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MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice

What’s involved?


Content and Assessment

The MRS Advanced Certificate is a single-unit qualification, comprising 3 elements which follow the research process from problem definition to reporting on research results.

In order to reflect the inter-dependence of the various stages in the research process, the assessment of the qualification follows an integrated approach. All candidates must complete 2 components of assessment:

  • Assignment: (the Integrated Assignment, or IA): This assignment requires candidates to prepare a brief and proposal for a research project.
  • Exam:  This is a 2hrs 30mins written examination.

More information on the structure of the Advanced Certificate can be found in the Syllabus section.


The focus of the MRS Advanced Certificate is on the development of understanding of both key principles and ‘real world’ research practice, and on the application of this understanding to research problems. 

Following considerable review and consultation with our key stakeholders and syllabus experts the MRS Advanced Certificate in Market & Social Research Practice syllabus review has been reviewed. This new syllabus became effective from the January 2014 Assessment Round.

The syllabus is structured into 3 elements:

Element 1 – The Research Context

Element 2 – Developing a Research Project

Element 3 – Analysing Data and Using Research Findings

The syllabus structure is ‘horizontal’ which allows for a integrated approach. Themes such as Ethics and critical appraisal, both fundamental to every aspect of research run through all three of the elements.


Overview of Changes to the New Syllabus

Pass requirements

Candidates are given an overall band grade (Distinction, Merit, Pass, Fail). The overall grade is an aggregate of grades allocated over the three questions attempted in the exam. In order to achieve a Pass overall, candidates will normally need to achieve a minimum of a Pass in each question. If one answer is awarded a Fail grade, candidates will normally be expected to achieve a Merit band or above in one of the remaining two questions in order to pass.

Integrated Assignment (IA)
Candidates are given a band grade (Distinction, Merit, Pass, Fail) for the IA.

Overall Result
No overall grade is awarded for the MRS Advanced Certificate. The Results Notification and Certificate give the level of achievement in each component.

Fail/Referred Candidates
A candidate who has failed to meet the pass criteria for both components of assessment is described as Fail.

Candidates who fail to achieve the Pass criteria in one component only will have their grade for that component Referred. They will retain the grade achieved for the remaining component. In these circumstances, candidates need only re-sit/re-submit the component in which they were referred.

  • In order to be considered for the award, Referred candidates must retake the component in which they were not successful.
  • In order to be considered for the award, Fail candidates must retake both components of assessment.

  • Candidates may take each of the two components of assessment (Examination and Integrated Assignment) three times within a three-year registration period. Candidates who are unsuccessful on the third attempt must wait until the end of their initial three-year registration period before re-registering for assessment.

  • Candidates who have been successful in one component but who have been unsuccessful three times in the second component are required to retake both components of assessment in any subsequent registration period.

  • Candidates that receive a Refer or Fail grade for either component are entitled to order a report. All requests for enquiry reports must be made within 40 days of the release of the final results. 

Enquiries & Appeals Procedure can be downloaded from here

Important Notice: It is MRS Policy not to release candidate examination 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.

Impact Magazine

Event highlights

November 2017
Speaker 23

Better customer communications with behavioural economics23.11.17 | MRS, London EC1V 0JR

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Methodology in Context 201723.11.17 | Radisson Blu Edwardian, London

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Infographics and Data Visualisation 24.11.17 | MRS, London EC1V 0JR

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