The Making the Most of Masters project ended in 2016. This website is no longer updated, but it is available here as an archive.

Making the Most of Masters

The MMM Approach

Making the Most of Masters is a strategic collaboration between employers, universities, enterprise agencies, and post-graduate masters levels to disseminate the MMM model of credit-bearing Work Based Projects as an alternative to a traditional masters dissertation. The projects are solution focused and address real research needs within an organisation.

A Work Based Project (WBP) is a masters level project which is undertaken in collaboration with an organisation. WBPs may be based primarily onsite (the student works at the organisation) or offsite (the student is based at their university doing research on behalf of the organisation).

MMM supported 1500 student work based projects 2010-2016 across a range of economic sectors in Scotland.

Our team develop links between individual masters programmes and external organisations, providing the necessary documentation and support required to facilitate the overall process with a national and widely applied resource- the MMM Toolkit

For more information see some of Making the Most of Masters success stories and our YouTube page.


What sort of projects can masters students do?

Students can contribute a vast range of skills and knowledge to suit many different projects and working environments. Projects could involve data analysis, modelling, reviews, method optimisation and comparison, equipment development, laboratory or field work - it depends on the business needs. Projects should meet the academic requirements and deadlines of the masters programme.

Is this a type of work experience?

This is very different from ‘work experience’. Students are expected to undertake a dedicated project, which is usually written up as a dissertation but increasingly takes other forms such as a technical document, a website or workplace relevant publication. Organisations are encouraged to work to enhance the employability of their students.

Will students require a lot of supervision?

The student will have a university and an organisation supervisor. The organisation supervisor will oversee the day-to-day project supervision, workplace induction and be available for student enquiries. This person should also be available to discuss the student’s progress and performance with the university supervisor.

How long does a project last?

Projects are generally 8 -16 weeks and usually start from May/June. However, this is not exclusive and some flexibility may be possible. The development of project proposals can begin as early as October of the previous year.

What will the student gain from a collaborative project?

The project offers many benefits to students:

  • A range of new experiences and challenges which will assist in the development of skills;
  • Enhanced appreciation of working relationships and workplace practice;
  • Apply academic knowledge in a work context;
  • Enhanced awareness that skills and knowledge gained in a workplace environment are as relevant and valuable as those gained in an academic setting.

What will it cost me?

Masters students do not require a salary payment as the project is an inherent element of their degree programme, for which they gain academic accreditation.

However, employer organisations are expected to cover the cost of any travel and consumables associated with the project. Additional discretionary payments are not uncommon, however, this is not expected and any agreement would be between yourselves and the student.

Where will the student work?

Depending on the nature of the project, the student may be based on or offsite. If the student is spending a lot of their time within your organisation, then they would require a working area and provision of equipment and resources to undertake the agreed project.