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MRes Interdisciplinary Study

Start date
September
Duration
Full-time: 1 year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Combined research and taught
Fees

Annual tuition fee 2022 entry:
UK: £6,540 full-time; £3,270 part-time
International: £19,800 full-time
More detail.

The urgent challenges that confront societies and the planet today cannot be solved by any discipline in isolation; complex questions and global problems need multi- and inter-disciplinary expertise and solutions.  This uniquely flexible programme allows you to build your own portfolio of study and pursue a research question across disciplinary borders. Students will develop their understanding of working in an interdisciplinary environment and broaden their skills and knowledge via taught modules available at Birmingham and online learning resources. They will operate at the cutting edge of research and carry out a project supervised by specialists in different academic fields.

This course is approved and confirmed for 2023 entry.

The programme is aimed at students whose educational or professional experiences have highlighted an important research question that would benefit from an interdisciplinary approach. It is particularly suited to those looking to have a positive impact on complex, real-world problems. You will become part of a thriving department, including undergraduates and staff, all tackling interdisciplinary challenges at different stages. You will be able to attend cultural events and become a member of our LANS Lab, a place to engage with other academics undertaking interdisciplinary research.

Our students are innovative thinkers, future research leaders in academia, policy, industry, and beyond. Many will go on to pursue a research career, for example with a PhD, with a role in a non-governmental or charitable organisation, or with a position in research and development in industry.

What is an MRes?

 An MRes is a programme that will help you develop the skills for both doctoral study and a future career. You will complete a major individual research project, supervised by a specialist in the field of study, and a taught component that develops research and analytical skills.  If you are interested in applying, we strongly encourage you to contact the programme lead for more information about the pre-application procedure.

Why study this course?

  • Interdisciplinary research project - This course is aimed at students who want to pursue an interdisciplinary research project that is not catered for in a regular Masters programme.
  • Module choice - You will choose from the modules available at Birmingham, allowing you to gain a unique portfolio of skills.
  • Student support - You will be supported in your development as an interdisciplinary thinker, with a core module providing training in interdisciplinary research skills.
  • Research resources - You will be encouraged to engage with the new knowledge landscape, with the opportunity to incorporate online educational resources (e.g. MOOCs) into your studies.
  • Expert supervision - You will pursue an interdisciplinary research project, which is supervised by academics in different academic fields at the University.

Modules

MRes programmes offer a unique opportunity to deepen and develop your knowledge of the subject by combining taught elements with research training and an individual research project. They can lead to doctoral research, and will also provide the chance for you to undertake scholarly research as an enrichment of undergraduate study or for career development purposes.

The programme contains three taught modules and a 20,000-word research project.

The taught modules are:

  • The World of Interdisciplinary Research -  A core module providing training in key aspects of interdisciplinary research, including funding, multi-disciplinary group work and grant writing.
  • an innovative module (‘The Open Skills Box’) that will allow you to combine educational resources available at Birmingham with online material from outside the University (e.g. MOOCs, etc) to widen your portfolio of skills and knowledge in preparation for your research project.
  • an optional module that you can choose from the modules available at Birmingham

These modules provide the intellectual framework that will allow you to tackle a 20,000-word interdisciplinary research project, which is supervised by a maximum of two academics in specialist fields and an interdisciplinary tutor.


Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.

Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022 entry are as follows:

Annual tuition fee 2022 entry:
UK: £6,540 full-time; £3,270 part-time
International: £19,800 full-time

Fee status

Eligibility for UK or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students

Paying your fees

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

How To Apply

Application deadlines

The deadline for International students (including EU) to apply is 1 July 2023. The deadline for UK students for the MRes Interdisciplinary Study is 1 August 2023.

Before you make your application

Please refer to our step-by-step process on applying for an MRes Interdisciplinary Study below. This involves a pre-application step that must be completed before you submit a formal application.

Prepare a pre-application proposal

In the first instance applicants should prepare a brief (<500 words) proposal using this form which will be submitted to the programme lead, Dr Julia Myatt. 

You will be given the formal application link once you have completed the pre-application process. 

Formal Application process

Develop a full proposal

If you are successful at the pre-application stage and we are able to identify potential supervisors for you to work with, you will move onto the next stage. This will involve submitting a full proposal in collaboration with your proposed supervisor and a formal interview.

Formal application

A formal application should include the documents listed below and can be submitted via the Apply Now button. Please note that only applications that have been through the pre-application approval process will be considered.

  • 1000-1500 word research proposal (specifying the subject of the proposed research, the body of ideas or theory that will be used, the aim and objectives and the methodological approach to be adopted)
  • Proposed budget requirements for the project - signed off by the proposed supervisor(s)
  • Copies of University transcripts (when available)
  • Two references from referees who are able to comment on your academic and professional background
  • Certificates to show competence in the English language (if English is not your first language)
  • Signed agreement from supervisor(s)
  • Personal statement (no more than one side of A4) outlining why you want to undertake the MRes Interdisciplinary Study
  • Proposed means of funding the MRes (i.e. tuition fee costs)

Applicants successful at this stage will be invited to interview.

In the meantime, please be in touch with the Programme Lead, Dr Julia Myatt, for further details.

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

At least a 2.1 or equivalent in a subject area relevant for the proposed independent research project. An appropriate level of professional experience would also be acceptable (please contact the Programme Lead, Dr Julia Myatt, for advice).

International/EU students

Academic requirements: We accept a range of qualifications from different countries - use our handy guide below to see what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements: standard language requirements apply for this course - IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band.. If you are made an offer of a place to study and you do not meet the language requirement, you have the option to enrol on our English for Academic Purposes Presessional Course - if you successfully complete the course, you will be able to fulfil the language requirement without retaking a language qualification.

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 20 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

International Requirements


As an interdisciplinary student, you will have access to the full range of world-leading researchers and research facilities available at Birmingham.

If you have an idea for a research project, please be in touch with the Programme Lead Dr Julia Myatt, who can provide advice on supervisors who may be appropriate.

Assessment Methods

This programme places the responsibility for your education in your hands. We will support you to develop the portfolio of skills you need to approach your interdisciplinary research project. 

In addition, we will provide you with training to further your development as an interdisciplinary researcher, helping you to identify and pursue the opportunities that the programme can open up.

You will be assessed using a variety of methods depending on the specific modules you choose as part of this programme. You can expect assessment methods to include elements such as extended writing, oral interviews and reflective portfolios.

Future Careers

This programme provides the opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary career, for example:

  • in academic research, in an interdisciplinary PhD project
  • in policy-making, in a research role in a non-governmental organisation
  • in industry, in a research and development role

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. 

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.

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