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Masters by Research Professional Practice

What is this award?

This is a new and innovative Master’s degree level award which is designed to capture and evidence the advanced professional skills including research informed practice, leadership and critical thinking, which are demonstrated on a daily basis in multiple professional contexts such as schools, hospitals and other fields.

Who is this award for?

Participants on the award are likely to be experienced or developing professional practitioners from a variety of professional settings, including schools, Further Education colleges, hospitals, early years settings, local government and in private practice.

How would I study on this award?

There are two routes for participants on this award:

  • Route 1: primarily for experienced professionals, Route 1 is retrospective and involves a critical analysis of previous practice
  • Route 2: is prospective, with participants applying the principles of research to the planning and evaluation of a work-based project that they are about to begin.

Successful applicants work on their portfolio of work with the final submission consisting of:

  • A 7,000 word critical and reflective commentary on their portfolio written to Masters level and drawing on appropriate academic and policy literature
  • A portfolio of professional evidence

How long will it take me and what will it cost?

The work for this award will normally be completed within one year of first enrolment and the current cost of the award is £2,060.

Case Studies - Examples of the types of participants who would complete work for this award

Route 1 - Retrospective

David is a subject leader for construction in a large FE college. Having worked in industry for 20 years, he made the transition into teaching four years ago.

His portfolio for the M.Res consists of evidence concerning his teaching practice and subject leadership:

  • A job description for his current role
  • A case study and evaluation of an e-learning project for bricklaying students that involved live streaming of practice from building sites and e-mentoring
  • A collection of lesson observation reports highlighting his outstanding teaching practice
  • Minutes of team meetings evidencing the development of teaching and learning in bricklaying
  • Testimonials from a number of construction companies outlining the impact of David’s work with their apprentices
Route 2 - Prospective

Susan is a Deputy Headteacher of a large primary school and currently holds a BA in English and a PGCE. This year she is tasked with taking her school from Ofsted ‘standards met’ to ‘good’.

As a senior leader, her portfolio for the M.Res consists of a range of evidence relating to her whole-school role:

  • A job description for her current role
  • Work on the revised school strategy for teaching and learning which she authored together with the implementation plan
  • Data showing an increase in exam results since the introduction of the strategy
  • Minutes of meetings with staff and planning
  • Impact case studies of teaching and learning innovation arising from the strategy meetings
  • A copy of the most recent Ofsted report

How will this help my current or future career?

If you are aiming to develop your career as an aspiring professional in a middle or senior management position, then this research degree will enable you to build the necessary skills within your developing professional portfolio. Likewise, if you are looking to take your first steps into academia, then a Masters by Research (M.Res) could be ideal for you.

It is also an ideal stepping stone to Doctoral level research, either a PhD degree or a Professional Doctorate (EdD/DBA/D.Prac).

How can i find out more about the award to decide whether it would be suitable for me, and how do i apply?

Contact the award leader, Dr Nick Sutcliffe on with any queries relating to the award and you can apply here. There are two intakes per year for the award and all applications will be considered and successful applicants will be invited for a panel interview. Successful applicants are also required to attend an evening induction event to prepare them for their studies.