Research Methods in the Social Sciences MRes
- Delivery: Full Time, Part Time
- Programme type: Taught Programme
- Study location:
- Entry date:
The MRes Research Methods in the Social Sciences is a Master of Research degree. It is a high level postgraduate degree that is equivalent in status to an MSc degree. However, the MRes degree is unique as it reflects a thorough grounding in research methods. The aims of the MRes in Social Science is to provide students with advanced qualitative and quantitative research training, practical experience in developing a research proposal, an understanding of research philosophy and experience in the practicalities of an advanced level dissertation. The degree is designed to provide students with a solid foundation of methodological, philosophical and theoretical knowledge required to successfully undertake PhD studies.
Whilst the MRes is an academic, research-based qualification, it is also useful for people considering a career in industry where research is a central part of the role but a PhD is not specifically required. Our MRes specifically focuses on preparing students for careers within all areas of Business/Management Research, Accounting/Finance Research or European Studies Research.
Additionally, for those considering PhD study, an MRes provides an opportunity to experience a doctoral research environment whilst at the same time working towards a masters level qualification. The MRes degree provides a good entry point to a PhD programme here at Heriot-Watt or at other higher education institutions.
- MSc - 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
- PGDip - 9 months full-time; 21 months part-time
The programme commences in September each year.
The degree runs from September to September and expects students to attend (apart from holidays) during this period. The formal contact hours each week are about 12 hours a week plus group work and assessment for the two twelve week semesters. Students undertake their 12,000 - 15,000 word dissertation over the summer months.
- Qualitative Research Techniques
- Managing Academic Literature
- Research Philosophy & Design
- 1 optional course
- Business Research Methods
This course prepares you for personal and business research by helping you understand the social science research process, as well as the theory and approaches to research. It will also examine the tools and techniques required to carry out primary research and look at research design; project planning and writing style with particular focus on the dissertation.
- Development of Research Methodologies
- Quantitative Research Techniques
- Strategic Issues in Research
The School specialises in providing inter-disciplinary teaching and research so there are a wide range of optional courses available to choose from including Competitive Strategy; Corporate Finance; Cultures, Identities and Citizenship in Europe; Financial Markets; Green Logistics; Retail Marketing; Organisational Behaviour; Project Control; and Strategic Change.
First class or good upper second class honours degree/masters degree or international equivalent in a relevant subject area such as sociology,
psychology, accountancy, finance, European studies, any branch of management, social policy etc from a research led institution.
English language requirements
If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:
- 2 semesters English (for IELTS of 4.5-5.0);
- 12 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5);
- 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5*-6.0). (*minimum 5.5 reading and writing)
Fees for this programme can be found on our Tuition fees page.
Scholarships & bursaries
Alumni Scholarship Scheme
British Chamber of Commerce in Germany Foundation Scholarship (German students)
Carnegie-Cameron Taught Postgraduate Bursaries
Applicants must be Scottish by birth, have at least one parent born in Scotland or have been continuously resident in Scotland for a period of three years for the purpose of secondary or tertiary education.
Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
International (Commonwealth citizens)
Department for International Development (DFID) Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme
East Lothian Educational Trust
Applicants must be a resident of the old county of East Lothian (ie excluding Musselburgh, Wallyford and Whitecraig.)
Entente Cordiale Scholarships
French nationals aged 35 or under.
Esmee Fairbairn Scholarship
Ian Rushbrook Scholarship
MSc Investment Management students only
Japan Scotland Association Scholarship
Japanese nationals planning to enter a postgraduate course at Masters level at a Scottish University.
Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust
Restricted to residents of the UK who are a son, daughter, spouse, widow or widower of a commercial traveller, chemist or grocer.
Local Education Authority Awards
Part-time Fee Grant (SAAS)
See SAAS residence conditions.
Postgraduate Student Allowance Scheme (SAAS)
EU and UK applicants who meet the SAAS criteria on eligible courses
Remission of Fees (families of staff)
Spouses/civil partners and children of members of staff, also retired members of staff of the University
Royal Caledonian Schools Trust
Applicants must be of Scots parentage (conditions apply - see below)
SML International Merit Scholarship
Scotland's Saltire Scholarships
Citizens of Canada, the People's Republic of China, India or USA (2 awards for each country)
Employees of Heriot-Watt University
Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme
Available for specified MSc programmes only and for nationals of specified countries.
West Lothian Educational Trust
Individuals must have originated in West Lothian or have lived there for the last 3 years.