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
White border version for Web use.
For web/digital use only
WhatUni? Student Choice Awards 22 - Top 10 Postgraduate

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

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

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

Research projects

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

MRes Projects – Psychology

Read more

MRes Projects – Sport Health and Exercise Science

Read more

MRes Projects – Pharmacy and Biomedical Science

Read more

MRes Projects – Health and Care Professions

Read more

MRes Projects – Biological Sciences

Read more

MRes Projects – Earth and Environmental Sciences

Read more

MRes Projects – Geography

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.