A Masters with a difference


When Ashleigh Hicks was in the final year of her Bachelor of Clinical Science, she set her sights on doing a PhD but wasn’t sure what field to pursue.

Eighteen months into her Masters of Research (MRes) in the Faculty of Medicine Health and Human Science she has a much better idea. Ms Hicks is also on track to achieve a double degree and to complete her PhD in less time than if she’d commenced it straight off the bat.

“I was able to do multiple research placements in different fields during my first year, I now feel better prepared for my PhD,” she says.

“Units such as Research Communications and Research Project Management allowed me to enhance valuable skills.”

In 2013, Macquarie introduced the first Masters of Research (MRES) in Australia, replacing honours as the pathway to a PhD. So far 1894 students have graduated with around 50% of those choosing to progress to a PhD. For others, completing the MRES has enabled them to pursue exciting careers.

PhD student and sessional teacher Annie Young BChirSc, MChiro, completed her MRes in 2018, and found the collaborative nature was beneficial in presenting opportunities to undertake a PhD in the Chiropractic discipline.

“Researchers never work in silos, consider it a foot in the door to network, learn about other types of projects and collaborate with likeminded academics,” she says.

Macquarie’s MRes is a two-year degree where students can explore and define their research passion, build knowledge, and develop a broad range of research skills which will support them with PhD study or future employment.

Recent data from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment shows just one in five PhD students in Australia complete their Doctorate in four years. At Macquarie 62% of our candidates complete in four years. The significant difference is due to the excellent research training that our candidates get in the MRes. The final MRes thesis at Macquarie is marked by two external examiners and 90% of our MRes candidates achieve a mark of 75 or higher qualifying them for entry into a PhD. In addition to likely completing a PhD faster, students graduate with two degrees.

Effective from 1st January 2023 Macquarie’s scholarship stipend rate will increase by 10% to $32,000pa (fixed) for all continuing and newly commencing candidates on Research Training Program and MQRES scholarships. In 2023 Macquarie is also changing the MRes Year 2/PhD bundled scholarship offer so that successful candidates will secure a scholarship for both the MRes Year 2 and PhD and will not need to compete again for their PhD scholarship.

If you have students interested in the Masters of Research, invite them to attend the Masters of Research information session to find out more.





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