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Master of Applied Research in Social Sciences

Master's Degree Programme

Offers a master's degree by research and is primarily designed for social science graduates who are interested in upgrading their qualifications, knowledge and skills.

Master of Applied Research in Social Sciences


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The Master of Applied Research in Social Sciences (MRESS) programme offers a master's degree by research and is primarily designed for social science graduates who are interested in upgrading their qualifications, knowledge and skills.

Unique Features of the Programme

The MRESS programme leverages on the research expertise of the faculty in the School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences, and draws from and integrates across the various social science disciplines. This enables students to adopt a broader perspective to social issues. Students can opt to focus on applied issues in social sciences or in positive psychology and well-being, while learning to translate their research skills and knowledge into applicable outputs and projects with real impact.


Admission Requirements

Refer to general admission criteria for graduate programmes.

As part of the application process, interested applicants are also required to submit a proposed topic or area of research (of about 500 words) stating the following:

  • Proposed topic or area of research
  • Motivation for the proposed topic or area of research
  • Importance and relevance of the proposed topic in addressing contemporary issues and its potential contributions

This programme is open to Singapore citizens and permanent residents, as well as international students.

Financial Assistance


The University offers course fee concession for selected graduate programmes. Please click here for more details.


SUSS offers a number of sponsorships in recognition of excellent academic achievements, leadership qualities and special talents and contributions to new and continuing students. Please click here for more detail.

Programme Structure

Students from the programme are required to complete 60 credit units (cu) to graduate. The MRESS curriculum consists of four courses (20 cu) and a research thesis (40 cu). The four courses include two compulsory core courses and two seminar courses (to be chosen from a basket of three electives).


There are courses which are eligible for SkillsFuture funding if taken via the CET/modular pathway. These courses can be recognised for credit when applying for admission to the MRESS programme.

For information about SkillsFuture funding for these courses, please click here.
For more information about graduate modular courses, please click here.

With its emphasis on using social science knowledge and developing or applying research to address evolving societal issues, the MRESS programme is suitable for those who:

  • are keen to formulate innovative solutions to contemporary social science issues
  • are interested in advancing the understanding, measurement, and application of well-being
  • aspire to synthesise the field of well-being from various social science disciplines
  • are from non-social science backgrounds but working in relevant industries.

The MRESS programme is intended for graduates who seek to gain research experience in the social sciences. The programme equips them with the advanced research and analytical skills needed to conduct high-quality research independently, enabling them to acquire the requisite research experience for a research-oriented career, a doctoral programme, or an academic career.

  1. How many intake(s) are there in a year for Master of Applied Research in Social Science (MRESS)?
    Two intakes a year (Jan and Jul semester).

  2. What is the duration to complete the MRESS?
    The duration for a typical candidate is between two and three years. The minimum candidature for the MRESS is one year and the maximum candidature is five years.

  3. How many courses do students take in each semester?
    Students are recommended to complete the two compulsory courses and two elective courses first, within the first two semesters, before proceeding to the Master Thesis.

  4. When are the lessons scheduled?
    Lessons for the four courses are scheduled on weekdays from 7.00pm to 10.00pm or on Saturdays from 8.30am to 5.30pm, with a lunch break of an hour.

    For the master thesis:
    International students should schedule meetings with the thesis supervisor and conduct the research work for the thesis in the day (i.e., during office hours).

  5. What does the Qualifying Examination (QE) consist of?
    The QE consists of a written report, and an oral presentation of the research proposal.

  6. What does the Master Thesis consist of?
    The Master Thesis consists of the QE (research proposal and oral presentation), the thesis, and oral defense.

  7. What is the graduation requirements?
    Students must attain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 for the 20 cu of courses and pass the Qualifying Examination and Oral Defense for the Thesis Examination.

  8. If I am an international student, do I need to apply for visa to come to Singapore?
    The university will provide the necessary information to facilitate the application of student pass. For more information, please click here.
Youli Cho
"Reflecting on my academic journey in the Master of Applied Research in Social Sciences program, I am deeply grateful for the invaluable experience it has provided me. From seeing my research published in the Asia and the Global Economy Journal to presenting at international academic forums, this program has surpassed my expectations. Not only have I developed a deeper understanding of societal dynamics, but the research process itself has been a journey of self-discovery and the cultivation of discipline. This program has truly expanded my horizons and prepared me to tackle real-world challenges with confidence and competency."

MRESS graduating cohort 2023
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