Postgraduate study in Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences

  • Do your research interests cross disciplinary boundaries?
  • Do you have a passion for answering complex questions?
  • Do you wish to practise interdisciplinarity at postgraduate level?

If yes, please read on.

What is an MRes?

An MRes, or Masters of Research degree, is an internationally recognised postgraduate research degree that prepares students for the advanced skills and knowledge base needed for carrying out further postgraduate study, such as a PhD, or for entering specialist research professions. This degree is best suited to someone who already has a research project in mind and is ready to take control of their learning rather than rely on more traditional teaching spaces (e.g., lectures and seminars) for learning new content.

An Interdisciplinary MRes

Whereas traditional MRes degrees will prepare you for specialised work within a single discipline, the MRes in Interdisciplinary Study gives you the freedom to pursue research interests that cross disciplinary borders. This degree is designed for people who wish to adapt their research methods to a complex research question, rather than adapt the question to their research expertise. Many questions and problems cannot be comprehensively understood within the confines of a single discipline, and therefore it is necessary to explore new research areas to acquire a holistic understanding or to generate new interdisciplinary insights.

This Interdisciplinary MRes has been carefully designed to provide you not only with the research skills needed to carry out an MRes, but also the advanced skills needed to practise interdisciplinarity. You will develop your capacity to collaborate, communicate and think creatively. You will practise interdisciplinarity individually, in your own research, but also, as part of an interdisciplinary team.

Have you identified a particular field of interdisciplinary research that you wish to investigate? Are you attracted to the world of challenge-led interdisciplinary research? If yes, then this may be the programme for you. We anticipate a broad range of applicants being drawn to this programme, from those who have studied an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree and wish to build on their skills and knowledge, to those who have studied a more traditional subject at undergraduate, but now wish to explore the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach. We also welcome applicants from a professional background.

A key element of the MRes Interdisciplinary Study is that it is responsive to your needs and goals and it is not directed at any one particular disciplinary area. We encourage applicants from across the breadth of the arts, social sciences and natural sciences.

Why Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences?

The School of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences has been at the forefront of teaching multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary for the past eight years. Integrative thinking is at the heart of what we do and we have established a thriving and diverse community of interdisciplinarity practitioners.

You will form an integral part of our Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences community. From our undergraduate students, to our staff, we are working on a range of interdisciplinary problems at various scales. From groups working on local social issues, to research into the methods of interdisciplinarity itself, you will be exposed to a diverse range of perspectives. MRes students will form part of the LANS Lab, our interdisciplinary research group and be able to take part in regular research seminars.

As a member of the University of Birmingham you will also be able to take advantage of the world-leading multi- and inter-disciplinary research groups working on campus. You can find out about some of the major, challenge-led research themes through the Institute for Global Innovation.

Be one of the first to join our postgraduate community and work with researchers solving the challenges of today, to pave the way for a better future.

More specific details about the structure of the MRes and the application procedure can be found here.