beakers and bottles containing a clear liquid

Mode of Study

Full-time, Part-time


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Start date

September 2023, January 2024


Have you enjoyed undertaking research during your degree? Are you thinking about doctoral (PhD) study or a career in a STEM business, industry or academia? If so, our postgraduate Master's in Research (MRes) course will be a great start for you.

Its aim is to provide two key ingredients for early-career researchers – transferable research skills and expertise in your chosen subject. You'll undertake an original project with experienced supervisors, and join the day-to-day life of a research group.

You'll develop the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective researcher, and prepare a publication-quality manuscript, grant application and conference presentation.

You can start this course in October or February (full time only in February).

When you graduate, you'll do so with one of the following degrees, depending on what you choose to focus on:

  • MRes Science (Pharmacy Practice)
  • MRes Science (Molecular Mechanism of Disease)
  • MRes Science (Neurosciences)
  • MRes Science (Drug Delivery)
  • MRes Science (Physical Geography)
  • MRes Science (Environmental Management)
  • MRes Science (Human Geography)
  • MRes Science (Biological Sciences)
  • MRes Science (Marine Sciences)
  • MRes Science (Biochemistry)
  • MRes Science (Microbiology)
  • MRes Science (Extreme Environments)
  • MRes Science (Organisational and Occupational Performance)
  • MRes Science (Human Performance)
  • MRes Science (Physical Activity, Health and Rehabilitation)
  • MRes Science (Psychology)
  • MRes Science (Global Health)
  • MRes Science (Health and Social Care)
  • MRes Science (Oral and Dental Health Sciences)
  • MRes Science (Palaeontology)
  • MRes Science (Geoscience)
  • MRes Science (Applied Geoscience)
  • MRes Science (Environmental Science)
  • MRES Science (Ophthalmology and Vision Science)
  • MRes Science

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

Watch MRes Science & Health - University of Portsmouth on YouTube.

Explore MRes Science and Health at Portsmouth

Discover how our MRes Science and Health degree course will equip you with the skills and experience you need to pursue further study or a career in a STEM.


Darren Gowers: The MRes science course runs across the whole of the Faculty of Science. It's very different to other masters in that it offers students the opportunity to carry out research in a research lab as part of a group, and be part of a research team supervised by a world class expert in that area. The Faculty of Science is split across seven different schools and departments. Those range from Geosciences and Earth Sciences through to Biological Sciences, Cognitive Sciences, Health Care Sciences. And our MRes course is very wide in offering opportunities for original and exciting research projects across all of those areas. 

Jerome Micheletta: My role in the MRes Science and Health is to coordinate the research project module, where the students are taking part in different kinds of activities like poster presentations, career development interviews, oral presentations, and at the end, the big one, the written report. 

Rebecca Stores: I am the module coordinator for the Research Preparation Module. We have two assignments associated with this module, the literature review and the project funding proposal. These are quite good foundation assignments for the student's projects. To be clear on what they're going to be doing as part of the MRes course. 

William Rogers: Because I'm not sure whether I want to go into further research or pursue a different kind of career. MRes only opens doors. 

Shane Johnson: Doing an MRes helps you find your way into research because science has lots of different branches whereas doing an MRes, it identifies a certain area of research you can do. 

Layla Goddard: My research group is amazing, my supervisor is amazing. Everyone's just really friendly. I made loads of friends as well. Some of the friends I made during my MRes I still see now and that's definitely the best bit, is the community. 

Philip Gowers: The thing I love about the MRes is the interaction with other people. The variety and diversity within the team here is amazing. And then when we look at the whole course as a whole, when we just all meet up, we will find out what we're doing is phenomenal. 

Darren Gowers: The facilities that we have in the Faculty of Science are world-class in terms of being able to offer students a hands-on experience, particularly in laboratory work. We have computer suites, studios, and lots of students will go out on field work with their supervisor to gain a set of data that they bring back, they analyse, and then hopefully we're able to write up for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. 

Sumit Raghunath Pai: I had done my master's thesis in India on Chandrayaan two imagery, and I would like to explore planetary geology. The main part of the course, which I enjoy, is that it's a research-based programme which gives you a lot of free time to explore the research papers, prepare your reports, and I feel very well supported by the team of the University of Portsmouth. 

Sam Hatherly: I did my undergrad in Marine Biology and I wanted to do a bit more. So I started with this MRes and I am looking at how an ecosystem-based approach to fishery management can benefit some of the fisheries in the local area. I'm particularly looking to go straight into a job and then work out if I want to do a PhD later on in life, which is great. This gives me opportunities to do both of those things. 

Layla Goddard: I think one of most important things about the MRes is the soft skills, that's definitely moulded me into a better person rather than just a better researcher and whatever career I end up going into that would be invaluable, and I think they'll continue to help us the rest of my life. 

James Clay: I was able to use the poster that I created during the poster module to present the findings at a conference in London. It was brilliant to have my dissertation published. I was really proud when I got to hold it in my hands and see that I had contributed to science in the scientific effort. 

William Rogers: The practical skills that you learn in MRes are pretty much invaluable. In undergrad research, when you're going to do an experiment, it's usually quite set up for you, but in MRes, you're very, very independent. It's also supported by the whole research group that surround you. In terms of actually going to a job in science is pretty much the best thing that you can learn. 

Darren Gowers: One of the reasons that an MRes student would want to join the course is because they're curious about the world. Finding out answers to some of the many questions we still don't know. 

Rebecca Stores: I think students do the MRes course for a whole host of different reasons. Some know that they want to embark on a career within research, and the MRes would be a first step in doing that. Other students are doing the course part-time and are in employment, for example, in the NHS or social care, and they might be embarking on research as part of their employment. 

Jerome Micheletta: I think is really trying to expose them to what it's going to be like if they become a researcher, if they do that as a career. Scientific writing is obviously a very big part of their jump. You know, if you do a brilliant research project but you can't talk or write about it, then there's not much point. 

Philip Gowers: What's nice about the University of Portsmouth is the feedback they give you, but also the encouragement to explore on your own, so you're not spoon-fed it. You have to go look for it, but it's readily available and easy to access. 

Shane Johnson: A big part of the course that I believe is important and I enjoy is being in collaboration with your research team and being part of the University of Portsmouth. There is a big team there and they are so friendly and helpful so they can sort of guide you along your way through your MRes.

Darren Gowers: The one aspect of the course that I really enjoy is, as course leader, is seeing the students progress to become qualified researchers by the end of the course. The whole process of the MRes is to encourage students to become early career scientists and eventually follow through into a science career that would be fulfilling and really important for this country as well. 

Entry requirements

MRes Science and Health degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience

  • An upper second class or first class honours degree in a relevant subject. 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

  • After considering the projects listed in the research projects section, please contact the named supervisor in the first instance to discuss an MRes research project with them.
  • You will be asked to write a short research proposal upon receipt of your application.
  • Applicants will be subject to interview.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Learn research preparation skills such as personal effectiveness, research management, professional skills, networking, research organisation, science communication and impact
  • Complete an extended scientific laboratory- or fieldwork-based research project
  • Be supported by enthusiastic and qualified staff, who will help you develop advanced research skills
  • Use our specialist laboratories, equipment and instruments
  • Graduate with the skills and abilities needed for a career as a professional researcher

Careers and opportunities

You'll graduate from the MRes Science degree course with strong research and transferable skills for doctoral study or STEM posts in industry and business.

What can you do with a Science degree?

Career opportunities include:

  • PhD study
  • Research assistant
  • Laboratory management
  • Science communication
  • Specialist STEM research
  • Wider R&D sector jobs

We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment after your course, including through industrial contact, careers events, recruitment fairs and expert sector-specific advice.

Work experience and career planning

We'll actively help you to identify opportunities that will complement your research studies.

This will include university, faculty and Department-specific research talks, seminars, networking events and conferences.

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your research skills to work.

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.

During my undergraduate degree I decided I would like a change of direction, to become an Educational Psychologist. This requires a doctorate and my MRes is a step towards being accepted on to the course.

Renee Lawley, MRes Science ambassador

What you'll study on this MRes Science degree course

Each module on this course is worth a number of credits.

On this course, you'll study modules worth a total of 180 credits – one module worth 120 credits (4 assignments) and the other worth 60 credits (2 assignments).

Modules currently being studied

Core modules in this year include:

  • Research Preparation module – 60 credits
  • Research Project module – 120 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

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.

Research projects

Here you can read about current research projects you can join.

MRes Projects – Psychology

University of Portsmouth student playing around with thermal imaging on a computer
Read more

MRes Projects – Sport Health and Exercise Science

Breast health mechanics research
Read more

MRes Projects – Pharmacy and Biomedical Science

Operating Department Practice (ODP) and Paramedic Science students inspecting a box of prescriptions
Read more

MRes Projects – Health and Care Professions

Armband placed on patient to check blood pressure
Read more

MRes Projects – Biological Sciences

A student working in the Biochemistry and Biology lab
Read more

MRes Projects – Earth and Environmental Sciences

Student and tutor examining rocks on coast
Read more

MRes Projects – Geography

Researcher using a theodolite on the coast in Malta
Read more

MRes Projects – Dental Academy

Read more

Please note, this list is not exhaustive and you'll need to meet and discuss the project you're interested in with a member of research staff before you apply.

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, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

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

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.


The large majority of your time and taught sessions will be with your supervisory and research team.

Both modules involve a number of taught sessions which are selected by the supervisory team and the student from those available from the Graduate School and from Faculty and Department/School subject-specific provision.

Sessions in the Graduate School contain material aligned to the nationally recognised Researcher Development Framework.

You will experience a satisfying intellectual challenge within a productive research community, aided by supportive supervision.

How you're assessed

The course comprises two modules:

Research Project (120 credits)

This comprises the main part of the course, with an extended research project undertaken in one of the eight Schools and Departments in the Faculty of Science, plus a research paper, funding application, conference poster and research talk.

Research Preparation and Development (60 credits)

This comprises a wide range of RDF skills, including personal effectiveness, research management, professional skills, networking, research organisation, science communication, impact, literature review and job application.

Assessment for each module is by regularly-spaced coursework items, whose aim is to build a complete skill set for successful research career development.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Full-time – £8,100
  • Part-time – £2,700 in year 1 and £5,400 (subject to annual increase) in year 2

EU students

  • Full-time –  £8,100
  • Part-time – £2,700 in year 1 and £5,400 (subject to annual increase) in year 2

International students

  • Full-time – £16,200
  • Part-time – £5,400 in year 1 and £10,800 (subject to annual increase) in year 2

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 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

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.

You'll need to pay the cost of any fieldwork that you go on; this may be in the region of £500 – £1,000.


You can start this course in October/September or February/January (full time only in February).

You must upload a Project Proposal with your application, providing a brief summary outlining your intended area of research.

Project Proposal Form

Start your application by following the link below:

Please contact us.

September 2023 start

January 2024 start

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.