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Masters Degrees (Advanced Research Methods)

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Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships to study Social Research Methods at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Read more
Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships to study Social Research Methods at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Postgraduate loans are also available to English and Welsh domiciled students. For more information on fees and funding please visit our website.

This Master's degree in Social Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in a range of research methods used in the social sciences.

Key Features of MSc in Social Research Methods

Teaching and Employability:

- Teaching is carried out by highly-respected, research active, professionals conducting research across a range of research areas and publishing in top international journals
- Students benefit from state-of-the-art technology with over twenty general purpose research rooms and numerous specialised testing facilities
- Specialist modules in criminology, social work and human geography, research leadership and management
- Emphasis on development of ethical, knowledgeable, skilful social researchers” through critical discussion, up to date information, debates and presentations

MSc Social Research Methods is a highly regarded and prestigious qualification which has been developed to:

- enable students to develop practical research skills and advanced methodological expertise (both qualitative and quantitative);
- instil familiarity with research ethics and governance, and
- gain knowledge about theoretical research concerns across the spectrum of social science disciplines.

Elective modules and a dissertation provide scope for specialisation in applied social sciences, including but not limited to: criminology, human geography, social work and health.

This Master’s degree in Social Research Methods has ESRC accreditation and provides advanced training in a range of research methods used in the social sciences. The degree instils familiarity with research ethics and governance, and students gain knowledge about theoretical research concerns across the spectrum of social science disciplines.

Students on the Social Research Methods course are encouraged to devise research dissertations themselves (supported by an academic supervisor).

Modules

Modules on the Social Research Methods programme typically include:

Qualitative Research Methods
Introduction to Research and Study Skills
Data Collection Methods
Ethics and Philosophy of Social Research
Quantitative Research Methods
Advanced Research in Human Geography
Research Leadership and Project Management
Case Studies in Applied Social Research: Social Work
Case Studies in Applied Social Res: Applied Research in Crime & Criminal Justice
Dissertation (Social Research)

Social Research Methods Course Structure

Teaching is in the form of lectures, seminars, group-project work and individual study. All Social Research Methods students are assigned a Personal Tutor and Dissertation Supervisor appropriate to their chosen area of study.

The Social Research Methods course is made up of six 20-credit modules (Part 1) and a 60-credit dissertation (Part 2).

Who should apply?

The Social Research Methods course is suitable for:

- students who want to prepare themselves for the challenge of MPhil or PhD study; who are already professionally involved in working with people in the social sector and want to develop their own skills and professional expertise
- students from different academic disciplines who are interested in conducting social research and are interested in seeking employment or already have employment in both public and private sectors
- previous students are those with backgrounds in social policy, sociology, law, criminology, human geography, politics, arts and humanities, ageing studies , psychology and health science
- anyone wanting to add a valuable qualification as part of developing a full academic career
- anyone who is interested in society, social behaviour, and social change and would like to learn more
- anyone working in, or wishing to work in, government or voluntary organisations, and commercial areas where social research is undertake

Career Prospects

Past Social Research Methods students have gone on to be employed in public and private sectors, research work, PhD , vocational work, the criminal justice system, social work, environmental health, teaching, local government, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and health and social care.

Staff Expertise

Contributing lecturers are renowned nationally and internationally. For example, Professor David Hughes has published on the universal coverage healthcare reforms of Thailand and Turkey, Debbie Jones jointly led on The Student Sex Workers' project from Swansea University's Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology.

The MSc Social Research methods is serviced by research active staff, many of whom are leaders in their field of research. The team has strong links with Criminology whose staff have been awarded Howard league Research Medal 2013 for work on the Swansea Bureau Youth Scheme. Lecturers from the course also include those from the world renowned Centre for Innovative Aging and also Human Geography.

Postgraduate Community

The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience.

In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences.

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Surrey’s highly regarded Department of Sociology specialises in pioneering research methods and offers a stimulating study environment for our highly sought-after graduates. Read more
Surrey’s highly regarded Department of Sociology specialises in pioneering research methods and offers a stimulating study environment for our highly sought-after graduates.

The MSc Social Research Methods programme is backed by decades of experience: we were the first in the UK to run this type of programme in 1974.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

Social researchers employ a constantly evolving range of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore attitudes and experiences, and to understand patterns of social behaviour.

This programme won't just train you in the application of specific research techniques: it will illuminate the connections between sociological theory and empirical research, and relate research to the development of public policy and the analysis of substantive social issues.

Wider issues of the social research process are also covered and include: the planning and management of research projects; the methodological, theoretical, philosophical and ethical aspects of research; and the presentation and publication of research findings.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Data Analysis
-Documentary Analysis and Online Research
-Field Methods
-Principle of Survey Design
-Research: From Design to Dissemination
-Evaluation Research
-Statistical Modelling
-Theory and Method
-Dissertation

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The main aims of the programme are to:
-Provide an appropriate training for students preparing MPhil/PhD theses, or for students on to employment involving the use of social science research
-Introduce students to a variety of different approaches to social science research at an advanced level
-Cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research questions or hypotheses and translating these into practicable research designs
-Make students aware of the range of secondary data available and equip them to evaluate its utility for their research
-Develop skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and Internet resources
-Introduce students to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and to debates about the relationship between theory and research, about problems of evidence and inference, and about the limits of objectivity
-Develop skills in the use of SPSS, and in the main statistical techniques of data analysis, including multivariate analysis
-Develop skills in the use of CAQDAS software for the analysis of qualitative data
-Develop skills in writing, in the preparation of a research proposal, in the presentation of research results and in verbal communication
-Help students to prepare their research results for wider dissemination, in the form of seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications, in a form suitable for a range of audiences, including academics, policy makers, professionals, service users and the general public

PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
-Formulate, design, plan, carry out and report on a complete research project
-Use the range of research techniques commonly employed in sociological research, from survey research to field methods
-Collect or generate quantitative and qualitative data through an array of techniques, and select techniques of data generation on appropriate methodological bases
-Analyse: quantitative data using basic and more advanced skills; qualitative data from both ‘real world’ and ‘virtual world’ environments
-Employ a quantitative and qualitative software package to manage and analyse data
-Apply critical reflection skills to the methodological, theoretical, ethical, and philosophical aspects of social research practice
-Plan, manage and execute research as part of a team and as a sole researcher
-Present research findings to differing audiences
-Have an understanding of the contribution social research makes to social policy formulation and the evaluation of planned social interventions

Knowledge and understanding
-Appreciate the epistemological and ontological questions that underpin social research
-Show critical awareness and understanding of the methodological implications of a range of sociological theories and approaches
-Show systematic knowledge of basic principles of research design and strategy
-Understand the use and value of a wide range of different research approaches across the quantitative and qualitative spectra
-Show advanced knowledge of techniques, and appropriate use, of quantitative and qualitative data analysis
-Recognise the significance of social/political contexts and uses of research
-Show engagement with innovations and developments in social research
-Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of research ethics

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Systematically formulate researchable problems; analyse and conceptualise issues; critically appreciate alternative approaches to research; report to a range of audiences
-Analyse qualitative and quantitative data drawn both from ‘real world’ and ‘virtual world’ environments, using basic and more advanced techniques, and draw warranted conclusions
-Develop original insights, questions, analyses and interpretations in respect of research questions
-Use methodological, theoretical, ethical, and philosophical knowledge about social research practice to address complex issues creatively
-Critically evaluate the range of approaches to research

Professional practical skills
-Formulate, design, plan, carry out and report on a complete research project
-Use the range of research techniques commonly employed in sociological research
-Generate both quantitative and qualitative data through an array of techniques, and select techniques of data generation on appropriate methodological bases
-Employ a quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative software package to manage and analyse data
-Plan, manage and execute research as part of a team and as a sole researcher
-Present research findings to differing audiences in both written and oral formats, as appropriate

Key / transferable skills
-Communicate complex ideas, principles and theories by oral, written and visual means
-Work to deadlines and within work schedules
-Work independently and self-organise
-Apply computing skills for research instrument design, data analysis, and report writing and presentation
-Formulate and solve problems, both individually and as part of a team
-Demonstrate experience of a work environment

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

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The focus of this programme is on contemporary substantive issues in criminology and criminal justice and on criminological research methods. Read more
The focus of this programme is on contemporary substantive issues in criminology and criminal justice and on criminological research methods. It is particularly appropriate for those engaged in criminal justice policy analysis and development or similar work in allied fields.

The programme develops a theoretical, policy and technical understanding of key issues within criminology, criminal justice and research methods. More specifically, it aims to develop an advanced understanding of the complex nature of crime, harm and victimisation together with an appreciation of the role of the state/criminal justice system in the regulation of human behaviour, deviance and crime. The programme will equip you to design and implement social scientific research using a broad range of methodologies, consider research ethics, analyse and present the material such research generates.

Through combining criminology and research methods, the programme enables you to think logically and in an informed manner about criminological issues. The programme fosters a critical awareness of the relationship between theory, policy and practice and enables you to utilize your research knowledge of research skills and translate these into research practice in the field of criminology and broader social science research professions.

See the website http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/criminology-social-research-methods-msc

Modules

You'll undertake modules from a broad base of subject areas including:

- Criminological theory
This module charts the development of criminological thinking from the onset of modernity through to the present day. It will place discrete theories in their proper sociological, historical, political and cultural contexts. It will seek to establish the implications and relationships of various theories to criminal justice policy. A number of contemporary issues (terrorism, urban disturbances, and gang culture) will be explored with a view to critically evaluating the value of competing theoretical frameworks.

- Crime, harm and victimisation
The module aims to deconstruct the fundamental elements of criminology: the crime, the criminal and the victim. It begins by examining historical and contemporary patterns of crime and criminality, as officially measured, within the UK and beyond. It then engages with more critical academic debates about defining and measuring crime, considering definitions of crime as: a breach of criminal law; a violation of collective conscience; a product of conduct norms; a social construct; ideological censure; a gendered reality; a violation of human rights, and; social or environmental harm. The module engages with critical deconstructions of the 'offender' and the 'victim', considering how these are socially constructed and how our understanding of these, like of 'crime', has changed and continues to change in late-/post-modern society.

- Responding to crime: justice, social control and punishment
This module explores some of the key issues and controversies in the delivery of justice, social control and punishment. It begins with a critical consideration of the concept of justice and emphasises the significance of this in relation to how the state responds to various forms of crime. It encourages you to think critically about the role of the state in the regulation of behaviour and provides an overview of key changes that have occurred in the field of crime control and criminal justice. One of the key features of contemporary crime control discourse is the rise of risk management and the pursuit of security. This module outlines the ways in which such a discourse has transformed criminal justice thinking and practices of both policing and penal policy, and also of crime (and harm) prevention.

- Criminological research in practice
This module uses examples from recent and current research conducted by members of the Crime and Justice Research Group at LSBU and external guest speakers to develop both the research training and subject understanding elements of the MSc, demonstrating how research becomes knowledge – generating theoretical advances, policy initiatives, new research questions and university curricula. Lectures/seminars will take the form of a research commentary, talking you through a research project from idea inception through research design, fieldwork, analysis and dissemination and, where appropriate, on to the influences research has had (or could have) on subsequent academic works and policy developments. Particular emphasis will be placed on challenges peculiar to criminological research.

- Methods for social research and evaluation: philosophy, design and data collection
This module introduces you to core concepts in social research and shows how they can be used to address social scientific questions and practical issues in policy evaluation. You'll be introduced to central topics in the philosophy of social sciences and the effect they have on research choices. You are then introduced to different ways research can be designed and the ways design affects permissible inferences. You are then introduced to the theory of measurement and sampling. The final third of the module focuses on acquiring data ranging from survey methods through qualitative data collection methods to secondary data.

- Data analytic techniques for social scientists
You are introduced to a range of analytic techniques commonly used by social scientists. It begins by introducing you to statistical analysis, it then moves to techniques used to analyse qualitative data. It concludes by looking at relational methods and data reduction techniques. You'll also be introduced to computer software (SPSS, NVivo and Ucinet) that implements the techniques. Students will gain both a conceptual understanding of the techniques and the means to apply them to their own research projects. An emphasis will be placed on how these techniques can be used in social evaluation.

- Dissertation
The dissertation is a major part of your work on the MSc, reflected in its value of 60 credits. The aim of the dissertation is to enable students to expand and deepen their knowledge of a substantive area in criminology, whilst simultaneously developing their methodological skills. You'll choose an area of investigation and apply the research skills of design and process, modes of data generation and data analysis techniques to undertake a 15,000 word dissertation. You'll be allocated a dissertation supervisor from the departmental team and will meet regularly for personal supervision meetings.

Employability

This MSc will enable you to pursue a range of professional careers in criminal justice related work in statutory, commercial or community voluntary sectors and operating at central, regional and local government levels, for example, the Home Office; police forces; local government; crime and disorder reduction partnerships and their equivalencies throughout the world.

The acquisition of specific criminological and research methods knowledge will also enhance the career opportunities if you are currently working in the field. The specialist focus on research methods also offers an excellent foundation for those interested in undertaking subsequent doctoral research in the field.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

- direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
- Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
- mentoring and work shadowing schemes.

Professional links

The Crime and Criminal Justice Research Group, (CCJRG), at LSBU has developed a strong national and international reputation for delivering high quality and real life impact research. It has worked closely with a range of government agencies, including the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (Ministry of Justice); Government Office for London; the Scottish Executive, Northern Ireland Office and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. It has also undertaken extensive research in collaboration with various London local authorities together with a range of voluntary and charity-based agencies.

Placements

Our criminology programme also has a strong voluntary work scheme.You're encouraged to undertake voluntary work in a variety of criminal justice related agencies. Recent positions have been within the police service, the prison service, legal advice, victim support, domestic violence and child abuse agencies and youth offending and youth mentoring schemes.

Teaching and learning

Study hours:
Year 1 class contact time is typically 6 hours per week part time and 12 hours per week full time plus individual tutorial and independent study.

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The MA Methods of Social Research provides essential training for employment where an understanding of social research is important, as well as for further academic research in a social science discipline. Read more
The MA Methods of Social Research provides essential training for employment where an understanding of social research is important, as well as for further academic research in a social science discipline.

This MA programme at Kent exposes students to a wide range of thinking and approaches in social science research presented in a multi-disciplinary context and at an advanced level.

The focus of the programme is on developing practical skills in data collection, in data analysis and interpretation, and in the presentation of research findings so that students gain insight into the research process from design to the production of new knowledge.

More generally students will broaden their understanding of the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues that matter in research, and will become aware of debates about the relationship between theory and research and between research and policy/practice.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/119/methods-of-social-research

About the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR):
SSPSSR has a long and distinguished history, and is one of the largest and most successful social science research communities in Europe. It has received top ratings in Research Assessment Exercises, and most recently had 70% of its work judged as either “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” in terms of its “originality, significance and rigour”.

The School supports a large and thriving postgraduate community and in 2010 distributed in excess of £100,000 in Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) quota awards, and in University and SSPSSR bursaries and scholarships to new students.

Academic staff specialise in research of international, comparative and theoretical significance, and we have collective strengths in the following areas: civil society, NGOs and the third sector; cross-national and European social policy; health, social care and health studies; work, employment and economic life; risk, ‘risk society’ and risk management; race, ethnicity and religion; social and public policy; sociology and the body; crime, culture and control; sociological theory and the culture of modernity.

Course structure

Master's (MA):
The MA programme consists of:

- four compulsory one-unit modules (total of 80 credits, 40 ECTS)
- two optional one-unit modules or one two-unit module (total of 40 credits, 20 ECTS)
- and a supervised dissertation (60 credits, 30 ECTS).

The compulsory modules are:

- Qualitative Research
- Quantitative Data Analysis
- Critical Social Research: Truth, Ethics and Power
- Design of Social Research

The dissertation will be on a topic of your choosing and involves carrying out original empirical research using the research methods covered in modules.

Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma (PCert/PDip):
There is the option to take this programme as a Postgraduate Certificate, where you just take the four compulsory modules (80 credits). The Certificate is offered to all registered PhD students (part-time or full-time) within the Faculty of Social Sciences (not only to SSPSSR students) free of charge subject to supervisors’ consent.

You can also take it as a Postgraduate Diploma, where you take the four compulsory modules and two optional modules but without taking the dissertation (120 credits).

Full time or part time?:
The Programme can be taken either full-time over one year or part-time over two years. For part-time students, in the first year you take 'Design of Social Research' and 'Qualitative Data Analysis.' In the second year, you take 'Quantitative Research' and 'Using Research – Advanced Critical Skills'. Additional credits will be obtained from optional modules offered within the Faculty.

Assessment

Teaching for the MA will take a variety of forms, including lectures, tutor-led seminars, student-led seminars, small group work, workshops on data analysis, guided search of on-line data sources, and self-directed learning based on the University Library.

Students will be assessed in each module and on a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice.

Module assessments vary. Some require either one 5,000-word or two 2,500-word essays; others require more of a portfolio of work, including in-class tests. The individual module outlines contain the necessary information on assessment.

This programme aims to:

•provide appropriate methods training for students preparing an MA dissertation or MPhil/DPhil theses, or for students going on to employment involving the use of social science research

•introduce you to a variety of different approaches to social science research, presented in a multidisciplinary context

•cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research questions or hypotheses and translating these into practicable research designs

•make you aware of the range of secondary data available and equip you to evaluate their utility for research

•develop skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and internet resources in a multidisciplinary context

•introduce you to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and the debates about the relationship between theory and research, the problems of evidence and inference, and the limits of objectivity

•develop skills in the use of SPSS and other statistical techniques of data analysis, including multivariate analysis

•develop skills in writing, the preparation of a research proposal, the presentation of research results, and verbal communication

•help you to prepare your research results for wider dissemination, such as seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications to a range of audiences, including academics, policymakers, professionals, service users and the general public

•give you an appreciation of the potential and problems of social research in local, regional, national and international settings.

Careers

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills.

We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation, as well as time management and leadership skills.

You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of social and public policy is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.

Recent graduates have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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This programme aims to provide students with a solid foundation in a broad range of social science research methods as well as basic research skills. Read more
This programme aims to provide students with a solid foundation in a broad range of social science research methods as well as basic research skills.

Students will acquire a general overview of the philosophy of social research, and understand how this informs research design, methods of data collection and analysis. They will also develop an ability to use a range of research methods, to communicate research findings effectively and an understanding of the potential use of and impact of their research within and beyond academia.

Core Modules

Philosophy of Social Science Research

The module considers fundamental philosophical debates about what counts as ‘knowledge’ across the social sciences. Teaching addresses (natural) science as a method of obtaining knowledge and the interpretative tradition in the social sciences. Students explore fundamental philosophical debates about what counts as ‘knowledge’ across the social sciences and apply these discussions to their own disciplines and field of study.

Research Design, Practice and Ethics

The module introduces students to social science research designs and ethical issues in research practice. Learning supports students to be able to make strategic choices when developing their own projects, and to assess the design and research ethics decision making in others’ published research work.

Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods

Concepts, methods and skills central to quantitative research, including data collection approaches and concept operationalization, are core throughout this module. Building on a grounding in ideas relating to probability sampling, sampling error and statistical inference, coverage of techniques extends from comparisons of means and simple cross-tabular analyses to a discussion of multivariate analysis approaches, focusing on linear and logistic regression.

Foundations in Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is examined across a range of topics, from different approaches and methods including ethnographic and observational research, discourse and conversation analysis, documentary and archival analysis, participatory research and the use of interviews. Ethics in qualitative research is specifically considered, as is the evaluation of qualitative research.

Advanced Training Programme

Unless stated, all advanced training courses run as 2-day intensive workshops from 10–4pm with breaks. This list is updated regularly as new courses are approved so do check this website from time to time to see what is on offer.

These advanced training courses are open to all research students in the College (and some departments in other Colleges, such as Geography, subject to the discretion of the Programme Team). However, places on each course are limited and priority will be given to MA Social Research students.

These advanced training courses are also open to all staff in the University who may wish to attend without completing the assessments. However, all doctoral researchers and staff who wish to do so will be placed on a waiting list. Confirmation will be sent a week before the course dates.

Advanced Training courses run in Semester 3, unless otherwise stated:

Analysing Hierarchical Panel Data
An Approach To Research On Discourse
Case Study Research Design
Documentary Research In Education
Factor Analysis
Introduction To Econometric Software
Introduction To Time Series Regression
Narrative Research
Multivariate Linear To Logistic Regression
Policy Evalution
Q Methodology - A Systematic Approach For Interpretive Research Design
Questionnaire Design
Researching Disability
Role Of Thinking: Philosophy Of Social Science Research
Visual Research Methods

NB: some courses have pre-requisites, e.g. to register on Multiple Linear and Logistic Regression, Factor Analysis, or Narrative Research, you will need to have passed Social Research Methods II (20 credits module), or equivalent. You will need to provide evidence that you have passed a similar course on quantitative/qualitative data analysis where appropriate.

To register for the above advanced training courses, please e-mail: specifying which courses you are interested in. When registering for courses, please provide your name, student ID, department/programme you are affiliated to, and your e-mail address.

In addition, you will write a 12,000-word dissertation (60 credits).

About the School of Government and Society

The School of Government and Society is one of the leading UK and International centres for governance, politics, international development, sociology, public management, Russian and European studies.
Established in 2008, the School comprises three Departments: Politics and International Studies (POLSIS); International Development (IDD) and Local Government Studies (INLOGOV).

POLSIS: The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), one of the largest and most academically vibrant departments of Political Science and International Studies in the UK. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) Politics and International Studies at Birmingham was ranked the 6th best in the power rankings highlighting the large number of staff in POLSIS producing world-leading and internationally excellent research.

IDD: Be part of global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Contribute to conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. Help build capacity of nations and communities to adapt to climate change. Study with us to gain the skills and knowledge essential for working in international development in the 21st Century.

INLOGOV: The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the leading academic centre for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management. We enrich the world of local public service with research evidence and innovative ideas, making a positive difference.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgfunding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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75% of our research into Social Work and Social Policy was awarded 3* for our environment - 'conducive to producing research of internationally excellent quality, in terms of its vitality and sustainability' - Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Read more
75% of our research into Social Work and Social Policy was awarded 3* for our environment - 'conducive to producing research of internationally excellent quality, in terms of its vitality and sustainability' - Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

This Masters in Social Policy and Social Research Methods is particularly significant if you are currently working in local authorities or the voluntary sector. The skills you learn will progress your career in social welfare policy development, delivery or research. Or it is also relevant if you are thinking of starting a career related to social policy in the public, voluntary or private sectors.

The focus of this course is on contemporary substantive issues in social policy development and delivery, and social policy research methods. You'll develop your theoretical, policy and technical understanding of key issues related to policy-making, social welfare delivery, equality and social justice, and research methods.

You'll gain an advanced understanding of national and international factors influencing policy development and implementation. The changing relationship between the State, voluntary sector and private sector in terms of social welfare delivery. You'll also explore how ideas of equality, diversity, justice and human rights shape institutions and the programmes they offer.

You'll engage with recent research linked to changing family forms and how family policy impacts on children and families. You'll be equipped to design and implement social scientific research using a broad range of methodologies, consider research ethics then analyse and present the material such research generates.

The course fosters a critical awareness of the relationship between theory, policy and practice and enables you to utilise your research knowledge and research skills and translate these into research practice in the field of social policy and broader social science research professions.

Flexible modes of study:
You can choose between three modes lasting one, two or three years allowing you to study whilst maintaining other life commitments.

See the website http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/social-policy-and-social-research-methods

Modules

- Social policy analysis
This module will help you understand the policy making process and the factors that influence the formation and implementation of social policy, for example, demographic changes or policy transfer. You'll discuss current debates about policy making and delivery, including user involvement, localism and sustainability.

- The voluntary sector and the state: protagonist or partner
You'll explore the contemporary role of the voluntary sector in the delivery of social welfare, and the challenges they face in terms of management, capacity building and funding. You'll examine the role of the voluntary sector as partner or protagonist to the state, as well as its relationships with the private sector.

- Methods for social research and evaluation: philosophy, design and data collection
This module is an introduction to core concepts in social research and how they can be used to address social scientific questions and practical issues in policy evaluation. You'll engage with central topics in the philosophy of social sciences and the effect they have on research choices and explore the different ways research can be designed, and the way design affects permissible inferences. You'll also be introduced to the theory of measurement and sampling. The final third of the module focuses on acquiring data ranging from survey methods through qualitative data collection methods to secondary data.

- Approaches to social change: equality, social justice and human rights
In this module you'll explore a number of different goals, and the theoretical underpinnings which aim to achieve social change. These goals include: equality, diversity, social justice, social inclusion, multiculturalism, social cohesion and human rights. You'll examine a range of different initiatives to promote these goals in both employment and social welfare delivery. Finally, the module will explore strategies: to identify inequality, injustice and forms of discrimination; to monitor policy development and implementation; and to evaluate outcomes and 'success'.

- Family policy
This module is taught by internationally recognised researchers from the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research. You'll be introduced to demographic changes in families and changes in State-family relationships and developments in 'family policy'. You'll explore early intervention into families, child welfare including adoption, fostering and child maintenance, child poverty, and childcare. Finally, cross cultural perspectives in family formation will be discussed.

- Data analytic techniques for social scientists
In this module you are introduced to a range of analytic techniques commonly used by social scientists. It begins by introducing you to statistical analysis, it then moves to techniques used to analyse qualitative data. It concludes by looking at relational methods and data reduction techniques. You'll also be introduced to computer software (SPSS, NVivo and Ucinet) that implements the techniques. You'll gain both a conceptual understanding of the techniques and the means to apply them to your own research projects. An emphasis will be placed on how these techniques can be used in social evaluation.

- Dissertation
The aim of the dissertation is to enable you to expand and deepen your knowledge on a substantive area in social policy, whilst simultaneously developing your methodological skills. You'll choose an area of investigation and apply the research skills of design and process, modes of data generation and data analysis techniques to undertake a 15,000 word dissertation.

Employability

This MSc will enable you to pursue a range of professional careers in areas linked to social policy and social welfare. You'll be able to access work in the statutory, commercial or voluntary sectors and operating at central, and local government levels, for example, local government; MORI, NSPCC and DEMOS. The acquisition of specific social policy and research methods knowledge will also enhance your career opportunities if you are currently working in the field in social policy development and delivery or in undertaking social policy related research. The specialist focus on research methods also offers an excellent foundation for those interested in undertaking subsequent doctoral research in the field.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

- direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
- Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
- mentoring and work shadowing schemes.

Placements

If you are not already working in an environment which is linked to social welfare you'll be encouraged to undertake voluntary work which will give you useful experience alongside the degree. In addition it may become used as a location where you can undertake primary research for your master's dissertation. The Employability team at LSBU can help students find voluntary placements.

Teaching and learning

Modules are assessed by coursework. There are different kinds of writing required which include: a critical reading log, a self-reflective essay, a methodological critique of a research article, a research proposal, extended essays, an evaluation of social change and a dissertation.

Modules are supported by Moodle, the LSBU virtual learning environment where most course reading will be made available. The classroom is envisaged as a core learning environment where you can discuss new ideas but also to think how they can be applied to previous or current work or voluntary experiences. Attendance is crucial for building your knowledge and skills. You'll be making use of computer laboratories in order to develop your use of a range of programmes that can be used to analyse quantitative and qualitative methods.

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Are you dedicated to the study of psychology and want to take your learning to the next level? The MRes Psychology will give you a practical education in psychological research training which is informed by staff research experience. Read more
Are you dedicated to the study of psychology and want to take your learning to the next level? The MRes Psychology will give you a practical education in psychological research training which is informed by staff research experience.

You will benefit from working in a professional research environment, and develop advanced research skills that will enable you to plan, execute, analyse and disseminate high-quality psychological research.

With the opportunity to work both individually and collaboratively on research projects you will gain valuable critical and transferable skills and an understanding of the professional and ethical issues relating to producing research. You will graduate ready for employment in a research context, or doctoral level training in psychological research or applied psychology.

Learn From The Best

Staff are active researchers, passionate about their subject and dedicated to the discovery of new knowledge through innovative and exciting research projects. You will learn from those at the forefront of their fields. In fact, our strength in psychology research has significantly increased, placing us second in the Alliance group of universities for world-leading research (REF 2014).

You will work alongside academics with international backgrounds in research and experience in both higher education and industry.

Teaching And Assessment

You will study advanced research skills and techniques, exploring qualitative and quantitative methods, data collection and analysis through a variety of sessions including interactive lectures, workshops and tutorials. Benefitting from studying in a professional academic research environment you will put what you have learnt into practice, leading both collaborative and individual pieces of research.

All assessments are reflective of the kinds of tasks which active researchers engage with, to provide you with experience of practical research activities which are typically carried out in professional research settings. A final thesis will cement your learning and you will work closely with a member of staff to design, develop and implement a research project that is aligned to your interests. You will learn how to disseminate your findings to a variety of audiences.

Module Overview
PY0766 - Practical Research Skills and Techniques (Core, 30 Credits)
PY0767 - Research Experience: Design and Development (Core, 20 Credits)
PY0768 - Research Experience: Implementation and Dissemination (Core, 20 Credits)
PY0769 - MRes Thesis (Core, 90 Credits)
PY0774 - Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (Core, 20 Credits)

Learning Environment

You will learn in a professional research environment with access to state-of-the-art laboratories equipped with industry standard equipment. You will be able to collect and analyse your data using the most current software tools and will benefit from technology enabled learning with use of the eLearning Portal where electronic reading lists, lecture capture and online submission and feedback tools support your learning.

You will be immersed in an active research environment with access to Northumbria’s innovative research centres including The Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre and The Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research. With staff working at the cutting-edge of their fields in innovative research areas, there is nowhere better to hone your research skills.

Research-Rich Learning

Research excellence is embedded at every stage of this course. Through research-orientated education and practical instruction you will develop the advanced research skills and critical evaluation techniques needed to conduct your own and collaborative research projects in the field of Psychology from initial idea to dissemination of results. The core purpose of this MRes is to make you into a confident and skilled professional researcher.

Staff are actively engaged in a wide range of research with almost three-quarters of Northumbria’s psychology research being judged to have outstanding reach and significance for its impact, placing us top 20 in the UK (REF 2014).

Give Your Career An Edge

This distinctive and specialist postgraduate course incorporates professional training and advanced study in psychological research and is designed to make you as employable as possible.

We provide you with an authentic learning experience, enabling you to work in a professional research environment. You will have the invaluable opportunity to work on a research placement with an academic researcher from the Department of Psychology, collaborating with this member of staff, their research partners and research groups to design, develop and implement a research project based on shared interests and enabling you to gain the applied research and team working skills that are desired by employers in the sector.

Your Future

The MRes Psychology provides you with the advanced research experience, critical knowledge and transferable skills to enable you to plan, execute, analyse and disseminate high-quality psychological research.

You will graduate as a trained psychological researcher fit for employment in professional research settings, enterprising and entrepreneurial activity or further study. Many of our previous graduates have continued to build on their research interests by going on to PhDs in psychological research or applied psychology, whilst others have worked as assistant psychologists or followed careers in the NHS.

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The purpose of this course is to develop and consolidate your understanding of the scientific methods that are routinely employed in Psychology. Read more
The purpose of this course is to develop and consolidate your understanding of the scientific methods that are routinely employed in Psychology. Emphasis is placed on training you in the efficient gathering and organising of information as well as the critical evaluation of theory and qualitative and quantitative evidence.

Why study Psychological Research Methods at Dundee?

The programme will lead to the award of the MSc in Psychological Research Methods (exit degrees of Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate are also available on this course). The course offers an excellent theoretical and practical grounding in research methods in Psychology, building upon the levels of skill and knowledge attained in your first degree in Psychology (as recognised by the British Psychological Society for Graduate Membership).

You will be given practical experience of working in an active researcher's laboratory and you will also design and carry out a substantial research project under the supervision of a different member of the academic staff. You will be given the opportunity to present and discuss your findings in written, oral and poster formats in a supportive and cohesive environment. Our aim is to significantly improve your prospect for employment in a wide range of contexts where insight into human behaviour and/or rigorous evaluation of information are key elements of good decision making.

The School of Psychology has specialised equipment, dedicated laboratories and world class research facilities. These include EEG labs, many eye tracking systems, 2D and 3D movement tracking systems, and offsite fMRI access via the Clinical Research Centre at Ninewells Teaching Hospital. Learn more about our research facilities via our website.

Every full-time MSc student in the department is entitled to use computer facilities available in the Psychology department and throughout the University. We provide access to all the basic software tools that you are likely to need for your MSc.

Aims of the Programme

This course will enable you to:
Pursue and develop the advanced study of research methods in Psychology and in particular to address contemporary issues of epistemology, data collection, measurement and data analysis.

Approach problems in research by critical evaluation of existing psychological paradigms and research literature and to apply this to current theoretical or applied issues in Psychology.

Develop advanced research skills which will be relevant to policy and practice in the workplace.

Develop and demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in research design, methodology and statistical analysis.

Develop and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of current research in a specialised field of experimental or applied Psychology.

Engage in the analysis, synthesis, planning, execution and evaluation of research at an advanced level.

Make an original contribution to scientific knowledge, methodology or practice in a research project either grounded in experimental psychology or in an applied area relevant to the learner's employment.

Develop and practice dissemination and presentation skills to peers and to wider academic and professional audiences
Provide an advanced understanding of scientific issues in the chosen topic specialisation.

Who should study this course?

The course will provide a first year of research training for students who intend to continue with postgraduate research or further professional training within Psychology (e.g. health, occupational or educational psychology) or related disciplines (e.g. sociology, social anthropology, or education).

Postgraduate culture

We have a close postgraduate community with a diverse combination of nationalities. The School runs a Postgraduate seminar and a departmental seminar twice weekly throughout teaching semesters, with invited speakers to the seminars. These seminars are a great way to broaden your awareness of contemporary issues within the field of Psychology, to present your own work, and to network with other postgraduate students.

The School of Psychology also has its own Facebook group, where you can find out more about their activities.

How you will be taught

One-on-one supervision of a research dissertation by a single tutor is designed to promote continuity in the learning experiences provided. Learning methods will include oral and written presentations, peer assessments of oral presentations, problem-solving assignments and feedback, and interactive computer assignments. Some of the exercises will be group-based and will be followed by presentation of the results of the analysis. Learners will be expected to be able to respond adequately to questions relating to the interpretation of the analyses.

What you will study

Core Modules:

Research Foundations
Qualitative Research Methods
Advanced Quantitative Methods
Research in Practice
Research Dissertation
Two Advanced Modules, typically from:

Decision Making
Evolution and Behaviour
Health in Groups
Majorities and Minorities
Comparative Communication and Cognition

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework only.
Each module is worth 20 credits apart from the Research Dissertation Module which is worth 60 credits. The total number of credits awarded is 180 for an MSc course.

Careers

Students from this course have gone on to do PhDs and have used the qualification to improve their chances of getting on to clinical and educational psychology courses. Several students take the course to improve their chances of getting jobs as support workers and Assistant Psychologists. The higher degree also generally improves job prospects when competing against other Psychology graduates in other fields of business.

Laura Wakeford graduated in 2010 with an MSc in Psychological Research Methods. She is now studying for a PhD here at Dundee. Laura's research focuses on the relationship between fixation location and attention during silent reading; specifically, whether word recognition proceeds in a serial or parallel fashion. The majority of her work uses the Dr Bouis Eye Tracker.

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As populations grow and competition for space and resources increases, society’s most pressing issues will need to be addressed by those who can work in collaboration with cognitive, occupational and social psychologists, as well as architects, educationalists, environmental scientists, engineers, landscape architects and planners. Read more
As populations grow and competition for space and resources increases, society’s most pressing issues will need to be addressed by those who can work in collaboration with cognitive, occupational and social psychologists, as well as architects, educationalists, environmental scientists, engineers, landscape architects and planners.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

How do individuals and groups react to different environmental situations (home, office, hospital, street, shop, and so on)? What psychological processes are triggered by our environment, and how do they affect our perception, attitude and actions?

How can individuals and groups change their environment so that it provides a more stimulating, less stressful and more enabling setting in which to live? How are our identities tied up with place? How might sustainability in environmental policy be better informed by current research?

Our MSc Environmental Psychology programme will help you gain advanced knowledge and understanding of theory and practice in environmental psychology.

You will also acquire a range of research skills that will give you the confidence and ability to undertake environmental psychology research in a professional setting.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Ergonomics and Human Factors
-Inquiry and Design
-Dissertation
-Qualitative Research Methods
-Quantitative Research Methods
-Key Questions in Environmental Psychology: People and Place
-Psychology of Sustainable Development
-Preparation for Academic Research in Psychology
-Conducting Health Psychology Research
-Social Change and Influence
-Maintaining Health Throughout the Lifespan
-Psychological Neuroscience: Electrophysiology

FUNDING

Funding is now linked to continuation funding for a PhD – that is, successful applicants to the Economic and Social Research Council will be given a grant for the MSc year and then further support (subject to satisfactory progress) to enable them to undertake a PhD.

Occasionally students receive financial support from industry through sponsorship. This would involve students undertaking a piece of research for their dissertation which would be of interest and value to industry or commerce, in return for which they will be given a grant by the commissioning company.

In the past, this sponsorship has ranged from £500 to £6,000. This is mutually beneficial to both the student and sponsor, and allows the student to undertake a ‘real’ piece of research that has practical or policy implications, whilst receiving a sum of money to assist with fees and subsistence costs.

ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY AT SURREY

The School of Psychology at the University of Surrey was the first in the world to establish an MSc in Environmental Psychology, in 1973. Since then there have been well over 250 graduates of the programme from over 25 countries worldwide.

It remains one of a few such postgraduate programmes in the world and the only one in the UK.

The MSc Environmental Psychology programme is part of a larger modular programme, thereby providing a flexible teaching and learning structure. The School of Psychology has a reputation for developing professional and innovative programmes reflecting contemporary societal concerns and employment opportunities.

Environmental Psychology at Surrey has always sought to be a multidisciplinary research activity. We are driven by psychological theories and methodologies, but draw on other social sciences, as well as the environmental and design disciplines.

We investigate environment behaviour relationships at every spatial scale and environment, from personal space and office design, through neighbourhood renewal, to the public understanding of global climate change.

PSYCHOLOGY AT SURREY

The School of Psychology at the University of Surrey is one of the most active and highly regarded psychology departments in the country. We specialise in applied and policy-oriented teaching and research within a strong theoretical context. The international, interdisciplinary, policy and applied strengths of the School mean that students’ theoretical and methodological research puts them at the cutting edge of the discipline.

We are one of the highest ranked Schools in the country for graduates entering employment, and also one of the largest providers of postgraduate training in the UK.

The University of Surrey’s School of Psychology has been the centre for many cross-national studies and has attracted funding from research councils and local and national government departments, such as:
-ESF
-Defra
-The Ministry of Defence
-Home Office
-The Environment Agency
-The Countryside Agency
-Surrey County Council
-The EU

If you choose to study psychology at the University of Surrey, you will be provided with a combination of opportunities that would be hard to match elsewhere. We offer you a degree that provides a thorough grounding in the theories, methods and practice of contemporary psychology.

Our programmes lay particular emphasis on the application of psychology to real-world problems, and also consider issues related to professional practice in preparation for your career as a professional psychologist.

The basis of good postgraduate programmes is the research activity of staff, the incorporation of current research programmes in teaching material and a reciprocal relationship between theory development and applied research in everyday contemporary issues.

We believe in involving all postgraduate students in the research life of the School through active participation in one of the research groups, attendance at research seminars and, where possible, an attachment to ongoing research projects.

As a student of the School of Psychology, you will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.

COLLABORATIONS

Environmental psychology researchers have always enjoyed collaboration with other disciplines.

Current and recent research collaborations include an EPSRC funded research project on energy technologies in homes (REDUCE) with colleagues of environmental sciences (CES) and communications technology (CCSR), a DEFRA/ESRC-funded research programme on lifestyles in transition (SLRG) and a major ESRC funded research program on sustainable lifestyles (RESOLVE: research on lifestyles, values and the environment) both with colleagues from sociology, economics and environmental sciences.

We have long-established links with national and international academic institutions including the Department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde, the Centre for Transport Studies at the University of West England and the Department of Psychology at Bath University.

The environmental psychology community is strongly international and this is reflected in the long-term active teaching and research collaboration we enjoy with the universities of Groningen, Madrid, La Coruña, Umeå and Rome.

Students on the MSc programme are encouraged to take advantage of these links during their dissertations.

MSc students are actively encouraged to participate in ongoing research projects. Our recent research clients include:
-Building Research Establishment
-Surrey County Council
-Eden Project
-Defra
-Environment Agency
-Forestry Commission
-European Commission
-Rentokil Initial
-King Sturge

RESEARCH

The Environmental Psychology Research Group (EPRG), of which students on the MSc in Environmental Psychology are automatically members, has been undertaking research for more than 30 years and has gained an international reputation.

Research undertaken by the EPRG is both ‘fundamental’ (that is, contributing to the development of the discipline and our understanding ofpsychological processes) and ‘applied and policy-oriented’.

Both government and business are concerned with effective policy development and delivery, and it is increasingly recognised that these can only be successfully achieved by informed evidence.

Students on the MSc Environmental Psychology programme are encouraged to make their research not only useful, but useable.

CAREER PROSPECTS

Recent graduates have progressed into careers in central and local government, undertaking policy-oriented research on a variety of environment behaviour (E-B) issues. Many of our graduates have become practice consultants, using their E-B research skills.

This could be a specialist E-B practice or an architecture, planning, design or engineering practice where graduates with a sensitivity to people-environment issues and a training in E-B research can provide an important and unique set of skills and expertise.

Those who have a background in architecture, landscape architecture, planning or design often return to their profession, but with an enhanced range of skills.

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The aims of the programme are as follows:
-To provide students with theoretical and qualitative/quantitative methodological expertise to conduct environmental psychological research by training them in the informed and systematic conduct of basic and applied research involving the critical reading of theories and empirical findings
-To provide students with an in depth knowledge of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches to the discipline
-To enable students to link theoretical and empirical questions to social and environmental issues and to provide them with an in depth understanding of the practical applications and action implications of environmental psychological theories and empirical findings
-To provide students with the skills to evaluate possible interventions in a variety of environmental domains
-To offer opportunities to develop the basic interpersonal, technical and creative skills required for the effective analysis and formulation of problems into research questions and, where appropriate, testable hypotheses

PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
-Contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches to environmental psychology
-The practical applications and action implications of environmental psychological theories and empirical findings
-The principles of research design
-Quantitative and qualitative techniques and strategies to manage and analyse psychological data
-Ethical considerations when undertaking research and framing interventions

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Critically assess and comment on sources of research relevant to environmental psychology
-Critically evaluate the contributions and limitations of environmental psychological theories and research methods in environmental behaviour issues
-Evaluate actual and potential psychologically informed interventions in a variety of environmental domains
-Design, conduct and evaluate environmental psychological research
-Apply insights from environmental psychological theory and research to other domains of psychology

Professional practical skills
-Communicate work in a professional manner for academic and non-academic audiences in written and verbal formats
-Apply problem solving techniques to environmental and psychological topics effectively
-Use effective learning strategies
-Analyse and interpret environmental psychological theoretical analyses and quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence in a competent and critical manner

Key / transferable skills
-Communicate theories and methods in relation to environmental psychology by oral and written means
-Use information technology effectively
-Manage own personal development

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

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The College of Social Sciences welcomes all postgraduates to the recently redesigned MA in Social Research programme which continues to enjoy full RT (research training) recognition by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Read more
The College of Social Sciences welcomes all postgraduates to the recently redesigned MA in Social Research programme which continues to enjoy full RT (research training) recognition by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This programme aims to provide students with a sound background in social research design and the most up-to-date training in methods of data collection and analysis. The combination of core modules and short courses on more advanced topics provides maximum flexibility for taught postgraduate and research students throughout their study.

The core elements of the programme are delivered by staff across the entire College, many of whom are engaged in cutting-edge research in their own fields. Students will benefit by undertaking the modules with others from different departments within the School of Government and Society, eg, Political Science and International Studies; the Centre for Russian and East European Studies; the Institute for Applied Social Studies; and within the wider College. Students will also receive training on more discipline-specific research elements, as well as dissertation supervision, provided by individual departments. On completion of this MA, many students continue their PhD studies or pursue a career in research in the public, private or voluntary sector.

Programme content
Term 1:

Introduction to Social Research (20)
Research Design (20)
Thesis-related preparation
Information Skills for Social Sciences
University Programme of Skills Training (as necessary)
Dissertation-related preparation
Term 2:

Social Research Methods I (20)
Social Research Methods II (20)
Thesis-related preparation
Summer Term:

Four Short courses (10)
Dissertation (60)
All students registered on the MA in Social Research will take:

1) Four core modules:

Introduction to Social Science Research (20 credits)
Research Design (20 credits)
Social Research Methods I (20 credits)
Social Research Methods II (20 credits)


2) Four elective modules (10 credits each) from the short course programme below
3) A 14,000 word dissertation (60 credits)

Short courses
All short courses run as 2-day intensive workshops from 10–4pm with breaks. This list is updated regularly as new courses are approved so do check this website from time to time to see what is on offer.

These short courses are open to all research students in the College (and some departments in other Colleges, such as Geography, subject to the discretion of the Programme Team). However, places on each course are limited and priority will be given to MA Social Research students.

These short courses are also open to all staff in the University who may wish to attend without completing the assessments. However, all doctoral researchers and staff who wish to to so will be placed on a waiting list. Confirmation will be sent a week before the course dates.

Short course programmes
From Multiple linear to Logistic regression
Narrative Research
Analyzing Hierarchical and Panel Data
Visual Research Methods
Linguistic Ethnography
Documentary Research in Education, History and the Social Sciences
Researching Disability
Approaches to Research on Discourse
Policy Evaluation
Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis (using NVivo)
Secondary Research Data Analysis in Social Research
Applications of Geographic Information Systems in Social Science
Overseas Research
Q Methodology – A Systematic Approach for Interpretive Research Design
Activity Theory and its research applications
Some courses have pre-requisites, eg, to register on Multiple Linear and Logistic Regression, Factor Analysis and Narrative Research; you will need to have passed Data Analysis (20 credits module) or equivalent. For the latter, you will need to provide evidence that you have passed a similar course on quantitative/qualitative data analysis where appropriate.

Please be aware that some of these courses run on the same dates. Make sure you have not picked courses that clash with each other. For further details or to sign up for these short courses, please email the course names, your name, student ID and your programme to |.

Skills and attributes gained
Students will have acquired a solid foundation of a broad range of research methods that are widely used in the social sciences and will have developed:

A sound understanding of the methodological debates
An overview of the philosophy of social science and how this informs research design, methods chosen of data collection and analysis
An ability to use a range of research techniques appropriate to their subject area
Competence in the representation and presentation of information and data
An ability to communicate research findings effectively to a wider range of audiences
An appreciation of the potential use and impact of their research within and beyond academia
An ability to engage with relevant users at all points in the research process, from devising and shaping research questions through to enhancing practice
Learning and teaching
Students are expected to engage in high-level discussion during all sessions. Teaching will be delivered by a combination of lectures, seminars and computer workshops. Some fieldwork involving primary data collection is required where appropriate.

Careers
Many students go on to do a PhD after completing this MA. Others have followed a career in local authorities, government departments, health authorities, management consultancy, media, the voluntary sector and so on.

Assessment
All core modules are assessed by a 4000-word essay or report. On most short courses, a 3000-report is usually required. The dissertation length is 14,000 words and students are expected to utilise the knowledge and skills they learned from the taught elements in this programme.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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Autism is a developmental disorder diagnosed on the basis of social-communication impairments, and fixated interests and repetitive behaviours. Read more

Introduction

Autism is a developmental disorder diagnosed on the basis of social-communication impairments, and fixated interests and repetitive behaviours. Recent studies estimate that around 1 in every 100 individuals in the UK have autism. Research in autism spectrum disorders is important, not just to understand the causes and symptoms of autism, but to make sure that individuals with autism receive the best possible support.

This MSc in Autism Research is a unique course designed to provide students with an in depth understanding of the autism spectrum. While studying on the course, students will learn about key areas of theory and research in autism, from classification and diagnosis, to socio-cognitive and developmental theories of autism, and interventions.

The course’s innovative approach combines training and teaching in psychological research methods with hands-on experience during a practical placement in an autism-relevant context, and the opportunity to engage in an autism-based research project.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Catherine Grainger

Bursaries are available: http://www.stir.ac.uk/scholarships/.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

Psychology has powerful methods to help better understand the puzzling condition of autism. The course comprises modules designed to provide training in the fundamentals of research methods and how these apply to the study of autism. Our styles of teaching research skills range from explicit hands-on demonstrations of tools, to discussion of different approaches to research.

The modules include:
- Autism Research
- Psychological Research Methods I and II
- Advanced Statistics
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Key Skills for Psychology Researchers
- Research placement

Alternative modules from the other taught MSc courses can also be taken for credit or audit with the agreement of the Course Coordinator.
Approximately half of your time is devoted to a research project, leading to a substantial dissertation.

Delivery and assessment

Delivery is by seminars, lectures, a research placement in a relevant context, and research supervision. Master's students have their own dedicated suite and are integrated into the thriving research culture of the Division.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Strengths

Psychology at Stirling is one of the leading psychology departments in the UK. It ranked in the top 20 in the recent research assessment (REF 2014) and is one of only seven non-Russell group universities to do so (Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Sussex, Essex, St Andrews and Bangor; source Times Higher Education magazine). Its quality of research publications ranked third in Scotland after Aberdeen and Glasgow. Furthermore, the relevance of its research activity to society received the highest possible rating which only four other psychology departments in the UK achieved (REF 2014 results).

Psychology at Stirling University is small enough to fully involve MSc students in our lively and collegial community of research excellence.

Your three month full-time dissertation is supervised by leading UK academics.

Career opportunities

The course is designed for those going on to do further research in autism or as the foundation for a career as an autism professional. The structure of the course includes both a placement and research project, allowing you to develop relevant skills for both research and applied careers.

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Our unique emphasis on research methodology will sharpen your ability to think in a logical and informed manner about criminological problems, and to design, conduct and manage effective research and evaluation. Read more
Our unique emphasis on research methodology will sharpen your ability to think in a logical and informed manner about criminological problems, and to design, conduct and manage effective research and evaluation.

We’ve combined modules in academic criminology and the criminal justice system with training in qualitative and quantitative research methods.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

The combination of analytic criminological knowledge and applied research skills on this programme will equip you with a sophisticated understanding of the key challenges and perspectives in contemporary criminology.

The Masters in Criminology, Criminal Justice and Social Research is aimed at graduates and practitioners with an appropriate first degree who seek advanced knowledge about issues connected with crime, deviance, control, the criminal justice system and social research.

It will also suit graduates and practitioners considering a PhD in this area; and practitioners in the criminal justice system and related government and voluntary agencies who wish to develop their understanding of the wider issues connected to crime.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Field Methods
-Data Analysis
-Criminological Theories
-Research: From Design to Dissemination
-Criminal Justice System
-Law, Society and Social Control
-Crime and Offending
-Evidence Based Practice in Crime and Criminal Justice
-Dissertation

Students are encouraged to take up opportunities for experiential learning in workplace settings, providing extended opportunities for work experience and career development in professional research settings.

The department supports students in finding three-to-four week research placements during Spring and Summer vacation periods, and this approach has recently been supplemented to include strategies of support for students seeking a wider range of opportunities for professional development in the first-hand experience of research organisation – including such activities as part-time internships over longer periods, workplace visits, or shadowing research professionals.

This introduces further flexibility in a student-led process of professional development in light of increasing external pressures on students’ commitments and responsibilities. All, however, involve opportunities to consider issues in career development and professional skills.

The support process involves the Department working closely with students on a one-to-one basis toward their goals and requirements, in association with the University’s Careers Service, to offer pastoral advice and support.

Organisations the department has worked with in the past have included the Office of National Statistics, Cabinet Office, HM Inspectorate of Prisons, Sussex Youth Offending team and Surrey Police.

In some cases the work experience may also be with projects in academic contexts. Students seek experiential learning opportunities with the support of the Department’s Senior Placement Tutor, and assistance from the Faculty Placement Office.

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The MSc in Criminology, Criminal Justice and Social Research (CCJSR) provides a thorough grounding in the discipline of criminology combined with advanced training in the full range of qualitative and quantitative methods of social research.

It is designed to meet the needs of students graduating from a first degree who have an interest in crime and the criminal justice system, people who are currently employed and wish to apply a knowledge of criminological research within their present job, or those who wish to move into a criminological research career.

The degree provides an ideal foundation to undertake a part-time or full-time PhD.

The degree is suitable for a wide range of students in terms of age, professional background, and current occupation and circumstances.

Because of this diversity of experience, students on the degree learn a great deal from each other, including at the residential Weekend Conference in the middle of the first semester, and the Day Conference at the end of the first semester.

The full-time MSc is taught over 12 months and the part-time course over 24 months. Students who do not wish to undertake the Masters dissertation can obtain the Postgraduate Certificate in Criminology, Criminal Justice and Social Research after gaining 60 credits, or the Postgraduate Diploma after gaining 120 credits.

Students studying for the MSc in full-time mode are required to submit their dissertation during the academic year in which they commenced registration.

It is expected that students studying part-time will have obtained a minimum of 60 credits by the end of the first 12 months of registration in order to proceed into the second year.

PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES

On completing the MSc, students will have:
-Gained experience in conducting an extended piece of criminological research of a high calibre
-Obtained a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of the discipline of criminology
-Developed and demonstrated extensive knowledge about the core debates in academic criminology and the central issues in criminal justice policy
-Understood how the concerns of criminology and the criminal justice system connect to and interact with wider social issues
-Acquired and utilised practical knowledge of a range of different traditions and methods relevant to conducting criminological research, from survey research to field methods
-Planned, manage and execute research as part of a team
-Developed the analytic skills and substantive knowledge to enable them to pursue a successful career in academe, research institutes, or relevant government departments

Knowledge and understanding
-Show critical awareness and understanding of the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of the discipline of criminology
-Show systematic knowledge of basic principles of research design and strategy
-Understand the use and value of a wide range of different research approaches across the quantitative and qualitative spectra
-Appreciate the epistemological and ontological questions that underpin social research
-Recognise the significance of social/political contexts and uses of research developed competence about the core debates in academic criminology and the central issues in criminal justice policy
-Show engagement with innovations and developments in social research
-Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of research ethics

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Understood how the concerns of criminology and the criminal justice system connect to and interact with wider social issues
-Acquired and utilised practical knowledge of a range of different traditions and methods relevant to conducting criminological research, from survey research to field methods
-Systematically formulate researchable problems
-Analyse qualitative and quantitative data drawn both from ‘real world’ and ‘virtual world’ environments, using basic and more advanced techniques, and draw warranted conclusions
-Critically evaluate the range of approaches to research

Professional practical skills
-Use the range of research techniques commonly employed in criminological research
-Generate both quantitative and qualitative data through an array of techniques, and select techniques of data generation on appropriate methodological base
-Employ a quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative software package to manage and analyse data

Key / transferable skills
-Work to deadlines and within work schedules
-Apply computing skills for research instrument design, data analysis, and report writing and presentation
-Communicate ideas, principles and theories by oral, written and visual means

PLACEMENTS

A distinctive component of the MSc is the opportunity to undertake a placement at a criminal justice agency or research institute for four weeks during the spring break. The practical experience and insights gained reinforce formal learning.

CONFERENCES

A residential weekend conference is attended by all programme members, PhD students and teaching staff in November. This provides a less formal atmosphere for discussions concerning criminology, research and related themes; it includes lectures from eminent guest speakers and members of staff, seminars and small group discussions. The Department also organises a day conference for MSc students at the University, with student presentations and guest speakers.

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

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