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MRS Diploma in Market and Social Research Practice

What’s involved?


Content and Assessment

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.

How long will it take?

Approximately two years


Overview of changes to the syllabus

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.

Pass requirements

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.

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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