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MSc Engineering (by research)

Expand your expertise, ignite your potential, and embark on a path to excellence.

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Develop engineering solutions to technical, societal, and environmental challenges, with an independent research project. This programme offers a dynamic blend of academic exploration across various disciplines, fostering creativity, innovation, and exposure to industrial practices.

An MSc by Research focuses on independent learning and discovery. It's great preparation for doctoral study, or to gain a competitive edge in the job market.

The School of Physics, Engineering and Technology offers opportunities for global collaboration, with industrial partners, universities, public-sector organisations, research institutes, and non-governmental organisations.

Your research

Your focus will be on innovative, multidisciplinary research addressing technical, societal, and environmental challenges as part of our extensive research network and facilities. You'll have access to an integrated training programme which can hone your skills and introduce you to industrial practices.

Our guidance spans the entire research journey, from crafting your research plan to completing your thesis. Your final thesis should effectively, clearly and concisely communicate the research question, methodology, results, analysis, and conclusions, with quality and depth appropriate for your MSc by research. 

Transfer to PhD

You may be able to transfer to the PhD programme, if your project is of a sufficiently high standard and has the potential to be explored in greater depth.


You will be supervised on a one-to-one basis by a member of academic staff. We also offer opportunities for co-supervision, within the School and across the wider University, to support interdisciplinary projects. Your supervisor will help guide your progress, supported by a thesis advisory panel.

Before applying, we encourage you to find out about our academics and get to know how their work and expertise fit your interests. Our academic staff are happy to answer any questions on their research interests or discuss a project you might have in mind. Most of our academics accept applications for self-funded MSc study all year round.

Course location

Your primary base will be at Campus West. Most of your training and supervision meetings will take place here, though your research may take you further afield.

Full-time students are provided with dedicated desk spaces within the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology for the entirety of their programme. Depending on your project's nature, you might also utilise the school's facilities or other extended university facilities.

We offer a distance learning (DL) option for the MSc by Research programme if you cannot live in York full- or part-time. As part of the application process, we will ask for justification for taking the DL option and will then assess the feasibility of the work programme. The latter will be embodied in a plan of study outlining resources and facilities needed, training requirements and an associated timeline, which will need to be in place before being accepted onto the programme. Unless special arrangements can be agreed in advance, a research topic that requires specialised equipment and facilities may not be possible with the DL option.

Entry requirements

You should have, or be about to complete, the equivalent of a 2:2 honours degree or above in engineering, physics, computer science, mathematics or a closely related subject.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of your ability.

English language requirements


Apply for the MSc in Electronic Engineering by research

Apply for the MSc in Electronic Engineering by research (Distance Learning)

Take a look at the supporting documents you may need for your application.

Find out more about how to apply.

Advertised research projects

If you are applying for an advertised research project, please include the project name in your application. You should contact the project leader in advance, who may also ask you to submit a full research proposal. Advertised research projects may be funded or self-funded, as indicated in the advert.

Find a project

Research proposals

If you are not applying for a particular research project, you should contact the member of academic staff you wish to work with, who may provide you with a research / project outline.

The research proposal needs to describe the nature of your proposed study and give some indication of how you will conduct your research. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that you and your potential supervisor(s) have matching research interests. The proposal should be 250 to 350 words in length. It must be in English, and be your own words.

Find a supervisor


Careers and skills

Your MSc by research opens doors to a multitude of career avenues, spanning academia, industry, and charitable sectors. The essential transferable skills cultivated during your research such as problem-solving, presentation, collaboration, and project management are highly sought after across various fields. 

Our dedicated career support team offers tailored assistance, including professional researcher development programs, career workshops, and personalised 1:1 sessions. Their guidance will aid in building your employability portfolio and engaging in activities that augment your skills, both within and beyond your research domain.

If you're interested in working with industries, talk to your supervisor about ways to explore collaborations. It can be beneficial to get involved in ongoing collaborations, short-term work placements, or internships while you're pursuing your MSc. If you're interested in further study, our academic staff can help guide your transition to a PhD program.

Our support extends after graduation: alumni have access to careers support, job vacancies, networking events and more.

Discover York


We offer a range of campus accommodation to suit you and your budget, from economy to deluxe.

Why York

Discover more about our researchers, facilities and why York is the perfect choice for your research degree.

Graduate Research School

Connect with researchers across all disciplines to get the most out of your research project.

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