The Research Academy FAQ is designed to answer the most commonly asked questions about our courses and locations. If you can’t find an answer to your question here, please contact us.


What courses can I take at the Research Academy?

The Research Academy offers two courses: the MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice and the MRS Diploma in Market and Social Research Practice.

Both courses are offered on a part-time study basis. You can study for the MRS Advanced Certificate face-to-face in Central London or online. Our MRS Diploma course is a taught online course.

Does the Research Academy offer any other training?

The Research Academy offers bespoke in-house training to our corporate clients. Subjects covered range from questionnaire design to the application of behavioural economics to market research. Please contact us if you’re interested.


How do I apply?

Applying is straightforward: all you need to do is fill in an application form. In some instances you will need to provide documentary evidence, e.g., of your academic credentials or language qualifications.

For the MRS Advanced Certificate: please use our online application form.

For the MRS Diploma: please request an application form. Simply send us an send us an email, telling us whether you or your employer is paying for the course. We’ll send you the correct form right away.

When is the application deadline?

You should ideally be enrolled two weeks before their course starts, but we do accept last-minute applications. Courses start each year in August/September and January. Please check our calendar of upcoming events for exact start dates.

Are there entry requirements?

Yes, you will need to meet certain entry requirements. Both the MRS Advanced Certificate and the MRS Diploma are demanding courses, and the criteria ensure that you have enough previous experience or training to succeed. You can find a list of the eligibility criteria on our admissions page.

Will I be interviewed?

Under certain conditions, we may interview you in person or via phone/Skype to verify that you meet our admissions criteria.

What documentary evidence of qualifications do you accept?

Generally, we are happy to accept photocopies and scanned images of qualifications. We do require certified copies of language qualifications.

If I have the qualifications but no work experience do I meet the entry requirements?

In this case, you will meet the entry requirements for the MRS Advanced Certificate. However, employers in the market research industry tend to be keen on work experience – they will look for both a qualification and experience. We recommend that if you don’t have any it’s worth trying to get a small degree of work experience before you start a course with us. You can do this e.g. through part-time work, as an interviewer or in some other temp capacity with an agency. Many big agencies hire phone and street interviewers and the hours can be compatible with other employment.

If I have started a course with another provider and am not happy, can I transfer to you?

Yes. All candidates can apply through their original registration centre to transfer to another accredited centre. This is particularly useful for the MRS Diploma. Please give us a call if you’d like to find out more.

Paying for your course

What fees will I need to pay?

Our course fees depend on the mode of study, face-to-face or online. Please click the name of the relevant course, and then navigate to the ‘Costs, discounts and payment methods’ tab.

MRS Advanced Certificate
MRS Diploma

Can I pay in installments?

If you are paying for the course yourself, you can pay in installments. For the MRS Advanced Certificate, you can pay in four equal installments. We charge a £16 processing fee for this. For the MRS Diploma, you can pay in four installments (one installment per Unit). There is no processing fee for this.

Will there be any other costs beyond your fees?

Our fees cover the full cost of tuition as well as the Market Research Society (MRS) course registration and exam fees. Candidates may incur additional charges if they need to retake exams, resubmit coursework, or defer their studies. You can view and download the full list of additional charges here.

You will need to buy your own books. There is one set text for the MRS Advanced Certificate, Yvonne McGivern’s The Practice of Market Research. Please buy the latest edition. Students taking the MRS Diploma will need to buy several textbooks, usually one or two per unit. You can get a feel for these books from the MRS Diploma syllabus, but please don’t buy them as we provide a list of required books prior to each unit start date. Many of these books are available in academic libraries, should you have access to one.

Overseas students will also need to pay fees related to their exams. Please read the ‘Students from outside the UK’ FAQ section below or visit our Overseas students page.

Can I/my company pay for the MRS Diploma units separately or do I have to pay if all up front?

Typically employers choose to pay for each unit separately, but if your employer prefers (for tax reasons) it is also possible to pay for the entire course up front. Just ask us for the appropriate form.

Will my course fees include MRS membership fees?

The MRS course registration fee does not include the MRS membership fee. If you’re not already a member, you can get a significant discount on MRS membership while you are studying with us. Membership also gives you access to publications that you’ll find useful during your studies. To learn more, please visit the MRS website.

Does the Research Academy offer any scholarships?

We do not offer any scholarships. However, the MRBA Skills programme offers financial support to researchers who wish to study for the MRS Advanced Certificate.

Teaching and exam locations

Where will the face-to-face sessions be held?

Our face-to-face sessions are held at The Hub, which is at 34b York Way, London, N1 9AB. The closest Tube and rail station is King’s Cross, which is a four-minute walk away. There is a map on our contact page and you can see some photos of it here.

What happens during the preparatory week?

This is an informal orientation week. Its purpose is to let students familiarise themselves with the course materials and find their way around our online learning environment. Students on our online courses also participate in a test session to ensure that their hardware and software settings work.

Are the two MRS Advanced Certificate live online tutorials held on the same day or is this a duplication?

We hold two live online tutorials on the same day at two different times in order to accommodate different lifestyles and people in different countries. They are exactly the same. If you sign up for the online course, you choose a specific time slot and will generally always attend your tutorials at your chosen time.

Can you give me a rough indication of the number of study hours required during the course, aside from the online sessions?

Our guidelines are that two hours per week is the absolute minimum, four hours is recommended and six hours if you want to do really well. This applies to both the MRS Advanced Certificate and the MRS Diploma.

If I am unable to attend a class or live online tutorial, is there a chance to catch up?

All live online tutorials are recorded which makes it easy to catch up if you miss a session. These recordings are available regardless of whether you take the online or face-to-face course, and they’re generally available within 24 hours of the tutorial taking place.

Will I have access to past exam papers?

Yes. We and the MRS will make a range of past exam papers available to you.

Where will the exams be held?

Students living in the UK can take exams in London, Manchester and Glasgow. The Market Research Society (MRS) uses several venues in these cities. Students are informed of the exact exam venue toward the end of their course.

Students living outside the UK need to make arrangements to sit exams with their local British Council. To learn more about this, please read the ‘Students from outside the UK’ FAQ section below or visit our Overseas Students page.

Studying outside of the UK

Can I apply to Research Academy courses if I live outside the UK?

Yes, we welcome students from outside of the UK. We try to hold live online tutorials at times convenient to the majority of our students.

Do I need an English language qualification?

If English is not your first language, we will ask for certain qualifications, a list of which can be found here. We won’t ask for English language qualifications if you can demonstrate that you have worked in a purely English-language environment for at least three years.

Where will exams be held if I live outside the UK?

Students living outside the UK will need to make arrangements to sit exams with their local British Council. The Market Research Society (MRS) is a British Council partner, and many students have done this successfully over the past decade. When you contact the British Council in your country, they will know what you need and will be able to help you. You will need to pay the British Council charges for invigilation, postage, venue hire, etc., along with an £80 fee to the MRS for despatching your exam paper to the British Council. The British Council charges differ from country to country. Click here to find your local British Council exam centre – use the ‘Choose your country’ dropdown menu to get started.

Do you provide student visas?

We do not provide student visas. If you want to study with us in London, you’ll need to have a valid UK visa. In other words, you’d need to have a work or student visa, e.g. by taking an undergraduate course or doing a PhD.

Do you provide student accommodation?

We do not provide student accommodation. If you want to study with us in London, you’ll need to make your own accommodation arrangements.

Applicants with disabilities

How do you support disabled students?

We’d like everyone to benefit from our courses. Our venue at the Hub at Kings Cross is wheelchair accessible and has spacious disabled-friendly toilet. If you wish to enrol and have special needs, please contact us so that we can make suitable arrangements. The Market Research Society will also make suitable arrangements in regard to exams and coursework.

Is the application process the same for disabled applicants?

Yes, it is. Our application form asks about special needs. When applying, please describe your needs as thoroughly as possible so that we can help you succeed on your course.