The Master’s by Research  is a type of postgraduate research degree that can either be undertaken as an MA by Research ‘MA (Res)’, an MSc by Research ‘MSc (Res)’ or an LLM by Research ‘LLM (Res)’.

This is not the same as an MRes, which is a postgraduate taught Master’s degree (Master of Research) typically including at UEA 80 credits of taught modules and a 100-credit dissertation.

Master’s by Research degrees place emphasis on research and do not include taught modules or learning through seminars and lectures. Instead, you’ll focus on your chosen research area and give yourself experience of what research life is like. Your research could be carried out in a laboratory or outside of UEA, depending on the School in which you are researching in.

Typically a Master’s by Research degree lasts two years. In year one you’ll undertake your research and in year two you’ll go into the writing-up phase before submitting your thesis.

UEA currently offer Master’s by Research within the following Schools:

  • MA by Research: Art, Media and American Studies; Literature, Drama and Creative Writing; History; Politics, Language and Communications; MRes Philosophy
  • MSc by Research: Health Sciences; Norwich Medical School; Biological Sciences; Chemistry;  Computing Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Pharmacy
  • LLM by Research: Law

Undertaking a Master’s by Research degree can be for a range of reasons, but some of the typical reasons include:

  • To gain additional laboratory skills or experience
  • To prepare for a PhD – i.e. allowing you to gain important skills you’ll need to go on to study for a PhD such as thesis writing, research training, undertaking your viva
  • Having the opportunity to work with other like-minded researchers and professionals such as post-docs, PhD students and laboratory technicians

The minimum University academic requirement for a Master’s by Research degree is a 2:2 in a relevant discipline, or equivalent. However, depending on which School you are studying in, some may set a higher or more specific entry requirement. If English is not your first language, you may also be asked to provide evidence of proficiency in English language. This will be listed as a condition on your offer letter.

Please see more information on entry requirements.

To apply for a Master’s by Research degree, we advise that you take a look at the research areas UEA offers and then contact at least one academic supervisor you’d be interested in working with, stating your interest. At this point it would be a good idea to read up on your potential supervisor’s research papers that are related to your interests. You will then be able to fill in an application form, which needs to contain your formal research proposal. Take a look at our guidance on how to write a research degree proposal.

If you have any questions about the Master’s by Research degree or postgraduate research in general at UEA, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our dedicated postgraduate research admissions enquiries contact at: or telephone +44 (0) 1603 59 1709.