave me an excellent introduction to the course and from there it was an easy decision to take up the course.

[[Which aspects of the programme did you enjoy the most?]]

As cliche as it is, I enjoyed all of it! The best part was probably the structure, the 4 modules in autumn that I took all fed in nicely to the spring modules. These all helped me to develop and enhance my learning for the dissertation as well, so it felt connected and with a good flow to things.

[[Do you think the degree has made you more employable, or better prepared for further study?]]

Yes I certainly do - I had two interviews before I completed my studies and both employers asked about the masters and what the benefits it would have. I was also offered both jobs so I think perhaps the masters helps you to stand out, particularly with research as it gives you a strong analytical background as well as academic writing with the dissertation.

[[What advice would you give a student considering studying an Master’s in Health Research?]]

Do it! The beauty of it is that it works for a whole range of backgrounds. That actually helps with your learning as you meet people from other backgrounds who can give you insight into their work and you learn a lot from each other. Being able to choose your own pace to work means you can work unsociable hours and not lose out so it has something for everyone.

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Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

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