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 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.
The MSc by Research in Counselling Studies provides students with a comprehensive understanding of research design, data collection and data analysis for research in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.
It offers an advanced education to students interested in developing research skills, including qualified counselling and psychotherapy practitioners and social science researchers.
Counselling and psychotherapy specialise in qualitative, reflexive and critical approaches to research, and have particular expertise in practice-based research that draws directly on practitioners' own therapeutic work, on the client's experience of therapy, and in narrative, reflexive and auto-ethnographic methods.
We are especially keen to encourage research concerned with the interface between counselling, psychotherapy and social, cultural and political life.
Our research portfolio is highly interdisciplinary, integrating concepts, practices and scholarship from counselling and psychotherapy, psychology, sociology, philosophy, education, cultural studies, health and social care, and other social sciences.
Our interests include disability, gender, trauma, abuse, counselling children and young people, and sexualities.
You can read more about our research interests and publications on our website:
The programme aims to provide students with advanced understandings of research design, data collection and data analysis issues in counselling research.
The programme enables students to develop their understandings of debates about research, evidence and practice in relation to counselling and related practices.
Distinctive features of this degree include:
The degree may be taken as a free-standing MSc or as a foundation for PhD studies. Candidates must complete a programme of research training courses and submit a dissertation on an approved topic.
Teaching and learning methods include lectures, theory seminars, discussion groups and independent study.
Assessment is through essays and the dissertation.
Individual courses may have other learning and assessment methods such as student presentations, research projects and web-based learning.
The programme provides research training in counselling, opportunities to design research, a research-based appreciation of key elements of counselling practice, a critical appreciation of approaches to research in counselling and psychotherapy, and the ability to work across disciplinary boundaries.
You will complete a programme of research training courses and submit a dissertation on an approved topic. The MSc by Research can be taken as a stand-alone qualification or as a foundation for PhD study.
This programme provides practical, career-orientated training in social science research methods, including research design, data collection and data analysis relating to both qualitative and quantitative modes of inquiry.
Students will have the opportunity to specialise in particular methodologies and to learn more about the application of these methodologies to illuminate important issues and debates in contemporary society.
The programme is designed to provide a fundamental grounding in both quantitative and qualitative research skills, along with the opportunity to specialise in more advanced training in quantitative research, qualitative research or in practical applications of research techniques.
This module offers an introduction to the different styles of social science research as well as guidance and illustrations of how to operationalize research questions and assess them empirically. Students will be shown how to conduct systematic literature searches and how to manage empirical research projects. The module will also explore issues around the ethics of social science research as well as the connection between social science research and policy concerns. It is designed as preparation for undertaking postgraduate research and dissertation work.
This module aims to deepen students' understanding of key debates in social theory and research, providing advanced level teaching for those building upon basic knowledge and undertaking postgraduate research. It is designed to demonstrate and explore how social theory is utilised, critiqued and developed through the pursuit of social science research.
The purpose of this module is to illuminate the theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research. The module will discuss the impact of various theories on the nature and conduct of qualitative research particularly around questions of epistemology and ontology. The role of different types of interviewing in qualitative research will be utilised in order to explore the relationship between theory and methods.
The aim of the module is to provide a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice of measurement and constructing quantitative data in the social sciences. Through lectures and practical exercises, this module will provide students with relevant knowledge of secondary data sources and large datasets, their respective uses and usefulness, and their relevance for the study of contemporary social issues
The module will provide students with an overview of different approaches to qualitative data analysis. It will include introductory training to this skill that includes such techniques as thematic analysis and discourse analysis, as well as computer assisted qualitative data analysis. It will provide the knowledge necessary for the informed use of the qualitative data analysis software package NVivo. The module gives students a base level introduction to the analytical and technical skills in qualitative data analysis appropriate to the production of a Master's dissertation and/or use of CAQDAS software for social science research purposes.
This module provides an introduction to the basics of quantitative data analysis. The module will begin with a brief review of basic univariate and bivariate statistical procedures as well as cover data manipulation techniques. The module is taught through a series of seminars and practical workshops. These two strands are interwoven within each teaching session. Please note that students may be granted an exemption from this module if they have already successfully completed a module that has the equivalent learning outcomes.
This module advances students' confidence and knowledge in the use of SPSS. The module focuses on multivariate regression models, including the appropriate use and awareness of statistical assumptions underlying regression and the testing and refinement of such models.
A dissertation of no more than 15,000 words on a topic relevant to social science research methods training. The thesis will involve either carrying out and reporting on a small social science research project which includes a full and considered description and discussion of the research methods employed or the discussion of a research issue or technique to a level appropriate for publication.
We offer a range of advanced modules in quantitative and qualitative research methods, for example, logistic regression, internet-based research and visual research methods. We also provide specialist modules which reflect the teaching team’s diverse research interests, from the social logic of emotional life to conflict and change in divided societies. Optional modules generally run during the Spring semester and are offered subject to sufficient student demand and staff availability. Students will be able to choose a maximum of three to four option modules (depending on whether they need to complete Quantitative Data Analysis: Foundational). Please note that it is unlikely that all the following modules will be available for 2017/8. Please check with the Programme Director for queries about specific modules.
This programme offers a stimulating and practical training in mental health research. The UCL Division of Psychiatry offers teaching and supervision from leaders in international research in fields from neuroscientific to social and epidemiological, along with a range of relevant options from other leading UCL departments. This diversity of options allows students to tailor a programme that closely fits their needs.
This programme will equip students with the research skills needed to undertake doctoral-level research and/or to collaborate in major research projects. They will produce a piece of original research ready to submit for publication, and will acquire current knowledge of cutting-edge research in mental health.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (45 credits), five optional modules (75 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).
Students will select at least 60 credits from the following modules of which at least 30 credits must be from the Division of Psychiatry’s own modules:
Division of Psychiatry modules
Other approved modules
The final 15 credits may be obtained from any available module at UCL, subject to the Programme Director approving the overall selection for each student.
All students undertake a final research project. This is reported as a research paper of up to 7,000 words ready for submission to a specified journal, a blog of 1,000 words and a 20-minute talk.
Teaching and learning
This programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical workshops, with considerable use of supporting online learning. Assessment methods include unseen exams, coursework including designing questionnaires and systematic review strategies, developing protocols, analysing data, giving talks and presenting posters. There is a strong emphasis on developing practical research skills.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Mental Health Sciences Research MSc
This new programme will equip graduates with strong practical research skills and understanding of the current status and direction of mental health research in their area of interest, preparing them to pursue doctoral studies, including through applications for nationally funded fellowships. Clinicians will be equipped to participate fully in collaborative studies and to begin to function as independent investigators. For those without clinical qualifications, the programme is likely to assist students in embarking on a career in mental health research by obtaining research posts and opportunities for PhD places.
Students will be taught by and carry out projects with leading researchers at the cutting-edge of their fields, learning about research directly from experts rather than from textbooks. Previous Division of Psychiatry MSc graduates have had a strong track record of publishing papers based on their research projects in peer-reviewed journals, and of going on to further academic posts and to doctoral studies.
UCL has a cluster of international research leaders in mental health in fields including genetics, epidemiology, and applied clinical research. Optional modules provide an entrance to other renowned departments at UCL e.g. in neuroscience and epidemiology.
The programme is strongly focused on student participation and acquisition of the practical skills needed to embark on a career in research. The wide range of research interests within our division allows us to offer a programme that integrates biological and psychosocial approaches.
We offer opportunities to get involved in the work of internationally significant research groups in a stimulating, friendly and supportive atmosphere.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Psychiatry
83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.