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What makes the MRes in Design at Worcester special?

This MRes is a unique opportunity to work with national and international experts in Design while, at the same time, developing yourself as an expert in the field.

One of very few such courses in the UK, the MRes will enable you to acquire fundamental research skills while carrying out a major research project of your choice.

The MRes offers an ideal bridge to further postgraduate study (e.g. a PhD) or to acquire, transferrable employer-related skills in areas such as project planning and management, time management, research and data analysis, digital literacy and report writing.

Key features

  • A bridge from undergraduate to postgraduate study
  • Develop advanced research skills (e.g. in areas such as literature review and research methods)
  • Work with national and international experts in your field
  • Develop your practice and/or carry out a major research project in a topic of your choice
  • Acquire project management skills including: independent working; being able to devise, research, and execute a substantial research project; the ability to set goals, priorities and schedules; and to develop data analysis skills such as using electronic and online resources.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

You will normally be expected to have:

  • A First or Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1) Degree, or equivalent award, in Design or a related subject

and/or

  • Appropriate research or professional experience, which can be verified by evidence of achievement. This might include, for example, experience in a studio, as a practitioner  with an appropriate track-record of exhibiting and/or producing work, or of having worked in the media industries, or for an arts or heritage organisation, museum etc.

            

International

International applicants will be required to demonstrate comparable prior subject experience and to have an appropriate level of written and spoken English (normally an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6 in written English).

Entry qualifications for international students are guided by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre’s (NARIC) advice on international qualifications.

Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Modules

  • RTP 405 - Developing and Managing Your Research (15 credits)
  • MHCA4001 - Research Approaches in the Arts and Humanities (30 credits)
  • MHCA4002 - Thesis Preparation Module (15 Credits)
  • MHCA4005 - MRes Research Project (120 credits)

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and by feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

Teaching

You will be taught via a combination of classroom modules and supervisor-supported independent study. Lectures are used to impart the core knowledge essential to each component of the course, while also, generally, being interactive. Analysis, problem solving skills, and, most importantly, the application of knowledge to your own project are all developed through interactive seminars and workshops. On RTP405 and MHCA4001, both lectures and workshops are delivered principally via guest sessions in which the varied expertise of teaching staff across arts, humanities and the University as a whole will support the development of the broad, rounded skills that the MRes is designed to develop. Research skills are developed through classroom activities and assessments (as described above) but also in conjunction with supervisors on the supervisor-led modules MHCA4002 and MHCA4005. This close working with the supervisor, who will be an expert in your field of study, will foster the more specific research skills required for your subject. By successful completion of the course, you will be beginning to develop as an expert in your field.

Meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 8 occasions in the year (for full-time students) and approximately 4 (for part-time). The personal academic tutor is likely to be your supervisor. By combining teaching, independent study, academic support from Student Services and Library Services, and personal academic tutoring we seek to enable you to reflect on your progress and to build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 0–7.5 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the timetabling of modules and is variable. In the second half of the course you would expect to have less contact time in order to do more independent study around your research project. 

Typically contact time will be structured around:

  • 1 taught module per week (2.5 or 5 hours, dependent on module). Modules will range from approximately 8-30 students.
  • Independent self-study, supported by meetings with a supervisor.

Independent self-study

In addition to direct contact time, you will be expected to undertake around 25 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve research, data gathering, or writing either for the thesis preparation module or for the final research project. Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, our virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Timetables

Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose research, expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. In addition, the taught modules will be supported by a range of guest lecturers with expertise in each of the areas covered by the module.

The core team for the MRes includes subject experts details of whom can be found in the course handbook and on the Institute web pages. The majority of the lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Assessment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade. The assessment methods are designed to test out each of the core components of the major research project which will be the foundation of your MRes – e.g. literature review, methods, underlying paradigms, theories, and philosophies. The assessments include: a personal development plan; a literature review; an in-class individual presentation; an essay (or equivalent practice-based assignment); a sample chapter (or equivalent); an extended research project.

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Meet the team

Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:

  • tobias-hickey-humanities-university-worcester

    Tobias Hickey

    Tobias Hickey lectures in illustration, drawing and printmaking. Graduating with a degree in Graphic Design from Liverpool Polytechnic in 1992 and subsequently gaining his MA Illustration from Central St Martin's College of Arts and Design in 1995.

    Tobias initially took on commissions to illustrate children's books. His freelance practice then broadened into design and advertising and he became an established editorial illustrator, with regular commissions for The Guardian, The Times The Observer and The Independent newspapers. Other clients include You magazine, The Evening Standard, GQ Magazine, The Lawyer, The Daily Telegraph, TES, Sky Broadcasting, British Airways, Vodafone, Reader's Digest, Harper Collins and Conran Design. His illustrations have been published throughout Europe and in Australia.

  • david-james-humanities-worcester-university

    David James

    David James is a designer, photographer, illustrator and motion graphics designer. He studied at the universities of Reading, the Slade School of University College London, and Gloucestershire. Having been Supervising Designer, News and Current Affairs, at Thames Television (ITV London), his last post in TV was Head of the Design Group at ITV West. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Accredited Senior in Creative Imaging and Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

Careers

Where could it take you?

This course will help you to develop both intellectual and technical competencies in research. It will prepare you for academic careers by covering the fundamental components of academic research: developing a topic, literature review, method and analysis, and the planning and execution of a substantial piece of written or practical research. Through the ‘apprenticeship’ model, your work will be closely integrated with that of an expert supervisor and with an academic department giving you valuable experience of contributing to and working within a community of scholars. This will allow possible development towards further postgraduate research such as a PhD. From our first intake onto the MRes programme in 2016-17, two of our graduates went on to gain competitive, fully-funded 3 year PhD bursaries in the region.

An MRes in Design will also help you to progress towards a career in equivalent professional practice or research-based employment. This might might include, for example, working as a practicing artist, designer, illustrator, photographer, filmmaker etc, teaching, or working in a studio, in the media industries, or for an arts or heritage organisation, design publisher, or museum. In the context of an ever-expanding information economy, an MRes would prepare you for work in any organisation looking for literate and research trained staff. Further support will be available to you via the Research School’s Student Researcher Development Programme. This provides workshops in, amongst other things, oral presentations, public engagement, writing CVs, bid writing, and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Costs

How much will it cost?

Tuition fees

The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.

Postgraduate Loans

The Government will provide a loan of up to £10,609 per student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.

For full details visit our postgraduate loans page.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page

Additional costs

There will be general costs for printing, stationery, books etc and, depending on your research project, you may have occasional costs associated, for example, with materials, exhibiting, accessing or travelling to archives, etc.

Apply

How do you apply?

For more information about the programme, please email research@worc.ac.uk.

Before applying, you should first discuss your research interests, qualifications and potential research project with potential supervisors and/or the course leader prior to submitting an application. This will help establish, for both parties, that our staff have the necessary expertise to supervise your proposal and to identify whether the intended research project would require additional, available resources.

Please contact the programme leader (Dr John Parham: j.parham@worc.ac.uk) for general advice about your research topic and the availability of appropriate supervision.

All applicants must complete the application form and submit this to the Research School at least 6 weeks before the start of the Semester (September or January, please contact the Research School for more information).

All applications are passed to the relevant course leader for consideration. If the application has potential, an interview is scheduled by a panel comprising at least two members of academic staff. An offer of a place on the MRes will be made when the following conditions are satisfied:

  • Applicant meets the specified entry requirements.
  • The Institute has the supervisory capacity and expertise to support the research project outlined in the application form.
  • The proposal outlined has the potential to become a viable research project at Masters level.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111
admissions@worc.ac.uk  

Course contact

Dr John Parham
j.parham@worc.ac.uk
01905 855553

Research School
research@worc.ac.uk