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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). Read more

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.

Key Features of MSc in Social Research Methods

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

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)

Social Research Methods Course Structure

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).

Who should apply?

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

Career Prospects

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.

Staff Expertise

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.

Postgraduate Community

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.



Read less
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons. Read more
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons.

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

Social research methods are important not just to social scientists wishing to study a particular problem or to test a theory in a way that is be considered rigorous. They are also fundamental tools of value to government, service providers and to business. There are of course a diverse range of research methods available to social scientists.

The aims of the MSc/Diploma programme in Social Research Methods are:
To advance your knowledge and understanding of the nature of research in social science.
To enhance your skills in areas that will equip you as a social scientist for employment in a government, business or a public policy environment as well as in an academic context.

"I undertook the Social Research Methods MSc in 2009/2010. This was a really interesting course which not only helped me develop a range of research skills which have been extremely relevant and useful in my PhD, but also helped me to critically engage with broader issues of social justice. This sparked an interest in my current research field, and ultimately, has been invaluable in giving me a solid foundation for continuing onto an academic career. Beyond the academic knowledge however, this MSc also provides a useful set of practical and applicable skills which many employers value, such as in GIS and statistics"
Andrew Wooff, studied full-time 2009-10

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

The MSc in Social Research Methods offers a specialism in population and welfare issues under the title MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare). This option is an accredited course for the ESRC Population Investigation Council funding. This specialism is particularly relevant for students interested in demographic and welfare issues.

What's so good about Social Research Methods at Dundee?

The staff teaching the MSc in Social Research Methods course have wide experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and have deployed these skills not only to pursue frontline research in social science, but also as expert advisers to governments and as consultants to international organisations.

This course emphasises that it is important not only to understand how to use a particular research tool, but also to consider the wider meanings of how knowledge can be constructed in different ways and for diverse range of purposes. One particular feature of the course is the comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a variety of research methods including ethnographic and participatory tools; the analysis of large datasets plus GIS skills. The course seeks to encourage students to think critically not only about the methods they use, but also to reflect on the limitations of what is knowable from the evidence presented by others.

"As a part time student on the MSc Social Research Methods course, my experience was exceptionally inspiring. Coming from an arts background it was a real challenge, but one that allowed me to broaden my horizons and bring back to my day job teaching design in an art college an understanding of human geography and how it informs us of local and global social issues. My experience was invaluable in so many ways and staff were always very supportive"

Jackie Malcolm, studied part-time 2010-12
Lecturer in Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

There are core modules in:

Research Training
Social Theory
Quantitative Methods in Social Research
Qualitative Methods in Social Research
Plus students choose one from:

Research in Practice (work placement)
Applied GIS and Geospatial Data Analysis
Population Vulnerability and Resilience

For students following the MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare) route, ‘Social Impacts on Population’ is a core module, and ‘Qualitative Methods in Social Research’ is an option module.

Students enrolled on the MSc programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework (essays, practical classes, projects), examination and dissertation (for Masters students).

Careers

The course seeks to offer students a wide range of skills suitable for entry into careers as information officers and analysts, research assistants and geographical system experts working in a business or government environment.

Research by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that the demand for Social Science Masters students with quantitative research skills far outstrips supply. This degree programme course has strong emphasis in this area, but the optional modules allow you to tailor the course to your personal career ambitions.

Previous students from our other MSc programmes have gone on to work for local authority planning departments, the General Registrars Office Scotland (census office), GIS analysts for Tayside Police, ONS social analysis unit, and also as research assistants within the University sector.

"The course allowed me to develop on an academic and personal level through its range of critical thinking and skill based modules. I appreciated the broad themes set out by lecturers as it provided an opportunity to integrate my own research interests into class assignments and discussions, enhancing the individual relevancy it had for my classmates and I. Since completing the course in September 2012, I have started working towards a PhD in the Geography department at Dundee, incorporating many of the attributes that I learned at MSc level. The training, support and enthusiasm offered on the course gave me the confidence to undertake fieldwork overseas and inspired me to pursue a future career in academia"

Jade Catterson, studied full-time 2011-12
ESRC-funded PhD student, University of Dundee

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This course provides an understanding of social research, with a particular focus on social statistics and quantitative methods. Read more

Introduction

This course provides an understanding of social research, with a particular focus on social statistics and quantitative methods. The course includes orientation material on social research methods as a whole, and detailed training on a wide range of statistical methods, with advanced modules on data management and emerging priority research areas, such as big data and social network analysis.
Teaching covers the theories behind the methods, and the practical work in using datasets and analysing them with statistical software. Students will gain a variety of highly marketable skills in the areas of social research and social statistics.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
- Start date: Full-time: SeptemberPart-time: September/JanuarySee semester dates
- Course Director: Dave Griffiths
- Location: Stirling Campus

Course objectives

This course provides an understanding of social research, with a particular focus on social statistics and quantitative methods. The course includes orientation material on social research methods as a whole, and detailed training on a wide range of statistical methods, with advanced modules on data management and emerging priority research areas, such as big data and social network analysis.
Teaching covers the theories behind the methods, and the practical work in using datasets and analysing them with statistical software. Students will gain a variety of highly marketable skills in the areas of social research and social statistics.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to http://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

Students will undertake four core modules, two option modules and complete a 15,000 word dissertation. In the full time programme, 3 modules are completed during the Autumn semester, 3 in the Spring, and the dissertation submitted in the summer. Module either cover wider topics in social research, or focus on understanding and implementing advanced quantitative methods.

Core modules

- Research Design and Process
- Quantitative Data Analysis
- Advanced Data Analysis
- Advanced Data Management
- Using Big Data in Social Research

Option modules
Students will also select two option modules from a range of applied social research topics. The recommended option is Social Network Analysis.

Other options include The Nature of Social Enquiry, Policy Analysis and Evaluation Research, Qualitative Analysis and Research Methods in Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies. Some of these modules will be particularly suitable for students with an interest in mixed methods research.

Delivery and assessment

Modules are generally a combination of lectures and workshops. Teaching largely takes place on Tuesdays, although some components might take place on other days. The contact hours are sympathetic to those working alongside their studies. Most teaching is performed in smaller classes, with group activities. Modules are usually assessed by an examination, software based assignments, and essays.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Career opportunities

Social statistics are an important area within applied social research, offering employment opportunities within the private, public and voluntary sectors, as well as further study. Students will develop thorough knowledge of software and learn a range of sought-after technical skills, including accessing, preparing, analysing and summarising complex quantitative datasets. The course is also designed to provide the technical skill set required for further PhD study.

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The College of Social Sciences welcomes all postgraduates to the recently redesigned MA in Social Research programme which continues to enjoy full RT (research training) recognition by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Read more
The College of Social Sciences welcomes all postgraduates to the recently redesigned MA in Social Research programme which continues to enjoy full RT (research training) recognition by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This programme aims to provide students with a sound background in social research design and the most up-to-date training in methods of data collection and analysis. The combination of core modules and short courses on more advanced topics provides maximum flexibility for taught postgraduate and research students throughout their study.

The core elements of the programme are delivered by staff across the entire College, many of whom are engaged in cutting-edge research in their own fields. Students will benefit by undertaking the modules with others from different departments within the School of Government and Society, eg, Political Science and International Studies; the Centre for Russian and East European Studies; the Institute for Applied Social Studies; and within the wider College. Students will also receive training on more discipline-specific research elements, as well as dissertation supervision, provided by individual departments. On completion of this MA, many students continue their PhD studies or pursue a career in research in the public, private or voluntary sector.

Programme content
Term 1:

Introduction to Social Research (20)
Research Design (20)
Thesis-related preparation
Information Skills for Social Sciences
University Programme of Skills Training (as necessary)
Dissertation-related preparation
Term 2:

Social Research Methods I (20)
Social Research Methods II (20)
Thesis-related preparation
Summer Term:

Four Short courses (10)
Dissertation (60)
All students registered on the MA in Social Research will take:

1) Four core modules:

Introduction to Social Science Research (20 credits)
Research Design (20 credits)
Social Research Methods I (20 credits)
Social Research Methods II (20 credits)


2) Four elective modules (10 credits each) from the short course programme below
3) A 14,000 word dissertation (60 credits)

Short courses
All short 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 short 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 short 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 to so will be placed on a waiting list. Confirmation will be sent a week before the course dates.

Short course programmes
From Multiple linear to Logistic regression
Narrative Research
Analyzing Hierarchical and Panel Data
Visual Research Methods
Linguistic Ethnography
Documentary Research in Education, History and the Social Sciences
Researching Disability
Approaches to Research on Discourse
Policy Evaluation
Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis (using NVivo)
Secondary Research Data Analysis in Social Research
Applications of Geographic Information Systems in Social Science
Overseas Research
Q Methodology – A Systematic Approach for Interpretive Research Design
Activity Theory and its research applications
Some courses have pre-requisites, eg, to register on Multiple Linear and Logistic Regression, Factor Analysis and Narrative Research; you will need to have passed Data Analysis (20 credits module) or equivalent. For the latter, you will need to provide evidence that you have passed a similar course on quantitative/qualitative data analysis where appropriate.

Please be aware that some of these courses run on the same dates. Make sure you have not picked courses that clash with each other. For further details or to sign up for these short courses, please email the course names, your name, student ID and your programme to |.

Skills and attributes gained
Students will have acquired a solid foundation of a broad range of research methods that are widely used in the social sciences and will have developed:

A sound understanding of the methodological debates
An overview of the philosophy of social science and how this informs research design, methods chosen of data collection and analysis
An ability to use a range of research techniques appropriate to their subject area
Competence in the representation and presentation of information and data
An ability to communicate research findings effectively to a wider range of audiences
An appreciation of the potential use and impact of their research within and beyond academia
An ability to engage with relevant users at all points in the research process, from devising and shaping research questions through to enhancing practice
Learning and teaching
Students are expected to engage in high-level discussion during all sessions. Teaching will be delivered by a combination of lectures, seminars and computer workshops. Some fieldwork involving primary data collection is required where appropriate.

Careers
Many students go on to do a PhD after completing this MA. Others have followed a career in local authorities, government departments, health authorities, management consultancy, media, the voluntary sector and so on.

Assessment
All core modules are assessed by a 4000-word essay or report. On most short courses, a 3000-report is usually required. The dissertation length is 14,000 words and students are expected to utilise the knowledge and skills they learned from the taught elements in this programme.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

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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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. Read more

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.

Course Details

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.

CORE MODULES:

Semester 1

Approaches to Social Research (20 CATS)

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.

Theory and Debates in Social Research (20 CATS)

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 Sources and Construction of Qualitative Data (10 CATS)

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 Sources and Construction of Quantitative Data (10 CATS)

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

Semester 2

Qualitative Data Analysis (10 CATS)

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.

Quantitative Data Analysis: Foundational (10 CATS)

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.

Quantitative Data Analysis: Intermediate (10 CATS)

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.

Dissertation (60 CATS)

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.

OPTIONAL MODULES (all 10 CATS)

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.

  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • Social Science Research Online
  • Visual Research Methods
  • Longitudinal Analysis
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
  • Conflict and Change in Northern Ireland: New Sociological Research
  • Researching Emotions and Social Life
  • University Research and Civil Society Organisations


Read less
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons. Read more
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons.

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

Social research methods are important not just to social scientists wishing to study a particular problem or to test a theory in a way that is be considered rigorous. They are also fundamental tools of value to government, service providers and to business. There are of course a diverse range of research methods available to social scientists.

The aims of the MSc/Diploma programme in Social Research Methods are:
To advance your knowledge and understanding of the nature of research in social science.
To enhance your skills in areas that will equip you as a social scientist for employment in a government, business or a public policy environment as well as in an academic context.

"I undertook the Social Research Methods MSc in 2009/2010. This was a really interesting course which not only helped me develop a range of research skills which have been extremely relevant and useful in my PhD, but also helped me to critically engage with broader issues of social justice. This sparked an interest in my current research field, and ultimately, has been invaluable in giving me a solid foundation for continuing onto an academic career. Beyond the academic knowledge however, this MSc also provides a useful set of practical and applicable skills which many employers value, such as in GIS and statistics"
Andrew Wooff, studied full-time 2009-10

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

The MSc in Social Research Methods offers a specialism in population and welfare issues under the title MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare). This option is an accredited course for the ESRC Population Investigation Council funding. This specialism is particularly relevant for students interested in demographic and welfare issues.

What's so good about Social Research Methods at Dundee?

The staff teaching the MSc in Social Research Methods course have wide experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and have deployed these skills not only to pursue frontline research in social science, but also as expert advisers to governments and as consultants to international organisations.

This course emphasises that it is important not only to understand how to use a particular research tool, but also to consider the wider meanings of how knowledge can be constructed in different ways and for diverse range of purposes. One particular feature of the course is the comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a variety of research methods including ethnographic and participatory tools; the analysis of large datasets plus GIS skills. The course seeks to encourage students to think critically not only about the methods they use, but also to reflect on the limitations of what is knowable from the evidence presented by others.

"As a part time student on the MSc Social Research Methods course, my experience was exceptionally inspiring. Coming from an arts background it was a real challenge, but one that allowed me to broaden my horizons and bring back to my day job teaching design in an art college an understanding of human geography and how it informs us of local and global social issues. My experience was invaluable in so many ways and staff were always very supportive"

Jackie Malcolm, studied part-time 2010-12
Lecturer in Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

Modules start at the beginning of the academic session in September and are taught by lectures and tutorials.
What you will study

There are core modules in:

Research Training
Social Theory
Quantitative Methods in Social Research
Qualitative Methods in Social Research
Plus students choose one from:

Research in Practice (work placement)
Applied GIS and Geospatial Data Analysis
Population Vulnerability and Resilience

Students enrolled on the Masters programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework (essays, practical classes, projects), examination and dissertation (for Masters students).

Careers

The course seeks to offer students a wide range of skills suitable for entry into careers as information officers and analysts, research assistants and geographical system experts working in a business or government environment.

Research by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that the demand for Social Science Masters students with quantitative research skills far outstrips supply. This degree programme course has strong emphasis in this area, but the optional modules allow you to tailor the course to your personal career ambitions.

Previous students from our other MSc programmes have gone on to work for local authority planning departments, the General Registrars Office Scotland (census office), GIS analysts for Tayside Police, ONS social analysis unit, and also as research assistants within the University sector.

"The course allowed me to develop on an academic and personal level through its range of critical thinking and skill based modules. I appreciated the broad themes set out by lecturers as it provided an opportunity to integrate my own research interests into class assignments and discussions, enhancing the individual relevancy it had for my classmates and I. Since completing the course in September 2012, I have started working towards a PhD in the Geography department at Dundee, incorporating many of the attributes that I learned at MSc level. The training, support and enthusiasm offered on the course gave me the confidence to undertake fieldwork overseas and inspired me to pursue a future career in academia"

Jade Catterson, studied full-time 2011-12
ESRC-funded PhD student, University of Dundee

Read less
This Masters in Social Policy and Social Research Methods is particularly significant if you are currently working in local authorities or the voluntary sector. Read more
This Masters in Social Policy and Social Research Methods is particularly significant if you are currently working in local authorities or the voluntary sector. The skills you learn will progress your career in social welfare policy development, delivery or research. Or it is also relevant if you are thinking of starting a career related to social policy in the public, voluntary or private sectors.
The focus of this course is on contemporary substantive issues in social policy development and delivery, and social policy research methods. You'll develop your theoretical, policy and technical understanding of key issues related to policy-making, social welfare delivery, equality and social justice, and research methods.

You'll gain an advanced understanding of national and international factors influencing policy development and implementation. The changing relationship between the State, voluntary sector and private sector in terms of social welfare delivery. You'll also explore how ideas of equality, diversity, justice and human rights shape institutions and the programmes they offer.

You'll engage with recent research linked to changing family forms and how family policy impacts on children and families. You'll be equipped to design and implement social scientific research using a broad range of methodologies, consider research ethics then analyse and present the material such research generates.

The course fosters a critical awareness of the relationship between theory, policy and practice and enables you to utilise your research knowledge and research skills and translate these into research practice in the field of social policy and broader social science research professions.

Flexible modes of study

You can choose between three modes lasting one, two or three years allowing you to study whilst maintaining other life commitments.

Modules

Social policy analysis
The voluntary sector and the state: protagonist or partner
Methods for social research and evaluation: philosophy, design and data collection
Approaches to social change: equality, social justice and human rights
Family policy
Data analytic techniques for social scientists
Dissertation

Teaching and learning

Modules are assessed by coursework. There are different kinds of writing required which include: a critical reading log, a self-reflective essay, a methodological critique of a research article, a research proposal, extended essays, an evaluation of social change and a dissertation.

Modules are supported by Moodle, the LSBU virtual learning environment where most course reading will be made available. The classroom is envisaged as a core learning environment where you can discuss new ideas but also to think how they can be applied to previous or current work or voluntary experiences. Attendance is crucial for building your knowledge and skills. You'll be making use of computer laboratories in order to develop your use of a range of programmes that can be used to analyse quantitative and qualitative methods.

Timetable

Full-time:
Eight or nine hours of scheduled teaching per week with an additional 25 hours of independent study.

Part-time:
Three hours of scheduled teaching per week with an additional six hours of independent study per module.

Placements

If you are not already working in an environment which is linked to social welfare you'll be encouraged to undertake voluntary work which will give you useful experience alongside the degree. In addition it may become used as a location where you can undertake primary research for your master's dissertation. The Employability team at LSBU can help students find voluntary placements.

Employability

This MSc will enable you to pursue a range of professional careers in areas linked to social policy and social welfare. You'll be able to access work in the statutory, commercial or voluntary sectors and operating at central, and local government levels, for example, local government; MORI, NSPCC and DEMOS. The acquisition of specific social policy and research methods knowledge will also enhance your career opportunities if you are currently working in the field in social policy development and delivery or in undertaking social policy related research. The specialist focus on research methods also offers an excellent foundation for those interested in undertaking subsequent doctoral research in the field.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

• Direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
• Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
• Mentoring and work shadowing schemes.

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Our Social Science Research (Social Policy) MSc programme provides you with a comprehensive overview of the key methodological and philosophical debates that currently shape social sciences. Read more

Our Social Science Research (Social Policy) MSc programme provides you with a comprehensive overview of the key methodological and philosophical debates that currently shape social sciences. It also provides an opportunity to develop specialised research methods skills in social policy in an internationally renowned department for Social Policy research.

The Social Science Research (Social Policy) programme consists of compulsory and optional modules, delivered across four different academic schools within the University, which means you benefit from an interdisciplinary approach to your studies. The academic schools involved are:

  • School of Social, Political, and Geographical Sciences
  • School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences
  • School of Business and Economics
  • School of Science.

On completion of the Social Science Research (Social Policy) programme, you will have met the MSc training requirements for PhD funding from the ESRC, opening up the possibility of securing PhD funding from the ESRC. Further information regarding the future career prospects associated with this programme can be found below.

The modules are taught by leading researchers selected for their expertise in the taught research methods and topics.

What makes this programme different?

The Social Policy courses in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough Universities are consistently rated in the top-15 UK Social Policy courses by national league tables.

The Department of Social Sciences hosts the prestigious Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) which over the past 30 years has developed an international reputation for high quality applied policy research. Most prominently, CRSP is currently involved in the study of the Minimum Income Standard programme.

The School of Social Political and Geographical Sciences is the home to the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC). Established in 1991, the centre has since grown to be one of the largest of its kind in the UK. The CRCC’s core topics themes include:

  • Culture, Economy, and Policy
  • Interaction and Discourse
  • Media, Memory, and History
  • Nations, Migrants, and Citizenship
  • Political Communication
  • Social, Political, and Cultural Theory

The programme is in full compliance with the Economic and Social Research Council’s requirements for an MSc in Social Science Research. On completion of the course, you will have met the training requirements for PhD funding from the ESRC, opening up the possibility of securing PhD funding from the ESRC.

Who should study this programme?

  • Individuals wishing to pursue a career in academia
  • Social policy practitioners, who wish to both develop and strengthen their applied research skills
  • Those wishing to conduct research in non-academic public and private sector roles

What you'll study

Our Social Science Research (Social Policy) MSc programme is designed to produce graduates with rigorous research and analytical skills, who are well equipped to progress onto being high level researchers in their chosen field of study.

Modules

Social Science Research (Social Policy) covers a wide range of topics; please visit the website for a full list of modules.



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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Work at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Work at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

This master's degree in Social Work aims to:

• prepare students for employment as professionally qualified social workers

• lay the foundation for students’ continuing professional development

• reflects the key themes of contemporary social work in Wales

Key Features of MSc in Social Work

Performance:

- The Times Higher League Tables 2014 ranked the Undergraduate Social Work degree at Swansea joint 1st in the UK, and the Guardian League Table ranked social work in Swansea 1st in the UK in 2015.

- the Social Work programme meets all the Care Council requirements and is now fully approved as a professional social work programme as defined in The Approval and Visiting of Degree Courses in Social Work (Wales) Rules 2012

Teaching and Employability:

- 95% of Social Work students from Swansea University are employed in graduate level jobs within six months of graduating (undergraduate programme). Postgraduate–level students are expected to be in similar demand

- the professional qualification is recognised in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as other countries such as Australia

- the Social Work programme operates in partnership with five local authorities in the South West Wales region: Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion

- teaching from a wide range of practitioners from social work teams and agencies plus guest speakers from Welsh Government

- a minimum of 200 days practice learning are undertaken

- successful completion allows students to register as qualified social workers with the Care Council for Wales

- applicants may be eligible for a student bursary from the Care Council for Wales which includes a contribution towards tuition fee

Social Work is about change and human growth through supporting the social care and welfare needs of individuals, groups and local communities.

Social work has been an established course at Swansea University for many years and combines a commitment to both academic excellence and practical learning. There are strong links between the Department and social services agencies in south and west Wales, and in local authority and voluntary sectors.

The master's degree in Social Work lays the foundation for students’ continuing professional development. It also reflects the key themes of contemporary social work in Wales.

Qualifying Social Work students will be:

- equipped to understand and work within the context of a profession whose nature, scope and purpose can be the subject of contested debate

- able to critically analyse, adapt to, manage and eventually lead the process of required changes in social work, delivery of social services, and social care policy and law

- prepared to promote bilingual service provision in Wales and to be able to critically reflect on the importance of the Welsh context as a cultural, social and historical landscape for social work practice

This qualification in Social Work is also recognised by Care Councils in other UK nations.

First year postgraduate Social Work students have the opportunity to participate in a 3 week global opportunity at the University of Houston, Texas.

Modules

Modules on the MSc in Social Work programme typically include:

Theories and Perspectives for Informing Social Work

Social Work Skills and Knowledge in Practice

Critical Practice in Child Care & Law

Ethics and Values in Social Work

Undertaking & Using Social Work Research for Practice

Social Work Skills and Knowledge and Service Users' Perspectives

Dissertation in Social Work Research and Evidence for Practice

Critical Practice in Adult Care & Law

Social Work Course Structure

The Social Work course is both academic and practice-based and students are required to undertake a minimum of 200 days practice learning across the two years. Half of the Social Work programme is devoted to supervised practice in social service agencies, where students learn through observation, rehearsal and performance. The social work placements take place in the local authorities of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion.

Social Work students will undertake academic study based on Singleton campus during Semester 1 and then placement learning in a social care agency during Semester 2.

During Semester 1, Social Work students can expect to be on campus a minimum of four days per week. Placement learning is full-time Monday to Friday, following agency hours. Students will undertake 200 days of practice learning across the 2 years.

In Year One Social Work students undertake a 20-day observational placement followed by an 80-day ‘direct practice’ placement.

In Year Two students undertake a 100-day ‘direct-practice’ placement. The social work placements take place in the local authorities of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion.

In Year Two students will be expected to complete a ‘desk-based’ research project and complete a dissertation with supervised support from a member of the teaching team.

Staff Expertise

All teaching staff members on the Social Work course are research active and involved in research activity at both national and international level which spans a number of interest areas including: looked-after children, sexuality and wellbeing, service user and carer involvement in education, asylum seeking children and migration, children’s rights and welfare, and social inclusion and care needs of older people.

Career Prospects

There are many possibilities for career progression in social work and for postgraduate and post qualification study. UK social work qualifications are also recognised in other countries.

Postgraduate Community

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, Social Work students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences.



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Develop the skills and knowledge to produce meaningful social research with this challenging programme. Core modules will teach you how to turn social research issues and questions into workable research designs, as well as handling quantitative and qualitative data and issues such as ethics and funding applications. Read more

Develop the skills and knowledge to produce meaningful social research with this challenging programme.

Core modules will teach you how to turn social research issues and questions into workable research designs, as well as handling quantitative and qualitative data and issues such as ethics and funding applications. You’ll also have the chance to specialise through a choice of optional modules, allowing you to focus on research in topics such as disability studies, care, social policy analysis, criminology and evaluation of programmes and policies.

This taught programme has recently been redesigned to meet the new postgraduate training and development guidelines of the ESRC, meaning it stands alone as an MA but will also prepare you for doctoral research in this dynamic field of scholarship. You’ll be well prepared to become a specialist social science researcher, supported by expert tutors across our active research centres and institutes.

Research insight

You’ll learn in a research-intensive, stimulating environment. As well as the Leeds Social Sciences Institute which fosters collaboration, you’ll benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise hosted by the Centre for Disability Studies, Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and many others. All of these centres run their own calendars of events such as workshops and seminars.

Find out more about Research in the School of Sociology and Social Policy

Course content

At the start of the programme you’ll build your knowledge of research design, learning to connect abstract theoretical and methodological perspectives with practical research strategies. Sampling and selection, choosing the right data collection and analysis methods, the ethics and politics of research design and creating research proposals will all be among the topics you explore.

You’ll also have the chance to deepen your subject knowledge with your optional module. You could focus on crime, social policy analysis or evaluative research as well as disability studies, care or social thought.

In Semester 2 you’ll begin intensive training in analysing quantitative and qualitative data. You’ll learn to use statistical software, design surveys and questionnaires and record, code, organise and manage qualitative data. You’ll evaluate different research methods, understanding the benefits, limitations, and ethical implications of each one and when to use them.

By the end of the programme in September, you’ll submit a research project that puts the skills you’ve gained into practice – and perhaps lay the foundations of your future research.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Research Dissertation 60 credits
  • Researching Culture and Society 30 credits
  • Quantitative Research Methods 15 credits
  • Qualitative Research Methods 15 credits
  • Understanding Society and Culture 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Contemporary Social Thought 30 credits
  • 'Race', Identity and Culture in the Black Atlantic 15 credits
  • Disability and Development 15 credits
  • Social Policy, Politics and Disabled People 30 credits
  • Contested Bodies 15 credits
  • Que(e)rying Sexualities 15 credits
  • Social Policy Analysis 15 credits
  • Social Policy Debates 15 credits
  • Policy and Programme Evaluation 15 credits
  • Power, Critique & Global Transformations 15 credits
  • Sociology of Media and Culture 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Social Research MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Social Research MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods to develop the research skills and theoretical knowledge you need. These include seminars, tutorials, and presentations. You’ll also attend practical sessions and workshops where you’ll get to grips with data analysis. Independent study is also vital to this programme, allowing you to refine your skills and prepare for your taught sessions.

Assessment

You’ll experience different assessment methods, including presentations, literature reviews, research proposals and essays. In data analysis modules, you’ll be expected to analyse and engage with data within your essays. We offer plenty of support with aspects such as academic writing.

Career opportunities

In the last decade there has been enormous growth in social research, leading to an increasing variety of career options. There are a number of different research environments, such as academic departments, third sector organisations, private research organisations and governmental agencies – all of which have distinctive research cultures.

There is an increasing emphasis on the production of high quality, rigorous and meaningful research by professionally trained researchers. We designed the MA in Social Research to provide such training, and the course will interest people pursuing, or enhancing, a research-related career in a wide range of settings.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The programme is designed for. - research training; it is not a qualifying programme for those seeking to become social work practitioners. Read more

Overview

The programme is designed for:

- research training; it is not a qualifying programme for those seeking to become social work practitioners
- those developing careers as applied researchers and evaluators in social care
- prospective PhD students in Social Work.

The programme systematically reviews and critically evaluates a range of theories, methodologies and paradigms of research that are relevant to social work, and the application of these to specific areas of social enquiry in which students are specialising. Within an active research community (http://www.bath.ac.uk/sps/research/research-students/) students are supported in identifying, investigating and realising their own research. Students are equipped with the skills to contribute to social work research projects using any of the main methodologies of the social sciences.

The excellence of the research undertaken within the Department of Social & Policy Sciences has been recognised most recently by the award of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011. We were also ranked 2nd in the country in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

- South West Doctoral Training Centre
This MRes is accredited by the Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC), specifically, as part of the larger South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC). It forms part of the Social Work Discipline-specific Pathway.

The MRes can be taken as a course in its own right, or as part of the 1 + 3 (MRes + PhD) pathway, where successful graduates could proceed onto an MPhil or PhD in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences.

If applying for an MRes + PhD (the 1 + 3 programme) you should indicate on the Application Form, your preferred PhD route.

Progression from the MRes to the MPhil or PhD stage is dependent on achieving an acceptable level of achievement (typically an overall average of 60% on at least the taught component of the MRes).

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/mres-soci-work/

Programme structure

Core Units

- Short research apprenticeship project (MRes)
- Quantitative methods 1: introduction to quantitative methods
- Ethical issues in research, policy and practice
- Long research apprenticeship project
- Research for social work: values, methods and contexts
- Qualitative methods 1
- Principles & skills of social research
- MRes Dissertation

Optional units

- Quantitative methods 2
- Qualitative methods 2

View Programme & Unit Catalogue (http://www.bath.ac.uk/catalogues/2015-2016/sp/sp-proglist-pg.html#H) for further information.

Learning and teaching

Our programmes are modular, consisting of self-contained units, taught and assessed on a semester basis. As you progress through each semester and successfully pass the examinations, you will receive credit for the units, thus providing you with a clear indication of your academic progress.

Teaching takes the form of lectures, classes and seminars. Lectures are quite formal, whereas classes and seminars involve interaction between the lecturer and a small number of students for study skills and discussion.

Methods of assessment

Assessment consists of a combination of coursework essays, class exercises, projects, oral presentations and examinations.

We also place strong emphasis on developing presentation and discussion/communication skills, which in many units is part of the assessed work.

Careers

The Social & Policy Sciences department is committed to ensuring that postgraduate students acquire a range of subject-specific and generic skills during their training.

Our graduates generally go on to work in a wide variety of organisations, such as:

- Social research in universities and research institutes, government, business, voluntary organisations and international organisations.
- Public policy analysis at local, national and international levels.
- Public information and campaigning within organisations concerned with wellbeing, sustainability and social justice.

About the department

The Department of Social & Policy Sciences (http://www.bath.ac.uk/sps/) includes academics from social policy, sociology, social work and international development.

The international excellence of our research (http://www.bath.ac.uk/sps/research/) was recognised by the award of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011.

We are committed to advancing learning and knowledge through teaching and research. Our Department collaborates with a wide range of users at the local, national, European and global levels.

Postgraduate programmes:
We offer a wide range of postgraduate programmes. Our postgraduate teaching strongly reflects our research and our links to policy-makers and development institutions at the national, European and global level.

Our Department also has an active MPhil/PhD research programme. We take great pride in fostering a friendly and supportive learning environment.

Seminar series:
We run a lively and well attended postgraduate research seminar series. Each of the Research Centres run seminar series and conferences associated with their research activities. The University of Bath also has a Research in the World public lecture series where key national and international academics are invited to speak.

Main areas of research

We are an internationally-recognised research-intensive department with a strong focus on policy and practice and a commitment to contribute to social wellbeing and social justice.

We draw together academic staff with backgrounds in Social Policy, Sociology, Social Work and International Development and work closely with colleagues in Psychology, Economics, and Health.

We also have an active and vibrant community of research students (http://www.bath.ac.uk/sps/research/research-students/) undertaking their own research alongside our academic staff.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/hss/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/

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This course prepares students for undertaking social research and evaluation, leading to careers in research, research management and commissioning or using research. Read more

Introduction

This course prepares students for undertaking social research and evaluation, leading to careers in research, research management and commissioning or using research. Our MSc is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the research training guidelines for undertaking a PhD in Sociology, Social Policy, Social Work or Socio-legal Studies, as well as preparing you for an ESRC-recognised interdisciplinary PhD in Families, Relationships and Demographic Change and Social Care. A course on Applied Social Research (Criminology) is also available.

Accreditation

The course is recognised as research training by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for those who are studying or going on to study for a PhD (+3), and is also recognised by the ESRC for Master’s Course plus Research Studentship (1+3) purposes.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Part-time, Full-time
- Start date: Full-time: September Part-time: September/January See
- Course Director: Richard Simmons

Course objectives

- Provide you with the skills and knowledge base required to collect, analyse and report qualitative and quantitative data, taking account of ethics, reliability and validity
- Enable you to examine critically the theoretical foundations that underpin social scientific research
- Enable you to examine issues concerning comparative social research
- Develop your understanding of the relationship between research and policy, and the meanings of evaluation, its terminology, practice and use

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

The MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Social Research comprises six compulsory taught core modules, and (for the MSc) a dissertation.
The modules are: The Nature of Social Enquiry; Research Design and Process; Introduction to Information Technology and Library Services (not formally assessed); Quantitative Data Analysis; Qualitative Data Analysis; Comparative Social Research; Policy Analysis and Evaluation Research.
These modules comprise a series of reading groups in which a number of central ideas are debated.

In addition to the modules, you will complete the following:
- Research Dissertation: MSc students must undertake an original social science research study and complete a research dissertation with academic supervision.

Examples of recent dissertation topics include:
- A Study of High Risk Behaviour
- Young People and National Identity
- Substance Use Prevalence and Looked-after Young People in Scotland
- Women’s Decisions about Returning to Work After Childbirth

Delivery and assessment

Teaching methods are designed for each module to facilitate your acquisition of skills and progressive development. You are expected to participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials, computer-based workshops and group work.
Full-time and part-time MSc/Diploma students experience a range of different forms of assessment across the compulsory taught modules. These include essays, critical review essays, book reviews, research proposals, a computer lab-based assessment for quantitative data analysis and the research dissertation. There are no examinations.

Why Stirling?

REF2014
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Rating

In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 95 percent of the research in Applied Social Science at Stirling was ‘Internationally Excellent’ with the top 10 percent of that judged to be ‘World-leading’.

Career opportunities

Over the past five years, over half of our graduates have entered social research-related careers in the public, voluntary and private sectors, for example, a manager commissioning research for a local authority, a research fellow at a university and a senior research executive for a European-wide commercial research organisation.
In general, one in ten graduates have enhanced their practice in current posts by undertaking studies in Applied Social Research, with support from their employer. Over one third of our graduates continue with academic study and undertake a PhD.

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Learning how to make new discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of the historical, social political and cultural processes that shape societies. Read more

Overview

Learning how to make new discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of the historical, social political and cultural processes that shape societies.

Are people living in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods more inclined to turn inwards and to ‘hunker down’ compared to people of ethnically homogeneous settings? Are there cross-country differences in the causes of hooliganism, and in the effectiveness of methods used to combat hooligans in different European countries?

More and more comparative questions on societies are being raised. At Radboud University we believe that answers to comparative questions are more informative, lead to a better understanding of societal phenomena and processes, and therefore have more scientific and social importance than answers to questions about one society in one historical period.

This programme therefore fully focuses on teaching students how to perform high-quality comparative research. We look into the degree of inequality, cohesion and modernisation in both Western and non-Western societies. You’ll learn how to translate social problems into empirical research questions and understand the diverse theoretical approaches, research designs, data collections and analyses you need to get the answers you are looking for.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/scs

Why study Social and Cultural Science at Radboud University?

- A majority of our courses are exclusively created and offered for the research students enrolled in this programme, and therefore perfectly match the needs and desires of social and cultural researchers.
- This programme is linked to the Nijmegen Institute for Social and Cultural Research (NISCO) who offer an excellent research environment and have extensive social science databases that students are free to use.
- You’ll participate in group-oriented education and be part of a small, select group of highly motivated national and international students.
- You’ll be given your own workplace (equipped with a computer) in a room with your fellow students to enhance solidarity. Every student also receives personal guidance and supervision.
- You’ll write two scientific journal papers which will not only give you plenty of practise but will also give you a good academic research portfolio that you can use when applying for research positions.
- A large majority of our graduates gain PhD and other research positions; almost all of our graduates found work shortly after graduating.

Multidisciplinary

The programme combines the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, development studies and communication science. This programme is therefore ideal for Bachelor’s students from these disciplines with an interest in research. However, we believe that students from disciplines such as political science, economics and human geography can also profit from this Master’s.

The Research Master’s in Social and Cultural Science trains aspiring researchers and is ideal preparation for PhD positions or research positions in relevant non-academic research institutes. Or you could build a bridge between academic research and the world of practice, thereby influencing policy-making in the public and private sphere.

Quality label

This programme was recently awarded the quality label ‘Top Programme' in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids Masters 2015 (Guide to Master's programmes).

Career prospects

The career prospects of a graduate of Social and Cultural Science are good; almost 100% of our alumni found a job or research position immediately after graduating.

Job positions

There are plenty of options open to graduates of the research Master’s in Social and Cultural Science:
- Scientific research career (academia)
The programme provides an excellent basis for a scientific research career and attaining PhD positions.

- Societal research career
Our graduates can also go on to have careers in relevant non-academic research and policy institutes like government ministries, Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) and The Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) and foreign equivalents.

- More
Of course, this Master’s programme does not close other doors. Students with a research Master’s are also highly sought after by (commercial) businesses and organisations because of their analytical and communication skills and in-depth understanding of social and cultural behaviour. Other careers, such as policymaker, manager, journalist, etc are certainly within reach.

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.ru.nl/scholarships

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/scs

Our research in this field

Half of the Master’s programme in Social and Cultural Science consists of practical research training.

In the first year, you’ll do a research project in which you conduct a small-scale empirical research under guided supervision of a senior researcher. The comparative research issue is typically part of the ongoing research within a Radboud chair group. Finally, you’ll write a scientific journal paper regarding the research results. The project is done in small groups (2-3 students) and prepares you well to independently conduct a comparative empirical social science study for your Master’s thesis in the second.

- Master’s thesis topics in the field of Social and Cultural Science
For your Master’s thesis you are completely free to tackle any social issue in the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, communication science or development studies. Important is the ability to reflect on the societal significance of your research question and the societal importance of your research. Thesis topics vary widely:
- Many theses are concerned with cross-country comparisons of behaviour or attitude measures using European cross-sectional survey data on, for example, xenophobia or gender roles.
- Others theses compare classrooms and the effect ethnic composition has on interethnic bullying or the impact of the economic crisis on African migrants in Athens, Greece, or the utilisation of different sexual health services by Aboriginal adolescents.
- Thesis topics can also be found in the field of communication science, like examining the news on extreme right political parties in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands and correlating it with election results, or studying patterns in TV drama (e.g. increasing Americanisation) and comparing these media trends with societal processes such as individualisation.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/scs

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Programme overview. Social researchers employ a constantly evolving range of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore attitudes and experiences, and to understand patterns of social behaviour. Read more

Programme overview

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.

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.

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.

Work experience

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.

Sociology Scholarships Available for 2017/18

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.

Sociology Scholarships

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.

Residential conference and day conference

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.

Sociology research

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.

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 on to employment involving the use of social science research
  • Introduce students to a variety of different approaches to social science research at an advanced level
  • Cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research questions or hypotheses and translating these into practicable research designs
  • 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
  • Introduce students to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and to debates about the relationship between theory and research, about problems of evidence and inference, and about the limits of objectivity
  • 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 of research 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, policy makers, professionals, service users and the general public

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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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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