Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years

UK/EU fee

£690 per 20 credits* (2018/19)

International fee

£13,500 for the full programme (2018/19)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Our new Master of Research (MRes) programme aims to offer you the finest possible preparation for undertaking original research in psychology.

The MRes programme will develop you into a high-calibre, reflective psychology specialist skilled in delivering evidence-based research.

A distinctive and challenging masters degree

The MRes is designed for intellectually able graduates with good honours degrees and behavioural science professionals who are keen to enhance their career prospects by taking their research skills to the next level. It differs from more traditional taught masters programmes – such as an MSc –because of its focus on enhancing research methods and skills. Covering both quantitative and qualitative approaches, you will gain a thorough grounding in the methods and processes which underpin original research in psychology and then conduct your own major independent research project under expert supervision.

The course offers an ideal foundation for students who aspire to doctoral studies in the future but may not be able to commit to a PhD at this stage of their career. If, however, you decide to progress to a PhD at Derby, your MRes qualification will count as stage one of your doctoral programme.

Build a toolkit of research skills

There is a choice of modules in research methods to offer a degree of flexibility in your studies. We do, however, strongly recommend that you take modules in both quantitative and qualitative research: a distinctive feature of this programme. This will help set you apart as a fully trained researcher and will maximise your career opportunities. Research skills options, which are primarily delivered online, cover themes such as managing and funding research, research ethics, information literacy, research leadership, thesis writing and getting your research published or exhibited.

Focus on a theme of your choice

We provide every opportunity for you to tailor your studies to match your current job role, your personal and professional interests, and your career ambitions. For the Negotiated Module in Science, you will complete a written report and make a presentation on a topic agreed with the teaching team. The most substantial part of the programme is taken up with your independent research project. This will span the initial development of a research question, planning the research project, selecting appropriate research methods, sourcing information, analysing the results and communicating your findings. You are free to choose many different approaches, from qualitative studies to experimental research. 

You will be allocated a research project supervisor who will oversee your progress and mentor you through your development as an active, engaged researcher. We encourage you to design research projects which relate directly to real-world issues. There may be opportunities to work with some of our partners across the voluntary and charitable sectors to deliver research findings which help them shape their future services.

Learning which fits around you

The structure of the MRes enables you to balance your learning with your work and personal commitments. This includes flexible full-time and part-time routes to the qualification. You will benefit from a blended learning approach which integrates online learning with on-campus study blocks. Your generic research skills modules are all delivered online while other modules include an intensive three-day study block at the University. 

In addition, the individual supervision you receive will be arranged in ways that offer maximum flexibility and convenience as you shape and progress your research project.

Become part of a thriving research community

As an MRes Psychology student, you will join a flourishing research community at the University and your own project will contribute to the body of scholarly knowledge we produce. You will be supported and guided by our team of nationally and internationally recognised psychological researchers. They cover a vast range of specialist areas and regularly share their findings in leading journals and at international conferences. Well versed in using research to inform their teaching, they have particular expertise in helping students develop initial ideas into practical research projects.

You can also draw inspiration from the work of our renowned Centre for Psychological Research as well as our strong links with professional bodies such as the British Psychological Society. We arrange regular research seminars featuring influential guest speakers.


James Elander talks about his research audience, publishing Open Access, using UDORA, Open Data and advice for early career researchers in Psychology.

State-of-the-art facilities

You will benefit from our excellent facilities, which are used for both teaching and research. They include high specification computing labs with specialist software for experiment design and a full range of psychological recording equipment such as EEG and the latest eye tracking equipment for analysing eye movement.

Our video observation suite features rooms equipped with two-way mirrors and DVD recording equipment for interviews and focus groups. We also have research project rooms and a psychology test bank to aid your studies.  

What you will study

You'll study modules such as:

You'll study modules such as:

  • Digital Scholarship and Research Skills Development (40 credits)
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Independent Research (80 credits) or Independent Study (20 credits - PGDip only)
  • Negotiated Module in Science (20 credits) or another Spring semester from optional modules below

Optional modules:

  • Psychology of Illness
  • Theories and Models of Behaviour
  • Contemporary Developmental Assessment Methods
  • Negotiated Module (Health, Education or Clinical focus)

How you will learn

The course uses a blended learning approach integrating periods of online learning combined with short campus study blocks and flexible individual supervision. 


The assessment methods are a range of different forms of coursework.

Teaching Hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will be communicated after enrolment on your course.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for UK students: Applicants should normally have or expect to obtain at 2:1 honours degree in psychology or a closely related subject with good coverage of undergraduate research methods.

Entry requirements for EU/international students: Applicants with overseas qualifications are strongly advised to establish the UK equivalence of their qualifications. Within this requirement, it will be important to ascertain the ability to speak and write using the English language.

Due to the demands of postgraduate study a minimum International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) is required for entry to the programme for non-native English speakers.  Before applying students may seek confirmation of equivalency by contacting the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) on 0870 9904088, and writing to Oriel House, Oriel Road, Cheltenham, Glos. GL50 1XP. Evidence of equivalence (written verification) will be required on application for entry on this programme. A fee is payable for the NARIC service.

Fees and funding

2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)


£690 per 20 credits*

£690 per 20 credits*


£13,500 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Scholarships and bursaries

We also offer a number of funding opportunities for all International students, including discounts, scholarships and bursaries.

Find out about scholarships and bursariesFind out about scholarships and bursaries

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply


Skills in research, analysis and evaluation are increasingly valued by employers across many different sectors. The thorough understanding of psychological theory, research and methodology you gain from your MRes studies will therefore give you a distinct advantage as you pursue your career.

Your qualification will act as a vital stepping stone, enabling you to apply for:

If you are already working, the MRes can also provide excellent continuing professional development and lifelong learning opportunities, helping you become a more psychologically aware practitioner.

If you are interested in progressing to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University of Derby, your MRes qualification will count as stage one of your doctoral programme.

Programme leader

Professor James Elander

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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