What will I gain from the qualification?

  • Understand, define and evaluate research objectives, based on a thorough understanding of the context and the business objectives
  • Design creative and appropriate research solutions to identified problems, based on a thorough understanding of approaches and techniques, and taking into account existing and potential constraints and limitations
  • Select appropriate techniques for the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data necessary to inform effective decision-making
  • Provide and justify recommendations to support the decision-making process, based on a thorough understanding of the information gathered during the research process
  • Manage the research process from inception to reporting and follow-up
  • Evaluate choices made at each stage in the process, identify any limitations and devise appropriate strategies for overcoming those limitations

The MRS Diploma comprises 5 units, each of which is individually assessed. In order to be awarded the qualification, all candidates must complete successfully:

  • units 1,2 & 5
  • either unit 3 or unit 4

Candidates are expected to follow the units in sequence as each builds on knowledge and skills developed in the previous.

  • Unit 1 - The Principles of Market & Social Research
  • Unit 2 - The Practice & Context of Market & Social Research
  • Unit 3 - Analysing & Interpreting Quant Market & Social Research Data
  • Unit 4 - Collecting, Analysing & Interpreting Qual Market & Social Res Data
  • Unit 5 - Case Studies in Market & Social Research

More information on the structure if the Diploma can be found in the Syllabus Section.

Approximately two years

The main changes are detailed below:

Unit 1

  • Renamed – The Principles of Market & Social Research.
  • Element 2, Customer databases, weighting 15% removed.
  • Ethics, Professionalism & Legislation removed from Unit 2 and inserted in Unit 1 as Element 2 – Research Ethics & Legislation.
  • Format of examination changed to make all 3 questions in the exam paper compulsory.
  • Inclusion of both Qual and Quant research design.
  • Inclusion of Social research.
  • More emphasis on sampling and questionnaire analysis.

Unit 2

  • Renamed – The Practice and Context of Market & Social Research.
  • Element 5, Ethics, Professionalism & Legislation removed.
  • Now comprised of 4 Elements (not 5) which are equally weighted @ 25%.
  • Element 1 renames – Introduction to the Fundamental Theories Underpinning Market & Social Research.
  • Increase/expand coverage to include social research and social marketing examples within Assessment.
  • Increase discussion on online attitudes, behaviour tracking, grounded theory, semiotics, ethnography etc.
  • Change to the format of Assignments 3 & 4.
  • Increase in the assessment word count from 5000–6750 to 5000–7000 words.

Unit 3

  • Change to 8 weeks assessment period instead of 6 weeks.
  • Increase in the assessment word from 4000–5000 to 5000–6750 words.
  • No other major changes although guidelines need to be more explicit detailing exactly what is being asked of candidates, stipulating in the learning outcomes that it can be a critique of the questionnaire and that candidates are not carrying out a research project.

Unit 4

  • Change to 8 weeks assessment period instead of 6 weeks.
  • Increase in the assessment word from 4000–5000 to 5000–6750 words.

Unit 5

  • No changes
  • More explicit guidelines to detail research management as opposed to general management skills – in particular in Element 1.

Assessments which fail to meet the Pass criteria
Candidates who fail to achieve the Pass criteria in unit will retain the grades achieved for any prior attained units. Candidates need only re-sit/re-submit the unit or units in which they were unsuccessful.

  • Candidates can take each of unit of assessment a maximum of three times within their four-year registration period. Candidates who are unsuccessful in a unit assessment on the third attempt are normally required to wait until the end of their four-year registration period before being able to re-register with MRS for assessment. Prior attainment of units in a previous registration period will not be carried forward. On re-registering candidates will be required to sit/re-sit assessment of all four units.
  • Similarly candidates who fail to successfully complete all four units within their four-year registration period are normally required to re-register with MRS for assessment, and prior attainment of units in a previous registration period will not be carried forward. On re-registering candidates will be required to sit/re-sit assessment all of the four units.
  • Extensions may be made to the registration period where Special Considerations are cited by a candidate. Candidates re-registering with MRS for assessment will be required to pay the published registration fee.
  • Candidates that receive a Fail grade for a unit of assessment are entitled to order a report. More information on the types of reports available can be found in the Enquiries & Appeals Information Document. Here is an example of a Unit 5 Examiner’s Report (Examination). Reports for other units will differ in format.
  • All resits or resubmissions will be charged at the published fee

Important Notice: It is MRS Policy not to release candidate scripts. There is no legal obligation for MRS to release candidate examination scripts. Indeed the Information Commissioner who is responsible for the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act which regulates personal data such as assessment documentation, recognises the special nature of examination scripts and has developed specific guidance on this topic which gives awarding bodies exemption for providing such information.

The Examiner Report provides an outline detail of the question requirement, for each question selected by the candidate. Feedback is given relating to how the candidate responded to the question, this includes weaknesses and where applicable the strengths. The grade achieved by the candidates for each part question and the overall grade achieved for the question is also detailed.

You can study for this respected postgraduate-level qualification in market and social research via the following:

Please click on the logos below for each company's website

Distance Learning Programme

Distance learning with full tutor support, live webinars and an interactive online learning environment

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Telephone:+44 20 3130 1431
Email: hello@research-academy.co.uk

Distance learning for flexible study with full tutor support via email


Email : info@themarketresearchstudycentre.co.uk

Employer Accredited Training

GfK and Ipsos deliver the Diploma as part of their in-house training programme.

Gfk IpsosMORI

Centre Contact

When you enter for the MRS Diploma your relationship is with the accredited centre and not with MRS. All MRS accredited centres are required to demonstrate that they meet rigorous standards in their administration and delivery of courses leading to MRS qualifications. However, accredited centres are not directly controlled by MRS and we do not accept liability for any actions or omissions on their part.

MRS cannot contact accredited centres on the behalf of applicants. All enquiries about courses, including fees, enrolment and course commencement dates should be directed to the accredited centre.

How to accredit your Programme

For further information on accreditation for the MRS Diploma in Market & Social Research Practice, please click here.

Entry Criteria

Candidates will normally meet one or more of the following criteria:

    • successful completion of the MRS Advanced Certificate and a minimum of one year’s experience in a research-related role; or
    • a degree or appropriate professional qualification which contained a significant research component and a minimum of two year's work experience in a research-related role; or
    • a minimum of three year’s work experience in a research-related and evidence of training within that role.

Candidates who have successfully completed the MRS Advanced Certificate may not be required to undertake an additional course of study towards Unit 1 before being entered for the unit assessment. Your centre will be be able to provide you with further information regarding this.

Diploma: Language Requirements

The language used in all assessment components is English.The language should be appropriate to both the task and the professional nature of the qualification.

Candidates whose first language is not English.

It is the responsibility of the centre to ensure that all candidates have an appropriate level of language competence in English to allow them to undertake and complete the assessed components of the qualification.

The English requirement for this course is Cambridge English: Advanced Proficiency 175 with no less than 162 in each component or equivalent. All candidates must have a good command of written and spoken English.

June 2018 Assessment Round

Unit 1 - Exam: 5th June 09.30am - 12.30pm
Unit 2 - Materials Despatch: 25th April                      Submission Date: 6th June 
Unit 3 - Materials Despatch: 25th April                      Submission Date: 20th June
Unit 4 - Submission Date: 20th June
Unit 5 - Exam: 7th June 11.30am - 5.00pm

Closing Date for entries: 16th April 2018
Result Release Date: w/c 20th August 2018
Closing Date for enquiries: 28th September 2018

December 2018 Assessment Round

Unit 1 - Exam: 4th December 09.30am - 12.30pm
Unit 2 - Materials Despatch: 24th October               Submission Date: 5th December
Unit 3 - Materials Despatch: 24th October               Submission Date: 19th December
Unit 4 - Submission Date: 19th December
Unit 5 - Exam: 6h December 11.30am - 5.00pm

Closing Date for entries: 15th October 2018
Result Release Date: w/c 18th February 2019
Closing Date for enquiries: 29th March 2019

June 2019 Assessment Round

Unit 1 - Exam: 4th June 09.30am - 12.30pm      
Unit 2 - Materials Despatch: 24thApril                         Submission Date: 5th June 
Unit 3 - Materials Despatch: 24th April                        Submission Date: 19th June
Unit 4 - Submission Date: 19th June
Unit 5 - Exam: 6th June 11.30am - 5.00pm

Closing Date for entries: 15th April 2019
Result Release Date: w/c 19th August 2019
Closing Date for enquiries: 27th September 2019

December 2019 Assessment Round

Unit 1 - Exam: 3rd December 09.30am - 12.30pm
Unit 2 - Materials Despatch: 23rd October               Submission Date: 4th December
Unit 3 - Materials Despatch: 23rd October               Submission Date: 18th December
Unit 4 - Submission Date: 18th December
Unit 5 - Exam: 5th December 11.30am - 5.00pm

Closing Date for entries: 14th October 2019
Result Release Date: w/c 17th February 2020
Closing Date for enquiries: 27th March 2020

June 2020 Assessment Round

Unit 1 - Exam: 2nd June 09.30am - 12.30pm
Unit 2 - Materials Despatch: 22nd April                       Submission Date: 3rd June 
Unit 3 - Materials Despatch: 22nd April                       Submission Date: 17th June
Unit 4 - Submission Date: 17th June
Unit 5 - Exam: 4th June 11.30am - 5.00pm

 

Closing Date for entries: 16th April 2018
Result Release Date: w/c 20th August 2018
Closing Date for enquiries: 28th September 2018

Past Assessment Materials

Unit 1 - The Principles of Market & Social Research

Unit 2 - The Practice & Context of Market & Social Research

Unit 3 - Analysing and Interpreting Quantitative Market & Social Research Data

Unit 4 - Collecting, Analysing and Interpreting Qualitative Market & Social Research Data

Unit 5 - Case Studies in Market & Social Research

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