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Education (MA by Research)

2023-24 (also available for 2022-23)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

18 September 2023

15 January 2024

15 April 2024

Duration

The maximum duration for an MA by Research is 1 year (12 months) full-time or 2 years (24 months) part-time with an optional submission pending (writing-up) period of 4 months.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 10 working days per year in the university, excluding participation in activities associated with enrolment, re-registration and progression monitoring. You are also expected to dedicate 17.5 hours per week to the research.

Application deadlines

For October 2023

09 June 2023 for International and Scholarship students

30 June 2023 for Home students

For January 2024

20 October 2023 for International and Scholarship students

17 November 2023 for Home students

For April 2024

26 January 2024 for International and Scholarship students

23 February 2024 for Home students

About the research degree

Reasons to study

  1. 98.4% of our postgraduate students go on to work and/or further study within fifteen months of graduating.
  2. Tailor your studies to suit your particular areas of interest or future career goals.
  3. You'll be part of a supportive and vibrant research environment for postgraduate researchers.

A Master's by Research (MA) allows you to undertake a one year full-time or two years part-time research degree. It contains little or no formal taught component. This type of study gives you the chance to explore a research topic over a shorter time than a more in-depth doctoral programme, but it still requires independent study.

Research Master's students choose a specific project to work on and have a greater degree of independence in their work than is the case with a taught Master’s course.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of work which you will develop within the first few months of commencement of study, in conjunction with your supervisor. Whilst undertaking the research project, under the supervision of the supervisor, you will also develop your research skills.

At the end of the project you write up your findings in the form of a short thesis of around 25,000 words and this will then be examined.

You will be appointed a main supervisor who will advise and support you on your project.

On successful completion, you will be awarded your degree and if you have enjoyed this taste of research you may then decide to apply for the full research doctoral degree (PhD).

Entry requirements

The normal entry requirements for enrolment on a MA by Research is an Honours degree (2:1 or above) from a UK university or an equivalent in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme to be followed.

A research proposal will be needed of between 500-700 words (plus bibliography) delineating your proposed area of research. Don't choose something too broad; your research must be achievable in the time. This detail will be reviewed in conjunction with your online research degree application to identify academic supervision providing the necessary expertise and knowledge to guide you through your research degree.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.5 overall with no element lower than 6.0, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

What can I research?

You can apply by: 1) Proposing your own research topic. Explore the skills of our supervisors and/or at the Huddersfield Centre for Research in Education and Society (HudCRES) to see if we have the expertise to support your topic. 2) Applying for one of the research topics listed in this section or for a specific research area within the School.

Places are always subject to eligibility, a review of your proposal and supervisory capacity.

Your career


This MA course provides you with a broad range of module options allowing you the opportunity to tailor the programme to suit your current role and/or future career ambitions. Successful study at this level supports you in your current role, helps give you the confidence to tackle a wide range of workplace challenges and supports you in taking advantage of wider promotional and developmental opportunities.

The course offers a recognised qualification, a broadening of horizons and a chance to pursue particular areas of interest.

*Percentage of our postgraduate students who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17).

98.4% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Researcher Environment

We provide a supportive and vibrant research environment for postgraduate researchers (PGRs). Researchers at all levels are encouraged to contribute and collaborate. The Graduate School ensures that postgraduate research is of the highest quality and ensures you have the training and resources that you need to become a successful researcher.

We have an exciting and comprehensive Researcher Skills Development Programme available to all postgraduate researchers. This enables you to broaden your knowledge and access tools and skills which can significantly improve employability. The programme is also mapped onto Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework (RDF), allowing you to benefit from Vitae’s career support as well as our own programme. We also have a team dedicated to improving the academic English needed for research by our international PGRs.

Our training is delivered in a variety of ways to take advantage of technology platforms as well as face-to-face workshops and courses. The University subscribes to a programme of online research training support accessed through a dedicated researcher module in Brightspace, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. We also subscribe to the University of East Anglia webinar series and The Good Doctorate video training series. We are part of the Northwest and Yorkshire PGR Training Group that enables PGRs to attend relevant training opportunities at other nearby universities. We also hold a series of PGR focussed events such as 3 Minute Thesis, the PGR led research conference and regular informal events throughout the year.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

When you are offered a place on a research degree, your offer will include confirmation of your supervisory team, and the topic you will be researching.

Whilst the University will use reasonable efforts to ensure your supervisory team remains the same, sometimes it may be necessary to make changes to your team for reasons outside the University’s control, for example if your supervisor leaves the University, or suffers from long term illness. Where this is the case, we will discuss these difficulties with you and seek to either put in place a new supervisory team, or help you to transfer to another research facility, in accordance with our Student Protection Plan.

Changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, for example the University being unable to access its buildings due to fire, flood or pandemic, or the University no longer being able to provide specialist equipment. Where this is the case, we will discuss these issues with you and agree any necessary changes.

Your research project is likely to evolve as you work on it and these minor changes are a natural and expected part of your study. However, we may need to make more significant changes to your topic of research during the course of your studies, either because your area of interest has changed, or because for reasons outside the University’s control we can no longer support your research. If this is the case, we will discuss any changes in topic with you and agree these in writing. If you are an international student, changing topics may affect your visa or ATAS clearance and if this is the case we will discuss this with you before any changes are agreed.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by the University’s Terms and Conditions and a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.