A book on a desk called Language, Gender and Feminism

Humanities and Social Sciences MRes

Focus your research on one or two areas of humanities that interest you. Choose from one of our projects, or propose your own to study over one or two years.

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If you work in the social sciences or humanities and want to improve your career prospects or prepare for a PhD, this flexible MRes degree – a postgraduate taught course, featuring a large research project – is the perfect way to achieve your ambitions.

On this course, you'll choose to study within any of the faculty's schools: the School of Education, Languages and Linguistics (SELL), the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ) and the School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature (SASSHPL).

You'll have the flexibility to choose your learning methods, set your own timetable and specialise in your chosen field. You'll develop your research skills alongside specialist staff, and get a Master's degree without needing to sacrifice your job.

This degree is perfect for progressing your career, and can help you to pursue ambitious new roles, or seek promotion opportunities.

You can choose to study this course over 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time as a campus-based learner or by distance learning. 

The University of Portsmouth is ranked third of all modern post-92 universities in the UK for research power

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Read more about our excellent research

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

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Entry requirements​

MRes Humanities and Social Sciences degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed subject specialism.

Please check the course details online for information about subject specialisms that can be supported.  

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Selection process

  • You will be asked to write a short research proposal upon receipt of your application.
  • Applicants to the Forensic Investigation area of supervision will be invited to attend an interview.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Focus your research interest in the humanities and social sciences field
  • Learn to translate your learning into research, such as submitting peer reviewed publications and presentations
  • Access the University's respected research centres, including CEISR (Centre for European and International Studies Research)
  • Benefit from the professional training and supervision of our Graduate School
  • Access all the books and material you'll need in our library, along with electronic resources, including thousands of online ejournals and newspapers

Depending on your chosen speciality, you'll graduate from the course with one of the following awards:

  • MRes African Studies
  • MRes American Studies
  • MRes Applied Linguistics
  • MRes Childhood Studies
  • MRes Communication
  • MRes Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies
  • MRes Development Studies
  • MRes Early Help
  • MRes Education
  • MRes European Politics
  • MRes Forensic Investigation
  • MRes Gender Studies
  • MRes History
  • MRes International Relations
  • MRes Intersectionality and Inclusion
  • MRes Literary Studies
  • MRes Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • MRes Politics
  • MRes Public Administration
  • MRes Security Risk Management
  • MRes Security Studies
  • MRes Sociology
  • MRes TESOL
  • MRes Translation

MRes Applied Linguistics - Sharing in graduates success

Careers and opportunities

You'll graduate from the MRes Humanities and Social Science degree course with knowledge of research methods, training and skills relevant to your current and future employment, and which will aid your future career progression. You can also choose to continue your academic studies with PhD research.

Work experience and career planning

We'll help you to identify voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.

When you complete this course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the heritage, teaching, or other related industries.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Graduate Sophie Stevens smiling to camera in France

Meet MRes graduate, Sophie Stevens

BA (Hons) English Literature and MRes graduate, Sophie Stevens, explains how she's used her studies to embark on a teaching career in Germany within the British Council - Teaching English Abroad scheme.


Read Sophie's story


What you'll study

You'll focus one third of your time in research training and development and two-thirds of your time in your individual research placement and/or project.

Core modules include:

  • Research Preparation and Development (60 credits)

You'll also do optional module: 

  • Research Project (120 credits)


  • Research Placement (30 credits)
  • Research Project (90 credits) 

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Supporting you


Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques


The modules involve taught sessions, selected by you and your supervisory team, from those available with the Graduate School Development Programme (GSDP) and from the faculty and department or school. This supports a route towards further research that goes well with research themes in the faculty.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks:

  • September/October to December/January – teaching block 1
  • January/February to May – teaching block 2

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

All fees subject to annual increase.

UK / Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Full time: £8,900
  • Part time: £2,970 in year 1 (60 credits) and £5,930 in year 2 (120 credits)
  • Distance learning full time (1 year): £8,200
  • Distance learning part time (2 years): £4,100 per year

EU students

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full time: £8,900
  • Part time: £2,970 in year 1 (60 credits) and £5,930 in year 2 (120 credits)
  • Distance learning full time (1 year): £8,200
  • Distance learning part time (2 years): £4,100 per year

International students

  • Full time: £18,100
  • Part time: £6,030 in year 1 (60 credits) and £12,070 in year 2 (120 credits)
  • Distance learning full time (1 year): £8,200
  • Distance learning part time (2 years): £4,100 per year

Funding your studies

Find out more how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover. 

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government postgraduate loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Tuition fees terms and conditions

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

If you choose to complete this course via distance learning, you'll need to cover the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs for any optional campus based induction events, workshops and study days that you choose to attend.  

You'll need to cover the cost of travel for any of the placements or internships that you take on the course. Depending on the nature of the internship or placement, these costs can be anywhere between £50 – £1,000.


Ready to apply?

Starting in September 2024

International students

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.