MSc Research Methods with Education / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course description

MSc Research Methods is a research-intensive master's designed for those who wish to continue to PhD and/or are considering embarking on a career in research.

It has a strong focus on developing research skills combined with further study in education.

The MSc is designed to comply with the research training requirements for two ESRC scholarships as administered by the North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP): the three-year PhD scholarship (commonly termed +3) and the four-year scholarship that covers an eligible one year master's and a three-year PhD (commonly termed 1+3).

The course is ideal if you want to apply for an ESRC scholarship through the NWSSDTP or a School of Environment, Education and Development scholarship. NWSSDTP approved master's must meet the minimum research training requirement expected by the ESRC.


You will: 

  • develop as a well-rounded researcher who can access the full range of research in relation to education; 
  • actively and practically engage with research methods used in the context of education; 
  • attend introductory PhD research training lectures, seminars and tutorials and get a taste of life as a PhD student.

Special features

  • Education has been a discipline of study at Manchester since 1890.
  • Our students come from all over the globe, and our qualifications are recognised across the globe.
  • Our research improves the quality of education across the world, with 78% of our activity defined as `world-leading' or `internationally excellent' (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Coursework and assessment

You will conduct a small-scale piece of empirical research of relevance and use this as the basis for your dissertation. The emphasis of the dissertation will be on the use of methodology in the context of:

  • tracing the application of certain methods to the investigation of particular issues;
  • discussing how that methodology functioned in practice;
  • research reflexivity.

You will be expected to report on the findings of the study, although the scale of the work will necessitate modest aims and outcomes, given that you will require space to provide in-depth methodological critique and potentially also methods development as an outcome of their study.

It will also be possible you to choose to undertake a literature-based dissertation, in which case there will be an expectation that a formal review methodology will be used to conduct the review.

The form the dissertation ultimately takes will reflect the particular study conducted, and its structure will be negotiated and agreed your supervisor. All dissertations undertaken will be required to contribute to meeting the ESRC's research training criteria.

Course unit details

Core course units typically include:

  • Research Literacy and Design
  • Qualitative Research Approaches
  • Quantitative Research Approaches
  • Dissertation

You will select one from the following options:

  • Doing Environmental Research
  • Development Fieldwork
  • Independent Research Methods

You will also select four units from our Education postgraduate portfolio.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Research Literacy and Design EVDV70001 15 Mandatory
Qualitative Research Approaches EVDV70012 15 Mandatory
Quantitative Research EVDV70022 15 Mandatory
Theories of Teaching and Learning EDUC60491 15 Optional
Digital Media and Information Literacy EDUC61712 15 Optional
Beyond Approaches, Methods and Techniques EDUC70021 15 Optional
Language Learning and Technology EDUC70061 15 Optional
Educational Technology and Communication EDUC70141 30 Optional
Contemporary Issues in Education Leadership EDUC70331 15 Optional
Educational Leadership and Diversity EDUC70372 15 Optional
Education Policy EDUC70531 15 Optional
Developing Researcher Reflexivity EVDV70011 15 Optional
Independent Research Methods EVDV70032 15 Optional
Doing Environmental Research GEOG70472 15 Optional
Development Fieldwork MGDI60502 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 15 course units


The course is taught by the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE).

MIE is in the University's Ellen Wilkinson building, which is centrally located on the University's Oxford Road campus, close to the Main Library, Alan Gilbert Learning Commons and the Students Union.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email