MRS Diploma course

The MRS Diploma in Market and Social Research Practice is perfect if you have more than three years of experience in social or market research.  If you want to advance your career and move up to the most senior positions, our postgrad-level MRS Diploma course will give you the knowledge and confidence you need.

With so many new approaches to generating insight, you’ll learn how to judge when an approach is suitable (or not), and you’ll gain the skill to justify your choices coherently and confidently. Indeed, the MRS Diploma is so worthwhile that leading agencies like Ipsos MORI and GfK help their staff gain it.

MRS Diploma course Research Academy

Essential facts

Level: Mid-career (3+ years’ experience)
Length: Two years, part-time
Format: Online with live group tutorials
Next start date: August 2024
Tutorials: Wednesdays 1100-1215 in the autumn semester, 1300-1415 in the spring semester
Cost: £6,690 ex VAT for UK students

Course features

Four live group tutorials each semester
Intimate tutorial groups capped at 7 students
One-to-one support from your personal tutor
Full access to our interactive digital resources
Friendly and supportive environment
Accredited by the Market Research Society (MRS)

Course benefits

Gain a deep understanding of theory and practice
Control large projects to the highest standards
Manage stakeholders and crises with confidence
Feel calm, confident, and empowered at work
Grow your company’s profits and reputation
Demonstrate your dedication to quality

What you’ll learn

How to critically dissect complex business cases
How to evaluate client briefs & agency proposals
Research design, sampling, data collection & analysis
How to deliver actionable insights & recommendations
How to manage large international projects
How to influence stakeholders and negotiate solutions

Course format

Our MRS Diploma course is delivered online using Google Classroom. You can participate from any location, at any time. All you need is a computer, laptop, or tablet with an internet connection. You’ll find lots of resources on Classroom! Once you’re logged in, you can watch our popular bite-sized video lessons, check deadlines, upload work, and chat with other students.

All you need to buy is the textbooks. This is usually 2-3 books per unit. We supply other materials, including things we’ve developed especially for our students.

You’ll take a total of four units over two years. Each unit runs for 16 weeks, with six to eight live online tutorials per unit. Our tutorials take place on Wednesdays. In the autumn semester, they run from 1100-1215 and in spring semester they run from 1300-1415. We follow a conventional academic calendar. This includes a summer break as well as breaks for the half terms, Easter, and Christmas.


We want you to do well, so we’ll give you lots of support. You’ll have a named personal tutor who will support you throughout each unit. Our tutors are experienced, and they’re nice too!

Units 2 and 4 are assessed by means of a written coursework assignment. Your personal tutor will give you detailed written feedback, followed by a one-to-one call. For Unit 2, you’ll also get feedback on mock coursework assignments to help you prepare. It’s easy to upload your coursework drafts and your final paper, and there’s no need to print anything out.

Units 1 and 5 are assessed via pen-and-paper exams To help you prepare for these exams, we give you detailed written feedback on a full exam paper. All of them come with answer guides and many come with sample answers. We’ll also discuss exam timing and tactics in our pre-exam tutorials. Exam venues are in London and Manchester, or by your own arrangement overseas.


The MRS Diploma consists of five units, of which you need to complete four. In Year 1, you’ll complete Units 1 and 2. In Year 2, you’ll complete Units 4 and 5. Unit 4 covers advanced qualitative research. We don’t offer Unit 3, which covers advanced quantitative research and statistics. We’re happy to chat with you about this.

Start dates

We offer the MRS Diploma once a year, starting in August. It’s best if you complete the units in sequential order. However, you can also start with Unit 2 in January. To discuss your options, have a chat with Mia, the MRS Diploma course leader.


The Principles of
Market & Social Research

Autumn semester, Year 1
Unit 1 gives you the knowledge and skills required to plan, deliver and present results from market and social research, making effective use of primary and secondary data. It gives you a solid foundation for the subsequent units.

The Practice & Context of Market & Social Research

Spring semester, Year 1
Unit 2 Grounds you in the theoretical
principles of research methods, and challenges you to critically evaluate the limitations of research methods theory in real‑world situations. It also builds your skills in questionnaire design, sampling, statistics, and advanced methods such as conjoint analysis.

Collecting, Analysing and Interpreting Qualitative Data

Autumn semester, Year 2
Unit 4 Advances your pragmatic and theoretical knowledge of how to gather, interpret and report on qualitative market research data. The practical aspect of your coursework project makes this unit fun and challenging at the same time.

Case Studies in Market &
Social Research

Spring semester, Year 2
This synoptic unit uses real-life case studies to help you develop a holistic approach to problem-solving. It develops your ability to manage large-scale projects, detect and troubleshoot problems, manage junior colleagues, and liaise effectively with clients and stakeholders.

Eligibility criteria and language requirements

To take the MRS Diploma, you need to meet only one of these criteria:

  • Successful completion of the MRS Advanced Certificate and a minimum of one year’s experience in a research-related role
  • A degree or appropriate professional qualification that contained a significant research component, and at least two years of work experience in a research-related role
  • At least three years of work experience in a research-related role, and evidence of training within that role

To take any of our courses, you’ll need to meet only one of the following language criteria:

  • You’re a native English speaker
  • You can prove that you’ve worked or studied in an English-language environment for 3+ years (e.g. your CV)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency with an overall score of 175 and no less than 162 in each component (or equivalent)
  • IELTS 6.0 or above
  • TOEIC 880 or above

To take any of our courses, you’ll need all of these:

  • PC or laptop*
  • Headset with mic and speakers
  • Webcam
  • Chrome browser (recommended)
  • Good internet connection e.g. download speeds of 5 Mbps, upload speeds of 1 Mbps

*You can access the course using a mobile phone or tablet, but we think you’ll want the big screen size.

Costs, payment options & discounts

The costs for our MRS Diploma course shown here include tuition and support, as well as the MRS registration and exam venue fees. They do not include the cost of the recommended course textbooks or fees related to taking the exam outside of the UK. For more information about overseas exams, please click here.

You can pay for course in four instalments, i.e. one payment per unit. You can also opt to pay for the entire course up front. Some employers prefer this. Costs exclude VAT.

Payment can be made by BACS/electronic transfer. We accept cheques only in exceptional circumstances, and we do not accept card payments.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT: Research Academy graduates get 10% off! Just mention it when you apply.

UnitCost ex VAT
Unit 1
Includes MRS course registration and exam venue fees.
Unit 2£1,520.00
Unit 4£1,520.00
Unit 5
Includes MRS exam venue fee.
Total for UK-based students£6,690.00
MRS overseas surcharge£242.00
Total for students outside of the UK£6,932.00

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