Humanities - MRes
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Start date
- October 2021
- Duration of Study
- Full time, part time
- Subject Area
- FEES (2021/22 academic year)
- UK - FT £8,000 / PT £4,400
- EU/International - £16,000
The Master of Research is unusually flexible and virtually unique in the UK, allowing you to tailor your degree around your research and career plans, with a focus on one-on-one supervision throughout the year. Masters of Research is available in English, History, Media, Communications and Culture and Music and Music Technology.
About the course
The Master of Research (MRes) has a specific focus on encouraging ground-breaking interdisciplinarity. As part of this ethos, you can develop a unique research project with support across disciplines, learn aes). The programme is unusually flexible and virtually unique in the UK, allowing you to tailor your degree around your research and career plans. There is a focus on one-on-one supervision throughout the year, so you can develop your research interests, while assessments prepare you for your specific career.
The specific content will vary considerably, depending on your research project and career plans. You can learn a language, take palaeography, take a module from another discipline to expand your interdisciplinary skills, or complete a work placement as part of your degree.
When you submit your online application, please use your personal statement to describe the dissertation or equivalent project you intend to carry out (500-700 words). Include specific research questions and aims. What does the project intend to elucidate? Is any hypothesis proposed? How will the research be carried out (i.e. methodology)?
For 2020/21, all MRes Students take two subject-specific modules, a dissertation or equivalent, and two core modules.
HIS-40017 Research Skills in the Humanities (15 credits), Semester 1
This is a practical guide to conducting research in the Humanities, largely in preparation for your dissertation.
- Dissertation outline (1500 words) 50%
- Annotated bibliography (2000 words) 50%
HIS-40016 Reflective Practice in the Humanities (15 credits), Semester 2
You will be introduced to a variety of key theoretical and methodological texts and encouraged to engage in interdisciplinary discussion. You will also be asked to reflect on the place of your own work within your discipline and the Humanities more broadly. Keele is proud of its reputation as an inter-disciplinary university, and this course seeks to explore the value of such approaches as we discuss what methods
and assumptions our various disciplines share, and how they differ.
- Reflective Diary (4000 words) 100%
Subject specific modules - History
For those specialing in History, you will study the modules below including a dissertation
HIS-40002 Approaches to Historical Research (30 Credits), Semester 1
This module introduces different approaches to the research and writing of history. The course aims to broaden students’ understanding of debates within history and to provide conceptual and other tools for their own research work. Throughout, students are encouraged to reflect on the relevance of the material under consideration to their own research topic.
HIS-40010 Individual Research Orientation (30 credits), Semesters 1-2
This module allows students to gain skills which will help them complete their research project. This may involve a bespoke tutorial programme with your supervisor, which focuses on a particular historiographical debate or theory. For those wishing to develop their interdisciplinary knowledge, they may choose to ‘audit’ a module in another discipline. For others, this may involve more practical skills, such as a course in Palaeography (learning to read and analyse documents which pre-date standardised dates and spelling), or taking a language.
HIS-40009 Dissertation (90 credits), 3 semesters
The dissertation module allows students to produce their own piece of independent historical research, guided by extensive one-to-one supervision from a world-leading expert in their field. The final dissertation is 20,000 words, excluding footnotes, bibliography and annexes).
Subject specific modules - English
For those specialing in English, you will study the modules below including a dissertation
ENG-40007 Criticism, Analysis, Theory in Literary Studies (30 credits), Semester 1
This module aims to develop your analytical abilities through the study of a selection of key theoretical and critical issues and approaches in contemporary literary and cultural analysis. In your assessments, you can choose to develop a project focusing on literary and filmic texts studied on the course or of your own choice.
ENG-40014 Individual Research Orientation (30 credits), Semester 2
In this module, students work with their prospective dissertation supervisor(s) on the field in which their research proposal is situated, combining directed reading in primary, secondary and theoretical texts with individual research planning. Students may choose to: complete detailed work focusing on the research context for their topic and test this out with a smaller-scale case study; write a piece of work on a particular aspect of their field that then underpins or develops their understanding of some aspect of their dissertation project; receive training in a particular skill or methodology or complete a work placement; or study another Masters-level module. It is the student’s responsibility to meet their supervisor regularly and determine what form the IRO assessment will take. The final piece of assessed work should be (or equivalent to) 5,000 words.
ENG-40013 English Dissertation (90 credits), 3 semesters
The dissertation module allows students to research, plan and write a substantial piece of original work, locating their specific topic within the context of relevant debates within the discipline of English literature and the humanities more generally. They are guided by extensive one-to-one supervision from a world-leading expert in their field. The final dissertation is 20,000 words, excluding footnotes, bibliography and annexes.
Subject specific modules - Media, Communications and Culture
For those specialing in Media, you will study the modules below including a dissertation.
MDS-40001 Cultural Theory (30 credits), Semester 1
The module aims to introduce students to and further develop their knowledge of cultural theory appropriate to the field of Media, Communications and Culture. It enables students
to explore some of the major movements in cultural theory, including film theory. Students examine key issues in twentieth-century and twenty-first-century cultural theory and explore the complexity of these issues in relation to social and cultural change. The module introduces students to the theory and practice of reading culture in general as well as various specific forms and modes of cultural self-representation. Topics to be considered may include cultural materialism, cultural history, subcultures, cybercultures, cultural geographies, modernity, postmodernism, (post-) feminism, postcolonialism, psychoanalysis, and ecocriticism.
MDS-40003 Individual Research Orientation (30 credits), Semester 2
The module aims to further students’ understanding of the research area or topic that has been chosen as the theme of the dissertation. It comprises individual study, directed by a
reading programme drawn up by the student and their prospective supervisor, and the student works with their supervisor to plan and develop an essay topic. A literature review is
usually completed to enable the student to situate their projected work within current disciplinary debates. It is the student’s responsibility to meet their supervisor regularly and
determine what form the IRO assessment will take.
MDS-40002 Media, Communications and Culture Students (90 credits), 3 semesters
Depending on the area of research chosen, students research, plan and produce one of the following:
- Dissertation of 20,000 words, supervised by an expert from their discipline.
- Media Project, supervised by an expert from their discipline. The nature of this project and balance between practical and critical components are negotiated and agreed with the supervisor and approved by the appropriate research committee, but at least 25% of the submitted work should comprise an accompanying critical essay.
Subject specific modules - Music or Music Technology
For those specializing in Music or Music Music Technology, you will study the modules below including a dissertation
- Approaches to music research MUS-40005 (30 Credits) Semester 1
This module focuses on methodological debates within the discipline of music and music technology. Students make a short presentation at the end of the course and submit a 4,000–5,000 word project to be devised in consultation with the module tutors. The project normally reflects topics covered in the module. It is important that you discuss your project title and topic with the module coordinator and the appropriate module tutor.
Assessment - 4,000–5,000 word essay (80%), presentation (20%)
- Music - Individual Research Orientation MUS-40003 (30 credits), Semesters 1-2
The aim of this option is to guide students to the sources and resources necessary for their dissertation, composition portfolio, performance or music technology project, and to enable them to place their specific topic within the context of relevant debates within their discipline. Students work with their supervisors and other staff as appropriate to determine relevant sources and resources, and an essay topic. This often, but not exclusively, takes the form of a methodological essay or literature review. It is the student’s responsibility to meet their supervisor regularly and determine what form the IRO assessment will take.
Assessment - 4,000–5,000 word literature review or essay
- Dissertation – Music MU-40002 (90 Credits)
Depending on the area of research chosen, students research, plan and produce one of the following, each of which is worth 90 credits:
- Dissertation of 20-25,000 words (+/–10%), supervised by a member of the discipline. You also submit an Abstract of 250–300 words as part of your Learning Agreement (your discipline lead and/or supervisor will provide guidance on this).
- Portfolio of compositions (usually 20 minutes +/–10%), supervised by a member of the discipline. The compositions may be acoustic, electroacoustic and/or audiovisual. You also submit an Abstract of 250–300 words as part of your Learning and Development Plan (your discipline lead and/or supervisor will provide guidance on this). Longer or shorter compositions require the written agreement of the supervisor and the M.Res. programme director.
- Performance (usually 1 hour +/–10%), supervised by a member of the discipline. You also submit an Abstract of 250–300 words as part of your Learning and Development Plan (your discipline lead and/or supervisor will provide guidance on this). Longer or shorter performances require the written agreement of the supervisor and the M.Res. programme director.
- Music Technology Project, supervised by a member of the discipline. This may consist of purely technological development (e.g. software) or of a combination of technological development and compositions demonstrating the use of the latter. The nature of the project and balance between technological and musical components are agreed with the supervisor. You also submit an Abstract of 250–300 words as part of your Learning and Development Plan (your discipline lead and/or supervisor will provide guidance on this).
Compositions, recitals and projects are usually accompanied by a written Commentary explaining the research problem, and how the outcomes address its questions and objectives; this provides evidence of an appropriate research context. There is no rigid word limit. However, depending on the outcomes, commentaries are normally of about 6,000 words (+/–10%, not including code, scores, appendices, etc.)
How the course is taught
The specific teaching and assessment will vary considerably, depending on your research project and career plans.
How you'll be assessed
All MRes degrees culminate in the 20,000 word dissertation (or equivalent composition or artistic production). Other modules are assessed in a variety of ways; see the Course Content section for more details, or contact the Programme Director.
The pass mark for all Masters work is 50%. A merit will be awarded where students obtain 60% or over for the dissertation (or equivalent project or performance) and an average of 60% on their other coursework. A distinction will be awarded where students obtain 70% or over for the dissertation, (or equivalent project or performance) and an average of 70% in their other coursework
Applicants should normally have a good honours degree (2.1 or above) in a relevant subject. Students from different backgrounds who believe they have the capacity to undertake postgraduate work should contact us to discuss their situation.
Fees and scholarships
Fees (2021/22 academic year)
UK students FT £8,000 / PT £4,400 per year
EU/International students £16,000 per year
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and Funding
The University is committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Each year we offer a range of prestigious scholarships;
UK/EU students - more information on scholarships and funding
International students - more information on scholarships and funding
You will be equipped to excel in any career which values critical thinking, communications skills, and the gathering, assessment and analysis of data and evidence. Our alumni go into a wide variety of professions, such as radio, journalism, teaching, archives, museums, politics, law, orchestras, music theatre houses, multimedia arts, advertising, and accounting.
Support is available for CV-building and PhD applications alike, and there are work experience and internship opportunities available in the School, in addition to the wide range of extra-curricular activities, many organised by the Keele Postgraduate Association (KPA), the only postgraduate Students Union in the country.