Master of Research (MRES)

The Master of Research is a pioneering postgraduate research degree offered across all Schools at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA). It offers students a unique opportunity to design and undertake a research project, which is either practice-based or theoretical.

The programme is offered at GSA’s Campus in Glasgow, The GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus or across both Campuses. The Master of Research prepares students for doctoral study and offers the potential for eligible students to apply to convert to a PhD at Year 2 (FT). It is available full-time (one year) or part-time (two years).

This is not a taught programme it combines tailored research training, delivered in seasonal schools: winter; spring and autumn at GSA’S Highlands and Islands campus, alongside a substantial component of independent research under the direction of a supervisory team. Please contact Dr Lynn-Sayers McHattie for an informal conversation regarding your research interests. We also offer one to one surgeries on developing and refining your research proposal.

The Master of Research is suited to students who wish a dedicated space to continue a research project or to creative practitioners who wish to develop their research practice in a specific context. Students’ creative practice is the focus of the iterative research approach and is a major aspect of its experiential nature. This involves exploring creative practice through critical inquiry: making, reading, writing, thinking, discussion and reflection.

Candidates will embark on interdisciplinary research inquiries that address contextually located social and cultural challenges, which are driven and informed through engagement with communities. The development and expression of participatory practice is central to the research ethos. In summary, the programme is:

– In participation with people and their communities;
– Contextually located with emergent research questions;
– Iterative with a cumulative build-up of inquiry;
– Impact-driven.

Outputs will reflect the importance of practice based research and knowledge exchange in practice. It is anticipated that students will take an active part in developing the GSA postgraduate culture through their shared research interests. The programme seeks to develop world-class researchers who wish to enhance their professional practice or pursue an academic career.


You will study at GSA’s campus in Glasgow or GSA Highlands and Islands Creative Campus or across both campuses. 

Located just outside Forres, our Highlands and Islands campus is a research and postgraduate teaching centre for international excellence in creativity and innovation. The combination of modern studio environment and workshop with a traditional highland setting offers a unique educational experience. 

We deliver Master of Research and PhD programmes, and the campus location enables us to research in geographically diverse and distributed contexts as well, as develop the innovative delivery of research programmes. Seasonal schools, such as Winter School, are an exemplar of our progressive teaching modes. They allow us to build collaborative partnerships with other international design schools and local communities, as well as develop the discipline of design innovation. Research and teaching carried out during the schools benefits organisations and communities, as well as students on our programmes.


Details of how to apply can be found at:

For further information, contact Dr Lynn-Sayers McHattie: [email protected]