MRes in Humanities


Program Description


The Master of Research in Humanities offers you the opportunity to pursue a personalised, tailor-made programme of Masters study in a structured, interdisciplinary and research-driven environment. It’s focused on your interests and is available across a broad range of disciplines in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. You’ll undertake an extended piece of research within a programme of study designed together between you and your supervisor(s). The MRes can be pursued for personal or career development, or as a stepping-stone to doctoral study (PhD).

The MRes is a one-year, research-oriented taught course. You’re allocated a supervisor or supervisors, and together you’ll plan a curriculum that reflects your interests and needs. Much of your work is made up of self-directed research, with scheduled supervisory meetings to help guide you, discuss your work and review draft submissions. You’ll have a different array of learning opportunities that complement your research project.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities welcomes students from all backgrounds and has a longstanding tradition of supporting innovative, cross-disciplinary and forward-looking projects. Our research student community is international, diverse and plays a key role in the research culture of the Faculty, with staff and students working together on new initiatives. Students in Arts and Humanities can participate in the wider culture of the University through the Stirling Graduate School.

Top reasons to study with us

#1 You’ll be taught by experienced staff who are leading experts in their fields

#2 You can tailor the course based on your preferred areas of interest

#3 You’ll develop skills that become immensely transferable in the job market

Course details

Studying for the MRes Humanities will allow you to develop your own research agenda from beginning to end in conjunction with your supervisor(s).

The MRes follows two semesters, which run from mid-September to late December, and from January to the end of May. The summer period is for writing your dissertation.

The course is made up of the following elements:

Research preparation

This is a tailor-made programme of study in Semester 1 is taught by at least five individual supervisions on a subject of your choice agreed with the subject areas concerned. This may involve interdisciplinary supervision across subject areas where appropriate. The module allows you to begin work on a topic of particular significance to you personally – one that is similar to but not identical with your subsequent dissertation. It’s assessed by a written assignment of 5,000 to 6,000 words.

Dissertation preparation

Taken in Semester 2, this module consists of developing the theme and outline for the dissertation itself, which may include:

  • a detailed outline of the proposed argument
  • a literature review or an extended relevant book review
  • a description or proposal for the application of a methodological framework
  • or a combination of the above, depending upon the exact nature of the research in question

You’ll be supervised by the same member of staff whose expertise correlates with the research interest in Module 3. The module will feature a structure of five supervisions and one written assessment. The written assessment will be tailored to your proposed dissertation focus in consultation with the supervisor(s).

Research skills

Our innovative Arts Graduate Training for graduates stretches over both semesters and enables you to build up a portfolio of skills preparing you for academic and professional life. The portfolio is adaptable to individual experience and requirements, and covers:

  • basic skills - presentation, bibliography, specific research methods, library research
  • employability skills - teaching experience, marking student work, career development event, broaden language knowledge
  • breadth of knowledge - conference attention, reading participation group, prepare an essay of presentation on a topic beyond own research

You’ll work with your supervisor(s) to select tasks from a menu of activities relevant to your future ambitions and their necessary qualifications.


Subject to successful completion of all elements of the assessment in both Semesters 1 and 2, you will embark on an in-depth dissertation exploring the research topic of your choice, as agreed by and with your supervisor(s). Where feasible, you are encouraged to present your theme at an appropriate forum such as a postgraduate conference.


You’ll attend individual supervisory sessions and/or weekly seminars, depending on the pathway you choose. The research skills training will provide opportunities for various different learning environments. In addition, you’re entitled to take existing advanced level (level 10 or 11) tuition in the subject areas concerned and/or, where appropriate, to undertake language tuition at all levels in French and Spanish or in earlier varieties of English (Old and Middle English).

All contributing staff are engaged in on-going research at the forefront of their disciplines and are the authors of numerous books, articles and studies on a wide range of relevant subjects.

You’ll be part of a thriving academic community that includes a rich research culture and seminar programmes of visiting academics and industry speakers.

Classroom hours

Because of the highly personalised nature of the MRes Humanities, semester timetables will vary considerably from student to student. In an average month, you can expect to:

  • undertake much self-directed research
  • meet with your supervisor(s) a number of times
  • attend some seminars and workshops
  • engage with other postgraduate students formally and informally
  • attend audited lectures or seminars, depending on the activities you undertake as part of our Graduate Training Skills modules

In the summer months, you will have regular meetings with your dissertation supervisor.

Course director

Professor Peter Milne

+44 (0) 1786 467563

Fees - 2018/2019

  • Overseas £13,650
  • Home/EU £4,700
Last updated November 2018

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