Key information for MScR students

Key information of Informatics Masters by Research (MScR) students (non CDT programmes)

The Masters by Research (MScR) is a postgraduate research programme which has a 12 month (full time) or 24 month (part time) duration. Most MScR students commence in Sept/Oct each year, but some students also start part way through the academic year.

The MScR programme is governed by the Postgraduate Degree Programme Regulations, which are available by following the link below.

Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study

The University's Code of Practice is also relevant and is available by following the link below.

Research Students

What MScR students should know at the start of their programme

There are some important pieces of information (and programme milestones) that a full-time MScR student should know at the start of their programme (part-time MScR should adjust the schedule in a proportionate way).  These are listed below.

  1. The MScR is a research degree, and similar to a PhD programme, your aim is to contribute to the generation of some new research knowledge and at the end of the programme, students must submit a research project/dissertation for examination.  
  2. Students will have a lead supervisor who will be the main person who directs and supervises the MScR research and the format of the thesis. Set up initial meetings with supervisors for early in the first month of study, and agree at this meeting the frequency of subsequent meetings (it is recommended students meet with supervisors at least monthly, but meetings may need to be more frequency at the start and when writing your thesis).  Students should complete the short 'expectations' questionnaire in advance of this meeting as a basis for discussion (ask your supervisor to fill it too). Download Expectations Questionaire (.docx)
  3. Students should aim to agree a concrete and specific topic of investigation with their supervisor by the end of month 2 of the programme.  For some students, this will be agreed already before the programme starts.  The supervisor may ask students to submit a short proposal around this time.  
  4. The IAD (Institute for Academic Development) runs a number of courses on research planning, academic writing, and transferrable skills throughout the academic year.  Many are open to MScR students. Course details and booking information
  5. Many students will be doing the MScR to explore the option of a future research career, either in academia or in industry.  Let the supervisor know if this is the case as they can advise on timelines for PhD applications, or may know about opportunities for jobs or scholarships.  
  6. Students who require a formal Schedule of Adjustment should get in contact with the Student Disability Service as soon as possible so that the Coordinator of Adjustments and supervisors can assist with implementing any required adjustment. 
  7. If students have physical or mental health issues during their programme, they are able to apply for an Authorised Interruption of Study (AIS). This means registration as a student is temporarily  interrupted and it would "stop the clock" whilst work cannot be undertake. More information on interuption of study
  8. The IGS has three PGR Pastoral tutors, and they are available to discuss any difficulties students may be experiencing with their programme of study, supervisor or personal issues.  If students have serious concerns about their dissertation or supervision, they should contact the Deputy Director of the IGS to discuss these concerns further. More information on student support
  9. Students should expect their dissertation to take about 2-3 months to write, and so time must be allocated accordingly, and include a buffer for unexpected delays.  This means the initial research plan should allow for completion of experiments and data collection ideally by the end of month 9 or 10. The Postgraduate Degree Programme Regulations state “the research must demonstrate competence, knowledge and be presented in a critical and scholarly way. The assessed work, including the research project or dissertation must not exceed 30,000 words. The word count includes the main text, preface material, footnotes and references but does not include material in the appendices, bibliography, or abstract” (Regulation 59).  
  10. The MScR degree is examined under the regulations set in the Postgraduate Assessment Regulations for Research Degrees (specifically Section E, regulation 46 to 54). View guidance on the MScR examination process (.pdf)
  11. Two months before the dissertation is due for submission, students are required to complete a Notice of intention to submit (NITS) form and a thesis abstract, and submit them to the IGS. The principal supervisor will then be contacted to make their formal nomination of MScR examiners. Find out hat is required of you to do two months before dissertation submission
  12. MScR disseratations are submitted electronically to the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) PGR team. The CSE PGR team will send the dissertation to the approved examiners. Process of submitting your thesis for examination
  13. The MScR is assessed by an Internal Examiner and External Examiner, who will each read your thesis and send a written report to the College of Science and Engineering PGR team.  This will take place after the end of your programme. MScR students are not required to attend a formal viva/oral exam.  
  14. Once the examiners have read and marked the MScR thesis, they will recommend one of the below outcomes to the College of Science and Engineering. Once the recommended outcome is ratified by the College Board of Examiners, students will be notified of the outcome of their examination by the College and Science Engineering PGR team, who will also provide further details relating to award, graduation and/or appeal processes.
    • Award Pass with Distinction in MSc by Research
    • Award Pass with Merit in MSc by Research
    • Award MSc by Research.
    • Offer resubmission for MSc by Research.
    • Award exit award.
    • Fail.