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.
The PGCert in Research Methods for Social Science & Health is a unique study pathway that provides professionals, practitioners and researchers with advanced understanding and skills for the practical application of quantitative and qualitative research methods. It provides an excellent foundation for understanding, conducting and using social science research in policy, medicine and healthcare. In addition, it enables students to develop a critical understanding of research methods, supplying them with the skills to commission or undertake their own original research.
The PGCert in Research Methods for Social Science & Health offers you flexibility with the choice to study either full- or part-time. Taught by an internationally recognised Faculty, it will provide you with in-depth training in interdisciplinary research methods. You will gain advanced knowledge and skills in research design, as well as quantitative and qualitative methods for research in health, public services and the social sciences.
This course is ideal for health professionals, graduates in relevant disciplines, policy makers, those who work in governmental and non-governmental organisations, and anyone wishing to develop advanced, interdisciplinary understanding of research methods in the social and health sciences. Teaching focuses on cutting-edge research methods in the social sciences applied to health, medicine and public policy. It equips students with the analytical skills they require to carry out their own research, or to commission research in the fields of health and medicine from a social science perspective. Graduates from this course will be able to work on areas that require knowledge of research methods, including many areas of health policy, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and academic and applied research at universities and research institutions.
A rich departmental programme of guest speakers, research seminars, workshops, reading groups and visiting researchers enhances students’ learning experience. Alumni consistently comment on how the department has prepared them to embark on new careers or advance their existing positions by providing them with the skills and expertise to evaluate, conduct and commission research.
Prior training in quantitative or qualitative methods is not required. The course can be studied over six months on a full-time basis, or over 18 months part-time.
Per 15 credit module you can typically expect to have 15 hours worth of lectures, seminars and feedback, and 135 hours worth of self-study.
Typically, 1 credit equates to 10 hours of work.
The department assesses students on a combination of reports, workbooks and problem set. The nature of assessment varies by module and may include examinations.
The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course modules change.
Our postgraduate students have gone on to pursue a range of careers including consultant positions in medicine and psychiatry, work as specialist health care practitioners, positions in Government and the public sector, policy positions in public and voluntary organisations, analytical posts, and research and academic posts in universities around the world. Many of our past graduates now work in strategic positions in medicine, social care and policy, or within central or local government, voluntary organisations, or non-governmental organisations. We collaborate closely with the Careers & Employability Office at King’s to enhance the employability of our students, and we organise targeted Careers sessions with guest-speakers from relevant fields.