A Master's by Research (MSc) allows you to undertake a one year (full time) research degree. It contains little or no formal taught component. This type of study gives you the chance to explore a research topic over a shorter time than a more in-depth doctoral programme.
Research Master's degrees are also ideal for individuals who are in industrial or commercial employment and who wish to undertake Research and Development on a part-time basis to solve problems or develop enhancements for their work purposes. In such cases it is generally possible to construct a Master's by Research project whereby the candidate works closely with one or more members of University staff who provide the specialist knowledge and supervisory input, whilst enabling the candidate to access the vast equipment and information resources of the University.
Research Master's students choose a specific project to work on and have a greater degree of independence in their work than is the case with a taught Master's course.
You'll be expected to work to an approved programme which you will develop in conjunction with your supervisor within the first few months of starting your studies. Whilst undertaking the research project, you will also have the opportunity to develop your research skills by taking part in training courses and events.
At the end of the project, you will write up your findings in the form of a short thesis of around 25,000 words, which will then be examined.
On successful completion, you will be awarded your degree and if you have enjoyed this taste of research, you may then decide to apply for the full doctoral research degree (PhD).