This programme provides practical, career-orientated training in social science research methods, including research design, data collection and data analysis relating to both qualitative and quantitative modes of inquiry.
Students will have the opportunity to specialise in particular methodologies and to learn more about the application of these methodologies to illuminate important issues and debates in contemporary society.
The programme is designed to provide a fundamental grounding in both quantitative and qualitative research skills, along with the opportunity to specialise in more advanced training in quantitative research, qualitative research or in practical applications of research techniques.
This module offers an introduction to the different styles of social science research as well as guidance and illustrations of how to operationalize research questions and assess them empirically. Students will be shown how to conduct systematic literature searches and how to manage empirical research projects. The module will also explore issues around the ethics of social science research as well as the connection between social science research and policy concerns. It is designed as preparation for undertaking postgraduate research and dissertation work.
This module aims to deepen students' understanding of key debates in social theory and research, providing advanced level teaching for those building upon basic knowledge and undertaking postgraduate research. It is designed to demonstrate and explore how social theory is utilised, critiqued and developed through the pursuit of social science research.
The purpose of this module is to illuminate the theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research. The module will discuss the impact of various theories on the nature and conduct of qualitative research particularly around questions of epistemology and ontology. The role of different types of interviewing in qualitative research will be utilised in order to explore the relationship between theory and methods.
The aim of the module is to provide a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice of measurement and constructing quantitative data in the social sciences. Through lectures and practical exercises, this module will provide students with relevant knowledge of secondary data sources and large datasets, their respective uses and usefulness, and their relevance for the study of contemporary social issues
The module will provide students with an overview of different approaches to qualitative data analysis. It will include introductory training to this skill that includes such techniques as thematic analysis and discourse analysis, as well as computer assisted qualitative data analysis. It will provide the knowledge necessary for the informed use of the qualitative data analysis software package NVivo. The module gives students a base level introduction to the analytical and technical skills in qualitative data analysis appropriate to the production of a Master's dissertation and/or use of CAQDAS software for social science research purposes.
This module provides an introduction to the basics of quantitative data analysis. The module will begin with a brief review of basic univariate and bivariate statistical procedures as well as cover data manipulation techniques. The module is taught through a series of seminars and practical workshops. These two strands are interwoven within each teaching session. Please note that students may be granted an exemption from this module if they have already successfully completed a module that has the equivalent learning outcomes.
This module advances students' confidence and knowledge in the use of SPSS. The module focuses on multivariate regression models, including the appropriate use and awareness of statistical assumptions underlying regression and the testing and refinement of such models.
A dissertation of no more than 15,000 words on a topic relevant to social science research methods training. The thesis will involve either carrying out and reporting on a small social science research project which includes a full and considered description and discussion of the research methods employed or the discussion of a research issue or technique to a level appropriate for publication.
We offer a range of advanced modules in quantitative and qualitative research methods, for example, logistic regression, internet-based research and visual research methods. We also provide specialist modules which reflect the teaching team’s diverse research interests, from the social logic of emotional life to conflict and change in divided societies. Optional modules generally run during the Spring semester and are offered subject to sufficient student demand and staff availability. Students will be able to choose a maximum of three to four option modules (depending on whether they need to complete Quantitative Data Analysis: Foundational). Please note that it is unlikely that all the following modules will be available for 2017/8. Please check with the Programme Director for queries about specific modules.
These postgraduate programmes aim to create highly sought-after researchers who are ready to apply their advanced knowledge and practical skills in the workplace or on further research.
You will learn how to collect, analyse and interpret social data and become skilled in interview techniques, surveys, problem-solving, communication skills and the latest industry software.
Students examine issues from across the social sciences and are introduced to both quantitative and qualitative research methods before having the option of specialising.
During the programme, you will research real world issues such as evaluating local health care services, predicting voting behaviour during elections or researching the impact of Hull’s year as the 2017 UK City of Culture on local people.
Taught by experienced researchers who are experts in their fields, the interesting and varied curriculum will be delivered through an enquiry-based approach to teaching including small-group work, tutorials, workshops and independent study.
It was designed with input from industry experts, former students and leading academics to ensure that it means the demands of the modern social research industry.
Students will be provided with a high level of academic support across the programme and all modules will be taught on one specific day (currently Thursdays) to accommodate part-time and working students.
There are four variants:
MSc in Social Research
Semester 1 (PGCert)
Semester 2 (PGDip)
Summer period (Masters)
MSc in Social Research with Quantitative Methods
Semester 1 (PGCert)
Semester 2 (PGDip)
Summer period (Masters)
MA in Social Research with Qualitative Methods
Semester 1 (PGCert)
Semester 2 (PGDip)
Summer period (Masters)
MSc in Social Research (Doctoral Training Pathway)
Semester 1 (PGCert)
Semester 2 (PGDip)
Summer period (Masters)
* All modules are subject to availability.
These programmes are an ideal route for those aiming for research careers in the public, voluntary or private sectors, including would-be senior civil servants keen to take advantage of the Government’s Fast Stream scheme to find the leaders of the future.
It equips students with practical skills and experience for a wide range of organisations including research agencies, charities, independent organisations, trade unions, pressure groups and lobby groups.
The programmes also offer continuing professional development for those already working as researchers and who want to advance their careers. It is also an excellent training programme for those wishing to progress to PhD level study.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
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.
The global burden of disease and challenges of safe and accessible health services means that more than ever we need to be developing, testing, evaluating and implementing evidence-based healthcare in highly complex situations.
This programme has been designed to give you the skills and knowledge to enact meaningful change and gain a comprehensive grounding in health services research methods as a platform for developing a career as a health researcher.
It is suitable for those from a wide variety of backgrounds including:
You will be taught by the leading international experts and authors in complex interventions research methods. 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.
Previous topics that students have chosen for independent study include:
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.
Some examples of recent modules and the topics covered are as follows;
Core Concepts & Paradigms, which covered;
Implementation Science, which covered;
Fundamentals of Health Services Research Methods, which covered;
Advanced Health Services Methods which covered;
Please note constituent modules and pathways may be updated, deleted or replaced in future years as a consequence of programme development. Details at any time may be obtained from the programme website.
The Master of Research in Management is awarded in recognition of the successful completion of an approved programme of training and research. Students will pursue a programme of training and research which combines advanced study, research methodology and a substantial research project, or series of research projects.
It is a one year Master's degree which is designed to give students the opportunity to both develop their knowledge of specialist areas of business and management and develop the research skills essential for doctoral research. Many students who complete an MRes go on to apply to study a PhD.
The programme aims to:
The MRes programme is designed to meet the research training needs of students who intend to continue their postgraduate studies and complete a PhD but either do not have any postgraduate experience or have postgraduate degrees that are deemed to provide insufficient research training. We can envisage however that other types of students (students who wish to pursue a career as researchers in B&M consultancies, for example) might be interested in completing the MRes. Apart from providing an orientation to Doctoral research the MRes programme equips students with a range of generic and subject specific research skills and knowledge. It also develops students personal and career development skills and a number of transferable skills.
The MRes programme is organised into 13 subject-specific pathways, the choice of which will depend on the Subject Academic Group of the supervisor, the nature of the research topic, and your prior experience. Available pathways are:
Students are assessed on their selected course units throughout the year. The method of assessment varies depending on the course unit requirements.
Candidates for the MRes must complete the following:
Compulsory course units:
Research Methods Electives:
Candidates must take 3 modules from the Research Methods Electives below -
In consultation with the supervisor and subject to agreement with the module convenor and approval by MRes/RTP Director, instead of 3 5-credits modules, candidates can choose
Candidates choose two modules from MSc programmes offered in AMBS/Faculty.
Candidates are also required to undertake 10 days training in academic, research, transferable or IT skills. This training is usually provided by Faculty of Humanities and is not assessed.
The programme provides a robust yet flexible research training across 13 subject-specific pathways, the choice of which will depend on the Subject Academic Group of the supervisor, the nature of the research topic, and your prior experience. Available pathways are:
All course units - foundation, research methods and subject specific - are delivered by experienced academics and researchers with international reputation in their respective areas of expertise. Students are also expected to conduct research for and write up a Masters dissertation by the end of the programme.
The MRes programme can be awarded in its own right, but is designed to lead onto future PhD study.
The MSc in Social Research Methods is a degree offering advanced training in social research methods, designed to be flexible to accommodate students arriving with a range of previous methodological training. The core modules offer a strong grounding in the research process and quantitative and qualitative methods. The optional modules allow students to build on these and develop more advanced skills in particular methods of interest.
This degree is designed to cover the research methods used in collating evidence for the design, critique and evaluation of substantive issues in the social sciences. Students will gain hands-on experience in a range of methodologies used to study issues of interest in the real world. Students will be expected to apply their understanding of methodology to critique existing research, to design their own research, carry out their own analysis and communicate this clearly to academic specialists and non-specialists.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
Students spend the fiirst term studying a range of core methods, before specialising in more advanced techniques in the second term. Exemptions may be given from some introductory modules for students with a strong background in a particular methodology.
Students take three of the following advanced optional modules. Students who gain exemption from any core modules will take optional modules to make up the difference.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
This programme is delivered via face-to-face daytime lectures, seminars and practical computer workshops. Assessment is through coursework assignments and a 10,000- to 12,000-word dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Social Research Methods MSc
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this Master's degree are currently working as:
There are a range of employers seeking students with suitable skills in research including government departments, academic institutions, the media, financial analysis and marketing.
UCL Social Science is a research-intensive department with world-leading experts in quantitative, qualitative and systematic review methodology - as well as a broad range of social science substantive subjects. We have a lively community of staff, PhD, MSc and undergraduate students involved in seminars, workshops and reading groups in addition to formal teaching.
Our department specialises in applying research methods to inform policy on education, health, labour markets, human development and child/adult wellbeing.
The department’s staff have a broad range of interests, which includes expertise in economics, sociology, psychology, social statistics, survey methods and data collection, mixed-methods research, and the techniques of policy evaluation.