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Masters Degrees (Social Research)

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Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships to study Social Research Methods at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Read more
Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships to study Social Research Methods at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Postgraduate loans are also available to English and Welsh domiciled students. For more information on fees and funding please visit our website.

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.

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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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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/pgopendays

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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Learn how to conduct social research and analyse social and human services policy with the Master of Policy and Applied Social Research. Read more

Overview

Learn how to conduct social research and analyse social and human services policy with the Master of Policy and Applied Social Research.

This masters degree will train you in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies including:
- analysing statistical data
- running focus groups
- conducting surveys
- analysing survey data

It also offers a diverse range of discipline areas to choose from, such as:
- human services and care
- crime and social policy
- work and employment
- economics for social policy makers

See the website http://courses.mq.edu.au/international/postgraduate/master/master-of-policy-and-applied-social-research

Key benefits

- Offers an interdisciplinary focus, so you can study diverse disciplines including politics, human geography and anthropology
- This degree’s combination of policy analysis and applied social research is unique in Australia
- Equips you with skills that are widely sought after in government, non-government and private sectors
- A flexible degree structure allows you to develop study plans tailored to your personal interests
- Option for a professional internship in social research

Suitable for

Whether you’re working in service delivery programs and want to move into a policy role, are returning to the workforce or looking to change careers by moving into policy and social research – this degree will give you the research and analytical skills you need.

English language requirements

IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent

All applicants for undergraduate or postgraduate coursework studies at Macquarie University are required to provide evidence of proficiency in English.
For more information see English Language Requirements. http://mq.edu.au/study/international/how_to_apply/english_language_requirements/

You may satisfy the English language requirements if you have completed:
- senior secondary studies equivalent to the NSW HSC
- one year of Australian or comparable tertiary study in a country of qualification

Careers

- Career Opportunities
Some of the options open to graduates of this degree include: social research; policy analysis and planning; careers in social and community services; human services; climate change and development; public opinion and market research; teaching in the field of social science; activism and advocacy. These may be within community-based organisations, trade unions, local government, marketing and social research organisations, private consultancies or government policy agencies.

- Employers
Our postgraduate program equips graduates with policy and social research skills that are widely sought after in the government, non-government and private sectors.

Past graduates now work in:
- policy roles in local, state and federal public sectors
- non-government agencies in policy and advocacy roles
- trade unions
- social research and marketing companies
- research positions within academic and other research bodies

See the website http://courses.mq.edu.au/international/postgraduate/master/master-of-policy-and-applied-social-research

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The MA Methods of Social Research provides essential training for employment where an understanding of social research is important, as well as for further academic research in a social science discipline. Read more
The MA Methods of Social Research provides essential training for employment where an understanding of social research is important, as well as for further academic research in a social science discipline.

This MA programme at Kent exposes students to a wide range of thinking and approaches in social science research presented in a multi-disciplinary context and at an advanced level.

The focus of the programme is on developing practical skills in data collection, in data analysis and interpretation, and in the presentation of research findings so that students gain insight into the research process from design to the production of new knowledge.

More generally students will broaden their understanding of the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues that matter in research, and will become aware of debates about the relationship between theory and research and between research and policy/practice.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/119/methods-of-social-research

About the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR):
SSPSSR has a long and distinguished history, and is one of the largest and most successful social science research communities in Europe. It has received top ratings in Research Assessment Exercises, and most recently had 70% of its work judged as either “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” in terms of its “originality, significance and rigour”.

The School supports a large and thriving postgraduate community and in 2010 distributed in excess of £100,000 in Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) quota awards, and in University and SSPSSR bursaries and scholarships to new students.

Academic staff specialise in research of international, comparative and theoretical significance, and we have collective strengths in the following areas: civil society, NGOs and the third sector; cross-national and European social policy; health, social care and health studies; work, employment and economic life; risk, ‘risk society’ and risk management; race, ethnicity and religion; social and public policy; sociology and the body; crime, culture and control; sociological theory and the culture of modernity.

Course structure

Master's (MA):
The MA programme consists of:

- four compulsory one-unit modules (total of 80 credits, 40 ECTS)
- two optional one-unit modules or one two-unit module (total of 40 credits, 20 ECTS)
- and a supervised dissertation (60 credits, 30 ECTS).

The compulsory modules are:

- Qualitative Research
- Quantitative Data Analysis
- Critical Social Research: Truth, Ethics and Power
- Design of Social Research

The dissertation will be on a topic of your choosing and involves carrying out original empirical research using the research methods covered in modules.

Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma (PCert/PDip):
There is the option to take this programme as a Postgraduate Certificate, where you just take the four compulsory modules (80 credits). The Certificate is offered to all registered PhD students (part-time or full-time) within the Faculty of Social Sciences (not only to SSPSSR students) free of charge subject to supervisors’ consent.

You can also take it as a Postgraduate Diploma, where you take the four compulsory modules and two optional modules but without taking the dissertation (120 credits).

Full time or part time?:
The Programme can be taken either full-time over one year or part-time over two years. For part-time students, in the first year you take 'Design of Social Research' and 'Qualitative Data Analysis.' In the second year, you take 'Quantitative Research' and 'Using Research – Advanced Critical Skills'. Additional credits will be obtained from optional modules offered within the Faculty.

Assessment

Teaching for the MA will take a variety of forms, including lectures, tutor-led seminars, student-led seminars, small group work, workshops on data analysis, guided search of on-line data sources, and self-directed learning based on the University Library.

Students will be assessed in each module and on a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice.

Module assessments vary. Some require either one 5,000-word or two 2,500-word essays; others require more of a portfolio of work, including in-class tests. The individual module outlines contain the necessary information on assessment.

This programme aims to:

•provide appropriate methods training for students preparing an MA dissertation or MPhil/DPhil theses, or for students going on to employment involving the use of social science research

•introduce you to a variety of different approaches to social science research, presented in a multidisciplinary context

•cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research questions or hypotheses and translating these into practicable research designs

•make you aware of the range of secondary data available and equip you to evaluate their utility for research

•develop skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and internet resources in a multidisciplinary context

•introduce you to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and the debates about the relationship between theory and research, the problems of evidence and inference, and the limits of objectivity

•develop skills in the use of SPSS and other statistical techniques of data analysis, including multivariate analysis

•develop skills in writing, the preparation of a research proposal, the presentation of research results, and verbal communication

•help you to prepare your research results for wider dissemination, such as seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications to a range of audiences, including academics, policymakers, professionals, service users and the general public

•give you an appreciation of the potential and problems of social research in local, regional, national and international settings.

Careers

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills.

We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation, as well as time management and leadership skills.

You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of social and public policy is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.

Recent graduates have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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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- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-social-research/. 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- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-social-research/

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 students clearly have access to an enthusiastic and dedicated teaching team and a well-designed course which provides robust grounding in key methods and cutting edge examples of how this work is conducted to stimulate critical thinking. Essay, report and dissertation structure allows the students to engage in depth with key methodologies and substantive fields of interest. The quality and consistency of feedback is a particular strength. Encouraging students to interrogate their interests and life experiences and to use data and methods accordingly makes their assessed work really lively and engaging.”
Professor Ann Kerr (University of Leeds)
External Examiner

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.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Postgraduate Programmes Officer.

Modules & Structure

Modelling Social Data I- 30 credits
Modelling Social Data II- 30 credits
Theory, Concepts and Methods of Social Research I- 30 credits
Theory, Concepts and Methods of Social Research II- 30 credits
Dissertation MA in Social Research- 60 credits

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.

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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Surrey’s highly regarded Department of Sociology specialises in pioneering research methods and offers a stimulating study environment for our highly sought-after graduates. Read more
Surrey’s highly regarded Department of Sociology specialises in pioneering research methods and offers a stimulating study environment for our highly sought-after graduates.

The MSc Social Research Methods programme is backed by decades of experience: we were the first in the UK to run this type of programme in 1974.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

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

This programme won't just train you in the application of specific research techniques: it will illuminate the connections between sociological theory and empirical research, and relate research to the development of public policy and the analysis of substantive social issues.

Wider issues of the social research process are also covered and include: the planning and management of research projects; the methodological, theoretical, philosophical and ethical aspects of research; and the presentation and publication of research findings.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Data Analysis
-Documentary Analysis and Online Research
-Field Methods
-Principle of Survey Design
-Research: From Design to Dissemination
-Evaluation Research
-Statistical Modelling
-Theory and Method
-Dissertation

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The main aims of the programme are to:
-Provide an appropriate training for students preparing MPhil/PhD theses, or for students on to employment involving the use of social science research
-Introduce students to a variety of different approaches to social science research at an advanced level
-Cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research questions or hypotheses and translating these into practicable research designs
-Make students aware of the range of secondary data available and equip them to evaluate its utility for their research
-Develop skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and Internet resources
-Introduce students to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and to debates about the relationship between theory and research, about problems of evidence and inference, and about the limits of objectivity
-Develop skills in the use of SPSS, and in the main statistical techniques of data analysis, including multivariate analysis
-Develop skills in the use of CAQDAS software for the analysis of qualitative data
-Develop skills in writing, in the preparation of a research proposal, in the presentation of research results and in verbal communication
-Help students to prepare their research results for wider dissemination, in the form of seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications, in a form suitable for a range of audiences, including academics, policy makers, professionals, service users and the general public

PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
-Formulate, design, plan, carry out and report on a complete research project
-Use the range of research techniques commonly employed in sociological research, from survey research to field methods
-Collect or generate quantitative and qualitative data through an array of techniques, and select techniques of data generation on appropriate methodological bases
-Analyse: quantitative data using basic and more advanced skills; qualitative data from both ‘real world’ and ‘virtual world’ environments
-Employ a quantitative and qualitative software package to manage and analyse data
-Apply critical reflection skills to the methodological, theoretical, ethical, and philosophical aspects of social research practice
-Plan, manage and execute research as part of a team and as a sole researcher
-Present research findings to differing audiences
-Have an understanding of the contribution social research makes to social policy formulation and the evaluation of planned social interventions

Knowledge and understanding
-Appreciate the epistemological and ontological questions that underpin social research
-Show critical awareness and understanding of the methodological implications of a range of sociological theories and approaches
-Show systematic knowledge of basic principles of research design and strategy
-Understand the use and value of a wide range of different research approaches across the quantitative and qualitative spectra
-Show advanced knowledge of techniques, and appropriate use, of quantitative and qualitative data analysis
-Recognise the significance of social/political contexts and uses of research
-Show engagement with innovations and developments in social research
-Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of research ethics

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Systematically formulate researchable problems; analyse and conceptualise issues; critically appreciate alternative approaches to research; report to a range of audiences
-Analyse qualitative and quantitative data drawn both from ‘real world’ and ‘virtual world’ environments, using basic and more advanced techniques, and draw warranted conclusions
-Develop original insights, questions, analyses and interpretations in respect of research questions
-Use methodological, theoretical, ethical, and philosophical knowledge about social research practice to address complex issues creatively
-Critically evaluate the range of approaches to research

Professional practical skills
-Formulate, design, plan, carry out and report on a complete research project
-Use the range of research techniques commonly employed in sociological research
-Generate both quantitative and qualitative data through an array of techniques, and select techniques of data generation on appropriate methodological bases
-Employ a quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative software package to manage and analyse data
-Plan, manage and execute research as part of a team and as a sole researcher
-Present research findings to differing audiences in both written and oral formats, as appropriate

Key / transferable skills
-Communicate complex ideas, principles and theories by oral, written and visual means
-Work to deadlines and within work schedules
-Work independently and self-organise
-Apply computing skills for research instrument design, data analysis, and report writing and presentation
-Formulate and solve problems, both individually and as part of a team
-Demonstrate experience of a work environment

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

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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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Our unique emphasis on research methodology will sharpen your ability to think in a logical and informed manner about criminological problems, and to design, conduct and manage effective research and evaluation. Read more
Our unique emphasis on research methodology will sharpen your ability to think in a logical and informed manner about criminological problems, and to design, conduct and manage effective research and evaluation.

We’ve combined modules in academic criminology and the criminal justice system with training in qualitative and quantitative research methods.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

The combination of analytic criminological knowledge and applied research skills on this programme will equip you with a sophisticated understanding of the key challenges and perspectives in contemporary criminology.

The Masters in Criminology, Criminal Justice and Social Research is aimed at graduates and practitioners with an appropriate first degree who seek advanced knowledge about issues connected with crime, deviance, control, the criminal justice system and social research.

It will also suit graduates and practitioners considering a PhD in this area; and practitioners in the criminal justice system and related government and voluntary agencies who wish to develop their understanding of the wider issues connected to crime.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
-Field Methods
-Data Analysis
-Criminological Theories
-Research: From Design to Dissemination
-Criminal Justice System
-Law, Society and Social Control
-Crime and Offending
-Evidence Based Practice in Crime and Criminal Justice
-Dissertation

Students are encouraged to take up opportunities for experiential learning in workplace settings, providing extended opportunities for work experience and career development in professional research settings.

The department supports students in finding three-to-four week research placements during Spring and Summer vacation periods, and this approach has recently been supplemented to include strategies of support for students seeking a wider range of opportunities for professional development in the first-hand experience of research organisation – including such activities as part-time internships over longer periods, workplace visits, or shadowing research professionals.

This introduces further flexibility in a student-led process of professional development in light of increasing external pressures on students’ commitments and responsibilities. All, however, involve opportunities to consider issues in career development and professional skills.

The support process involves the Department working closely with students on a one-to-one basis toward their goals and requirements, in association with the University’s Careers Service, to offer pastoral advice and support.

Organisations the department has worked with in the past have included the Office of National Statistics, Cabinet Office, HM Inspectorate of Prisons, Sussex Youth Offending team and Surrey Police.

In some cases the work experience may also be with projects in academic contexts. Students seek experiential learning opportunities with the support of the Department’s Senior Placement Tutor, and assistance from the Faculty Placement Office.

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The MSc in Criminology, Criminal Justice and Social Research (CCJSR) provides a thorough grounding in the discipline of criminology combined with advanced training in the full range of qualitative and quantitative methods of social research.

It is designed to meet the needs of students graduating from a first degree who have an interest in crime and the criminal justice system, people who are currently employed and wish to apply a knowledge of criminological research within their present job, or those who wish to move into a criminological research career.

The degree provides an ideal foundation to undertake a part-time or full-time PhD.

The degree is suitable for a wide range of students in terms of age, professional background, and current occupation and circumstances.

Because of this diversity of experience, students on the degree learn a great deal from each other, including at the residential Weekend Conference in the middle of the first semester, and the Day Conference at the end of the first semester.

The full-time MSc is taught over 12 months and the part-time course over 24 months. Students who do not wish to undertake the Masters dissertation can obtain the Postgraduate Certificate in Criminology, Criminal Justice and Social Research after gaining 60 credits, or the Postgraduate Diploma after gaining 120 credits.

Students studying for the MSc in full-time mode are required to submit their dissertation during the academic year in which they co