MRS Advanced Certificate online course

Course overview

Our online MRS Advanced Certificate course is designed to be social as well as structured and supportive. You’ll study with people from the UK and around the world. You’ll attend hour-long online tutorials led by one of our experienced tutors every other week, with a choice between a morning and an evening time slot. The tutorials are recorded so you can catch up easily if you miss one, and we provide a number of video lectures to supplement your reading.

This approach to distance learning, with intensive live online tutorials, is unique to the Research Academy. It means you can ask questions and discuss your readings in real time. Class sizes are small (typically less than 12 people), so you’ll have ample opportunity to participate in discussions and ask questions.

Throughout the course, you can chat with your tutors and classmates in the course forum. You’ll have the chance to apply what you’ve learned by completing a series of mock exam tasks, and you’ll get constructive feedback on your written coursework. Finally, your named personal tutor will be at hand to support you via email and phone. This structured, interactive learning approach will enable you to master a lot of material and keep you on track for the MRS assessment.

Cost: £1,545.00 ex VAT for UK-based students; £1,591 for overseas students
Duration: Five months of part-time study
Dates and times: We run live online tutorials every other week on Tuesdays 1100-1200 and Tuesdays 1800-1900 BST/GMT. Once you choose a time slot, you generally always attend at that time.
Next course start date: 22 August 2022; see our Course Calendar and Materials sheet for the full schedule

Please read on for detailed information. You can also request our MRS Advanced Certificate prospectus, find out whether you’re eligible to take the course, or apply online now.

Online study benefits

Our MRS Advanced Certificate online course has many benefits:

  • Live, interactive online tutorials that allow you to ask questions, share experiences and solve problems as a group, in real-time
  • Access to tutorial recordings, allowing you to catch up if you miss a class
  • Practical insights and real-life examples that you can apply on the job
  • Detailed tutor feedback on successive drafts of your written coursework
  • Personal support from a named tutor with experience delivering this qualification
  • 24/7 online course discussion forum that lets you work with classmates and ask questions outside of class
  • Weekly readings and tasks to keep you on track
  • Quizzes and mock exam tasks to prepare you for the exam
Times, dates and locations

We offer the MRS Advanced Certificate twice a year. You can study with us from August to January (with assessment in January) or from January to June (assessment in June).

The course runs for 18 weeks. You’ll attend small group tutorials in eight of them. Each of these tutorials is led by one of our experienced tutors. You’ll start on your coursework right away, and will receive practical guidance on it throughout. The last seven weeks are devoted to exam revision. You’ll complete a series of mock exam tasks, including a live online mock exam. For more detail, download our Course Calendar and Materials sheet.

Live online tutorials are held on every other week, with a study/writing week in between. You can choose from two convenient time slots: Tuesdays 1100-1200 or Tuesdays 1800-1900 (BST/GMT). Once you choose a time slot you generally always attend at that time, but we can make exceptions if you have a scheduling conflict.

You can take part in forum discussions and attend online tutorials from any location – all you need is a computer, laptop, or tablet with an internet connection. And you can chat with your tutors and classmates in the course forum at any time!

Costs, payment methods and bursaries

Our MRS Advanced Certificate online course costs are broken down below.

UK students Non-UK students
Tuition fee
MRS registration fee
Total excluding VAT £1,545.00 £1,591.00

The above amount includes our tuition fee and personal tutor support, access to our online learning suite, as well as the MRS course registration and exam fees. It does not include the cost of the recommended course textbook.

Payment can be made by BACS/electronic transfer. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to accept card payments. Self-funding students can opt to pay in three equal direct debit instalments over the first three months of study. This incurs a £16 processing fee (ex. VAT).

If you need financial aid, The Market Research Benevolent Association (MRBA) operates a bursary programme, MRBA Skills. It offers financial help to researchers who want to take the MRS Advanced Certificate, and is open to both new and more experienced researchers.


You’ll be required to write one piece of coursework and sit one online exam. For more details, please download the syllabus and read the ‘Elements of Assessment’ section.

We want you to do well and will give you lots of support. You’ll start on your coursework right away, so you can write it in tandem with what you’re learning in class. You’ll get two rounds of rigorous feedback on your coursework, a live mock exam, and a series of self-serve mock exam tasks. You’ll get feedback on two mock exam questions associated with the most important exam topics.

Submitting your coursework drafts and final coursework assignments is easy. It’s all done via our online learning suite, so there’s no need to print multiple copies of your work or worry about it getting lost in the post. 

If you do well, you may win the MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice Award. The MRS gives this to the best Advanced Certificate candidate in each assessment round. Two of our previous students have won this award, so you’re definitely in with a chance!

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