Monday, 24 January 2011

MA and MSc by Research

During last academic year the Faculties of HLS and Humanities developed a Masters (MA or MSc) by Research programme. Whilst the programme has some research training (similar to MPhil or PhD degrees) it is distinct from a taught masters. Assessment is entirely based on a thesis and a viva voce involving individually appointed internal and external examiners. Numbers of Masters by Research students are eligible for inclusion in the Faculty’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) submissions.

The Masters by Research may be particularly suited to:

1. Our final year undergraduate wishing to develop their final year project research and/or wishing to remain in Leicester whilst pursuing a postgraduate research qualification.

2. DMU Staff wishing to achieve a postgraduate research qualification, but not (at this stage) prepared to commit to PhD study.

3. Staff able to carry out research in an external organisation (e.g. NHS) wishing to gain a research qualification through PT registration/study.

4. ... the possibilities are endless.

My main reason for highlighting this now is because I am aware that our final year undergraduate students are beginning to make enquiries about postgraduate research degrees.

The following document seeks to outline the new Regulations and processes in association with the new MA and MSc by Research. Students will be accepted in 2010 into the Faculty of Humanities and Health and Life Sciences only. This may be extended to other Faculties in 2011.The new regulations are as follows:

For 2010/11:

• 1 fixed entry point in October 2010 (This will be reviewed at the end of 2010/11)
Period of Registration

• FT 12 – 15 months
• PT 24 – 30 months
Registration to be completed

• FT 3 months
• PT 6 months

• Requests for no less than 3 months
Writing up period

• 3 months (no fees charged)
Monitoring of Progress

• No Annual Review for Masters by Research Students
• Progress reports to be completed as MPhil/Phd – e.g. 10 pa Full Time and 5 pa Part Time

• Fee bands will be identical to MPhil/PhD programme

• Student must successfully complete both the Generic Research Training programme and the faculty-specific Research Methods Training programme

• In Science and Engineering and Practice based Art and Design​20,000 words
• In Humanities, Social Sciences and Education​30,000 words
Progression to PhD

This award cannot be transferred or extended to PhD or MPhil registration

• If admission accepted onto MPhil/Phd, student can apply to register for PhD direct option.
The Process

The application form will clearly state if the student expects to be studying for MA or MSc.

• normal entry requirements apply (as MPhil)
• normal application process applies
The student will enrol onto the MA by Research or the MSc by Research (there will be no pre-reg students)

- normal enrolment requirements apply
- Welcome email (e.g. Welcome to your Research Degree Studies – FT MA/MSC by Research) to be sent in the usual way.
- The RT Office to send new enrollers pack; this will have different Welcome letter and inserts for MA and MSc by Research
- GSO to add students to the Registration Chasing log however different deadlines apply (see above)

Research Training

The students will be sent the Training Handbook (TNA) for Masters by Research students which incorporates a TNA statement and the usual deadlines apply. They will be expected to attend much fewer courses and are to have no access to other courses offered as part of the training programme for MPhil/PhD students.

Below is a list of all generic courses that form part of the Masters by Research along with the group completion. These will be managed and delivered by the GSO.


Course Title
English Language for Academic Research Purposes (if applicable)
Planning and Managing Research
Preparing For Your Viva


Course Title
Intellectual Property Rights and Ethics
Research Ethics: Online

The Induction course and Literature Searching and Reference Management course for these students will be completed by the Faculty and therefore should NOT be booked on the equivalent courses offered to MPhil/PhD students..

Below is a list of all discipline specific courses that form part of the Masters by Research along with the group completion. These will be managed and delivered by the relevant Faculty.

Compulsory: Faculty Of Health and Life Sciences

Course Title
Induction Event
Literature Searching and Reference Management including Endnote
Health and Safety in Laboratories*
Principles of Research in the Health and Life Sciences
Presentation of Research Data and Participation in Analytical Discussion
Research Ethics
* Only compulsory for students working in a laboratory or similar setting during their research

Compulsory: Faculty Of Humanities

Course Title
Induction Event
Literature Searching and Reference Management including Endnote
Research Methods At Masters Level

Optional: Faculty Of Humanities

Course Title
Subject Research Seminars and Events

The completion timescales also differ and the following table indicates when students are expected to complete courses within each group.

Course Group

Expected Completion For Full-Time Students

Expected Completion For Part-Time Students

Group A

Within 3 months of enrolment

Within 3 months of enrolment

Group B

Between 3 and 6 months after enrolment

Between 3 and 6 months after enrolment

Group C

Within 9 months of enrolment

Within 18 months of enrolment


These students will complete the Registration form in the usual way. ‘Registration 2010’ has been updated to include the new Qualifications in section 4. The forms will be submitted in shorter deadlines.

- GSO to input the Registration form onto the Research Database in the same way
- FRSAs to include them on the agenda under separate sections. (e.g. Application to Register for MA by Research) These should appear before the Applications for MPhil.
- All the usual rules apply, MA/MSc students have the same supervisory team requirements, need to do the TNA and Group A courses before Registration, need ethical approval etc. Obviously there will be no transfer stage required in section 12.3.
Monitoring Progress

- Students will be expected to complete Progress Reports in the normal way
- MA/MSc by Research are not required to have an annual review panel meeting.
Examinations and Thesis submission

All procedures for Examination form, Thesis submission, vivas etc remain the same however the completion deadlines are shorter (see above)

- The GSO will prepare the 10Rec in the usual way with the Qualification as ‘MA BY RESEARCH’ or ‘MSC BY RESEARCH’.
Any questions related to the processes above please contact the Graduate School Office Head

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