A higher degree by research involves training in research methods and systematic, high level study of a research project. The nature of the work and the time it takes to finish the research means a research degree is demanding and needs great commitment.
You must present your results in a thesis, explain the methods used in your research and defend them in an oral examination.
To get an MPhil you must critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic and display an understanding of suitable research methods.
Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI)
MERI is a multi-disciplinary research institute encompassing four research centres each with their own specialist groups operating within them. We undertake high quality academic research across a range of disciplines and apply this research knowledge in a commercial and industrial context. Research areas include • polymers and composites • solar energy • structural integrity and corrosion • functional coatings • simulation and modelling • robotics.
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise we were the leading post–92 university in metallurgy and materials (UoA29). 75 per cent of our staff were judged to be internationally leading and we obtained a Times Higher Education average score of 2.15 reflecting the quality of our work and world class staff.
Our staff include • chemists • materials scientists • physicists • computer scientists • mechanical, electronic and electrical engineers, all working on individual or collaborative projects shared between research centres. Supported by a £6m equipment base, which will shortly undergo a £4m refurbishment, this inter-disciplinary approach enables us to solve complex problems ranging from fracture of artificial implants through to designing surfaces that can withstand frictional temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees centigrade. Solutions to these kinds of problems put MERI at the top in terms of industrial collaboration.
The Materials Research and Analysis Service (MARS) is also a key strength in the research institute, established to provide regional business with access to research facilities and analysis, which enhances the capability of companies in terms of new and improved products.
Evidence of MERI’s research strength is reflected in the patent portfolio that currently consists of 22 granted patents with another 17 applications in progress.
MERI is made up of five centres of excellence
Training and development
An extensive range of training and development opportunities are available to doctoral researchers through the doctoral skills training series and MERI-based training.
Skills training for postgraduate research
This course will comprise 4 main sessions:
All of the sessions are mandatory for all MERI research students.
Weekly seminar programme
Speakers are invited weekly to discuss their latest research with our staff and students.
This session introduces you to the principle of research ethics and the Sheffield Hallam procedures for ethical clearance. It will also involve you doing an initial ethic checklist for your research project and introduce the online EPIGIUM module ethics 1, which all Sheffield Hallam research students must complete.
RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic system with which you can build up a database of all of your reference material. It is flexible and very powerful, particularly when it comes to outputting reference lists for papers and thesis.
Introduction to bibliographic databases
As a researcher it is vital to be able to access relevant high level information. Here you learn more sophisticated information retrieval skills and see how to use subject specific databases relevant to your research area.
Health and safety for postgraduate research
The session aims to provide clear health and safety guidelines for new postgraduate researchers around personal safety and safety of others within the university environment, including and laboratories & workshops.
Advanced measurement techniques
This module aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions on experimental materials analysis techniques. A number of techniques are demonstrated, the emphasis being on what each can achieve and the potentials for synergy from combining results obtained using from different techniques. This promotes effective decision making in research planning and operation, as well as a broad understanding of what different approaches can be used for.
MATLAB is a powerful programming language for numerical computations. It is employed in a range of industrial and academic environments. MATLAB has numerous built-in functions for engineering, physical, graphical, mathematical and computing applications. Besides this it has a variety of specialised toolboxes for specific applications, such as control systems, machine vision, signal processing and many others. MATLAB also has the symbolic toolbox that allows operating on symbolic expressions. In the first sessions we will cover MATLAB fundamentals, and the following sessions will be tailored to the specific research needs of attendees.
MERI research symposium event
The MERI Research Symposium is an excellent opportunity for both staff and students who are either active researchers, or who are interested in engaging in research, to meet with colleagues from across the faculty, to raise awareness of current research projects. The event will incorporate talks from academic staff and second year MERI PhD students, with poster presentations from final year undergraduate engineering students and first year MERI students.
This course is aimed at first year students to give tips and techniques on how to prepare for the MERI Research Symposium Event, at which they will present a poster.
All second year students are required to give a talk at the MERI Research Symposium Event.
Thesis followed by oral examination
Research degrees are a vital qualification for most academic careers, and for professional specialisation and development in an existing or planned career. The rigorous analytical thinking they involve also demonstrates ability to potential employers in all areas of work.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study International Security and Development (Extended) at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MA in International Security and Development introduces students to issues and debates within International Security. This includes coverage of both ‘traditional’ security issues such as war and conflict and ‘non-traditional’ issues such as economic security, environmental security, health, identity and migration.
Issues of security, violence and conflict have become central to international politics and to development policy and discourse. In order to comprehend the modern world, a full appreciation of the realities of conflict and violence, has become essential.
Drawing on the Department’s expertise in the field of security, International Security and Development students are also provided with an advanced introduction to key approaches in the study of security including realism, securitization theory, feminist approaches, critical theory and poststructuralism.
Students enrolled on the MA in International Security and Development benefit from the College of Arts and Humanities' Graduate Centre. The Graduate Centre fosters and supports individual and collaborative research activity of international excellence and offers a vibrant and supportive environment for students pursuing postgraduate research and taught masters study including those in International Security and Development. The Centre provides postgraduate training to enhance academic and professional development and facilitates participation in seminar programmes, workshops and international conferences.
The full-time International Security and Development course structure is split across the year with three modules taken in each academic semester (a total of six modules) and then a dissertation over the summer. Students study four compulsory modules, the research module and one optional module. The dissertation is written on a specialist research topic of the student's choosing.
Part-time study in MA in International Security and Development is available.
The Extended MA (EMA) in International Security and Development is a 240-credit postgraduate qualification that is equivalent to 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and is thus a recognised Masters qualification throughout the European Union. The EMA is a standard UK MA plus an additional 60 credits (30 ECTS) and this additional coursework is undertaken in one semester at a partner institution overseas. The EMA in International Security and Development is therefore not only an EU recognised postgraduate qualification it also adds a study abroad experience thus enhancing the qualification’s employability credentials.
The partner institution for EMA International Security and Development is the Department of International and Area Studies at The University of Oklahoma. The Department of International and Area Studies is an exciting and rapidly growing academic unit within the University of Oklahoma. It has approximately twenty faculty members and, critically for this EMA in International Security and Development, their expertise lie within the fields of security and development. The University of Oklahoma Norman Campus is located approximately 20 minutes south of Oklahoma City on a breathtaking campus. Created in 1890 The University of Oklahoma enrols more than 30,000 students, it has achieved the Carnegie Foundation’s highest tier of research activity classification, and is ranked in the top 400 universities in the world according to the Times Higher rankings.
- To develop advanced knowledge and understanding of International Security and Development.
- To develop critical, theoretical and analytical skills, improve written and oral communication skills.
- To acquire research skills in International Security and Development.
Modules on the MA in International Security and Development typically include:
• Violence, Conflict and Development
• Critical Security
• International Security in the Asia Pacific
• Civil Society and International Development
• Approaches to International Relations
• War, Identity and Society
• Governance: From State Formation to Global Governance
• War in Space
• State of Africa
• Human Rights and Humanitarian Intervention
• Rights Based Approaches to Development
Students interested in International Security and Development, from a politics, international relations, development studies, law, humanities, social science, international business or related background. Students interested in preparation for postgraduate research, MPhil or PhD, or who wish to develop skills and knowledge related to International Security and Development.
Career expectations are excellent for International Security and Development graduates. MA in International Security and Development degree holders may move on to doctoral study or enter employment sectors such as the diplomatic corps, the armed forces, intelligence and risk analysis, relief and humanitarian organisations, law and finance, government and politics and international business.
The following research groups at Swansea provide a distinct international and multi-disciplinary forum for the advancement of the
study of international security and development including:
• International Relations & Security
• Development Studies
• Cultural Political Economy
• Policy and Governance
• International Communication
Regular research seminars and lectures are run through these groups and also through the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) which students are encouraged to attend.
“I am now in my fourth year at Swansea University and can honestly say that I have enjoyed every moment. My undergraduate years were so good that I choose to stay on for another year to complete my Masters in International Security and Development and this is a decision I certainly do not regret. I feel like my degree has provided me with the tools needed to thrive in the world of employment, and the MA in International Security and Development I am now studying towards will only improve my chances of getting a high end job.”
Chris Harber, International Security and Development, MA
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Research Methods at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
This Master's degree in Social Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in a range of research methods used in the social sciences.
Teaching and Employability:
- Teaching is carried out by highly-respected, research active, professionals conducting research across a range of research areas and publishing in top international journals
- Students benefit from state-of-the-art technology with over twenty general purpose research rooms and numerous specialised testing facilities
- Specialist modules in criminology, social work and human geography, research leadership and management
- Emphasis on development of ethical, knowledgeable, skilful social researchers” through critical discussion, up to date information, debates and presentations
MSc Social Research Methods is a highly regarded and prestigious qualification which has been developed to:
- enable students to develop practical research skills and advanced methodological expertise (both qualitative and quantitative);
- instil familiarity with research ethics and governance, and
- gain knowledge about theoretical research concerns across the spectrum of social science disciplines.
Elective modules and a dissertation provide scope for specialisation in applied social sciences, including but not limited to: criminology, human geography, social work and health.
This Master’s degree in Social Research Methods has ESRC accreditation and provides advanced training in a range of research methods used in the social sciences. The degree instils familiarity with research ethics and governance, and students gain knowledge about theoretical research concerns across the spectrum of social science disciplines.
Students on the Social Research Methods course are encouraged to devise research dissertations themselves (supported by an academic supervisor).
Modules on the Social Research Methods programme typically include:
Qualitative Research Methods
Introduction to Research and Study Skills
Data Collection Methods
Ethics and Philosophy of Social Research
Quantitative Research Methods
Advanced Research in Human Geography
Research Leadership and Project Management
Case Studies in Applied Social Research: Social Work
Case Studies in Applied Social Res: Applied Research in Crime & Criminal Justice
Dissertation (Social Research)
Teaching is in the form of lectures, seminars, group-project work and individual study. All Social Research Methods students are assigned a Personal Tutor and Dissertation Supervisor appropriate to their chosen area of study.
The Social Research Methods course is made up of six 20-credit modules (Part 1) and a 60-credit dissertation (Part 2).
The Social Research Methods course is suitable for:
- students who want to prepare themselves for the challenge of MPhil or PhD study; who are already professionally involved in working with people in the social sector and want to develop their own skills and professional expertise
- students from different academic disciplines who are interested in conducting social research and are interested in seeking employment or already have employment in both public and private sectors
- previous students are those with backgrounds in social policy, sociology, law, criminology, human geography, politics, arts and humanities, ageing studies , psychology and health science
- anyone wanting to add a valuable qualification as part of developing a full academic career
- anyone who is interested in society, social behaviour, and social change and would like to learn more
- anyone working in, or wishing to work in, government or voluntary organisations, and commercial areas where social research is undertake
Past Social Research Methods students have gone on to be employed in public and private sectors, research work, PhD , vocational work, the criminal justice system, social work, environmental health, teaching, local government, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and health and social care.
Contributing lecturers are renowned nationally and internationally. For example, Professor David Hughes has published on the universal coverage healthcare reforms of Thailand and Turkey, Debbie Jones jointly led on The Student Sex Workers' project from Swansea University's Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology.
The MSc Social Research methods is serviced by research active staff, many of whom are leaders in their field of research. The team has strong links with Criminology whose staff have been awarded Howard league Research Medal 2013 for work on the Swansea Bureau Youth Scheme. Lecturers from the course also include those from the world renowned Centre for Innovative Aging and also Human Geography.
The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience.
In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences.
This programme examines political, economic, and socio-cultural transformations in the Global South and interrogates the dynamics, challenges and opportunities confronting its societies – with a focus on key contemporary debates about Africa's politics, culture, society and sustainable development.
You’ll learn about the experiences and viewpoints of people and nations of the Global South regarding development issues, as well as the inter-relationships between global, national and local actors in contested strategies for development.
You’ll also review strategies, programmes and policies in development, including organisations and donors promoting development, and assess the progress made by different development actors towards key international development goals.
You’ll explore controversies at the centre of contemporary development challenges and analyse both the theories and realities of development, to understand the different approaches, practices and discourses involved.
MA Global Development has a close working relationship with the Global Development and Justice research group that aims to examine central debates within the field of global development from an interdisciplinary perspective.
The Global Development and Justice research group is also actively involved, amongst others, in the Centre for Global Development, a university-wide network that promotes cross-disciplinary approaches to the field, as well as the Leeds Centre for African Studies.
Core modules examine key issues surrounding global development, such as markets, inequality, democratisation, gender, health, education, human rights, conflict, violence and crime. You’ll also learn about various aspects of development practice, like the theoretical and analytical principles of Project Cycle Management. Additionally, you’ll hone your research and writing skills and then showcase them in your compulsory dissertation – an independent piece of research on a topic of your choice.
These modules will equip you to analyse, understand and discuss the major changes, problems and opportunities facing societies and people in the Global South. You’ll study some of the broader social, political, and economic causes of the problems, and the achievements and setbacks that people have experienced in their efforts to tackle them at the global, national and local levels and improve their societies and lives. You’ll learn to analyse, understand, and discuss development in the Global South in the 2010s in all its dynamism, complexity and significance.
The wide-ranging list of optional modules means that you can explore a diverse range of related subjects of interest to you, including natural resources struggles, global health, gender and globalisation, education, international political economy or issues related to Africa and China.
If you are a part-time student, you can choose how to spread your studies across two years. However, we recommend that you at least take your compulsory modules in your first year, and you have to take the compulsory dissertation module in your second year.
Modules are conducted through a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops. Tutors also provide you with individual advice on written work and you should begin to develop expertise in improving your work through face-to-face discussion with your tutors, formative assessment and through detailed feedback. You’ll be expected to carry out a good deal of independent, detailed and considered study.
All part-time students attend exactly the same classes as full-time students which usually take place between 9am and 5pm; there are no evening classes.
Each module is assessed separately, through assessments that range from long essays to projects and assignments, offering you the opportunity to work in your particular field of interest within each topic area. You will also carry out a dissertation into a research area of your choice.
This programme is aimed at students who would like to pursue either a professional career or further research in international development and related fields, and generally have a desire to put their education into practice in the Global South.
You’ll gain a wide range of professional skills on top of your subject knowledge. You’ll have an understanding of project design and management in a development context, as well as being able to analyse quantitative and qualitative data. You’ll be able to construct clear arguments, critically assess different options for action, analyse policy documents, write research reports and give presentations. You’ll also be trained to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.
Our programme equips you for various career paths. Compatible careers include working in international development agencies, international organisations, governments, politics, NGOs, research organisations, policy making, companies, media, and academia.
Graduates have gone on to work in, for instance, non-governmental organisations in the UK or overseas, research and consultancy firms, international organisations (such as the UN), the Civil Service, the media, or have continued with further study (e.g. PhD research).
We encourage you to seek practical work experience in the international development field, and advise you on how to go about it.