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Health and Wellbeing (MRes)

Course Description

Full-time MRes (1 year)
Part-time MRes (2 years, allowing three months for the final dissertation*).


The Master of Research (MRes) in Health and Wellbeing examines avoidable health problems associated with poor lifestyles and socio-economic inequalities.

On completion of this programme, you will:

- understand the social science underpinning the development of effective interventions, strategies, and policies aimed at (i) sustainable improvements in health and well-being and (ii) reducing physical and psychological health inequalities.

- have an interdisciplinary understanding of the links between social, biological and environmental factors and individual health behaviours, choices, and outcomes.

- understand contemporary issues related to modifiable disease risk behaviours, and the determinants and correlates of these lifestyle behaviours across the lifespan.

- understand the interdisciplinary skills and processes required to translate scientific research into practical health and well-being applications.

You will also be encouraged to review and critically evaluate approaches to research and their application, and to identify and investigate their own original research questions.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/mres-heal-and-well/

South West Doctoral Training Centre

This MRes is accredited by the Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC), specifically, as part of the larger South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC) (http://www.bath.ac.uk/hss/graduate-school/study-with-us/south-west-doctoral-training-centre/). It is a collaborative, interdisciplinary programme, delivered by all three universities (Bath, Bristol and Exeter), building on the research strengths of each institution through the inclusion of collaborative units (delivered jointly by the three institutions).

The MRes can be taken as a course in its own right, or as part of the 1 + 3 (MRes + PhD) pathway, which includes further collaborative elements with the universities of Bristol and Exeter.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of this programme, successful graduates could proceed onto an MPhil or PhD in one of several areas/departments, specifically:

- Department of Education
- Department for Health
- Department of Psychology
- Department of Social & Policy Sciences

If applying for an MRes + PhD (the 1 + 3 programme) applicants should indicate on the Application Form, their preferred PhD route.

Progression from the MRes to the MPhil or PhD stage is dependent on achieving an acceptable level of achievement (typically an overall average of 60% on at least the taught component of the MRes).

Programme structure

View Programme & Unit Catalogue (http://www.bath.ac.uk/catalogues/2015-2016/hl/hl-proglist-pg.html#CA) for further information.


This programme will equip you for a career as professional researcher in either academic or non-academic environments, by developing core research skills.

About the department

The School for Health was established within the University of Bath in 2003, to centralise the high profile research and teaching in the health-related disciplines already taking place throughout the university, so creating a single entity through which links with the health sector at national and international level can be channelled, co-ordinated and developed.

In 2010 the School joined the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and became the Department for Health, providing excellent opportunities for academic teaching and research collaborations with other departments, such as Psychology and Social & Policy Sciences. The Department's postgraduate teaching and research programmes now form part of the Faculty's new Graduate School, also launched in 2010, providing postgraduate students with dedicated support and a strong community in which to base their studies - whether on campus or by distance learning.

In keeping with government initiatives surrounding population health and more general public concerns, the Department divides its activities between two main pillars: Healthcare and Population Health – one focuses on the NHS, healthcare and health services research and the other focuses on population health, healthy living, sport & physical activity and tobacco control; each of these groups, in turn, contain both teaching programmes and research activities. Furthermore, there is a bridging spine between both pillars and which houses the Professional Doctorate in Health, Research in Health Practice and the administrative, finance, learning & teaching development, marketing and support activities of the Department.

The Department’s aims are:

- To develop a research portfolio that is both of the highest academic standard and has applications in the real world
- To build on external links with the public services and other bodies concerned with health and society
- To innovate design and delivery of healthcare services
- To change corporate approaches to healthy organisations
- To support government reform of health and social care provision
- To identify and facilitate opportunities for academic collaboration and new developments.

The Department's postgraduate taught programmes combine academic excellence with flexible and innovative design and delivery; our postgraduate portfolio is distinguished by the provision of a number of Professional Masters and a Professional Doctorate programme designed to be studied part-time by learners working in a wide range of healthcare roles from all around the world. All our postgraduate courses are taught online and this has proved to be one of our unique selling points, with students able to continue within their practice area or working environment whilst gaining a further qualification.

The Department is renowned for its exemplary attention to educational design, integrating knowledge with research evidence and resulting in programmes which are highly relevant to contemporary practice; in addition, the Department boasts some of the most innovative and successful approaches to online and part-time education, recognised through a number of awards.

At all levels, learning and teaching in the Department provides a strong focus on high quality education for real world situations and produces graduates with skills and knowledge relevant to professional roles and in high demand from employers.

Teaching programmes on offer within the Department include:

- Sport & Exercise Medicine, the world renowned flexible masters programme exclusively for doctors
- Sports Physiotherapy, a specialist programme designed by physiotherapists for physiotherapists
- Research in Health Practice, a programme launched in 2008 aimed at health and social care professionals interested in conducting their own research
- The innovative Professional Doctorate in Health which focuses on both Population Health and Healthcare within the Department, providing a doctoral level programme to develop expert practitioners and researchers in practice.

Facilities, equipment, other resources
Sport and exercise science and medical science laboratories. Close links with the English Institute of Sport and the Department of Sports Development and Recreation.

International and industrial links
There are current links with primary care trusts, strategic health authorities, the two hospitals in Bath and colleagues in industry. The Department works closely with esteemed international academic institutions, and individual health practitioners, in order to meet the regional, national and global challenges facing health and social care.

Careers information
Postgraduate research students gain a wealth of experience to assist them with their next step and are offered personal career advice at the University. The Department has an established research training skills programme for all research students. The taught programmes enable students to extend their health and social care career pathways and to build important networks for further professional opportunities.

Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/health/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/hss/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/

Visit the Health and Wellbeing (MRes) page on the University of Bath website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Carys Banks

2800.jpg “I undertook the MRes programme in 2011-2012 as part of my 1+3 ESRC doctoral studies, of which I am now half way through.

I have found taking the MRes as an introduction to my doctoral studies has been very useful for two main reasons:

First, in terms of intellectual development, as a programme that provides research methods training, it enabled me to theoretically and practically familiarise myself with both qualitative and quantitative methodological research approaches.

This training allowed me, at an early stage in the doctoral programme, to establish for myself a strong epistemological and ontological grounding, which has been crucial in terms of rigour, validity and in depth understanding within my chosen research approach.

Second, joining the MRes programme has also been invaluable in terms of meeting and developing relations with fellow post-graduate students, importantly both within and outside of my department. This kind of contact with others who are undertaking research training, even if across different disciplines, is a central requirement of 'survival' as a PhD student!

Carys Banks
MRes Health and Wellbeing, 2012

(Student Profile)

Siobhan Mitchell

2801.jpg “After completing my MSc I wanted to do more of my own research and the MRes Health and Wellbeing programme at Bath was a perfect way to bridge the gap between my MSc research and my goal to study for a PhD.

Throughout the MRes I have been guided by staff to improve my academic writing, develop my research skills and advance my research ideas. The programme provided me with an opportunity to learn about and apply new research methods (qualitative and quantitative) and the assignments gave me the flexibility to explore and develop my own research interests. A highlight of the MRes for me was the module on contemporary debates in lifestyle behaviours and public health. It was great to hear from researchers across Bath, Bristol and Exeter universities about their own experiences and perspectives on interdisciplinary research in health.

The interdisciplinary focus of the programme has encouraged me to explore my research interests from a range of perspectives; meeting MRes students from Exeter and Bristol was a great opportunity to share these ideas and hear about other interdisciplinary projects. I was really well supported throughout the MRes towards meeting my goal of studying for a PhD and when it came to the application for funding and the selection process I felt like I’d been given all the help I needed and I am now looking forward to starting my PhD.

Overall the MRes has provided me with an invaluable experience, without which I would have been unprepared to embark on PhD study; the programme and the teaching staff have provided me with the skills and confidence to do so.”

Siobhan Mitchell
MRes Health and Wellbeing, 2013


International Economics Scholarships - 5 Awards

See the website

Value of Scholarship(s)



- for international fee-paying full-time taught masters applicants from any country for MSc Economics, MSc Economics and Finance, MSc International Money and Banking and MRes Economics.

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information



University of Bath International Scholarships Scheme - 20+ Awards

There are 75 scholarships worth £3,000 each in the University of Bath International Scholarships Scheme (UoBISS).

Value of Scholarship(s)



These are for international fee-paying full-time taught master's applicants from any country and for any subject area.

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information



PGT Bath Bursaries (Home UK full time) - 20+ Awards

For the academic year 2016/17 we have 30 bursaries of £6,000 each available for new UK Masters students.We anticipate opening for applications around late April/early May. We will email eligible offer holders with further details on how to apply once we are ready to open applications.In addition, the selection panel may take into account the following widening participation criteria and information in your supporting statement when making awards, if:- the highest education level of both of your parents is below degree level or equivalent
- the occupation level of both of your parents is between SEC 4-7 (Social Economic Class)
- you are a care leaver
- you were aged 21 or over when you commenced your undergraduate studies
- you were in receipt of free school meals, Education Maintenance Allowance or 16-19 Bursary Fund
- you attended a state school and/or a low performing school
- your gender is underrepresented in your academic department
- your ethnicity is underrepresented in your academic faculty.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- be a Home (UK) student, and
- apply for and subsequently register on an eligible Masters course.An eligible Masters course leads to an MSc, MBA, MA or stand-alone MRes with a maximum duration of two years for a full time course or four years for a part time course. Part time courses must be studied at a minimum of 50% intensity (e.g. a course which would take one year if studied full time may take up to two years if studied part time). Courses studied by distance learrning are not eligible for this scheme.

Application Procedure

The application process will be online, accessible through Bath Application Tracker, which you will have access to once you apply for a course. You will be required to answer questions relating to the widening participation eligibility criteria and provide a supporting statement of around 350 words.

Further Information



Graduate School Scholarships - 20+ Awards

There are 20 Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences scholarships each worth £2,000. See the website

Value of Scholarship(s)



- for international fee-paying full-time taught master's applicants from any country for MA/MSc programmes in Humanities and Social Sciences.

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university. English Language requirements: Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the programme of study. IELTS 7 (with no less than 6.5 in each component); PTE Academic of 69 with no less than 62 in any component

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Recipient: University of Bath

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