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Masters Degrees (Qualitative)

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Qualitative research is becoming increasingly popular in health-related fields including medicine, public health, nursing, allied health, dentistry and health policy. Read more
Qualitative research is becoming increasingly popular in health-related fields including medicine, public health, nursing, allied health, dentistry and health policy. Qualitative health research provides evidence to policymakers, clinicians, health promotion professionals and consumers to understand the perspectives people bring to their health, the values people hold, and the actions people take.

Qualitative research aims to provide a deeper knowledge of how health fits into people’s everyday lives and how health and medical organisations work. Qualitative researchers observe people as they go about their usual activities, interview people, conduct focus groups and examine documents and images. They systematically analyse the resulting data to gain a better understanding of issues as they arise in the ordinary social world.

Qualitative research offers a demanding but extremely rewarding career for proficient communicators who love language and ideas, and are interested in textual rather than statistical analysis. Early career researchers and those considering a PhD will gain the experience, skills and knowledge required for future endeavours. Experienced researchers interested in advancing their career or moving into new areas will broaden their skills and develop new and deeper understandings of qualitative methodology
The Sydney Qualitative Health Research Program is Australia’s only purpose-designed postgraduate program providing qualitative research skills and knowledge in this growing area of research inquiry.

To ask a question about this course, visit http://sydney.edu.au/internationaloffice/

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Develop knowledge and understanding of qualitative and comparative methods as used in health-related research and develop your skills in the use of these methods. Read more
Develop knowledge and understanding of qualitative and comparative methods as used in health-related research and develop your skills in the use of these methods

Gain the capability to use these research methods appropriately for undertaking research and evaluation both as part of postgraduate study and in your working environment. This module may be taken to satisfy the research methods requirements of WMS Masters degree programmes, where applicable. It should normally be taken after Understanding Research and Critical Appraisal and before the Professional Project or Dissertation.

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The MRes programme will provide a dedicated route for high caliber students who (may have a specific research aim in mind and) are ready to carry out independent research leading to PhD level study. Read more
The MRes programme will provide a dedicated route for high caliber students who (may have a specific research aim in mind and) are ready to carry out independent research leading to PhD level study. Alternatively it would be appropriate for students who are seeking a stand-alone research based qualification suitable for a career in research with transferable skills for graduate employment.

Structure
The MRes has been structured to provide to specialist research skills in the taught element (at least 40 credits) enabling students with the opportunity to progress to undertake a substantial piece of independent based research at the cutting edge of the specific research area (120 credits). It is the normal expectation that the independent research should be of a publishable standard in a high quality peer reviewed journal.

Core Modules:

Quantitative Research Methods: This module aims to provide students with an understanding of quantitative research, its approach to scientific inquiry, its methodologies and related methods; focussing on the application of quantitative research within the health and social care setting. It should enable students to be ‘critical consumers’ of quantitative research, to have sufficient knowledge to contribute in a knowledgeable way to ongoing quantitative research and to develop quantitative research questions and projects. In doing so it should help prepare students for the MSc dissertation stage.

Qualitative Research Methods: This module aims to provide students with an understanding of qualitative research, its approach to scientific inquiry, its methodologies and related methods. It will enable students to focus on the application of qualitative research within the health and social care setting and will also enable students to be ‘critical consumers’ of qualitative research, to have sufficient knowledge to contribute in a knowledgeable way to ongoing qualitative research and to develop qualitative research questions and projects.

Research Project: The research project is the ‘heart’ of the MRes and is an intensive research experience conducted in collaboration with your supervisor that allows you to put your knowledge and skills into practice. In conducting your thesis project, you will develop new skills such as planning, co-operative working, and the academic skills essential to understanding and reporting findings to others. Please note, assessment is primarily aimed at the Research project, which is worth 120 credits, whereas the taught element counts for 60 credits (this is the opposite to our MSc / MA courses, where teaching is worth 120 credits, and the research project is 60 credits).

Optional Modules:

TBC Systematic Review of Synthesis of Evidence: This module is designed to provide participants with a state of the art perspective on specific methodologies of systematic review and synthesis of evidence. It will focus on selected qualitative, quantitative and mixed method evidence review and synthesis.

TBC Implementing evidence within public services: theory and practice: This module will enable students to enhance their theory and practice of the implementation of evidence from research (and other resources) into practice and / or policy to improve service effectiveness, efficiency and service users’ experiences

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Our highly sought-after graduates benefit from a programme that integrates training in identifying, framing and effectively researching social problems with a leading computational approach to social science. Read more
Our highly sought-after graduates benefit from a programme that integrates training in identifying, framing and effectively researching social problems with a leading computational approach to social science.

Furthermore, we are home to the Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS) and its world-leading expertise in agent-based modelling.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

Interest in simulation has grown rapidly in the social sciences. New methods have been developed to tackle this complexity. This programme will integrate traditional and new methods, to model complexity, evolution and the adaptation of social systems.

These new methods are having an increasing influence on policy research through a growing recognition that many social problems are insufficiently served by traditional policy modelling approaches.

The Masters in Social Science and Complexity will equip you to develop expertise in the methods necessary to tackle complex, policy-relevant, real-world social problems through a combination of traditional and computational social science methods, and with a particular focus on policy relevance.

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.
-Data Analysis
-Field Methods
-Computational Modelling
-Theory Model Data
-Modelling the Complex World
-Policy Modelling
-Theory and Method
-Statistical Modelling
-Evaluation Research
-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 going on to employment involving the use of social science and policy research
-Provide training that fully integrates social science, policy modelling and computational methodologies to a high standard
-Provide training resulting in students with high quality analytic, methodological, computational and communication skills

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:
-Develop skills in tackling real world policy problems with creativity and sound methodological judgment
-Cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research 
questions or hypotheses and translating these into practicable research designs and models
-Introduce students to the methodological and epistemological issues surrounding research in the social sciences in general and computational modelling in particular
-Develop skills in programming in NetLogo for the implementation of agent-based models for the modelling of social phenomena
-Develop skills in the acquisition and analysis of social science data
-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
-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 ofresearch 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, stakeholders, policy makers, professionals, service users and the general public

Knowledge and understanding
-Show advanced knowledge of qualitative, quantitative and computational methodologies in the social science
-Show advanced knowledge of modelling methodologies, model construction and analysis
-Show critical understanding of methodological and epistemological challenges of social science and computer modelling
-Show critical awareness and understanding of the methodological implications of a range of sociological theories and approaches
-Show understanding the use and value of a wide range of different research approaches across the quantitative and qualitative spectra
-Show advanced knowledge in data collection, analysis and data driven modelling
-Show advanced knowledge of policy relevant social science research and modelling
-Show advanced understanding of the policy process and the role of social science and modelling therein
-Show advanced knowledge of statistical modelling

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Systematically formulate researchable problems; analyse and conceptualise issues; critically appreciate alternative approaches to research; report to a range of audiences
-Conceptual development of Social Science and Complexity models to creatively enhance the understanding of social phenomena
-Integration of qualitative, quantitative and computational data
-Judgement of problem-methodology match
-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
-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 traditional and computational techniques employed in sociological research
-Ability to produce well founded, data driven and validated computational models
-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
-Ability to communicate research findings models in social science and policy relevant ways
-Ability to manage independent research

Key / transferable skills
-Communicate complex ideas, principles and theories by oral, written and visual means
-Apply computational modelling methodology to complex social issues in appropriate ways
-Creativity in approaching complex problems and a the ability of communicating and justifying problem solutions
-Apply computing skills for computational modelling, research instrument design, data analysis, and report writing and presentation
-Work to deadlines and within work schedules
-Work independently or as part of a team
-Demonstrate experience of a work environment

PLACEMENTS

On the MSc Social Science and Complexity, we offer the opportunity to take a research placement during the Easter vacation. This will provide you with first-hand experience of real-life policy research in action.

Organisations in which placements might be possible are a number of consultancies (e.g. Sandtable), government departments (e.g. Defra) and academic research centres (e.g. Centre for Policy Modelling at Manchester).

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Computational methods and especially computer-based simulations, are becoming increasingly important in academic social science and policy making.

Graduates might find career opportunities in government departments, consultancies, government departments, consultancies, NGOs and academia.

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 dynamic interactions between political parties and voters underpin the foundations of modern democratic politics. Read more
The dynamic interactions between political parties and voters underpin the foundations of modern democratic politics. Our new MSc in Elections, Public Opinion and Parties provides students with a thorough grounding in the empirical theories and methods used for exploring and explaining models of party competition, public opinion and voting behaviour.

The degree’s substantive component gives you insights into the reality of political representation and accountability, as well as how political leaders and the media shape and respond to public preferences. The methodological component provides you with valuable analytical and research skills that will prepare you for careers in government, political consultancy, NGOs and research organisations.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/politicsandir/coursefinder/mscelections,publicopinionandparties.aspx

Why choose this course?

the Department of Politics and International Relations is a young, vibrant and rapidly-rising department and was ranked in the Top 10 small politics departments in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, 2008)

the course is taught by world-class scholars and informed by cutting-edge research

offers an advanced grounding in public opinion and political behavior at both a theoretical and empirical level

you will acquire valuable research methods skills that will equip you to carry out independent research and appraise both qualitative and quantitative research

you will acquire genuinely transferable skills that are highly prized in the job market

our international cohort of students will provide you with excellent opportunities to obtain global perspectives.

Department research and industry highlights

- The Centre for European Politics was officially launched by Lord Mandelson in September 2007, with the mission of producing research in two principal areas: the study of democracy in Europe, and Europe as an actor in world politics. Under the leadership of Co-Directors Dr Alister Miskimmon and Dr James Sloam, it has hosted a number of high-profile speakers, including Lord Mandelson, Professor Simon Hix (LSE), Roger Liddle (Policy Network), John Peet (The Economist), Sir Stephen Wall (former European policy advisor to Tony Blair), David Willetts MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Innovations, Universities and Skills) and Dr Vince Cable. Recent funded research projects include: a European Union Committee of the Regions consultancy on EU External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy; an EU- funded Workshop on the Review of the European Union Budget; and Teaching Democracy. Recent publications include Bendetto and Milio (eds) European Union budget reform: intuitions, policy and economic crisis (Palgrave 2012) and James Sloam 'New Voice, Less Equal: the Civic and Political Engagement of Young People in the United States and Europe', Comparative Political Studies 2012.

- The New Political Communication Unit's research agenda focuses on the impact of new media and communication technologies on politics, policy and governance. Core staff include Professor Andrew Chadwick, Professor Ben O'Loughlin, Dr Alister Miskimmon and Dr Cristian Vaccari. Recent books include Andrew Chadwick's The Hybrid Media System, Politics and Power (Oxford University Press 2013), Cristian Vaccari's Digital Politics in Western Democracies: A Comparative Study (John Hopkins University Press) and Alister Miskimmon, Ben O'Loughlin and Laura Roselle's Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order (Routledge, 2013). Andrew Chadwick edits the Oxford University Press book series Oxford studies in Digital Politics and Ben O'Loughlin is co-editor of the journal Media, War and Conflict. The Unit hosts a large number of PhD students working in the field of new political communication.

Course content and structure

Core course units:
- Elections and Voting Behaviour You will be introduced to the main theories of voting behaviour. We will examine why people vote for different political parties and how their behaviour is shaped by the different mobilisation strategies of political parties and other institutional arrangements. We will consider how social divisions are translated in to political divisions, and how the mechanisms of accountability and representation operate in different political and economic contexts. To what extent do people vote along policy lines? To what extent do they vote along social lines? How have these changed over time?

- Public Opinion and political participation In this unit we will examine the various ways in which people try to influence the political process by participating in different types of political activity. We will examine formal types of participation, such as turnout as well as more direct forms of political action, such as participation in protests and social movements. In doing so we will look at how political behaviour has changed over time and consider the implications for representative democracy.

- Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in Politics and International Relations You will be introduced to quantitative methods commonly used in the study of Politics and International Relations. You will acquire the skills to understand, critically analyse and carry out a range of quantitative techniques, using statistical software packages such as SPSS. No prior expertise in maths or statistics is required.

- Dissertation (MSc only) The dissertation gives you the opportunity to study an aspect of political behaviour in depth. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor and the length of the piece will be 12-15,000 words.

Elective course units:
- British Political Parties This unit explains what British political parties stand for and how they function and interact with other parts of the political system. You will gain knowledge of the 'nuts and bolts'of the parties in question, and will also gain useful insights into the difficulties of political leadership, the centrality of political executives and the interdependence of executives with other parts of the political system.

- Public Policy This unit examines the policy making process in comparative context. You will gain knowledge about the actors involved in the policy making process: how policy is made and what impact it has on different policy domains in different institutional contexts.

- Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Politics and International Relations You will be provided with an introduction to core theories and qualitative approaches in politics and international relations. You will examine a number of explanatory/theoretical frameworks, their basic assumptions, strengths and weaknesses, and concrete research applications.You will consider the various qualitative techniques available for conducting search research, the range of decisions qualitative researchers face, and the trade-offs researchers must consider when designing qualitative research.

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts, theoretical debates, and developments related to elections, public opinion, public policy and parties

- a sound knowledge of the texts, theories and methods used to enhance understanding of the issues, processes and phenomena associated with particular fields of inquiry

- an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of research methods within the disciplines of politics and international relations

- a solid foundation for progression to either a politics-related career, public policy careers, research or continued academic study.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different politics and international relations-related areas, including roles as officials in local government, personnel officers and higher education lecturers. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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This programme has been specifically designed for those intending to pursue a career in clinical psychology and to apply for a place on the professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, but it is also ideal for those interested in a research career or PhD in the area of clinical psychology and mental health. Read more
This programme has been specifically designed for those intending to pursue a career in clinical psychology and to apply for a place on the professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, but it is also ideal for those interested in a research career or PhD in the area of clinical psychology and mental health. The programme enables students to gain detailed knowledge about modern theories and models in relation to psychopathology and psychological assessment as well as about effective psychological interventions and therapies. It also provides broad research training in quantitative and qualitative research, and offers education about the role of professional clinical psychologists along with training in essential clinical skills. The programme includes a Research Apprenticeship in clinical psychology which is a particularly attractive module enabling students to gain experience with professional research in clinical psychology.

-Designed to strengthen the research competence and academic profile of those intending to apply for professional training in clinical psychology
-Offers broad postgraduate research training in quantitative and qualitative research methods relevant to clinical psychology and mental health in general
-Includes a Research Apprenticeship in Clinical Psychology
-Provides education about the role of clinical psychologists as well as training in some essential professional clinical skills
-Uses a blend of adult learning approaches (i.e. lectures, seminars, group work, workshops) to engage students with the content of the taught modules

Why choose this course?

The main educational aims of the programme are to provide you with a thorough knowledge about clinical psychology as an academic and professional discipline, and to develop your research competence in a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods of particular relevance to clinical psychology. Core knowledge areas such as psychopathology, psychological assessment and various types of psychological intervention are each taught in specific modules. You will be introduced to leading theories or models in each field and the scientific evidence on which they are based will be critically discussed. Important research paradigms and controversies dominating current scientific debates within clinical psychology will be presented, and you will learn and practice how to critically appraise published research.

You will receive extensive training in a range of essential research skills and we will be discussing various types of research design for investigating the aetiology of mental health problems, for evaluating the effectiveness of psychological therapies and for auditing mental health services. The research training also includes advanced methods of statistical data analysis with exercises in SPSS and you will learn how to professionally report and communicate the findings. Qualitative research methods, for example, Grounded Theory will be taught in a specialist module and you will learn to use software for the coding and interpretation of transcripts. Finally, each student will be allocated to a senior researcher for a Research Apprenticeship, a particularly valuable learning experience enabling you to prepare an impressive MSc Research Project which will be your most important academic achievement of the programme.

The programme also includes a module Professional Clinical Skills introducing you to the role and competencies of professional clinical psychologists within mental health care settings as well as professional standards and ethical considerations. It also provides you with training in some essential clinical skills. More specifically, the programme aims are to:
-Provide students with in-depth knowledge about current theories of psychopathology covering both dimensional and diagnostic approaches for conceptualizing, defining, observing and assessing behavioural and mental indicators of psychopathology
-Provide students with detailed knowledge about psychiatric classification systems for mental health and personality problems as well as alternatives such as formulation
-Provide students with thorough knowledge about different kinds of effective psychological interventions for the treatment or prevention of mental health and behavioural problems
-Educate and train students in various types of quantitative and qualitative research in the area of clinical psychology, their methodological justification as well as criteria of validity to critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of research proposals or published research
-Provide education about professional standards for clinical psychologists as well as training in professional skills

Professional Accreditations

Please note that this MSc does not replace an accredited doctoral training programme in Clinical Psychology, nor will it guarantee entry to such a programme or provide a professional qualification in clinical psychology.

Careers

This course is ideal for those considering a professional or research career in clinical psychology and wish to strengthen their academic CV.

Teaching methods

We have our own dedicated postgraduate teaching rooms. Teaching includes lectures, seminars, practicals in class, workshops, group work, simulation exercises and individual supervision.

A blend of different assessment methods will be used. Part of the modules is assessed by exams, but the majority of the assignments constitute coursework such essays, data analysis reports, a written paper critique and oral presentations.

Structure

Modules
-Professional Clinical Skills I
-Psychological Assessment
-Psychological Interventions
-Psychopathology
-Qualitative Research Methods
-Research Apprenticeship in Clinical Psychology
-Research Methods and Data Analysis in Clinical Psychology
-Research Project in Clinical Psychology

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As an MSc Social Psychology student you will learn theories, methods, and empirical findings in the field of social psychology, which are relevant to current social issues. Read more

As an MSc Social Psychology student you will learn theories, methods, and empirical findings in the field of social psychology, which are relevant to current social issues.

These include: prejudice and discrimination; the relationship between moral judgement and emotions; the study of how individuals and groups interact to construct and maintain identities; and how these are related to social change and influence in contexts such as family systems and romantic dyads.

The programme aims to provide you with an awareness of the historical and philosophical background of social psychology, an in-depth knowledge of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches and research findings, and the ability to conduct quantitative and qualitative research in the field.

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.

Example module listing

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.

Funding

Occasionally, students receive financial support from industry through sponsorship, negotiated by individual students.

This would involve students undertaking 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 practice, though, most students are self-funded.

Social psychology research

The social psychologists at the University of Surrey have an international reputation in research and teaching. Students on the MSc in Social Psychology are encouraged to participate in the School of Psychology’s ongoing activities, particularly research seminars.

The social psychologists at Surrey have undertaken research for the EU, UK research councils, government departments and agencies, industry and commerce, and the charitable sector. They have attracted a large number of research projects to the School, including:

  • Social and behavioural consequences of AIDS/HIV (ESRC)
  • Cross-national studies of the social and psychological determinants of pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours (EU)
  • The 16–19 initiative project on the political and economic socialisation of 16–19 year olds (ESRC)
  • Monitoring and modelling consumer perceptions of food-related risks (MAFF)

Educational aims of the programme

  • To provide students with theoretical and qualitative/quantitative methodological expertise to conduct social 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 issues and to provide them with an in depth understanding of the practical applications and action implications of social psychological theories and empirical findings
  • To provide students with the skills to evaluate possible interventions in a variety of social 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

  • Of contemporary theoretical and methodological approaches to social psychology
  • Of the practical applications and action implications of social psychological theories and empirical findings
  • Of the principles of research design
  • Of quantitative and qualitative techniques and strategies to manage and analyse psychological data
  • Of ethical considerations when undertaking research and framing interventions

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • To critically assess and comment on sources of research relevant to social psychology
  • To critically evaluate the contributions and limitations of social psychological theories and research methods in addressing social problems
  • To evaluate actual and potential psychologically informed interventions in a variety of social domains
  • To design, conduct and evaluate social psychological research
  • To apply insights from social 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 social and psychological topics effectively
  • Use effective learning strategies
  • Analyse and interpret social 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 social 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 global burden of disease and challenges of safe and accessible health services means that more than ever practitioners and researchers need skills for developing, testing, evaluating and implementing evidence-based health care in highly complex situations. Read more
The global burden of disease and challenges of safe and accessible health services means that more than ever practitioners and researchers need skills for developing, testing, evaluating and implementing evidence-based health care in highly complex situations.

This programme provides you with the skills and knowledge to tackle these challenges.

You will be taught by a multi-disciplinary team of expert tutors and guest lecturers from a diverse range of clinical and research backgrounds, with a blend of tutorials, work-based training and research exchange visits. Topics such as patient and public involvement, collaborative working, evidence-based practice, complex interventions, health economics, clinical trials and medical statistics will provide a common thread that runs throughout the programme.

Programme structure

The programme has been designed to be flexible and well-defined with four integrated and mandatory modules (each 30 Masters level credits) plus a dissertation (60 Masters level credits) that can be studied on a part-time or full-time basis.

Modules

Some examples of recent modules and the topics covered are as follows;

* Core Concepts & Paradigms, which covered; Health services & systems; Complex interventions; Systematic reviews; Qualitative and quantitative research; Evidence-based practice; and Patient and public involvement

* Implementation Science, which covered; Diffusion of innovations; Behaviour change; Quality improvement and indicators; Surveillance and intervention mapping and Environmental impact and sustainability

* Fundamentals of Health Services Research Methods, which covered; Ethics and governance; Research questions; Outcome measures and survey design; Qualitative methods; Statistics; Health Economics and Modelling in Health and Social Care

* Advanced Health Services Methods which covered; Observational study designs; Clinical trials design (including feasibility and pilot studies); Adapting methods to complex situation; Process evaluation (qualitative, quantitative methods); Statistics (advanced techniques); Health economics (advanced); Qualitative methods – secondary data analysis and qualitative synthesis and Designing a research protocol


The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
Please see the website for the most up to date programme structure at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/medicine/health-services-research-msc/#Programme-structure

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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/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

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

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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The degree includes components necessary to provide the areas of subject-specific expertise and research methods training identified by the ESRC as essential for recognition for the ‘1 + 3’ (MA and PhD) programme. Read more
The degree includes components necessary to provide the areas of subject-specific expertise and research methods training identified by the ESRC as essential for recognition for the ‘1 + 3’ (MA and PhD) programme.

The full-time MA starts in October and continues in three consecutive terms over 12 months. The part-time MA takes place over 24 months with candidates taking an equal balance of credits in each year of study.

You will be required to complete 180 credits for the award of an MA. The programme is comprised of the following modules.

The degree follows a logical progression in that ‘Perspectives on Social Research’ and ‘Statistical Exploration and Reasoning’ are taught in the first term. 'Research Design and Process' is also taught in the first term to help students develop a research proposal for dissertation. These modules provide introductions to the specific areas and are intended to provide a foundation for later work. In term two, ‘Quantitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences’,‘Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences’ and 'Policy Related and Evaluation Research' are taught. These modules develop the work introduced in the first term.

The subject specific module – Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice - run through terms one and two and provide the ‘spine’ to the programme, bringing together issues identified in other modules. These modules also specifically relate more generic issues arising in research to subject-specific questions.

Breadth

The programme is broadly based, covering conceptual and practical underpinnings and implications of research, and covering various research techniques and the rationale behind them. It enable students to develop essential skills in both quantitative and qualitative work and to apply those skills to specific criminological issues.

Depth

The programme covers issues in depth, as appropriate to a Master’s programme. The depth at which students learn progressively increases, with the dissertation providing an opportunity for an in-depth piece of scholarly work at an advanced level.

These are the knowledge and skills students who complete their training in research methods are expected to have acquired and to be able to apply:
-Comprehension of principles of research design and strategy, including an understanding of how to formulate researchable problems and an appreciation of alternative approaches to research problems.
-Competence in understanding, and applying appropriately in a specific subject area, a range of research methods and tools, including essential qualitative and quantitative techniques.
-Capabilities for managing research, including managing data, and conducting and disseminating research in such a way that is consistent with both professional practice and principles of research ethics and risk assessment.

In addition, students are expected to have acquired or further developed a range of transferable employment-related key skills:
-The ability to evaluate and synthesise information obtained from a variety of sources (written, electronic, oral, visual); to communicate relevant information in a variety of ways and to select the most appropriate means of communication relative to the specific task. Students will also be able to communicate their own formulations in a clear and accessible way; they will be able to respond effectively to others and to reflect on and monitor the use of their communication skills.
-The ability to read and interpret complex statistical tables, graphs and charts; to organize, classify and interpret numerical data; to make inferences from sets of data; to design a piece of research using advanced techniques of data analysis; and an appreciation of the scope and applicability of numerical data.
-Competence in using information technology including the ability to word-process, to use at least one quantitative and one qualitative computer software package effectively; to use effective information storage and retrieval; and to use web-based resources.
-The ability to plan work with others, to take a lead role in group work when required, to establish good working relationships with peers, to monitor and reflect on group work (including the student’s own group-work skills) and to take account of external feedback on contributions to group work, and on the group work process as a whole.
-Effective time-management, working to prescribed deadlines.
-The ability to engage in different forms of learning, to seek and to use feedback from both peers and academic staff, and to monitor and critically reflect on the learning process.

Subject-specific learning outcomes based on their ‘spine’ module as follows:
-An advanced knowledge of the relative strengths and weaknesses of core criminology concepts and principles – the social problem of crime and the politics and practice of criminal justice ; the construction and deconstruction of what constitutes crime.
-A clear, systematic and advanced level of understanding criminological theories and their application to criminal behaviour, criminal justice and crime control.
-An advanced understanding of key ideological and theoretical perspectives in criminology – e.g. the shift from social theories of ‘deviance’ to struggles for ‘social justice’.
-An advanced knowledge of key phenomena in criminological analysis, particularly the significance of criminological analysis and contemporary national and international issues that are redefining the study of crime, criminal behaviour and crime control.
-An advanced knowledge of the functions and practices of criminal justice as well as the relationship of these practices to political concerns of crime, disorder and security.

An appreciation of how particular criminal justice policies may be experienced by different social groups.

Course modules

Typical modules outlined below are those that were available to students studying this programme in previous years.
-Perspectives on Social Research (15 Credits)
-Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 Credits)
-Research Design and Process (15 credits)
-Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
-Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
-Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice (30 credits)
-Policy Related and Evaluation Research (15 credits)
-Dissertation (60 Credits)

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We are living through an era of tumultuous change in how politics is conducted and communicated. The great digital disruption of the early 21st century continues to work its way through media systems around the world, forcing change, adaptation, and renewal across a whole range of areas. Read more
We are living through an era of tumultuous change in how politics is conducted and communicated. The great digital disruption of the early 21st century continues to work its way through media systems around the world, forcing change, adaptation, and renewal across a whole range of areas: political parties and campaigns, interest groups, social movements, activist organisations, news and journalism, the communication industries, governments, and international relations.

In the New Political Communication Unit at Royal Holloway, University of London, we believe the key to making sense of these chaotic developments is the idea of power—how it is generated, how it is used, and how it shapes the diverse information and communication flows that affect all our lives.

This unique new Masters degree, which replaces the MSc in New Political Communication, is for critically-minded, free-thinking individuals who want to engage with the exciting intellectual ferment that is being generated by these unprecedented times. The curriculum integrates rigorous study of the very best academic research with an emphasis on making sense of political communication as it is practiced in the real world, in both "old" and "new" media settings.

While not a practice-based course, the MSc Media, Power, and Public Affairs is perfect for those who wish to build a career in the growing range of professions that require deep and critical insight into the relationship between media and politics and public communication more generally. These include advocacy, campaign management, political communication consultancy, journalism, government communication, policy analysis, public opinion and semantic polling, and public diplomacy, to name but a few. Plus, due to its strong emphasis on scholarly rigour, the MSc in Media, Power, and Public Affairs is also the perfect foundation for a PhD in political communication.

You will study a mixture of core and elective units, including a generous choice of free options, and write a supervised dissertation over the summer. Teaching is conducted primarily in small group seminars that meet weekly for two hours, supplemented by individual tuition for the dissertation.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/politicsandir/coursefinder/mscpgdipmediapowerandpublicaffairs.aspx

Why choose this course?

- be taught by internationally-leading scholars in the field of political communication

- the curriculum integrates rigorous study of the very best academic research with an emphasis on making sense of political communication as it is practiced in the real world, in both "old" and "new" media settings

- perfect for those who wish to build a career in the growing range of professions that require deep and critical insight into the relationship between media and politics and public communication more generally

- a unique focus on the question of power and influence in today’s radically networked societies.

On completion of the programme, you will have:
- advanced knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts, theoretical debates, and developments in the field of political communication

- advanced knowledge of the texts, theories, and methods used to enhance understanding of the issues, processes, and phenomena in the field of political communication

- advanced knowledge and critical understanding of research methods in the social sciences

- a solid foundation for a career in the growing range of professions that require deep and critical insight into the relationship between media and politics and public communication more generally, or for a PhD in any area of media and politics.

Department research and industry highlights

- The New Political Communication Unit’s research agenda focuses on the impact of new media and communication technologies on politics, policy and governance. Core staff include Professor Andrew Chadwick, Professor Ben O’Loughlin, Dr Alister Miskimmon, and Dr Cristian Vaccari. Recent books include Andrew Chadwick’s The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power (Oxford University Press, 2013), Cristian Vaccari’s Digital Politics in Western Democracies: A Comparative Study (Johns Hopkins University Press), and Alister Miskimmon, Ben O’Loughlin, and Laura Roselle’s, Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order (Routledge, 2013). Andrew Chadwick edits the Oxford University Press book series Oxford Studies in Digital Politics and Ben O’Loughlin is co-editor of the journal Media, War and Conflict. The Unit hosts a large number of PhD students working in the field of new political communication.

Course content and structure

You will study four core course units (chosen from a total of six options), two elective units, and write a dissertation over the summer. Course units include one of three disciplinary training pathway courses, a course in research design, analysing international politics, and specialist options in international relations.

Students studying for the Postgraduate Diploma do not undertake the dissertation.

Core course units:
Media, Power, and Public Affairs: You will examine the relationship between media, politics and power in contemporary political life. This unit focuses on a number of important foundational themes, including theories of media effects, the construction of political news, election campaigning, government communications and spin, media regulation, the emergence of digital media, the globalisation of media, agenda setting, and propaganda and the role of media in international affairs. The overarching rationale is that we live in an era in which the massive diversity of media, new technologies, and new methodologies demands new forms of analysis. The approach will be comparative and international.

Internet and New Media Politics:
 Drawing predominantly, though not exclusively, upon specialist academic journal literatures, this course focuses on a number of important contemporary debates about the role and influence of new technologies on the values, processes and outcomes of: global governance institutions; public bureaucracies; journalism and news production; representative institutions including political parties and legislatures; pressure groups and social movements. It also examines persistent and controversial policy problems generated by digital media, such as privacy and surveillance, the nature of contemporary media systems, and the balance of power between older and newer media logics in social and political life. By the end of the course students will have an understanding of the key issues thrown up by the internet and new media, as well as a critical perspective on what these terms actually mean. The approach will be comparative, drawing on examples from around the world, including the developing world, but the principal focus will be on the politics of the United States and Britain.

Social Media and Politics: This course addresses the various ways in which social media are changing the relationships between politicians, citizens, and the media. The course will start by laying out broad arguments and debates about the democratic implications of social media that are ongoing not just in academic circles but also in public commentary, political circles, and policy networks—do social media expand or narrow civic engagement? Do they lead to cross-cutting relationships or self-reinforcing echo chambers? Do they hinder or promote political participation? Are they useful in campaigns or just the latest fashion? Do they foster effective direct communication between politicians and citizens? Are they best understood as technologies of freedom or as surveillance tools? These debates will be addressed throughout the course by drawing on recent empirical research published in the most highly rated academic journals in the field. The course will thus enable students to understand how social media are used by citizens, politicians, and media professionals to access, distribute, and co-produce contents that are relevant to politics and public affairs and establish opportunities for political and civic engagement.

Media, War and Conflict:
The post-9/11 global security situation and the 2003 Iraq war have prompted a marked increase in interest in questions concerning media, war and conflict. This unit examines the relationships between media, governments, military, and audiences/publics, in light of old, new, and potential future security events.

Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in Politics and International Relations:
 You will be provided with an introduction to core theories and qualitative approaches in politics and international relations. You will examine a number of explanatory/theoretical frameworks, their basic assumptions, strengths and weaknesses, and concrete research applications. You will consider the various qualitative techniques available for conducting research, the range of decisions qualitative researchers face, and the trade-offs researchers must consider when designing qualitative research.

Dissertation (MSc only): The dissertation gives you the opportunity to study an aspect of Media, Power, and Public Affairs in depth. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor and the length of the piece will be 12,000 words.

Elective course units:
Note: not all course units are available every year, but may include:
- Politics of Democracy
- Elections and Parties
- United States Foreign Policy
- Human Rights: From Theory to Practice
- Theories and Concepts in International Public Policy
- Contemporary Anglo-American Political Theory
- Transnational Security Studies
- Conflict and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East
- The Law of Cyber Warfare
- Comparative Political Executives
- European Union Politics and Policy
- International Public Policy in Practice
- Sovereignty, Rights and Justice
- Theories of Globalisation
- Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in Politics and International Relations

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by coursework and an individually-supervised dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Advocacy, campaign management, political communication consultancy, journalism, government communication, policy analysis, public opinion and semantic polling, public diplomacy, PhD research.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Our MSc in Politics provides an advanced grounding in contemporary political science, focusing on empirical and normative democratic theory, political institutions, public policy and citizenship across different political systems and diverse social contexts.The MSc brings together many of the existing strengths of the department in different parts of the world. Read more
Our MSc in Politics provides an advanced grounding in contemporary political science, focusing on empirical and normative democratic theory, political institutions, public policy and citizenship across different political systems and diverse social contexts.The MSc brings together many of the existing strengths of the department in different parts of the world.

The programme can be tailored to specific regional interests through option courses in West Europe and North America, East Europe, Africa, India, and the Middle East. The degree will provide you with a firm academic foundation in the study of comparative politics and a base of knowledge for careers in fields such as policymaking, development, and NGOs.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/politicsandir/coursefinder/mscpolitics.aspx

Why choose this course?

- the Department of Politics and International Relations is a young, vibrant and rapidly-rising department and was ranked in the Top 10 small politics departments in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, 2008)

- the course is taught by world-class scholars and informed by cutting-edge research

- offers an advanced grounding in international public policy while allowing you to specialise in particular issues or regions of interest.

- taught by academics, current and retired public policy practitioners

- our international cohort of students will provide you with excellent opportunities to obtain genuinely global perspectives.

Department research and industry highlights

- The Centre for European Politics was officially launched by Lord Mandelson in September 2007, with the mission of producing research in two principal areas: the study of democracy in Europe, and Europe as an actor in world politics. Under the leadership of Co-Directors Dr Alsiter Miskimmon and Dr James Sloam, it has hosted a number of high-profile speakers, including Lord Mandelson, Professor Simon Hix (LSE), Roger Liddle (Policy Network), John Peet (The Economist), Sir Stephen Wall (former European policy advisor to Tony Blair), David Willets MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Innovations, Universities and Skills) and Dr Vince Cable. Recent funded research projects include: a European Union Committee of the Regions consultancy on EU External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy; an EU-funded Workshop on the Review of the European Union Budget; and Teaching Democracy. Recent publications include, Bendetto and Milio (eds) European Union budget reform: institutions, policy and economic crisis (Palgrave, 2012) and James Sloam, 'New Voice, Less Equal: the Civic and political Engagement of Young People in the United States and Europe', Comparative Political Studies 2012.

- The Centre for Global and Transnational Politics is devoted to the multi-disciplinary exploration of global and transnational processes. Led by its Co-Directors Professor Chris Rumford and Professor Sandra Halperin, its central concern is to theorise and conceptualise the substance of, and connections between and among, political processes that operate at all levels or scales: the local, national, international, transnational, and global. Professor Rumford and Professor Halperin edit the Routledge Series in Global and Transnational Politics and host the Global Studies Association and a BISA Working Group of Global and Transnational Politics in the Centre.

- The New Political Communication Unit’s research agenda focuses on the impact of new media and communication technologies on politics, policy and governance. Core staff include Prof Andrew Chadwick, Prof Ben O’Loughlin and Dr Cristian Vicarri. Recent publications include Chadwick’s The Hybrid Media System (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Alister Miskimmon, Ben O’Loughlin and Laura Roselle, Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order (Routledge, 2013). As well as hosting a large number of PhD students working in new political communication, Chadwick edited the Oxford University Press Series Oxford Studies in Digital Politics and O’Loughlin is co-editor of the journal, Media, War and Conflict.

- The Contemporary Political Theory Research Group was founded in October 2009, as a result of the development of political theory at postgraduate level and growth in academic staff numbers having created the critical mass it required. The group organizes its activities collectively, and its work focuses on issues around contemporary pluralism, liberalism, democratic theory and radical politics. It brings together staff working in contemporary Continental philosophy, normative political theory, and American pragmatism, and its postgraduate members include two students on the College’s most prestigious studentship, the Reid Award. The group also has ties to the College’s Philosophy Team and the interdepartmental Humanities and Arts Research Centre

Course content and structure

Core course units:
- The Politics of Democracy You will be provided with a sound understanding of contemporary thinking about democracy and political participation through the analysis of liberal democracy and its political institutions. The unit will draw upon a variety of contemporary and historical sources with particular reference to the political systems of Britain and the USA.

- Comparative Political Executives This unit explores the political executives of established democratic systems, focusing on institutions – presidents, prime ministers, cabinets and so on – and how they function and interact with other parts of the political system. You will gain knowledge of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the executives in question, and will also gain useful insights into the difficulties of political leadership, the centrality of political executives and the interdependence of executives with other parts of the political system.

- European Union Politics and Policy This course provides students with an insight into the development and governance of the European Union as a political system. Particular attention is placed on the functions of the EU’s executive, legislative and judicial institutions as well as on a number of key policy areas in which the European Union’s sovereignty has developed in recent years. The course provides students with a solid theoretical background in understanding both the institutional politics and public policy of the EU.

- Political Parties
Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods in Politics and International Relations You will be introduced to quantitative methods commonly used in the study of Politics and International Relations. You will acquire the skills to understand, critically analyse, and carry out a range of quantitative techniques, using statistical software packages such as SPSS.
Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Politics and International Relations You will be provided with an introduction to core theories and qualitative approaches in politics and international relations. You will examine a number of explanatory/theoretical frameworks, their basic assumptions, strengths and weaknesses, and concrete research applications. You will consider the various qualitative techniques available for conducting search research, the range of decisions qualitative researchers face, and the trade-offs researchers must consider when designing qualitative research.

- Dissertation (MSc only) The dissertation gives you the opportunity to study an aspect of Politics in depth. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor and the length of the piece will be 12-15,000 words.

Elective course units:
- Internet and New Media Politics Drawing predominantly upon specialist academic journal literatures, this unit focuses on a number of important contemporary debates about the role and influence of new technologies on the values, processes and outcomes of: global governance institutions; public bureaucracies; representative institutions including political parties and legislatures; pressure groups and social movements.

- Elections and Voting Behaviour

- Social Media and Politics

- Public Opinion and political participation

- Human Rights: From Theory to Practice

- Advanced Quantitative Methods

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts, theoretical debates, and developments related to public policy, democracy, politics, international relations and governance

- a sound knowledge of the texts, theories and methods used to enhance understanding of the issues, processes and phenomena associated with particular fields of public policy, politics and international relations

- an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of research methods within the disciplines of politics and international relations

- a solid foundation for progression to either a politics-related career, public policy careers, research or continued academic study.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different politics and international relations-related areas, including roles as officials in local government, personnel officers and higher education lecturers. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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This new and distinctive MRes aims to develop a systematic understanding and critical appreciation of alternative approaches, methodologies and paradigms of social science research. Read more
This new and distinctive MRes aims to develop a systematic understanding and critical appreciation of alternative approaches, methodologies and paradigms of social science research. It will develop fully trained and competent social science researchers, who are able to understand and use research techniques appropriate to their subject area as well as being conversant with approaches used by other social scientists.

The programme has a substantial theoretical and quantitative core but also delivers complementary qualitative training. This will provide an essential foundation for any working researcher, whether they are going on to do a PhD or otherwise engaged in research. The training will enable students to think through how they can use their knowledge and skills of advanced quantitative methods in different contexts and apply them to a variety of problems; and, progressively, to identify their own needs for training.

The MRes joins a suite of interdisciplinary training programmes that are part of the Economics and Social Research Council South West Doctoral Training Partnership. It is a joint initiative between the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter. The course is delivered collaboratively; each semester one core unit is taught intensively, with time spent at each location. This collaborative delivery means that the expertise of academics at each institution can be made available to students from all three universities, enhancing the training capacity of each.

Programme structure

1. Research Design Methods and Skills (15 credits, mandatory): delivered over intensive sessions at each institution (Bath, Bristol, Exeter).
The main topics to be covered include: ontology and epistemology in social research; varieties of approaches to research design from different backgrounds; question design and formulation; criteria for evaluating research and strategies to enhance research quality; critical evaluation of different methodologies; preparing research proposals and communicating research.

2. Mathematics and Programming Skills for Social Scientists (15 credits, mandatory): delivered over intensive sessions at each institution.
The main topics covered are programming statistical and graphical techniques using R; dynamic programming and coding using Python; multi-level modelling theory and application using MLwiN.

3. Introduction to Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences (20 credits, mandatory): delivered at the home institution.
This unit aims to provide a philosophical appreciation of the underpinnings of qualitative research methods, to develop a critical understanding of the potential of various qualitative methodologies and key epistemological and methodological problems raised in qualitative methodologies.

4. Optional units
An appropriate range of optional units is provided at each institution to ensure students can take a full suite at their home institution should they wish to. Optional units may include substantive subject units of interest, or further methods units. At Bristol these may include: Big Data and Society; Spatial Data Analysis; Spatial Regression Modelling and GIS in R; and Explanation, Causation and Longitudinal Analysis. Students can also take options from across the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, or from Bath and Exeter, subject to timetabling constraints.

5. Dissertation (60 credits, mandatory): An extended research project of between 10,000 and 15,000 words.

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The M.A. Development Studies enables students to develop the advanced knowledge, analytical skills, and conceptual frameworks required to understand and navigate the complexities of economic and social development. Read more

About the programme

The M.A. Development Studies enables students to develop the advanced knowledge, analytical skills, and conceptual frameworks required to understand and navigate the complexities of economic and social development.
Students enrolled in the programme gain insights into the economic, social, ethical, and cultural contexts and constraints of development. The programme provides outstanding opportunities to put theory into practice through international field research, with a strong focus on integrating quantitative and qualitative methods.
The programme addresses the worldwide need for experts in the expanding field of development research as well as for project managers in international development cooperation.

Who should study this degree programme?

This programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in social science and mid-career professionals in any development-related field. Qualified students from developing and emerging countries are particularly welcome.

Features

– Programme entirely taught in English
– Strong focus on quantitative and qualitative methods
– Field research opportunities
– Unique selection of language courses

Programme syllabus

1st semester (30 ECTS credits):
– Methods and theories of Development Studies
– Interdisciplinary seminar
– Qualitative and quantitative research methods

2nd and 3rd semesters (65 ECTS credits):
– Qualitative and quantitative research methods
– Research seminar
– Elective modules (e.g. sociology, economics, sustain-ability of resources, political science, Southeast Asian studies)
– Languages and additional study skills courses

4th semester (25 ECTS credits):
– Field research
– Master’s thesis
– A research colloquium with internationally renowned guest speakers is offered each semester

Specialisations

If desired, you may choose to specialise in Development Economics or Southeast Asian Studies

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Discover how to turn raw data into useful information which can tell us about how people work. You learn how to gain an understanding of society through carrying out case studies, surveys, and observational research. Read more
Discover how to turn raw data into useful information which can tell us about how people work. You learn how to gain an understanding of society through carrying out case studies, surveys, and observational research.

Our MA Sociological Research provides a strong foundation in doing empirical research, encompassing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. We offer you advanced study of research design and of specific research techniques and their evaluation. In the process you also acquire a critical appreciation of empirical research methodology.

Graduates of this course will understand the connection between theory and empirical methodology, and be able to produce, evaluate and effectively communicate research findings. You explore topics including:
-Debates in contemporary social theory
-The theory and methods of qualitative interviewing
-Quantitative data analysis
-Sociological research design

This is a broad-based research training which is indispensable if you wish to proceed to a PhD. This course has ESRC Doctoral Training Centre accreditation, which means that it can form part of a 1+3 funding opportunity worth up to £21,575 for talented postgraduates.

Our Department of Sociology was rated top 10 in the UK for research quality (REF 2014), and we consistently receive strong student satisfaction scores, including 96% overall student satisfaction in 2015.

Our expert staff

We are a large and friendly department, offering a diverse range of research interests and with staff members who are committed to teaching, research and publication that covers a broad geographical spectrum.

Many have worked at the local level with local authorities, justice councils, community partnerships and charities. Others have worked at a national and international level with bodies like the United Nations, the European Commission’s Expert Group on Public Understanding of Science, Amnesty International, The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Home Office and national non-governmental organisations.

Specialist facilities

-Dedicated postgraduate support facilities
-Our renowned off-campus Graduate Conference takes place every February
-A unique Student Resource Centre where you can get help with your studies, access examples of previous students’ work, and attend workshops on research skills
-The Sociology common room is open all day Monday-Friday, is stocked with daily newspapers, magazines and journals, and has free drinks available
-Links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects and has its own library, and the UK Data Archive, which stores national research data like the British Crime Survey
-Our students’ Sociology Society, a forum for the exchange of ideas, arranging talks by visiting speakers, introducing you to various career pathways, and organising debates

Your future

This course offers invaluable training if you seek future employment in a wide range of social research occupations. You will develop key employability skills including; thinking analytically, research design, essay writing, quantitative and qualitative data analysis and interviewing skills.

You are provided with excellent preparation for further academic study, and many of our postgraduates go on to successful academic careers, both in the UK and overseas.

Others have established careers in non-governmental organisations, local authorities, specialist think tanks, government departments, charities, media production, and market intelligence.

We work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
-Interviewing and Qualitative Data Analysis
-Texts and Documents (optional)
-Ethnography (optional)
-Topics in Contemporary Social Theory
-Sociological Research Design
-Dissertation

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