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The University of Southampton
EngineeringPostgraduate study

MRes Engineering and the Environment

The University of Southampton is strongly committed to providing the very best learning experience to all our students in a friendly and stimulating environment. We are known nationally and internationally for our excellence in research and teaching, and are continually improving the scope and delivery of our activities, we aim to generate a community of masters graduates equipped to act as researchers in the most pressing scientific and engineering challenges of the 21st century.

Introducing your degree

This is the course page for MRes Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Engineering and the Environment and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MRes Engineering and the Environment.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

The aims of the programme are to provide you with:

  • experience of, and the opportunity to gain expertise in, rigorous, leading edge research in an engineering and/or environmental science discipline;
  • broad knowledge of the contextual background of your research problem in the general field of engineering and the environment;
  • a sound understanding of the theoretical foundations of your chosen discipline and area of research;
  • training in generic and transferable research skills;
  • a high quality and intellectually stimulating experience of learning in a supportive, research-led environment;
  • communication and presentation skills through seminar presentations and production of a research proposal and dissertation;
  • the ability to interpret and critically evaluate research and scholarship in areas of engineering and the environment;
  • the capacity to present ideas, arguments and research findings effectively to a variety of specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • the ability to contribute to the research and development needs of the discipline sector.

Typical entry requirements

Normally, the minimum requirements are a 1st class or good upper second-class honours degree from a recognised UK University, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in an appropriate engineering or science discipline. Students whose first language is not English will be expected to have passed the standard University English language requirements, for example IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

In accordance with the University's Equality and Diversity Policy, all reasonable effort will be made to ensure that no prospective or existing student is treated less favourably on the grounds of age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, creed, disability, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender, marital or parental/carer status, political belief or social or economic class, or any other type of discrimination.

Selection process

Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of Enabling Services to assess their needs. The programme may require adaptation for students with disabilities (e.g. hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory and fieldwork/boatwork sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.

Contact Details: Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, Bldg 22
University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Tel: +44 (0)2380 592668

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide) or online at:

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The following summary contains details specific to this programme. It should be read in conjunction with the Faculty Postgraduate Handbook and the University Regulations as specified in the Calendar

The MRes is a one-year programme (with up to a further year in nominal registration). The technical courses are normally chosen from the units offered across relevant engineering, mathematical and science courses in the Faculties of Engineering and the Environment (FEE), Physical and Applied Sciences (FPAS) or Natural and Environmental Sciences (FNES). These will normally be at level M (Master’s Degree level), although in some cases a level H (final year Honours Degree level) unit/module may be substituted where this is deemed appropriate. A wide range of technical units is therefore available, which should be selected both to support research work and to broaden knowledge in the field. An MRes will be tied to a research grouping or unit who will specify both the research topic area and technical module requirements for a particular MRes student before they are admitted.

You are normally expected to take course units totalling 40 credit points. (A University credit point is the equivalent of 10 student study notional hours). A further 20 credit points are associated with courses aimed at developing the generic skills needed to pursue a career in research. The selection and timing of the technical courses is made in consultation with your supervisory team to best support your training requirements and the needs of the research topic. The supervisory team at the University typically either consists of a main supervisor and a second supervisor, or for a multi-disciplinary project more than one co-supervisor (one of whom must still be designated as the main supervisor). The main supervisor is typically the technical lead for the project and is responsible for organising the completion of all progression paperwork and timely examination of the MRes. A second supervisor may have less direct technical involvement with the work, but may still attend a number of review meetings with you (as well as progression milestones) and be available to discuss the progress of the project with you. Co-supervision normally entails technical input to the project from all supervisors. The generic skills courses develop research methodology and communication skills and also address the requirements of the Engineering Institutions. In certain instances it may be possible to substitute external courses for those delivered by the University but this is subject to financial constraints and evaluation and accreditation of such courses.

The MRes award depends on completing the required taught course units at the level specified in the University Calendar for such Masters level courses and successfully submitting research reports/theses at appropriate stages. The diagram overleaf shows the overall structure and alternative exit points.

Students are expected to be diligent in their studies at all times. You are expected to keep a logbook and should also build and maintain a portfolio of your work which can help provide tangible evidence of progress. Performance is continually monitored by the supervisory team and reviewed at the end of each semester by the Faculty Graduate School which reports to the Faculty Programme Committee.

Semester 1
FEEG6001 Research Project for MRes

Semester 1 (Oct-Jan)
During week 0 you should have completed your training needs assessment, selected your technical and generic skills modules, and confirmed your full supervisory team. At the end of one month you should have written an outline of the motivation for your research, together with a full plan of work for year 1. The technical modules are normally assessed by a mixture of coursework and examinations in semesters one and two, as appropriate. At the end of semester one an interim research/progress report must be submitted to the supervisory team. This will examined by the supervisory team and an independent examiner. The interim report should comprise a substantive literature review, any initial results and a clear time-plan for your remaining research project.

Semester 2 (Feb-May)
In semester 2 you will complete all technical and generic skills modules. A second interim report is due at the end of the second semester which will take the form of a poster presentation on your project progress to date to the supervisory team and an independent examiner.

If you successfully complete course units totalling 60 credits, a Postgraduate Certificate may be awarded even if you do not complete or pass the dissertation stage of the MRes.

Credits can only count towards one award, they may not be double-counted. Opportunities to resit failed modules will be governed by the regulations for Masters degrees as specified in the University Calendar

Having normally completed the required technical modules and satisfied your review panel that you have an understanding of the relevance of your work and the potential to conduct independent research, progression to semester 3 will be confirmed by the Faculty Graduate School and reported to the Faculty Programme Committee. If you have failed to satisfy your review panel you may be permitted to re-submit your interim reports for re-examination within a specified time period, usually 2 weeks.

Semester 3 (June-Sept) summer vacation period
Evidence of continued progress is provided by regular supervisory meetings. You are also required to give a formal technical seminar on your research topic to your host research grouping in months 9-11 (July-Sept). The seminar presentation is marked as part of your generic skills training. The target date for submission of your MRes thesis is the end of the first week of September. The thesis is considered by the supervisory team and an independent examiner and a viva held before the end of September. Examiners make their reports to the Faculty Graduate School. Possible outcomes are the recommendation to the University of the award of the MRes; award of the MRes subject to minor corrections to the thesis; major revision of the thesis with the award of the MRes subject to a further examination or rejection of the thesis with the recommendation that the MRes should not be awarded. In the latter case a PG Cert may be awarded based on earlier performance.

Students have the opportunity to meet regularly with the Graduate School (which comprises an academic representative from each Academic Unit as well as the Director of Graduate School) at a mixture of training and networking meetings, this gives ready access to an independent and impartial source of advice about any issues you may be having during their studies.

Year 2
The MRes thesis must normally be submitted at the latest by the end of the second year of study (nominal registration). The thesis is considered by the supervisory team and an independent examiner and a viva held. Examiners make their reports to the Faculty Graduate School. Possible outcomes are the recommendation to the University of the award of the MRes; award of the MRes subject to minor corrections to the thesis; major revision of the thesis with the award of the MRes subject to a further examination or rejection of the thesis with the recommendation that the MRes should not be awarded. In the latter case a PG Cert may be awarded based on earlier performance

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate research degrees vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Engineering and the Environment MRes2020Full time£9,250£23,136
Engineering and the Environment MRes2020Part time£4,625£11,568
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

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