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Masters Degrees (Social Research)

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

Introduction

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

Key information

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

Course objectives

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

English language requirements

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

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

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

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

Structure and content

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

Core modules

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

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

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

Delivery and assessment

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

Why Stirling?

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

Career opportunities

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

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

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

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

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

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

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How you will be taught

There are core modules in:

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

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

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

Students enrolled on the MSc programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

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

Careers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introduction

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

Accreditation

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

Key information

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

Course objectives

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

English language requirements

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

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

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

Structure and content

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

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

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

Delivery and assessment

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

Why Stirling?

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

Rating

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

Career opportunities

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

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The MA Social Research draws upon a wide variety of contemporary theoretical traditions including postcolonial theory, poststructuralism, discourse analysis, critical or subtle realism, and feminism. . Read more

The MA Social Research draws upon a wide variety of contemporary theoretical traditions including postcolonial theory, poststructuralism, discourse analysis, critical or subtle realism, and feminism. 

The MA Social Research is located in a high ranking Sociology Department and draws upon a wide variety of contemporary theoretical traditions including postcolonial theory, poststructuralism to discourse analysis, critical or subtle realism, and feminism. The aim of the MA is to explore how these may present implications for methodological design and analytical strategies.

The MA teaching is made up of lectures and workshops covering both qualitative and quantitative methods during which students are encouraged to try out, evaluate and sometimes combine different approaches. The range of methods covered include interviewing and observation, archival research, visual methods, ethnographic work as well as statistical analysis of large-scale quantitative data sets. 

The dissertation research project assesses your proficiency in managing different types of data and your ability to design and carry out an original piece of research. Dissertation workshops will guide you as you prepare to undertake a substantive piece of research on a topic of your choice. The dissertation research will be supervised by an experienced member of staff.

Modules & structure

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

The programme will enable you to develop:

  • the capacity to generate, execute and evaluate sociological research at an advanced level
  • the ability to examine how social research and sociological knowledge can both influence and help us understand social, public and civil policies
  • the ability to define, investigate, communicate and appraise empirical evidence 

Careers

The MA is ideal research preparation for an MPhil/PhD and a future academic career in Sociology. A number of successful doctoral students have completed the MA Social Research before applying for ESRC funding and/or going on to successfully complete their doctorate. These include current members of staff. Also, the MASR has provided an excellent preparation for those entering the public, health and third/NGO sector with such organizations as the Resolution Foundation and the Parkinson’s Charity. Others have successfully competed for entry into the Civil Service ‘fast track’ scheme for government social research. Similar examples of success can be seen under student profiles.



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Social media and other emerging communication technologies are becoming a key aspect of social research practice. The data they generate contain insights into how entire populations communicate, behave and interact with each other. Read more
Social media and other emerging communication technologies are becoming a key aspect of social research practice. The data they generate contain insights into how entire populations communicate, behave and interact with each other.

The Social Media and Social Research masters provides the practical research skills and conceptual foundations needed to conduct studies in this new field.

Course content

The Social Media and Social Research masters degree examines the role of social media in contemporary societies, and their potential for ethical research. You'll develop a foundation in traditional social science research skills, as well as explore new methods of analysis for both large- and small-scale data.

Modules
The Social Media and Social Research masters consists of six modules:
-Understanding Social Media
-Quantitative Methods and Data Analysis
-Qualitative Methods
-Metrics and Society
-Advanced Methods in Social Research
-Themes and Issues in Contemporary Sociology

You will develop, design, implement and manage your own original research project, supervised by a member of staff. You will analyse the data and produce a 15,000-word dissertation based on your research project.

Careers

The Social Media and Social Research masters degree develops skills employers need in many fields, and especially those requiring awareness of digital social research practice and theory.

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Why study at Roehampton. You can choose to complete this programme as a PGC, PGD or MA. This programme is suitable for students completing research in Business, Education or Social Science. Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • You can choose to complete this programme as a PGC, PGD or MA.
  • This programme is suitable for students completing research in Business, Education or Social Science.
  • Roehampton has been ranked the most research-intensive modern university in the country (REF 2014).
  • External assessors have rated the innovative "general research skills" module very highly and commented favourably on the assessment mix.
  • The course has 1+3 recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Course summary

This course is perfect if you are looking to embark on a successful career as a researcher or academic and will provide you with the necessary training as part of your study for your MPhil/PhD.

The course is distinctive in providing students with an exciting opportunity to develop expertise in a range of both quantitative and qualitative research methods of data collection and analysis with a focus on their application to real-world issues.

The course has 1+3 recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council. Only three Education Departments in post-92 universities have this prestigious kitemark.

In order to enhance your engagement with the issues to be examined, and to allow flexibility over how you manage your time, the Social Research Methods programme will be delivered through weekly sessions in the Autumn and Spring semesters supplemented by tutorial support available (both face-to-face and electronically). Evening sessions are provided for part-time students.

Content

All three levels of the programme will include an introduction to the processes and issues involved in designing a quantitative or qualitative research project. You will also undertake modules that will introduce you to the methods of quantitative (including use of SPSS) and qualitative (including use of CAQDAS) research, giving you the skills and confidence to use these approaches to data collection and analysis in your own research.

If you progress to do a PGD or MA you will also explore the philosophy of social science research where you will examine the relationship between epistemology, ontology and methodology. Furthermore, you will explore concepts that underpin educational and social research including empiricism, rationalism, hermeneutics, feminism, post-modernism and critical realism and critique their relation to objectivity, causation, and validity.

You will also focus on key elements of the Research Councils’ Joint Statement of Skills Training for Research Students. You can then choose to study interpretations of the concept of education - and their implications for research - and the role of values in educational theory and research methodologies, or the basic theoretical concepts in social theory, with a particular emphasis on sociology and social policy.

Masters students will complete a dissertation in an area of their choosing in the fields of education or the social sciences.

The PG certificate course addresses core features of social research methods, focusing on different forms of data and how they can be collected and analysed. MA-level study is aimed at students who either want a discrete research-based MA or want to run a pilot study for an MPhil/PhD research project.

Modules

The following is a list of modules that you need to take to complete the different awards: 

PGCert

  • The Design of Social Research
  • Qualitative Research Methods of Data Collection & Analysis
  • Quantitative Research Methods of Data Collection and Analysis

PGDip

  • All of the PGC modules and
  • Philosophy of Social Science Research
  • General Research Skills

plus one of two optional modules:

  • Educational Research & the Social Sciences
  • Social Theory and Social Research

MA

  • All of the PGD modules and
  • Dissertation

Career options

This is THE course for those wishing to be employed in the research field of education and/or social sciences.

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Forge a career as a social researcher, social worker or a consultant in the public or private healthcare and care sectors with a Masters course in Sociology and Social Research. Read more

Forge a career as a social researcher, social worker or a consultant in the public or private healthcare and care sectors with a Masters course in Sociology and Social Research. This programme is recognised by the ESRC as a research training course, is designed to equip postgraduate students with advanced knowledge of both issues and applied methods in sociological analysis.

The programme supports students in developing independent social research skills, and applying them in such contemporary subject areas as work, crime, migration, health, the media and the body. It also engages students in the discussion of issues and perspectives from both classical and contemporary sociological theories. The programme is an excellent grounding if you wish to pursue a PhD in sociology, and can also be a stepping stone for those who wish to pursue a career in the public, private or voluntary sector.

Introducing your course

Do you want to know more about the tools with which we study diverse areas of society, such as work, crime, migration, health, the media or the body? Our masters in Sociology and Social Research supports students in developing independent social research skills, and applying them in contemporary subject areas relevant to societal progress and knowledge.

It engages students in the discussion of issues and perspectives from both classical and contemporary sociological theories. The course provides an excellent grounding if you wish to pursue a PhD in sociology, and can also be a stepping stone for those looking for a career in the public, private or voluntary sector.

Overview

The aims of this programme are to provide you with:

  • an in-depth understanding of classical and contemporary themes and debates in sociology and of their application in the analysis of selected social issues
  • a knowledge of key issues in the philosophy of social science and the ability to apply this knowledge in the design and practice of social research
  • a knowledge of the techniques of data analysis utilised in the social sciences and their application
  • a knowledge of the principal methods of qualitative and quantitative research utilised in the social sciences, and an understanding of their application in different contexts
  • the ability to design and conduct independent research within the field of sociology, utilising appropriate research methodologies, and grounded in an understanding of the process of research management and ethical and legal issues associated with the conduct of social research
  • the capacity to present ideas, arguments and research findings through different means of communication

View the programme specification document for this course



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

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

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

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

Research insight

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

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

Course content

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

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

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

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

Course structure

Compulsory modules

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

Optional modules

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

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

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

Learning and teaching

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

Assessment

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

Career opportunities

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

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

Careers support

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

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



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This programme is recognised by the ESRC as a research training programme designed to provide participants with a sound background on overall research design and the most up-to-date training in methods and data collection and analysis. Read more
This programme is recognised by the ESRC as a research training programme designed to provide participants with a sound background on overall research design and the most up-to-date training in methods and data collection and analysis.

The core elements of this programme are delivered by staff from across the College of Social Sciences, many of them engaged in cutting-edge research in their own fields.

The MA programme includes assessed core modules and short courses (120 credits) and the completion of a 14,000 word dissertation (60 credits), while the Postgraduate Diploma includes the assessed courses only (120 credits).

Modules

Introduction to Social Research
This module aims to provide a general introduction to studying and research methods and prepares you for your dissertation, emphasising key skills such as searching literature, finding datasets and presenting and criticising arguments. It also covers ethics of research, the role of theory and philosophical bases for understanding the social world.

Research Design
This module links the introductory module and data collection module through consideration of research design, questions, warranting practices and sampling methods. All the elements of research design are linked into an over-arching theme of the full cycle of research activity.

Social Research Methods I
This module introduces the principles and practices of data collection and explores rationales of the various methods. It will focus on the different stages of data collection, including various methods used to gather textual and numerical data.

Social Research Methods II
This module introduces students to a range of approaches for analysing and handling data. It will include covering statistical methods for quantitative data and methodological approaches for qualitative data. It emphasises that the method of analysis is not determined by the method of collection.

British Social Policy - Beyond Welfare?
This module provides students with an understanding of recent trends in social policy development and of the current social and economic context of policy making in the UK. The question underpinning the module is 'Where is British Social Policy heading?'

Researching Social Policy
This module is concerned with the politics of social research, rather than research methods and methodology. It addresses issues such as: how are certain topics identified as subjects for research, how is research commissioned and funded, and what are the relationships between research and the policy process. It draws on real-life experiences of doing research and being researched to explore these issues.

The modules on Social Research Methods I and Social Research Methods II cover a wide range of approaches, including the 'qualitative' traditions, plus mixed methods.

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COURSE OVERVIEW. Develop your skills in research design. Complete intensive training in social research methods and approaches. Learn to present aspects of research in a range of engaging ways. Read more

COURSE OVERVIEW

  • Develop your skills in research design
  • Complete intensive training in social research methods and approaches
  • Learn to present aspects of research in a range of engaging ways

Social Research in Education at Winchester offers a programme of focused study of research methods applicable to educational settings and educational enquiry. You are equipped and encouraged to develop an in-depth understanding of research methods, research design, and the cultural and ethical contexts in which educational research takes place. The course helps you to develop advanced qualitative and quantitative research skills, which support you in starting or enhancing a career in research or as a senior professional able to support others in research endeavours, for example in schools.

We focus on research design, which enables you to select appropriate approaches and methods to carry out investigations. It provides you with the opportunity to develop intellectual and practical skills, along with the ability to analyse and communicate complex ideas, and creatively plan and manage an independent postgraduate research project in education. It also equips you with the necessary skills to undertake further doctoral study.

You study core modules in Quantitative Methods in Social Research, Qualitative Methods in Social Research, and Theory, and Practice and Ethics in Social Research. You may choose to target a particular aspect of educational practice for data collection, although assignments analyse data collection methods, analysis approaches or ethical aspects of the research rather than the content of the practice.

There is also a final dissertation project, for which you choose an empirical or theoretical aspect of research methodology and explore it. This may also include an investigation of an aspect of education that interests you. You participate in workshops and seminars, and on-going online and face-to-face discussions with tutors and other students. These include debating issues such as ethical considerations in research, and help develop some of the underpinning research skills.

Careers

Graduates of the course are equipped to pursue careers in educational research, as research officers working for educational bodies such as local authorities, as contract researchers, or as project officers working on funded projects in higher education or research institutes.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work experience

Students who are not currently working in an educational setting need to establish clear links with at least one setting for research purposes.

Learning and teaching

Start dates: September

Distance learning available: For research methods modules. Independent study supervisions may be conducted by Skype or email.

Teaching takes place: Weekends. However, the Theory, Practice and Ethics in Social Research module is taught at the summer school in June/July, and one weekend in September.

Workshops and seminars develop some of the underpinning research skills. Students are part of ongoing online and face-to-face discussions with tutors and other students, and are equipped to present aspects of research in a range of ways.

Location

King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester

Assessment

Assessed work includes portfolios of completed tasks, essays, presentations and posters; all assessments are given numerical grades. For the dissertation, students choose an empirical or theoretical aspect of research methodology, and explore this through a project which may also explore an aspect of education that interests them.

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes.

Further details on assessment types used can be found by attending an open evening or contacting our teaching staff.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures section.



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This specialist Master's degree in archaeological practice is designed specifically as training for the 1+3 funded PhD studentships in the ESRC Doctoral Training Programme. Read more
This specialist Master's degree in archaeological practice is designed specifically as training for the 1+3 funded PhD studentships in the ESRC Doctoral Training Programme. It provides you with the advanced conceptual, theoretical and practical skills to undertake archaeological research, from prehistory to the middle ages, and over considerable geographical breadth. The inclusion of the compulsory module in Quantitative Social Research provides you with the statistical skills needed for doctoral research.

Course structure

You take 2 compulsory modules, including either Introductory or Intermediate Quantitative Social Research (ESRC DTP students must take Intermediate Quantitative Social Research), choose 2 option modules, and research and write a dissertation.

Compulsory modules

Intermediate Quantitative Social Research
Introduction to Quantitative Social Research
Research Dissertation
Themes and Concepts in Archaeology
Indicative option modules
Archaeological Architecture
Between Words and Walls: Housing in the Graeco-Roman World
Fieldschool: Buried Humanities
Frameworks for Archaeology: Curatorial Archaeology in England
From temples to museums: post-classical encounters with classical antiquities
Material Worlds
The City of Rome: Ancient to Medieval
The Edge of Empire: The Archaeology of Roman Frontiers

Teaching

Teaching includes classroom lectures and seminars, as well as practical sessions in laboratories, museums and in the field. Where appropriate, use is made of online resources, including our online learning environment, Moodle.

Assessment

Each module is assessed by an essay of 5000-5500 words, except the module Intermediate Quantitative Social Research which is assessed by 50% coursework and 50% examination. You also research and write a dissertation of 15,000-16,000 words.

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