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Masters Degrees (Social Geography)

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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.



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The MA Cultural Geography (Research) is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2015-2016. The course was founded in 1995 as one of the first masters programmes in the world to offer students focused engagement with the then emerging sub-discipline of Cultural Geography. Read more
The MA Cultural Geography (Research) is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2015-2016. The course was founded in 1995 as one of the first masters programmes in the world to offer students focused engagement with the then emerging sub-discipline of Cultural Geography.

Twenty years later and Cultural Geography is one of the most dynamic sub-disciplines in contemporary geography. Our course reflects this dynamism. We combine core concepts with research methods training and interdisciplinary scholarship and practice. We develop this alongside innovative placements and research engagements with some of world’s top cultural institution, located on our doorstep in London.

Thematically cultural geography focuses on the interconnections between place,landscape, environment, mobilities and identity, and thus has profound relevance for the contemporary world. Our graduates go onto work in a range of sectors, including the arts and cultural sector, publishing, planning and urban policy, private and public sector research work as well as many carrying on to further doctoral study.

As profiles of our recent students (https://landscapesurgery.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/maculturalgeography/) show, the course attracts a diverse range of students from a range of backgrounds, not just those with geography degrees.

To see more about the activities around the MA Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway, please look at our research group blog Landscape Surgery - https://landscapesurgery.wordpress.com/ .

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/geography/coursefinder/maculturalgeography.aspx

Why choose this course?

- This well established course aims to provide research training and practice at Master’s level in Human Geography, with a particular emphasis on Cultural Geography; to prepare you for independent research at doctoral level in Human Geography; and to develop specialised knowledge and understanding of research, particularly involving cultural analysis, interpretation and practice.

- The course has a strong track record in gaining Research Council Funding for students. This includes ESRC 1+3 funding as well as funding from AHRC TECHNE. Please see the funding opportunities page for further details.

- The MA in Cultural Geography (Research) combines the vibrant research of the outstanding Social and Cultural Geography group with cutting edge teaching. The quality of our course was recognised by our external examiner as offering a gold-standard for the sector. Our teaching was nationally recognised by the student nominated award for “Best Teaching Team” (Arts and Humanities) at the National Prospects Post-Graduate Awards (2013).

- The programme includes cutting-edge conceptual teaching in themes such as theories of place and space, postcolonial geographies, geographies of knowledge, mapping and exploration, landscape, memory and heritage, geographies of consumption, material geographies, geographies of embodiment, practice and performance, critical urbanisms and creative geographies.

- At RHUL we are known for our commitment to collaborative research, offering you the chance to develop your seminar and tutorial-based learning alongside world leading cultural institutions. These include the Science Museum, V&A Museum, Museum of London, British Library, Natural History Museum, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Institute for International Visual Arts, and the Royal Geographical Society.

- You will be well prepared to continue to a PhD, building on the research you have completed on this course.

Department research and industry highlights

Social and Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway emphasises the cultural politics of place, space and landscape. The Group's research stresses theoretically informed and informative work, values equally contemporary and historical scholarship, and engages with diverse geographical locations within and beyond the UK.

SCG is home to a large and intellectually vibrant postgraduate community. There are around 40-50 postgraduates in the Group at any time. Many of the past graduates of the MA and SCG PhDs are now established academics in their own right.

SCG is well-known for its collaboration with a range of cultural institutions beyond the academy; recent partners include the the Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Maritime Museum, British Library, British Museum, Museum of London and the Royal Geographical Society. The Group also has a tradition of including creative practitioners within its activities, as artists in residence, as research fellows and through participation in major research projects.

Many leading journals are edited by group staff, including Cultural Geographies, the Journal of Historical Geography, Geoforum, History Workshop Journal and GeoHumanities. Please see the Landscape Surgery blog for further information on Social and Cultural Geography activities at RHUL.

Course content and structure

The programme consists of four elements, all assessed by coursework.

- Element 1: Contemporary Cultural Geographies
This is a programme of seminars on current ideas, theory and practice in Cultural and Human Geography. It includes the following themes: theories of place; colonial and postcolonial geographies; biographies of material culture; embodiment, practice and place; geographies of consumption; culture, nature and landscape; space, politics and democracy; cultures of politics.

- Element 2: Methods and Techniques in Cultural Geography
This consists of a programme of workshops devoted to research methodologies and techniques in Cultural Geography. It includes research strategies and project design; reflexivity and ethics; ethnographic research; social survey; qualitative data analysis and computing; visual methodologies; interpreting texts; interpreting things; interpreting movement; negotiating the archives; the arts of cultural geography.

- Element 3: Research Training
You will be introduced to the culture of research in Human Geography and provided with a broad training for independent research within contemporary cultural geography. This element supplements the more specialised research training in research techniques in Element 2, and culminates in a 5,000 word research proposal for the Dissertation.

- Element 4: Dissertation
You will produce a substantial (15-18,000 word) research dissertation, under supervision.

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- advanced knowledge and expertise in the field of Cultural Geography and its current research questions
- advanced knowledge in the ideas, approaches and substantive themes of contemporary Cultural Geographies
- advanced knowledge of the research methods and techniques of Cultural Geography
- knowledge of the culture of research.

Assessment

Assessment is by coursework only. Formative feedback and detailed ongoing discussion of work before final submission is a central part of the teaching ethos of the course. Students also have significant autonomy in the selection of topics for coursework and dissertation allowing them to develop particular interests and specialisms.

Contemporary Cultural Geographies (Element 1)
Assessed by two course essays of up to 5,000 words (25% of final mark).

Methods and Techniques in Cultural Geography (Element 2)
Assessed by two workshop reports of up to 5,000 words (25% of final mark).

Research Training (Element 3)
Assessed by a 5,000-word dissertation proposal and satisfactory completion of modules taken in the element (Pass required).

Dissertation (Element 4)
Assessed by submission of a completed dissertation of 15-18,000 words. (50% of final mark).

Employability & career opportunities

Throughout the MA we spend time exploring possible career trajectories with our students.

This includes working on PhD applications – over 50% of our students go onto do PhDs and many go into academic position thereafter.

We also run a series of placement days with key cultural institutions in and around London including, British Library, Royal Geographical Society and Kew that help students develop skills, experience and contacts.

In recent years our graduates have entered a range of sectors, including the creative industries (advertising and marketing), the museum and research sectors (British Library, National Archive, and research assistantships in various academic projects).

We offer a series of course and activities to support career development:

1) Transferable Skills sessions

During the course staff on the MA not only teach key ideas and research methods, but also help students hone a series of transferable skills. As well as writing and presentation skills, activities on Element three enable the development of team-working and delegation skills. We also hold a series of dedicated skills sessions during the course including social media skills and networking skills run both by staff and by specialists from the careers office.

2) Career Development sessions and workshops

Both staff on the MA and the specialist staff at RHUL career centre offer tailored career development sessions. These might involve talking about developing an academic career, exploring careers in the cultural sector, as well as generic skills such as preparing your CV and developing a Linkedin profile.

3) Cultural Engagements and Placements

Staff on the MA course make the most of their research links with arts and cultural organisations to help students develop placement based work during their course.

Element three activities are designed to help students build up their CVs but also their contacts, and we are happy to help arrange shorter placements during element 1 and 2 pieces or longer-term placements for dissertation work. Past placements have seen students working with a range of key cultural institutions in and around London including the Royal Geographical Society, Kew Gardens, Furtherfield Digital Media and The British Museum.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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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

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

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At the local, national and global level, we are witnessing an intense period of social transformation and fragmentation. Within this context, there is growing political and policy recognition of the need to better understand and thereby address social inequalities. Read more

At the local, national and global level, we are witnessing an intense period of social transformation and fragmentation. Within this context, there is growing political and policy recognition of the need to better understand and thereby address social inequalities. The social sciences have an important role to play in mapping and understanding how inequalities arise and in tackling their causes and consequences. Innovative developments in the social sciences are offering new methodological, theoretical and empirical insights into entrenched and emerging inequalities of status, resource, outcome and opportunity. This has inspired us to create an interdisciplinary programme focusing on inequality in all its forms and its social, political and economic implications.

This Masters programme equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in and contribute towards work that tackles the realities and effects of social inequality. Capitalising on academic and applied expertise in the School of Sociology and Social Policy and the Leeds Inequalities Research Network, this programme harnesses leading analytical approaches combining qualitative, quantitative and data analytic methods (in close collaboration with the School of Geography).

In addition to offering an advanced understanding of rising material inequality, the programme encourages an intersectional approach to understanding socio-economic stratification and how this links with physical (dis) ability, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, class and age. It provides a stimulating intellectual environment and cutting edge methodological approaches to comparing and contrasting the formation and consequences of inequalities across a range of national and international contexts. Through an examination of geopolitical and socioeconomic shifts, such as urbanisation and globalisation, students are actively supported to critically interrogate the contemporary character and extent of social inequality.

Research insight

Whilst undertaking this programme, students will join a vibrant and dynamic research led teaching and learning environment in the School of Sociology and Social Policy. You will benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise and extra-curricular activities hosted by the School and its research centres including those in Disability Studies, Ethnicity and Racism Studies, Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and Research into Families, the Life Course and Generations. You will also access events through the Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI), which fosters cross-departmental collaboration, learning and impact, Students will also benefit from workshops on global inequalities by academic leaders from across campus and research seminars with external speakers; along with career development opportunities and events. As such, students can take advantage of academic and applied expertise both within and beyond the University whilst also developing specialist knowledge and transferable skills for their future career development in the public, private or third sector.

Course content

The programme bridges disciplinary divides to provide a detailed understanding of the ways in which social inequality manifests across diverse communities and contexts at the national and international level. It offers insight into the character, causes and consequences of social inequality, as well as forms of resistance and policy responses. It has a strong and innovative methodological focus, including traditional qualitative and quantitative approaches to the social analysis of inequality, as well as new approaches to data visualisation and analytics from across the social sciences. The programme uses a range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars and workshops, complemented by a range of co-curricular activities partly facilitated through the Leeds Inequalities Research Network.

Course structure

The core modules of the programme introduce students to contemporary research on global inequalities of social difference and disadvantage, emphasizing a diversity of theoretical and research design strategies, including international evidence surrounding the shifting nature and extent of inequality. Students are able to tailor the programme according to their interests and needs by choosing from a specially selected range of optional modules, which address major social and economic inequalities across diverse social science subjects and substantive issues. As such, students can choose to develop in-depth specialist knowledge on a particular area and/or focus more generally on the social processes and arrangements that give rise to inequalities.

Compulsory modules

  • Inequalities: Exploring causes, Consequences and Interventions 30 credits
  • Geographic Data Analysis and Visualisation 15 credits
  • Dissertation 60 credits

PLUS TWO OF THE BELOW:

  • Quantitative Research Methods 15 credits
  • Qualitative Research Methods 15 credits
  • Applied Population and Demographic Analysis

For more information on typical modules, read Inequalities and Social Science MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods including presentations, seminars, workshops, tutorials and lectures. However, independent study is crucial to this degree – it allows you to prepare for taught sessions, develop your research interests and build a range of skills. This is particularly the case for the dissertation/applied project module of this programme.

Supported through workshops and supervision, students develop their research dissertation or an applied project in partnership with external organisations. This offers students an exciting opportunity to gain experience of applying their knowledge and skills to policy and practice.

Assessment

Your core modules will be assessed using essays. Optional modules may use other forms of assessment that reflect the diversity of the topics you can study, including presentations, book and literature reviews, research proposals and reports among others.

Career opportunities

This programme prepares students for policy, research and applied careers across the private, public and third sectors. The interdisciplinary and dynamic nature of the programme equips students with the critical, analytical and methodological skills to deploy their specialist expertise in a clear, efficient and effective manner. You will develop transferable skills in research, analysis and communication, as well as in-depth knowledge that can be applied across a range of domains and contexts.

Due to the rigorous and applied nature of our teaching, graduates might pursue careers across a diverse range of organisational settings such as in government, NGOS, charities, think tanks, social enterprises and business. The programme also offers excellent development opportunities to pursue a career in social research or undertake research at PhD level.

Irrespective of your future career intentions, we offer tailored guidance and support through ESSL Faculty staff and the Leeds Careers Centre.



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How we live with difference is the key issue of our time. Issues relating to race and ethnicity, whether immigration, Islamophobia, #blacklivesmatter, or media diversity, are at the forefront of public debate. Read more

How we live with difference is the key issue of our time. Issues relating to race and ethnicity, whether immigration, Islamophobia, #blacklivesmatter, or media diversity, are at the forefront of public debate. The MA in Race, Media and Social Justice will equip you with critical and theoretical tools to unpack and deepen your understanding of contemporary debates on race, ethnicity and racism.

Goldsmiths is a centre of pioneering critical race scholarship and you will be taught by leading figures in the field. This interdisciplinary degree will introduce you to a range of different theoretical and philosophical approaches to race and ethnicity, including postcolonial and critical race theories, poststructuralist approaches, and theories of intersectionality.

The focus on the cultural industries which underpins the degree enables you to apply these theories to understand why representations of race and ethnicity take the shape that they do in news, film and social media. A series of industry talks from BAME practitioners working in the industry is designed to expand your practical as well as academic insight into issues of diversity in the media and other sectors.

This MA is taught across two departments - Media and Communications and Sociology – that are recognised as world-leading in their respective disciplines. As a postgraduate student you will join the active intellectual community at Goldsmiths, while learning the skills that you will be able to apply to a range of careers, from media, to policy, to charity/NGOs and other forms of social enterprise.

Modules & structure

Core modules

You will study these core modules:

Option modules

You also take 60 credits of option modules from within the Departments of Media and Communications and Sociology, or relevant modules from other departments at Goldsmiths such as Theatre and PerformancePolitics and International RelationsEnglish and Comparative LiteratureCentre for Cultural Studies and Anthropology.

Examples of modules that may be of particular interest to students on this course include:

Assessment

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Skills

This degree will equip you with the ability to recognise and negotiate sensitive ethical issues in research and representation. You will also hone your ability to listen and speak to diverse audiences.

As a graduate from this degree you will develop excellent critical thinking and teamwork skills. The practical and research elements of the course will also equip you with the skills to design and implement projects. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers across many sectors.

Careers

The knowledge and skills you will graduate with from this degree will mean you are well-equipped to enter a diverse range of roles, particularly in relation to issues of equality, diversity and social justice. This could include governmental and public administration roles, NGO and charity work, policy work, and business and communications. Moreover, the emphasis on media will suit graduates interested in careers in creative and cultural industries.



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This MA degree programme is designed for students who wish to explore the social dimensions of risk and resilience. Read more

This MA degree programme is designed for students who wish to explore the social dimensions of risk and resilience. The Department of Geography is especially well-suited to examine these in relation to environmental hazards, climate change and security-related risk, but students are encouraged to develop their thinking in relation to any aspect of risk research, including broader environmental change, disaster risk reduction, financial risk, risk and insurance, risk and health, risk and migration, risk and social policy, risk and governance, borders and terrorism. The MA programme foregrounds the existence of multiple ways of understanding risk, from risk as an objective phenomenon managed through scientific tools (e.g. in the case of environmental hazards) to risk as a social construct and a political technique (e.g. in the case of risk and security).

For students interested in security-related risk, the MA programme offers in-depth and advanced understanding of geo-political security challenges and politics, including the ways in which society is governed increasingly through the prism of risk. Dealing with risks as a function of both the natural and social environments we live in, the course responds to the growing realisation that many risks are being created through social processes bound to questions of security, including the ways that risk techniques are emerging and being employed as a means of securing uncertain futures.

Course Structure

Students take the following core modules, and a selection of elective modules, which, when combined, add up to 180 credits:

Core Modules: 

  • Understanding Risk (30 Credits)
  • Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience (30 Credits)
  • Risk Frontiers (15 Credits)
  • Using Geographical Skills and Techniques (15 Credits)
  • Dissertation by Research (or) Vocational Dissertation (60 Credits)

Elective Modules available in previous years include:

  • Hydrological Hazards (30 Credits)
  • Risk, Science and Communication (15 Credits)
  • Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Hazard (30 Credits)
  • International Relations and Security in the Middle East (15 Credits)
  • Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis (15 Credits)
  • European Security (15 Credits)
  • Social Policy and Society (30 Credits). 

Course Learning and Teaching

Understanding and managing risk is ultimately about choice. All elements of society, from individuals to governments, must make decisions – conscious or not – about the ways in which they perceive, interpret, balance, and mitigate risk. Risk permeates our day-to-day lives in ways that are now recognised to be much more complex than the hazard-vulnerability paradigm, which dominated risk research until the 1990s, recognised. A deeper understanding of the nature of risk, its emergence, and its interface and position within societies, has emphasised the need to take a much more complex view in which a general understanding of the ways in which risk is generated, experienced and managed needs to be combined with a specific understanding of particular science or policy areas.

The primary aim of this Masters programme is to equip students with a general understanding of risk; whilst simultaneously providing specific training in elements of risk-related research. The MA supports students in developing a strong social science perspective on risk. This will be achieved through an interdisciplinary framework for understanding risk from a variety of perspectives. Students will learn theoretical and practical approaches to identifying and framing risk, as well as the underlying physical and social mechanisms that generate it. They will also examine the relationship of risk to knowledge and policy, and will be made aware of the array of advanced tools and techniques to assess the physical and social dimensions of risk under conditions of uncertainty. They will also be trained in the substance and methods associated with a range of science, social science and policy areas, and be expected to demonstrate that they can combine their general training in risk with their specific understanding of the substance and method associated with the chosen area, through either a research-based or a vocational dissertation.

All students will undertake a suite of core modules (150 credits) which provide students with a range of skills and knowledge which result in a unique focus in risk combined with training in interdisciplinary research methods. These modules are: Understanding Risk, Using Geographical Skills and Techniques, Risk Frontiers, Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience, and the Dissertation.

Students then also select a suite of elective modules (another 30 credits). Students can choose to receive specialised scientific training in:

  • international relations, geopolitics and security, and/or
  • scientific perspectives on environmental hazards
  • a combination of approaches to risk.

Electives can be selected from: Strategic Asia, European Security, International Relations in the Middle East, Social Policy and Society and Risk, Science and Communication. 

The Risk Masters (both in its MA and MSc forms) is taught jointly between Durham University’s Geography Department, the School of Government & International Affairs, and the School of Applied Social Sciences. The programme’s interdisciplinary approach encourages students to combine science and social science perspectives. Students have a broad range of modules to choose from, and in this way develop an individualized set of professional skills that, depending on the student’s preferences, speak more to either the natural sciences (e.g. via scientific modelling, GIS or science and communication) or the social sciences (e.g. via social science research methodologies and engagements with social policy and international relations). The programme is delivered in close collaboration with Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR), and through IHRR’s activities students get permanent exposure to both practitioner and academic perspectives at the forefront of risk thinking and practice.



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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 Master’s degree in geography will give you a thorough understanding of contemporary approaches to critical social and cultural geography, engaging with questions of inequality, identity and belonging, power and dissent, culture and conflict, critical cartographies, the spatiality of social inequalities, and the representation and power of cultural landscapes. Read more
This Master’s degree in geography will give you a thorough understanding of contemporary approaches to critical social and cultural geography, engaging with questions of inequality, identity and belonging, power and dissent, culture and conflict, critical cartographies, the spatiality of social inequalities, and the representation and power of cultural landscapes. You will develop your knowledge in the fields of social and cultural geography and understand their relationship to the wider field of human geography.

The compulsory modules explore cultural encounters, cultural change and conflict, and identity and power in the contemporary world, using case studies from the UK and internationally. You will acquire the conceptual ideas, theoretical approaches and analytical research skills needed to study geography at a postgraduate level.

You can then choose 2 option modules from a wide variety of topics including anthropology, Geographic Information Systems, postcolonial studies and urbanisation. You will also learn research methods that will enable you to specialise and undertake the researching and writing of a dissertation on the subject that interests you most and to conduct independent research in both academic and non-academic contexts.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This distinctive Master's degree combines theoretical and critical approaches to social and cultural geography with real-world case studies.
The programme allows you to follow your own interests, with a wide choice of option modules, while developing your research skills and undertaking a dissertation in an area that interests you.
The structure and teaching of the programme is informed by the critical, socially-engaged research of academics in the Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies.
The department is at the forefront of research into social and spatial inequalities, urbanisation and environmental change with active research in these fields.
The department is one of the hosts of the Living Maps project and our students have the opportunity to access activities and research centres across the College, including the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.
Our location in Bloomsbury puts us at the heart of academic London. You can take advantage of the rich research collections nearby, including Senate House Library, which is right next door to Birkbeck and the British Library, which is 5 minutes' walk away.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

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GCU's MSc Social Business and Microfinance is the first of its kind in the world. It's a programme designed for switched on, visionary people who want to change the world, jointly delivered by the Glasgow School for Business and Society and GCU's internationally recognised Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health. Read more

GCU's MSc Social Business and Microfinance is the first of its kind in the world. It's a programme designed for switched on, visionary people who want to change the world, jointly delivered by the Glasgow School for Business and Society and GCU's internationally recognised Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health.

Social business is driven by the underlying idea that entrepreneurship and financial tools can be used to make a positive impact for the common good. Supported by this principle, microfinance - small loans to assist entrepreneurial individuals in tough circumstances - can transform the lives of the poorest people all over the world, in both developed and developing nations.

The microfinance model has already proved successful in developing economies and is now expanding to countries such as the US and UK. You can be at the forefront of this exciting field, advancing social change and real transformation in the communities that need it most.

This one-of-a-kind programme will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to meet any challenges in this fast-changing field.

  • Explore social entrepreneurship - businesses that earn a profit while contributing to the common good - and the social economy
  • Study microfinance and management strategy
  • Practise creative and critical thinking about social problems and solutions
  • Explore international and intercultural perspectives
  • Expand your global outlook

What you will study

Global Social Entrepreneurship

Engages with internationally informed social entrepreneurship research and develops your understanding of international perspectives. The module also encourages your creative and critical thinking regarding social problems and potential solutions.

Social Business and The Social Economy

Introduces concepts of social business as an alternative to mainstream business. Equips you with the knowledge and skills to determine which factors to consider when developing your own social venture, or when creating a positive environment for social business and microfinance to succeed.

Microfinance Theory and Practice

Introduces concepts of microfinance. Equips students with knowledge of how global and local circumstances have shaped how microfinance is practiced and understood, and the knowledge and skills to determine what factors should be taken into account when critically evaluating the concept of microfinance, or when developing an enabling environment for microfinance to thrive.

Global Strategy – Challenges and Choices

Enables you to develop a critical understanding of challenges and choices in the global business environment and implications for management.

Contemporary Issues for Business and Society

Explores the geo-political, economic, social and technological environments in which businesses operate and encourages you to reflect critically upon these issues. Personal and Professional Development Enables you to identify, understand, develop and articulate your personal abilities in the context of your future career aspirations.

Research Methods

Develops advanced skills related to a range of research methods needed for academic and practical research at Masters level.

Dissertation

The final element of the programme is the dissertation. This will provide you with an opportunity to design and undertake a piece of original research in a relevant area of social business or microfinance.

Assessment methods

All modules include examinations and coursework in line with learning objectives. Assessment methods vary between modules and may include: unseen examinations; class tests; written coursework; presentations; group work.

Your career

The MSc Social Business and Microfinance is ideal for anyone working or planning to work in social business, or government employees who want to encourage social business in their communities. It's also highly relevant to NGO leaders who want to better understand the changing landscape of international aid.



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These postgraduate programmes aim to create highly sought-after researchers who are ready to apply their advanced knowledge and practical skills in the workplace or on further research. Read more

These postgraduate programmes aim to create highly sought-after researchers who are ready to apply their advanced knowledge and practical skills in the workplace or on further research.

You will learn how to collect, analyse and interpret social data and become skilled in interview techniques, surveys, problem-solving, communication skills and the latest industry software.

Students examine issues from across the social sciences and are introduced to both quantitative and qualitative research methods before having the option of specialising.

During the programme, you will research real world issues such as evaluating local health care services, predicting voting behaviour during elections or researching the impact of Hull’s year as the 2017 UK City of Culture on local people.

Taught by experienced researchers who are experts in their fields, the interesting and varied curriculum will be delivered through an enquiry-based approach to teaching including small-group work, tutorials, workshops and independent study.

It was designed with input from industry experts, former students and leading academics to ensure that it means the demands of the modern social research industry.

Students will be provided with a high level of academic support across the programme and all modules will be taught on one specific day (currently Thursdays) to accommodate part-time and working students.

There are four variants: 

  • MSc in Social Research
  • MSc in Social Research with Quantitative Methods
  • MA in Social Research with Qualitative Methods
  • MSc in Social Research (Doctoral Training Pathway)

Study information

MSc in Social Research

Semester 1 (PGCert)

  • Research Design and Methodology
  • Introducing statistics and data analysis with SPSS
  • Collecting Qualitative Data

Semester 2 (PGDip)

  • Philosophies of Social Science
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Analysing Qualitative Data

Summer period (Masters)

  • Dissertation in Social Research

MSc in Social Research with Quantitative Methods

Semester 1 (PGCert)

  • Research Design and Methodology
  • Introducing statistics and data analysis with SPSS
  • Collecting Qualitative Data

Semester 2 (PGDip)

  • Philosophies of Social Science
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis

Summer period (Masters)

  • Dissertation in Social Research

MA in Social Research with Qualitative Methods

Semester 1 (PGCert)

  • Research Design and Methodology
  • Introducing statistics and data analysis with SPSS
  • Collecting Qualitative Data

Semester 2 (PGDip)

  • Philosophies of Social Science
  • Analysing Qualitative Data
  • Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo

Summer period (Masters)

  • Dissertation in Social Research

MSc in Social Research (Doctoral Training Pathway)

Semester 1 (PGCert)

  • Research Design and Methodology
  • Introducing Statistics and Data Analysis with SPSS
  • Collecting Qualitative Data

Semester 2 (PGDip)

  • Working Beyond Disciplines
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Analysing Qualitative Data
  • Power, Authority and Freedom in History
  • Contemporary Research in Human Geography
  • Professional Practice and Communication Skills

Summer period (Masters)

  • Dissertation in Social Research

* All modules are subject to availability.

Future prospects

These programmes are an ideal route for those aiming for research careers in the public, voluntary or private sectors, including would-be senior civil servants keen to take advantage of the Government’s Fast Stream scheme to find the leaders of the future.

It equips students with practical skills and experience for a wide range of organisations including research agencies, charities, independent organisations, trade unions, pressure groups and lobby groups.

The programmes also offer continuing professional development for those already working as researchers and who want to advance their careers. It is also an excellent training programme for those wishing to progress to PhD level study.



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The MSc Research in Human Geography is a research training Masters degree that provides the skills necessary to undertake a PhD in Human Geography, or for those who want to acquire rigorous research skills more generally. Read more
The MSc Research in Human Geography is a research training Masters degree that provides the skills necessary to undertake a PhD in Human Geography, or for those who want to acquire rigorous research skills more generally.

The recognition of the programme by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) means that applicants are eligible to apply for 1+3 funding for Masters and PhD or, on successful completion, can apply to ESRC for +3 funding for a PhD.

The programme combines interdisciplinary expertise from Geography, Political Science and International Studies, and is truly multidisciplinary. Students will interact with other MSc students from across the social sciences and thereby gain a unique breadth of academic research, teaching and key transferable skills.

In addition to exposing individuals to cutting-edge debates in human geography, environmental science and related fields, the programme provides research training in theoretical, philosophical and methodological issues relevant to human geography and social science research. These include debates concerning social theory and epistemology, qualitative and quantitative techniques and their application to human geography, and research design, ethics and presentation.

In essence, the MSc provides rigorous research skills with a broad human geography focus, but can also be combined with a number of optional modules concerned with environmental management and decision-making and urban resilience.

The Aims of the Programme are as follows:

- To develop a deeper understanding of advanced level theoretical, philosophical and methodological debates in contemporary human geographies and related social sciences;
- To provide advanced training in social science research methodologies and their application in social research in general and human geography in particular;
- To develop a student's ability to communicate ideas and research effectively; and
- To develop specialist research-grounded expertise (for example, environmental management and/or urban resilience)

About the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences has a renowned history for international excellence in research and teaching.
Our postgraduate programmes are shaped by research that addresses global grand challenges across the fields of geography, planning, earth sciences, environmental science, occupational health and safety, and environmental and public health. With policy- and practice-focused teaching, all our programmes have high employability outcomes.
We offer excellent facilities for postgraduate study including extensive map and archive facilities, earth imaging laboratory, stable-isotope laboratory (SILLA), environmental library, fully digital drawing office, and state-of-the-art laboratories for environmental chemistry, sedimentology, ecology, groundwater and palaeobiology. Our diverse range of programmes will provide you with a thorough understanding of the discipline, high-quality training and skills development, and access to our expert staff and extensive facilities.
Our graduates go on to forge careers in areas that matter – from environmental consultancies and the hydrocarbon industries, to urban planning, policy roles in NGOs and government regulatory services – and make a real contribution to global challenges. Many graduates also go on to study for PhDs.

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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Our MSc / PGDip in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences. Read more
Our MSc / PGDip in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences.

You will be provided with a thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies, of the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist and of the principal methods of analysing social scientific data. You will also be introduced to the political and ethical frameworks within which social science research is conducted, and to some of the ways in which the results of social science research are disseminated.

The course pathways have ESRC recognition and they each provide the appropriate training basis for proceeding to a PhD. These programmes provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, the application of social research expertise for occupational career development, and the pursuit of substantive areas of interest at postgraduate level. 

Socio-legal studies pathway:

The School of Law and Politics has a well established reputation for outstanding research across the range of legal studies which makes a vital contribution to scholarship and the development of the law. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework recognised the School as a leading legal research institution, with most activity classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

This pathway builds on our long established reputation for scholarship in the area of socio-legal studies is focused on the newly established Centre for Law and Society and the Journal of Law and Society which the School founded and has hosted for almost 40 years. It is enriched by extensive collaboration with the Department of Politics and International Relations, as well as other Schools in the University and beyond.  

Structure

• PGDip:

The course can be completed in one year with full-time study or in two years by part-time study.

You will be required to complete six 20-credit modules - five core research modules and one specialist pathway module.

In all modules, you will have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to your pathway.

For a list of modules for the FULL-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-socio-legal-studies-pgdip

For a list of the modules for the PART-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-socio-legal-studies-pgdip-part-time

• MSc:

The course can be completed in one year with full-time study or in three years by part-time study.

You will be required to complete six 20-credit modules - five core research modules and one specialist pathway module. In all modules you will have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to your pathway.

On successful completion of the taught component, you will prepare a dissertation of a maximum 20,000 words. The 60-credit dissertation component requires independent study. You will choose your dissertation topic in agreement with your supervisor.

For a list of modules for the FULL-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-socio-legal-studies-msc

For a list of the modules for the PART-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-socio-legal-studies-msc-part-time

Teaching

Your programme will be made up of scheduled learning activities (including lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions) and guided independent study.

You will be expected to actively engage in all the educational activities on your programme of study, to prepare for and attend all scheduled teaching activities, and continue your development as an independent and self-directed learner.

Career Prospects

This programme provides knowledge and expertise suitable for careers in research and development, business, market studies, public agencies at international, national and local levels, education, teaching and other public services work, and voluntary organisations.
It also provides appropriate training for proceeding to a PhD.

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Our MSc or PGDip in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences. Read more
Our MSc or PGDip in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences.

You will be provided with a thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies, of the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist and of the principal methods of analysing social scientific data. You will also be introduced to the political and ethical frameworks within which social science research is conducted, and to some of the ways in which the results of social science research are disseminated.

The course pathways have ESRC recognition and they each provide the appropriate training basis for proceeding to a PhD. These programmes provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, the application of social research expertise for occupational career development, and the pursuit of substantive areas of interest at postgraduate level.

International Relations pathway:

The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Science Research Methods (International Relations) aims to provide advanced training in research methods. This programme will offer you an opportunity to develop analytical skills, an interdisciplinary knowledge base, and a practical understanding of research in International Relations.

This programme will provide you with:

• A thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies.
• Information on the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist.
• The principal methods of analysing social scientific data.

You will also be introduced to the political and ethical frameworks within which social science research is conducted, and to some of the ways in which the results of social science research are disseminated.

In order to have meaningful contact with research being conducted by staff in the School, you will be linked to a research group. The Politics and International Relations pathways are closely associated with the operation of the School’s research units and centres. The International Relations pathway is closely associated with the research activities of the International Studies Research Unit (ISRU) which encompasses a wide range of areas.

Distinctive features

You will be supervised by academic staff with considerable expertise in their chosen fields. These staff members are actively involved in disseminating research via publications in academic and practitioner journals, books and presentations to conferences. Many staff members are involved in editing or reviewing for scholarly management journals.

Structure

• PGDip

The PGDip can be completed in one year with full-time study and in two years by part-time study.

You will be required to complete six 20-credit modules - five core research modules and one specialist pathway module.

In all modules you will have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to your pathway.

For a list of modules for the FULL-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-international-relations-pgdip

For a list of the modules for the PART-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-international-relations-pgdip-part-time

• MSc

The MSc can be completed in one year with full-time study and in three years by part-time study.

The requirements are the same as the PGDip PLUS you will prepare a dissertation of a maximum 20,000 words following successful completion of the taught component, The 60-credit dissertation component requires independent study. You will choose your dissertation topic in agreement with your supervisor.

For a list of modules for the FULL-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-international-relations-msc

For a list of the modules for the PART-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-international-relations-msc-part-time

Teaching

Your programme will be made up of scheduled learning activities (including lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions) and guided independent study.

You will be expected to actively engage in all the educational activities on your programme of study, to prepare for and attend all scheduled teaching activities, and continue your development as an independent and self-directed learner.

Career Prospects

This programme provides knowledge and expertise suitable for careers in research and development, business, market studies, public agencies at international, national and local levels, education, teaching and other public services work, and voluntary organisations.

It also provides appropriate training for proceeding to 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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