Skip navigation

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

CLOSE

This part-time taught research course gives you the opportunity to carry out original in-depth design research, while developing the skills to become an independent, critical, and innovative thinker, maker, and design researcher. 

 

The course encourages intellectual curiosity and inquiry, challenging you to develop a robust and dynamic approach to design research. The taught modules provide a rigorous framework of academic, practical, and transferable skills, supporting your development as a flexible and self-motivated early-career researcher. 

 

You will gain an understanding of research methods and design theory while developing transferable skills in communication, self-management, project planning and academic writing.

You will develop your research, alongside MRes students from within the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences at Northumbria University, building a community of practice through interdisciplinary conversations.

 

You will plan, create, and deliver a significant research-based project in the form of a dissertation or practice-based output, which demonstrates your ability to produce grounded design research that stimulates debate and contributes to your community of practice. 

 

Whether you go on to further PhD study, or work as a researcher for the design industries, this course gives you the research and professional skills for a successful career. 

 

Research Project Proposal Guidelines

 

In addition to the Personal Statement required in the online application form, you should attach a 500–1000-word outline of your proposed research project for the programme. Consider that the research you propose will ultimately be presented as either a 20,000-word written dissertation or, in the case of practice-based students, a body of design practice and a 10,000-word dissertation. For more information read our 'application guide'.

Find out more about studying a MRes at Northumbria University here.

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
2 years part-time
1 other options available

Department
Northumbria School of Design

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024

Fees
Fee Information

Modules
Module Information

Discover NU World / A virtual journey through everything Northumbria has to offer.

Explore our immersive 360 tours, informative subject videos, inspirational student profiles, ground-breaking research, and a range of life at university blogs videos and articles.

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in a relevant subject. Applicants with appropriate work experience and/or a relevant professional qualification will be considered. 

Applicants are required to submit a statement of their proposed area of study in order to identify a suitable supervisor.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non-UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 6 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

For further admissions guidance and requirements, please visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/admissionsguidance Please review this information before submitting your application.

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

Full UK Fee: £9,250

Full EU Fee: £18,250

Full International Fee: £18,250



Scholarships and Discounts

Discover More about Fees, Scholarships and other Funding options for UK, EU and International applicants.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

All costs are recommended, not mandatory.Throughout your programme of study, students are expected to be able to access a computer / laptop for study on this course. Access to computers are through the Masters Study suite in the Library and potentially within the School of Design. If students want to work remotely / at home, then it is expected that they will have their own personal laptops and relevant software and it is also a recommendation that you purchase a portable hard drive(s) to back up your digital work (approx. £ 50) as well as a personal SD card for digital cameras (approx. £10) if photographic equipment is needed for your research. Further costs may be incured by students depending on the nature of their research, for example, practice-based research, and these costs will be covered by the student. Access to specialist equipment on campus will be negotiated with the Programme Leader.

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University



Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

HI7011 -

Research Development (Core,30 Credits)

In this module you will develop an aspect of your research project and present it in a professional manner to an audience of academics and students. You will work with classmates to organize, advertise, and present a one-day symposium of research papers that express your scholarly projects. The module aims to advance your professional skills and professional abilities by practice. You will learn how to effectively present a piece of research, develop event planning skills, gain practical project management experience, all of which are necessary to sustain this type of work.

More information

VA7029 -

Research Methods (Core,30 Credits)

In this module you will be equipped with a range of core skills essential to research in the arts, as well as specific methodologies appropriate to your specialist field of enquiry (as historian, critic or theoretician). There are four key elements to the module: identifying the key issues and methodologies appropriate to your subject; identifying and retrieving appropriate data and sources; understanding ways to evaluate and employ these sources, and the implications of doing so; and developing and a practicable appreciation of how theory, research methods and practice mutually inform the creation of knowledge in the arts.
On completing the module you will have an enhanced awareness of how the choice of methodologies can fundamentally influence the direction of your research, and be able to: Understand and employ a range of advanced research skills, methods and critical approaches necessary to conduct a major academic research project in the arts; exhibit enhanced skills in the identification and evaluation of research sources relevant to your specific project and articulate a strategy for retrieving and utilising those sources; understand the characteristics of research questions, and frame your specific research questions within a feasible and sustainable topic of enquiry, appropriate to available research materials; develop original responses to the historical and conceptual questions posed by the research topic and to be able to situate your research within the larger context of research in the arts; communicate complex arguments and methods in written, visual and verbal form in a clear and credible way.

More information

DE7028 -

MRes Dissertation (Core,90 Credits)

In this module you will identify a research question and produce a 20,000 word dissertation or portfolio of practical work with an accompanying 10,000-word dissertation, which represents the culmination of your postgraduate studies on the MRes programme. It will enable you to apply the skills you have acquired in other modules and yield a discrete body of primary sources related to an identifiable area of enquiry. As an exercise in advanced research, it is intended to develop further your research skills and your ability to work independently as autonomous learner. It is the capstone project for your Masters of Research. Your Dissertation topic will be informed by your work on previous modules and your aims/objectives for this project, your future career direction and macro considerations, such as social responsible design/arts, ethical research and the benefit of research to wider communities. A series of seminar/workshops through the module will provide you with information on gathering primary/secondary data, information analysis, research thinking and writing skills and practice-led /based research, all with the aim of feeding into high quality Dissertation outputs. Your individual supervisor(s) will encourage you to engage with cultural, economic, strategic and social themes, critical discussion and high quality debate related to your area of enquiry. You will operate as part of an early career researcher community of practice, in contact with other researchers and interdisciplinary groups.

More information

VA7030 -

Critical Contexts (Core,30 Credits)

This module will address the intellectual contexts for research in the visual arts, media and design. You will examine the wider conceptual and theoretical frameworks that inform and impact upon your specific research project. In doing so you will assess how these frameworks reflect and inform a variety of historical, visual, performative and literary texts and practices (in the fields of fine art, film and television, performance, cultural and media studies, and history of art and contemporary design and design history), and are interrelated with broader cultural, social and political developments.
You will analyse how writers, critics, historians and practitioners think about knowledge and how they pursue their disciplines from epistemological and theoretical perspectives. In this way you will develop a structured overview of the ways in which key critical writing has changed over time, and how theory and conceptual thinking has influenced those working within disciplinary and cross-disciplinary fields.
On completion of the module, you will have developed original and critical responses to key theoretical questions raised via the analysis of sources, ideas, and other bodies of work, and be able to:
Locate your research within wider relevant disciplinary debates; demonstrate an enhanced knowledge of selected theories, concepts and critical literatures, and how to employ them in regard to your own research; interrogate and problematise theories and concepts; demonstrate how curiosity and dynamic debate underpin academic enquiry; communicate complex ideas, and their relevance to your research project, in open discussion and formal written, visual and verbal forms in a clear and credible way.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

HI7011 -

Research Development (Core,30 Credits)

In this module you will develop an aspect of your research project and present it in a professional manner to an audience of academics and students. You will work with classmates to organize, advertise, and present a one-day symposium of research papers that express your scholarly projects. The module aims to advance your professional skills and professional abilities by practice. You will learn how to effectively present a piece of research, develop event planning skills, gain practical project management experience, all of which are necessary to sustain this type of work.

More information

VA7029 -

Research Methods (Core,30 Credits)

In this module you will be equipped with a range of core skills essential to research in the arts, as well as specific methodologies appropriate to your specialist field of enquiry (as historian, critic or theoretician). There are four key elements to the module: identifying the key issues and methodologies appropriate to your subject; identifying and retrieving appropriate data and sources; understanding ways to evaluate and employ these sources, and the implications of doing so; and developing and a practicable appreciation of how theory, research methods and practice mutually inform the creation of knowledge in the arts.
On completing the module you will have an enhanced awareness of how the choice of methodologies can fundamentally influence the direction of your research, and be able to: Understand and employ a range of advanced research skills, methods and critical approaches necessary to conduct a major academic research project in the arts; exhibit enhanced skills in the identification and evaluation of research sources relevant to your specific project and articulate a strategy for retrieving and utilising those sources; understand the characteristics of research questions, and frame your specific research questions within a feasible and sustainable topic of enquiry, appropriate to available research materials; develop original responses to the historical and conceptual questions posed by the research topic and to be able to situate your research within the larger context of research in the arts; communicate complex arguments and methods in written, visual and verbal form in a clear and credible way.

More information

DE7028 -

MRes Dissertation (Core,90 Credits)

In this module you will identify a research question and produce a 20,000 word dissertation or portfolio of practical work with an accompanying 10,000-word dissertation, which represents the culmination of your postgraduate studies on the MRes programme. It will enable you to apply the skills you have acquired in other modules and yield a discrete body of primary sources related to an identifiable area of enquiry. As an exercise in advanced research, it is intended to develop further your research skills and your ability to work independently as autonomous learner. It is the capstone project for your Masters of Research. Your Dissertation topic will be informed by your work on previous modules and your aims/objectives for this project, your future career direction and macro considerations, such as social responsible design/arts, ethical research and the benefit of research to wider communities. A series of seminar/workshops through the module will provide you with information on gathering primary/secondary data, information analysis, research thinking and writing skills and practice-led /based research, all with the aim of feeding into high quality Dissertation outputs. Your individual supervisor(s) will encourage you to engage with cultural, economic, strategic and social themes, critical discussion and high quality debate related to your area of enquiry. You will operate as part of an early career researcher community of practice, in contact with other researchers and interdisciplinary groups.

More information

VA7030 -

Critical Contexts (Core,30 Credits)

This module will address the intellectual contexts for research in the visual arts, media and design. You will examine the wider conceptual and theoretical frameworks that inform and impact upon your specific research project. In doing so you will assess how these frameworks reflect and inform a variety of historical, visual, performative and literary texts and practices (in the fields of fine art, film and television, performance, cultural and media studies, and history of art and contemporary design and design history), and are interrelated with broader cultural, social and political developments.
You will analyse how writers, critics, historians and practitioners think about knowledge and how they pursue their disciplines from epistemological and theoretical perspectives. In this way you will develop a structured overview of the ways in which key critical writing has changed over time, and how theory and conceptual thinking has influenced those working within disciplinary and cross-disciplinary fields.
On completion of the module, you will have developed original and critical responses to key theoretical questions raised via the analysis of sources, ideas, and other bodies of work, and be able to:
Locate your research within wider relevant disciplinary debates; demonstrate an enhanced knowledge of selected theories, concepts and critical literatures, and how to employ them in regard to your own research; interrogate and problematise theories and concepts; demonstrate how curiosity and dynamic debate underpin academic enquiry; communicate complex ideas, and their relevance to your research project, in open discussion and formal written, visual and verbal forms in a clear and credible way.

More information

Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.



Accessibility and Student Inclusion

Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

Accessibility support

Student Inclusion support




All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions
northumbria.ac.uk/terms

Fees and Funding
northumbria.ac.uk/fees

Admissions Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

Admissions Complaints Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/complaints



You might also be interested in...

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

a sign in front of a crowd
+

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

a person sitting at a table using a laptop
+
NU World Virtual Tours
+

Virtual Tour

Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

Back to top