How to Apply to an M.Res. Degree at a University Abroad in 2020

If you like poking and prying with purpose, then you must surely have the researcher gene in your DNA. Because what else is research if not curiosity with a clear goal?

So, you’re set, ready to go beyond tested scientific theories and come up with new ones.... but wait! First, you have to apply to a Master of Research (M.Res.) degree to put all that in practice. So, how does the application system work for an M.Res. degree? Let’s explore it together!

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What exactly is a Master of Research and where can I study it?

Unlike taught Master’s degrees which make you a knowledge expert on a topic, a Master of Research degree (M. Res.) will teach you how to do research (pretty logical, duh) either for your work, or to prepare you for the next destination - a Ph.D.

Most frequently there are two big areas in which you can pursue an M. Res. Degree:

  • Arts and Humanities, known as ‘Master of Arts by Research’
  • Science and Technology, known as ‘Master of Science by Research’

Right now you can apply for a Master of Research abroad in countries like:

How to apply to a Master of Research degree?

You found the right country and the matching degree to apply to. The next step is to goggle your eyes and carefully check if you are eligible. The basic requirements for an M.Res. degree - in any country- are:

  • to have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
  • to have been obtained higher than average marks at your admission, courses and final exam during your Bachelor’s or Master’s.– this means a 7.0 GPA or an average grade higher than 80%

If you fit these criteria you’re almost there. Almost. Because now it’s time to actually start preparing your application and gather the necessary admission documents. You might need a pen to write all this down because the list is quite long:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree diploma
  • Academic curriculum vitae
  • Academic transcripts
  • Proof of Citizenship
  • Proof of Language proficiency 
  • Recommendation letters from professors and employers
  • Research proposal
  • Evidence of work experience relevant to your research interest

Master of Research

Additionally, there might be a few other specific requirements depending on the programme and university such as:

  • A copy of your Master's or Bachelor’s thesis
  • A portfolio (published academic articles, presentations, artwork, etc. – anything relevant to the M.Res. you are applying to)
  • An invitation from a professor at the university stating that he will be your supervisor

By now you probably figured out that if you want to be a scientist you have to prove you’re a smarty pants. We know that’s not going to stop you from getting into that dream-study programme. So here are some additional tricks to make your application shine.

Focus on your research proposal and on finding the right supervisor

After you found the Master’s programme you want to apply for, read the requirements and make a final decision, there are two important aspects you have to pay most attention to.

The first one is finding a supervising professor. Look at professors who are experts in the subject of your M. Res. at the university you want to apply to. Get in contact with them by presenting an abstract or executive summary of your research proposal. Work together with the professor that is interested in your research to refine your research proposal.

View Masters of Research

What happens after I submit the degree application?

Submit your application – typically online – before the deadlines which you should always check on the programme website as they vary a lot. After some waiting in which you can check the visa requirements as well, you will get the acceptance letter (yay!).

Next, you’ll have to accept the offer of admission and pay the tuition fees if applicable. Here are some average tuition fees for a Master of Research in different countries: 

  • Tuition fees for a Master of Research in the UK:  6,000-11,000 EUR/year
  • Tuition fees for a Master of Research in Australia: 6,000 - 10,000 EUR/year
  • Tuition fees for a Master of Research in the Netherlands: 7,000 - 9,000 EUR/year
  • Tuition fees for a Master of Research in China: 5,000 - 7,000 EUR/year

What’s it like to study an M.Res. degree?

Doing a Master of Research is a unique experience. It will involve some of the taught classes usually found in Master of Arts degrees, but you’ll devote most of your time to extended research projects like those during a PhD. In general, you will spend at least 70% of your time on research.

In other words, very few of those traditional lectures and more of figuring things out on your own and learning through trial and error. What could be more exciting for a person with an innate curiosity like you?

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