Course: MSc by Research Programme

Course details

  • Location

    Royal Agricultural University Campus
  • Duration

    1 year (full time) or 2+ years (part time) (Full time / Part time)
  • Academic Year

    21 September 2020 - 21 May 2021. For February entry the academic year starts 18 January 2021.

This one-year full-time MSc by research programme includes training in research skills to help you effectively investigate the key challenges facing the agriculture, land management or equine industries.

Course overview 

Research and innovation are vital to the agricultural and equine industries, which face the constant challenge of adapting to scientific and technological advances. Expert, evidence-based insights lie at the heart of the industry’s ability to respond to those changes in a way that will benefit the industry itself and the wider world. This programme is your chance to play a pivotal part in that process.

You will be trained by the RAU’s globally renowned researchers in how to formulate enquiries, critical approaches to reading, scientific writing, research methodology and statistics (e.g. Genstat, SPSS, NVivo).

You will also gain the skills and confidence to lead lectures and contribute to internal seminars and external conferences. You may also attend taught subject classes to update your knowledge and understanding on disciplines related to your chosen subject of study and to further your critical review skills.

Our research degrees are validated by the University of Gloucestershire allowing you to interact with a large and subject-diverse postgraduate community.

The programme is completed when you submit your thesis for assessment at the end of the year and defend your research in a viva voce examination. 


The full-time Master of Science by Research programme is a one year research project submitted as a thesis and examined in a viva voce.

  • Full-time – minimum 12 months / maximum 24 months
  • Part-time – minimum 18 months / maximum 36 months

Disclaimer information

The University has established various rules and regulations that you must agree to and follow if you accept an offer to study with us. View our full disclaimer notice.

Entry requirements 

The standard minimum entry requirement will be an Honours degree at upper second class level or an equivalent academic qualification from a comparable international institution. 

Mature candidates with significant relevant work experience and lower academic qualifications may also be considered for entry, following personal interview.

For students whose first language is not English, the University will accept the International English Language Test (IELTS) with a minimum overall score of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in Writing and no less than 5.5 in all elements.


All experiment costs and supervisor travel costs to be paid by self-funding students in addition to annual fees.

2020/21 Applicants

For the academic year 2020/21 the tuition fees for this course are: 

Full-time£4,182 per year£12,240 per year
Part-time£2,091 per year (minimum registration of 2 years) N/A

Please note: Part-time students from non-UK/EU countries are currently unable to enrol on research degrees due to visa regulations. 

Tuition fees may be subject to an inflationary increase each year as set out in our Access and Participation Plan 2019/20.

For full details, please visit the fees and funding webpage.

2019/20 Applicants

For the academic year 2019/20 the tuition fees for this course are: 

Full-time£4,100 per year£12,000 per year
Part-time£2,055 per year (Minimum registration of 2 years) N/A

Please note: Part-time students from non-UK/EU countries are currently unable to enrol on research degrees due to visa regulations. 

The tuition fees quoted for 2019/20 applicants may rise in line with inflation, subject to government policy.

For full details, please visit the fees and funding webpage.

Ready to take the plunge? Apply now

If you have the ambition and passion to carry out research at higher degree level, together with the necessary finance to cover tuition fees, research project costs and your own living expenses, please contact Professor Meriel Moore-Colyer.

Applicants are required to contact the Director of Research & Knowledge Exchange,  Professor Meriel Moore-Colyer in writing prior to submitting an application to discuss their proposed research project.

Please complete and return to the Director of Research the Research Proposal form.

Course options