MRes (Specialism)

This University of Bolton's MRes (Specialism) degree is a multidisciplinary research training programme. Combining rigorous training in advanced research skills with personalised research projects that build deep subject knowledge, this exciting postgraduate programme is designed to inspire your imagination, foster your creativity and support you in achieving your ambitions.


Key information



Mode of Study:



12 months


University of Bolton

Start date:

01/08/2024 (Full), 23/09/2024

Course Details

This University of Bolton's Masters by Research degree is a multidisciplinary research training programme which has been designed to be truly novel and sui generis. It has been designed to inspire the imagination and foster creativity while providing rigorous training in advanced research skills and deep subject knowledge.

The programme is delivered through a staged and flexible approach enabling you to develop research skills as preparation for a PhD or Professional Doctorate. Embedded within the programme is collaborative research, which prepares you for research within employment. Opportunities will be available for students to undertake applied research projects involving knowledge exchange.

The programme has been structured to allow it to be used for any subject area within the University.

The MRes programme will provide a common foundation for PhD or Professional Doctorate programmes with interim awards available following the gaining of 60 credits (PgCert), 120 credits (PgDip) and an exit award of the 180 credit MRes with specialism determined by the dissertation focus.

Specialism options

The MRes (Specialism) programme accommodates a diverse array of specialisations within the following subject areas:

  • Business (eg Leadership, Islamic Finance, Logistics and Supply Chain Management)
  • Education
  • Engineering

Other specialisms will be developing over the coming months.

The named specialism will be determined by the research project focus.

  • The MRes (Specialism) has been carefully designed to allow you to develop a systematic and critical knowledge and understanding of a specialist subject area though the study and application of advanced research methods and skills using a scaffolded approach to learning.
  • A collaborative practical research project allows you to work with others to develop creative solutions to a real world problem.
  • Academic and professional development support necessary for success at the master's level will be provided at the start and throughout the programme.
  • A diverse assessment strategy provides opportunities to develop professional skills and those required for further study at the doctoral level.
  • The MRes Dissertation provides the opportunity for you to undertake in-depth independent and original research or advanced scholarship on a subject of interest.
Key Features
  • We will support you in developing a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights within the subject specialism.
  • We'll guide you as you develop the ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate the conclusions of the research clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Demonstrate advanced understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry can be practically applied to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.
  • You will evaluate and critically apply current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline, evaluate methodologies and develop critiques to develop creative solutions and/or hypotheses.
  • Through a blended learning approach, you will develop the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; and decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations.
  • You will develop critical self awareness and independent learning strategies in order to develop academically and professionally.

  • You should have at least two years of relevant work experience and an upper second class (2:1) UK honours degree/postgraduate degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.
  • We'll consider your application if you don't possess the above qualifications but have substantial work experience in a relevant field.
  • You may be required to attend an online interview as part of the application process.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.5 with normally no less than 6.0 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

An MRes (Specialism) programme opens up many career opportunities. It acts as a gateway to more advanced research opportunities, such as pursuing a PhD. It also enhances your professional qualifications, enabling you to pursue roles in research, academia, or industries that value research and analytical skills.

The skills acquired during the MRes programme, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, creativity, communication, and leadership, are highly valuable in research-related fields, educational institutions, and a variety of career paths.

Alternative career options

Here are some career options you can pursue with an MRes. Please bear in mind that some of these options require prior experience and/or additional qualifications).

  • Research Scientist
  • Academic Researcher
  • Data Analyst
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Policy Analyst
  • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Project Manager
  • Nonprofit or NGO Positions
  • Public Relations and Communications
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Teaching and Education

Course fees

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

Thank you for your interest

In order to determine your suitability for this course as an international student and also to confirm you meet any initial eligibility criteria, we need you to answer a few short questions.


The programme will be delivered using a blended learning approach, combining face-to-face sessions with online and practical work as appropriate. A range of learning and teaching methods will be employed, including (face-to-face or online) lectures, seminars, tutorials, discussion groups, guest speakers and master classes. A significant amount of personal study time is expected to be undertaken by the student comprising, for example, background reading, online activities, assessment work and preparation for sessions. This programme adopts a blended style of learning and teaching, including online delivery and engagement where appropriate.

The programme has been developed with a scaffold approach to assessment both within modules and between modules. A planned assessment strategy allows for:

  1. the development of research knowledge and transferable skills through relevant and flexible assessment methods.
  2. tailored assessments to enable the development of advanced knowledge and understanding in the student's area of specialism.
  3. Initial assessment(s) in each module to support the completion of a later one, to provide feedback opportunities and reduce academic misconduct (See OfS B4 condition).
  4. At least half of the course is commonly devoted to one or more research projects (QAA MRes Characteristic)


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Academic Skills and Professional Development
  • MRes Specialism: Critical Insights
  • Research Design and Methods
  • Collaborative Research Project
  • Advanced Research Analysis and Methods
  • Dissertation
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 88%, Practical exams 12%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 85%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 16%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Meet the team

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Mohammed Abdel-Haq
Professor, AVC Research and Postgraduate

Chris Grant
Dr, Course Director

+44 (0)1204 903276

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant