MSc By Research

The MSc by Research is a one year research degree for students looking for a research programme, but who may not be ready or able to commit three years of study as with a traditional PhD programme, e.g:

People with work experience who only want to take one year out of industry (or two years part time) to complete a research degree;

  • Exceptional BSc students who want to take their final year project work further.
  • Students may transfer to a PhD if the first few months go very well and necessary funding is in place.

The MSc by Research can be studied with a supervisor from one of the school’s cutting-edge research groups listed above.

Applying Online

We strongly advise you to use our online application form because it is the quickest and easiest method for applying for admission to our courses. If you are unable to apply online please contact apply@aston.ac.uk

For information on completing the form view the Online application guidance notes.
If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the online application form please see the Online application guidance notes - Technical Problems, alternatively email: isa_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk

Please note: When progressing through the application form please use the hyperlinks/buttons at the bottom of each page and not your web browser back and forward buttons.

Start your application by going to the online application form and selecting MSc by Research as the degree programme.

Training Programme

As part of the MSc by Research, every student agrees a bespoke training programme with their Supervisor, which comprises:

  • Research Skills and Professional Development: a generic research skills module, delivered by the Centre for Staff and Graduate Development
  • Specialist Research Skills and Techniques: this module is individually tailored to to help students develop the specialist (i.e. subject and discipline specific) research knowledge and skills necessary for their project..
  • Individual Training Plan: to be agreed with your supervisor at the outset and updated at the three monthly reviews.


All students must complete and pass the two research skills training modules; assessment is based on coursework.

MSc by Research students must also submit a thesis for examination; the thesis is the primary focus of this degree.

Key information

  • E-mail: seasres@aston.ac.uk
  • Duration of Programme: 1 year full time, or 2 years part time
  • Start Date: October 

Entry Qualifications:  A first or second class honours degree, or equivalent, in a subject appropriate to the proposed programme of study.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification (IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each band, or a TOEFL score of 93 overall with a score of 18 in Reading, 23 in Writing, and 19 in Listening and Speaking) 

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course.