Humanities MRes

Master's Degree , Part-time

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Key Details

  • 2 Years
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Overview

If your undergraduate degree has left you with a passion for independent research, and an interest in a particular topic in one area of the Humanities (Drama, English Literature, History, Theology), this degree will allow you to advance both your subject knowledge and your research skills. Based around an individually devised and researched dissertation on the subject of your interest, it is designed to develop your understanding of high quality research within the Humanities and will give you the opportunity to research into a subject that you want to explore.

  • Gain advanced knowledge, skills and experience of conducting independent research
  • Excellent preparation for PHD
  • Offered as both full and part time study
  • Loans available to cover fees and / or living costs

Why study this course?

  • Working with a tutor who specialises in your chosen research field
  • Supportive environment
  • Taught modules focused on Humanities research methods
  • Innovative research methods module based on individual student needs

Offered both full-time and part-time, the MRes includes a 90 credit independent research project with three supporting 30 credit modules: Research Methods in Humanities which will allow you to develop advanced research skills and reflective practice; Theory and Its Applications in which you will explore the shared concepts in Humanities which enable interpretations of text; Research Orientation which will be tailored to your individual project and focus on developing a sound project proposal and plan before starting the Dissertation module. In the Research Orientation and Dissertation modules we adopt a flexible approach allowing you to tailor learning and research to your specific interests. This provides the opportunity to become a well-rounded and critical researcher within the Humanities.

Students’ own research proposals are welcomed in the following areas of text-based Humanities research that correspond with the specialisms offered by individual members of staff:

• Drama

• English Literature

• History

• Theology

In addition, there are a range of projects available upon enquiry with appropriate staff. Find out more information on the specialist research areas of staff in the Humanities at Newman.

What does the course cover?

For full-time students, the first semester modules are ‘Research Methods in the Humanities’ and ‘Theory and Its Applications’. In ‘Research Methods in the Humanities’ students are asked to reflect on their own practices in research and consider how they might improve their research methods and writing skills to make them more efficient and focused. Meetings with the dissertation supervisor are integrated into the module session so that students can identify specific research needs that they have. In this way, the module is very responsive to students’ individual needs. ‘Theory and Its Applications’ develops students awareness of a range of critical and philosophical ideas; students will discuss these in relation to their own area of study. In the second semester, students take ‘Communicating Research’ where they learn how to disseminate their work to a range of audiences including employers, and consider how they might take their research further. They also begin their dissertation in Semester 2 (which is completed in August). For the dissertation module, students will work with a dissertation supervisor to complete a long piece of written work. Part-time students take ‘Theory and Its Applications’ in Year 1 semester 1; ‘Communicating Research’ in Year 1 Semester 2; ‘Research Methods in the Humanities’ in Year 2 Semester 1; ‘Dissertation’ in Year 2 Semester 2.

How will I be assessed?

The main piece of assessment is a 20,000 word dissertation. Other assessments are designed to feed into and support this; these are a Portfolio where students evaluate and discuss their own methods of research, a presentation and project outline, and a long critical essay on theoretical approaches.

What careers could I consider?

The MRes is an excellent preparation for more advanced research at MPhil or PhD level; it is also valuable as an add-on to a first degree, enhancing employability skills. As a Humanities degree, it opens up opportunities in careers that require good communication and interpersonal skills, an ability to write well, and to understand and rationalise complex ideas. Hence, it is good preparation for careers such as teaching, journalism, work in heritage and culture industries, as well as more general areas such as management, retail, law and service industries.

Attendance

Full-time students will be required to attend 2 taught sessions per week on average; these take place in the evenings and some will be delivered online.

Contact Details

for course specific enquiries

Entry Requirements

Applicants require an undergraduate degree in a related discipline with a 2:1. Applicants with a good 2:2 combined with exceptional research or additional experience may be considered.

Applicants may additionally be required to attend interview or to submit a piece of written work as part of the application process.

Course Fees

Full Course Fee
UK/EU Students - £8,250*

* Fees shown are for 2020/21 academic year. The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, on enrolment and in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

Course fee discount

Newman alumni are eligible for a 10% discount when enrolling onto a full Master’s degree programme.

Postgraduate Loans

You can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,609, when enrolling on a full Master’s degree (180 credits), to use as a contribution to the cost of studying and living expenses.

For further information visit the postgraduate loans website.

Additional costs will be primarily for primary and secondary resources (e.g. books) including inter-library loans.

 

Additional Information

General Academic Regulations: Terms and Conditions for students attending our courses

  1. RESEARCH METHODS IN THE HUMANITIES
    (Compulsory) hrm701
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    MODULE SUMMARY :

    This module will provide students with a critical appreciation and understanding of the different types of research resources, tools and techniques used for masters’ level Humanities Studies. The module is designed to enhance students’ ability to identify and locate resources independently providing them with a detailed knowledge and understanding of resources and tools which are readily available. As well as developing  essential research skills, students will also explore the unstable nature of text, helping them to understand the contingent nature of sources and of the political, social and intellectual context in which they can be interpreted.

     

    Students will be required to reflect on their own skills in relation to relevant research skills through the applied tasks set throughout the module: these will be focused on how to systematically develop independent research projects appropriate to Master’s level work. Consideration will be given to different approaches to research design. Although the projects undertaken on the MRes will be text-based, the issues surrounding ethics will be considered and will be broadened to consider the subjective nature of research within the discipline.

     

    Students will undertake a series of short tasks, related to their portfolio assessments. These will indicatively include work on: using book / journal resources efficiently; the use of ebooks, ejournals; efficient searching of databases and general internet searches; accessing research including archival research, using research libraries including the British Library, interlibrary loan and SCONUL Access; construction of sophisticated academic arguments; information management; note taking / keeping records; presenting documents as appropriate for academic work, including for publication, and referencing.

     

    CONTACT HOURS :

    Scheduled   : 24.00 Independent   : 276.00 Placement   : 0.00 Total   : 300.00

    MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

    This module aims to:

    • develop in students a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the range of research resources, tools and techniques used for masters’ level Humanities studies;

    • develop students’ ability to locate, use, analyse and evaluate scholarly and research resources relevant to Humanities research;

    • develop students’ critical abilities in evaluating and applying the methods and processes used in Humanities research, including an understanding of the limits of current methodology and the opportunities to develop originality in the application of knowledge;

    • make students aware of the unstable and variable nature of texts, the contingent nature of sources and the political, social and intellectual contexts in which they can be interpreted;

    • encourage students to develop skills of self-reflection and information management so that they improve their ability to make decisions in relation to complex and often contradictory material, to work efficiently, use IT to help them manage tasks, meet their own deadlines as well as those externally set.

    • explicate the requirements for presenting academic work at this level for assessment and for publication.

    LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

    Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

     

    • explore and use a range of research resources, tools and techniques used for masters’ level Humanities studies;

    • locate, use, analyse and evaluate scholarly and research resources relevant to Humanities research;

    • develop their critical abilities in evaluating the methods and processes used in Humanities research, and apply their knowledge in original ways;

    • explore the unstable and variable nature of texts, the contingent nature of sources and the political, social and intellectual contexts in which they can be interpreted;

    • develop skills of self-reflection and information management so that they improve their ability to make decisions in relation to complex and often contradictory material, to work efficiently, use IT to help them manage tasks, meet their own deadlines as well as those externally set.

    • learn and practice the requirements for presenting academic work at this level for assessment and for publication.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

    Component 1 - 100% Portfolio

  2. COMMUNICATING RESEARCH
    (Compulsory) hrm703
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    MODULE SUMMARY :

    Strongly tailored to suit the student's area of interest, this module allows students to reflect on their research project and develop new skills in communicating the central themes of their work. The module, delivered alongside the dissertation with the input of the student’s dissertation tutor, provides a space for considering the skills being developed to enable the students to make a transition to work or into further study as appropriate. Students will explore the development of ideas for future projects and training in how to communicate them to external funders, stakeholders and the wider public. They will also articulate the professional skills they are developing in engaging with MRes study, for example the qualities of sound judgement in dealing with complex issues, taking personal responsibility and initiative, and being self-directed (as set out in the L7 QAA descriptors).

     

    The module is designed around key areas in which scholars need to excel in the Humanities in the twenty-first century: the ability to convey complex ideas in an accessible manner; to define avenues for future research and to reflect critically on their own ideas.

    This develops skills that allow students to see far beyond the limited scope of their own research and encourages them to engage with wider dialogues.

    CONTACT HOURS :

    Scheduled   : 10.00 Independent   : 290.00 Placement   : 0.00 Total   : 300.00

    MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

    This module aims to:

     

    • Provide a bespoke, tailored, package of support and development that is relevant to the student's area of interest in relation to a systematic knowledge of the precise field in which they are working and the range of techniques applicable to their research.

    • Enable students to prioritise key areas of their research for wider dissemination to both specialist and non-specialist audiences, showing an understanding of different audiences.

    • Engage students with aspects of their research that is at the forefront of their academic discipline and provide students with an appreciation of some of the demands of research beyond Level 7.

    • Provide students with an opportunity to develop skills and competence in the competitive processes of bid writing, for demonstrating impact and originality, and engagement with employers/funders.

    • Engage students with the qualities and transferrable skills necessary for employment and relevant to opportunities after graduation.

    LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

    Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

     

    • Identify key skills of analysis specific to the project area.         

    • Speak, with confidence, about a specialist area of Humanities research in ways appropriate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences, including explanation of new insights and originality.

    • Write and engage with an established field of research and show how their research is at the forefront of their academic discipline.

    • Identify areas of development in their research for future research projects.

    • Write a situating document to refine the skills needed in completing grant and scholarship applications in the future.

    • Explicitly articulate the qualities and transferrable skills relevant to employment opportunities; including high-level communication skills and the ability to define a feasible project idea.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

    Component 1 - 50% Individual Presentation, 10 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions and answers

    Component 2 - 50% Research Proposal, 3000 words

  1. THEORY AND ITS APPLICATIONS
    (Compulsory) hrm702
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    MODULE SUMMARY :

    One of two interdisciplinary modules, this module will provide students with the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings to Humanities research to develop the more advanced critical and analytical skills needed for dissertation at level 7. The module introduces students to a range of critical approaches to text, giving them the opportunity to use, discuss, and critique these strategies both verbally and in writing. Student’s will develop skills in self-reflexivity by being encouraged to understand their own preferences and positions in undertaking Humanities research which inflects their analyses and approaches in developing their research interests, questions and findings.

    The module will focusing on close readings of work that influenced the poststructuralist move and will introduce discussions concerning the impact of this critique of representation on theories of identity, ideology, meaning, and power.

     

    CONTACT HOURS :

    Scheduled   : 24.00 Independent   : 276.00 Placement   : 0.00 Total   : 300.00

    MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

    This module aims to:

    • provide students with a broad and detailed understanding of texts, theories, issues and concepts that underlie research methodologies in the Humanities, which are relevant to their own research project, and to understand how their research is informed by and exceeds the forefront of the field in which it is located. 

    • enable students to contextualise and develop their area of expertise in the light of a detailed understanding of the representational function of text in promoting, maintaining or challenging identity, power, meaning and ideology.

    • develop students’ abilities to make independent judgements as they evaluate and critique specific approaches to text.

    • develop students’ self-reflexivity in understanding preference and position in undertaking Humanities research, and how this is inflected by personal perspectives;

    • help students apply skills in critical analysis to enhance their written and verbal communication.

    LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

    Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

    • read, evaluate, and critique key texts, theories, and issues that underpin philosophical approaches to Humanities research, to understand how it relates to their own research project;

    • situate their own work in this wider context of theoretical discourse and to understand how their research is informed by and exceeds the forefront of the field in which it is located;

    • further develop critical abilities as they apply specific approaches to their specialist area of research;

    • explicitly understand and articulate their own preferences and positions in undertaking Humanities research, and how this is inflected by personal perspectives;

    • use critical theory to improve analysis of text and argument in essay writing for assessment and publication.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

    Component 1 - 100% Essay (5000 words)

  2. DISSERTATION
    (Compulsory) hrm704
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    MODULE SUMMARY :

    This module builds on skills and knowledge developed during Semester 1 and is designed to run alongside the module ’Communicating Research’. This module provides students with the opportunity to draw on subject knowledge and skills acquired in the MRes Programme. Undertaking a topic of personal interest, students will conceptualise and implement  an extended piece of written research that will demonstrate a systematic understanding of subject area in relation to clear research questions in order to develop a coherent argument, which has the potential to develop new knowledge. A critical analysis of current problems will combine with new insights into the topic to place the work at the forefront of the academic discipline and field of study.

    CONTACT HOURS :

    Scheduled   : 30.00 Independent   : 870.00 Placement   : 0.00 Total   : 900.00

    MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

    This module aims to:

     

    • Enable the student to conduct an extended piece of research that shows an ability to apply established knowledge and research methodology and to develop the academic field in original directions.

    • Ensure that the student identifies, analyses and utilises relevant primary sources in an original and imaginative way.

    • Allow the student to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

    • Develop students’ ability to use print and digital secondary sources effectively and critically to analyse and critique texts, theories, issues and concepts.

    • Develop the students’ ability to deal with complex and often contradictory ideas within the context of a clearly articulated argument.

    • Encourage the student to demonstrate reflexivity, self-direction and originality in tackling and resolving issues presented by the topic of the dissertation.

    LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

    Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

     

    • Demonstrate Masters’ level subject knowledge of their chosen topic and a critical awareness of relevant historical developments in the discipline including an appreciation of how and how far their own work provides new insights.

    • Analyse their topic according to a reflexively articulate research methodology.

    • Evaluate the current state of research in their chosen topic and situate their own work in relationship to it, critically engaging with secondary sources to analyse and critique texts, theories, issues and concepts.

    • Produce a piece of research that extends subject knowledge of their chosen topic.

    • Develop a clearly articulated argument that manages the complex and often contradictory material and ideas of Humanities research.

    • Communicate their research findings in both oral and written form, following the conventions of academic communication.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

    Component 1 - 100% Dissertation (20,000 words). In rare situations examiners may require a student to sit an additional viva voce.