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Research degrees

Practice-led Master's by Research (MA, MSc)

Combine your research with your creative practice. Immerse yourself in your chosen specialism and produce high quality academic research.

Student writing ideas on glass with marker pen

On this course you will combine your creative practice with academic research. You will engage with practical modules on research methodology so you can develop your abilities as a researcher. An expert supervisory team will offer support as you produce a thesis alongside your practical work. Our practice-led Master’s by Research are available on selected subjects in the School of Arts.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time, 2 years part time
  • Start date – February 2024, February 2025, June 2024, October 2024, October 2025

Minimum entry requirements

    2:1 degree in a related subject

    7.0 IELTS score if English is not your first language

Tuition fees

    UK 2023-24 £4,400 per year full time

    International 2023-24 £12,750 per year full time

Course overview

Your Master’s by Research will be challenging and rewarding. It’s your chance to complete a large research project that interests you and develop your skills in taught methodology classes.

Choosing to gain your Master’s through Research allows you to focus on a specialist area and enhance your expertise. It’s the ideal way to prepare for further study and a career in academia. You will collaborate with a supervisory team that has been carefully selected for you and be part of an exceptional research community of postgraduate researchers.

When you choose to study with us, you will get plenty of opportunities to enhance your professional skills. These could include:

  • Presenting your research at conferences and events
  • Engaging with further training
  • Working with the community

Professional Development and training

During your Master’s by Research you will discuss additional training with your supervisory team. Your supervisors will help you identify your strengths and highlight areas for development. We deliver a blended training programme that will help you develop your research and professional skills, enhance your CV and your employability.

Course structure

How you will study

This is an intensive course that you will study over 1 or 2 years. This time will consist of 3 stages. As you study you will:

  • Develop your research skills with appropriate methodologies
  • Conduct your research using appropriate data collection methods
  • Produce and submit your thesis alongside your creative output
  • Attend a viva voce (oral examination)


In the initial stage of your Master’s by Research you will focus on establishing a working relationship with your supervisory team. You will discuss your research proposal and create a suitable plan for the course. During this time you will complete an in-depth literature review and attend training on different research methods.

At this stage you will start your investigation and collect the appropriate data, organising your work into coherent chapters for your thesis. You can present your work at conferences during this time. You will have a formal review to ensure your project is progressing as expected.

Your final stage is where you will focus on writing your thesis and refining your creative output. At the end of your final phase, you will submit your thesis and undertake your viva voce. During this oral examination you will discuss and critically defend your thesis. An independent chair and examiners will be present to assess your thesis.

Entry Requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    2:1 degree in a related subject

    7.0 IELTS score if English is not your first language

If your degree is in an unrelated subject but you have relevant professional experience we may still consider your application.

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 7.0 (with no skill below 6.0) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Fees and funding

UK 2023 -2024 entry

The tuition fee for this postgraduate course in the 2023 - 2024 academic year is:

  • £4,400 per year for full time study
  • £2,200 per year for part time study

These prices apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Masters loans are available to help you pay for your course. You can visit the UK Government Masters Loans website to find out if your eligible and how you can apply.

International 2023 -2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 -2024 entry to this Masters course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your Masters on our dedicated funding page.

International Fees and Funding

International Visa and Immigration

Tuition fees

    UK 2023-24 £4,400 per year full time

    International 2023-24 £12,750 per year full time

Additional costs

Depending upon the nature of your research project, a bench fee might be applied as a separate cost to your tuition fee. Bench fees are normally incurred for laboratory consumables and other significant project costs and any goods will remain under the property of the University.

If you have any queries regarding bench fees, please speak to your potential supervisor during the application process.

Any bench fees will be included in your offer letter and if you accept, the charge will be in addition to your tuition fees.

Contact us to discuss your research proposal

If you know what subject you want to research or you just want to find out more, contacting a School Postgraduate Research Leads is a great first step.

Our School Postgraduate Research Leads are the right people to talk to if you want to study a research degree. They can put you in contact with an academic who is researching a similar subject, and who could be your research supervisor during your course.

School Postgraduate Research Lead: Claire Hind -

Contact Claire if you are interested in subjects relating to:

  • Drama and theatre
  • Music performance and production
  • Fine art, illustration and photography
  • Media production
  • Design
  • Visual communication
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