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.
Social researchers employ a constantly evolving range of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore attitudes and experiences, and to understand patterns of social behaviour.
This programme won't just train you in the application of specific research techniques: it will illuminate the connections between sociological theory and empirical research, and relate research to the development of public policy and the analysis of substantive social issues.
Wider issues of the social research process are also covered and include: the planning and management of research projects; the methodological, theoretical, philosophical and ethical aspects of research; and the presentation and publication of research findings.
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.
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.
On the MSc Social Research Methods, we offer the opportunity to take four weeks of work experience during the Easter vacation. This will provide you with first-hand experience of large-scale and real-life research in action.
Where the full period is not practical, as may be the case for part-time students, it is also possible to take up the opportunity of a shorter period of two to four weeks, usually during the summer. Work experience is arranged with the help of the Department’s placement tutor.
Please note that while we try to meet all requests for work experience, in some cases it may not be possible.
Thomas Asdell Bursary
Thanks to the generosity of the family of former student Thomas Asdell the department can offer a bursary of £1000 to one new MSc student for 2017/18- please email the course director for details.
Two scholarships of up to £3,000 will be available across all Sociology MSc programmes, to be awarded on a competitive basis to self-funding students accepting an offer of a place on the MSc for the academic year 2017/18.
Both types of scholarship will be paid in the form of a fee remission of the appropriate amount, and will be open to both home and overseas students. Part-time students will be eligible to apply and, if successful, will receive a scholarship which is reduced pro rata but may be continued for a second year of study subject to successful completion of the first year.
The MSc Social Research Methods includes a residential conference, usually in November.
The conference provides an opportunity for discussion in an informal atmosphere, around current research issues and debates, technologies and methods at the forefront of social research; it includes lectures from eminent guest speakers and members of staff, seminars and small group discussions.
The Department also organises a day conference for MSc students at the University, with student presentations and guest speakers.
The Department of Sociology is internationally recognised as a centre of research excellence. A particular area of strength is research methodology and research training.
Members of staff undertake a wide variety of internationally renowned individual scholarship including work on gender, employment, organisations, cross-national survey, culture, ethnicity, sociological theory, environment, youth and identities, sociology of sleep and the sociology of social policy.
The Department’s commitment to developing technical competence in research methods, and encouraging the use of appropriate information and communication technologies in social research, is reflected in the fact that it houses the UK national centre for software for qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS).
The Department runs a successful international fellowship scheme which enables international researchers to visit Surrey each year. These strengths in research, and in innovative research methods in particular, feed into our master’s-level teaching and inform the continued updating of content within modules.
The main aims of the programme are to:
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.
This programme is based at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, which is world renowned for the translation of biomedical research into new therapeutic advances in eye disease. Students will be embedded in the research environment, have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project, and to work alongside world-leading experts.
Students will develop key transferable personal and professional skills to independently conduct an extended empirical research project supervised by world-leading experts in the field of vision research. Students will also learn about the fundamental biology of the eye in health and disease, providing key knowledge to support their research project.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation (105 credits).
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 18,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, journal clubs and workshops. Assessment is through essays, oral presentations, problem-based tasks and a research dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Vision Research MRes
The Institute of Ophthalmology currently offers the following bursaries for successful applicants on our postgraduate taught master’s degrees: One £5,000 Duke Elder bursary for non-clinical courses (available for successful applicants on the Biology of Vision, Applied Immunobiology, Applied and Regenerative Neuroscience, and Vision Research degrees). Duke Elder bursaries are open to home and overseas students and will be received in the form of a fee reduction only.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The Vision Research MRes will develop the necessary competitive skills to pursue a research degree at PhD level in the field of biomedical sciences. Graduates will offer prospective employers skills in research development and practice, suitable for further research careers in academia, industry or business.
A unique feature of the Vision Research MRes is the delivery of key elements that are essential for the development of an internationally competitive career in biomedical research. The research expertise at the institute will be fully harnessed to prepare students for a new era in research in the global employment market. Students will develop critical understanding of a range of research-related knowledge and skills, including quantitative and qualitative tools for the implementation, management and dissemination of research. The programme will give students both the fundamental knowledge and skills base to address complex issues of global significance in health and wellbeing.
The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is recognised globally for its outstanding record in basic biomedical research, much of which has been translated into important advances in novel and innovative therapies.
The Vision Research MRes is a unique programme that will combine existing high-quality research-informed teaching at the institute with a substantial empirical research project.
The opportunity to participate fully in academic life as part of a research team will provide networking opportunities across the spectrum of biomedical research taking place at the institute, UCL and elsewhere, thereby increasing exposure to further opportunities in research.
Social Research in Education at Winchester offers a programme of focused study of research methods applicable to educational settings and educational enquiry. You are equipped and encouraged to develop an in-depth understanding of research methods, research design, and the cultural and ethical contexts in which educational research takes place. The course helps you to develop advanced qualitative and quantitative research skills, which support you in starting or enhancing a career in research or as a senior professional able to support others in research endeavours, for example in schools.
We focus on research design, which enables you to select appropriate approaches and methods to carry out investigations. It provides you with the opportunity to develop intellectual and practical skills, along with the ability to analyse and communicate complex ideas, and creatively plan and manage an independent postgraduate research project in education. It also equips you with the necessary skills to undertake further doctoral study.
You study core modules in Quantitative Methods in Social Research, Qualitative Methods in Social Research, and Theory, and Practice and Ethics in Social Research. You may choose to target a particular aspect of educational practice for data collection, although assignments analyse data collection methods, analysis approaches or ethical aspects of the research rather than the content of the practice.
There is also a final dissertation project, for which you choose an empirical or theoretical aspect of research methodology and explore it. This may also include an investigation of an aspect of education that interests you. You participate in workshops and seminars, and on-going online and face-to-face discussions with tutors and other students. These include debating issues such as ethical considerations in research, and help develop some of the underpinning research skills.
Graduates of the course are equipped to pursue careers in educational research, as research officers working for educational bodies such as local authorities, as contract researchers, or as project officers working on funded projects in higher education or research institutes.
UK, EU, World
Students who are not currently working in an educational setting need to establish clear links with at least one setting for research purposes.
Start dates: September
Distance learning available: For research methods modules. Independent study supervisions may be conducted by Skype or email.
Teaching takes place: Weekends. However, the Theory, Practice and Ethics in Social Research module is taught at the summer school in June/July, and one weekend in September.
Workshops and seminars develop some of the underpinning research skills. Students are part of ongoing online and face-to-face discussions with tutors and other students, and are equipped to present aspects of research in a range of ways.
King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester
Assessed work includes portfolios of completed tasks, essays, presentations and posters; all assessments are given numerical grades. For the dissertation, students choose an empirical or theoretical aspect of research methodology, and explore this through a project which may also explore an aspect of education that interests them.
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes.
Further details on assessment types used can be found by attending an open evening or contacting our teaching staff.
We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.
For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures section.
Our MSc Social Science Research (Business and Management Studies) programme will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the key methodological and philosophical debates that shape the social sciences, and equip you with the specialised research tools and skills that useful in business and management.
Accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), our prestigious Social Science Research (Business and Management Studies) MSc degree is designed for those of you who wish to be able to conduct management and business research to MSc level, either in a professional capacity or as a route to further study at PhD level.
On completion of our Social Science Research (Business and Management Studies), you will have met the training requirements for PhD funding from the ESRC, opening up the possibility of securing PhD funding from the ESRC.
Our Social Science Research (Business and Management Studies) programme is taught by experienced and internationally recognised researchers. The strong emphasis on applying qualitative and quantitative skills to tackle research problems – as well as a focus on developing critical thinking skills – will provide a robust foundation for more advanced academic study or research, whilst sharpening the applied research skills of current or aspiring business and management practitioners.
If you choose to study Social Science Research (Business and Management Studies), you will be based at a school that is a leading international player in research and teaching across the business, management, and finance disciplines. The School of Business and Economics is consistently rated as a Top-10 UK business school by national league tables and develops well-rounded, highly employable graduates at undergraduate, postgraduate, MBA, executive and doctoral level.
The School’s research is comprehensive in scope and very highly regarded by academics and practitioners alike, with 75% of our output considered ‘world-leading’ or 'internationally relevant' (and 100% of our Information Management research rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'), according to the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).
When coupled with the fact that Loughborough is among the Top 1% of business schools in the world to hold AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditation, the School of Business and Economics provides a dynamic and inspiring environment to undertake the MSc Social Science Research.
Our MSc Social Science Research (Business and Management Studies) programme is designed for graduates wishing to pursue a career in academia; practitioners in management and business, who wish to both develop and strengthen their applied research skills; or those wishing to conduct research in non-academic public and private sector roles, such as think-tanks.
Our Social Science Research (Business and Management Studies) MSc programmes are designed to enable you to develop rigorous research and analytical skills, who are well equipped to progress onto being high level researchers in their chosen field of study.
Social Science Research (Business and Management Studies) covers a wide range of topics; please visit the website to see an up to date list.
The School of Business and Economics is committed to helping you develop the skills and attributes you need to progress successfully in your chosen career.
Accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), this prestigious MSc degree in Social Science Research (Business and Management Studies) is designed for those who wish to be able to conduct management and business research to MSc level, either in a professional capacity or as a route to further study at PhD level.
The strong emphasis on applying qualitative and quantitative skills to tackle research problems – as well as a focus on developing critical thinking skills – will provide a robust foundation for more advanced academic study or research, whilst sharpening the applied research skills of current or aspiring business and management practitioners.