The MPhil is a research degree in its own right and one which gives students an advanced set of research skills and in depth knowledge of a specific area of study, suiting students who are not able to commit to a lengthy period of study. MPhil students are expected to show some degree of originality and contribution to knowledge as well as a solid understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice. Students are expected to submit a Thesis of 20,000 words (Science, Engineering, Art and Design) or 40,000 words (Arts, Social Sciences and Education) and pass successfully a Viva Voce examination. The Thesis will demonstrate student’s understanding of research methods, and ability to critically evaluate the specific topic of student’s academic subject area. This MPhil programme provides a solid foundation for progressing to PhD at the University of Bolton or elsewhere.

The MPhil is awarded to a candidate who, having critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic and demonstrated an understanding of research methods appropriate to the chosen field, has presented and defended a thesis by oral examination. Masters degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated:

(i) a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice;

(ii) a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;

(iii) originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;

(iv) conceptual understanding that enables the student to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; and to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

(a) deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgments in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences;

(b) demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level;

(c) continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level; and will have:

(d) the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring;

• the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;

• decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations; and

• the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.


The University of Bolton can support MPhil students undertaking research in the following subject areas:

• Art and Design

• Accounting and Business

• Built Environment & Civil Engineering

• Community Studies

• Computer Science

• Education

• Engineering

• English & Creative Writing

• Health & Well-Being

• Information Systems

• Islamic Finance

• Law

  • Materials, Research & Innovation

• Mass Observation and Worktown Studies

• Medical, Biomedical and Life Sciences

• Photography

• Psychology

• Sport, Performance, Recovery & Rehab

• Sport Sociology and Policy

• Theatre and Performance

• Renewable Energy & Environmental Technologies

The duration of the MPhil programme is 1.5 years (full-time); or 3 years (part-time).

MPhil holders can demonstrate a set of transferrable skills and attitudes that help them pursue a career building on their research experience. Critical thinking, ability to analyse, ability to work independently, and innovative spirit are some of the key skills that today’s fast developing and multinational companies are looking for when considering newly graduates.

Research skills are required in a variety of jobs whether in business, education, or industry. In addition, MPhil graduates can progress onto studying the PhD programme at the University of Bolton or elsewhere.