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Masters Degrees (Social Research And Policy)

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

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

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

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

Flexible modes of study

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

Modules

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

Teaching and learning

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

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

Timetable

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

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

Placements

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

Employability

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

LSBU Employability Services

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

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

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The MRes Social Policy programme is designed for;. - those developing careers as policy analysts or applied researchers in national or international social or public policy organisations or government departments. Read more

Overview

The MRes Social Policy programme is designed for;

- those developing careers as policy analysts or applied researchers in national or international social or public policy organisations or government departments
- prospective PhD students in social or public policy.

The programme combines the academic study of social policy with a comprehensive exploration of research methods. Students develop experience and skills through analysing, comparing and evaluating social and public policies. Within an active research community (http://www.bath.ac.uk/sps/research/research-students/) students are supported in identifying, investigating and realising their own original research. We encourage diversity of intake regarding experience, qualifications and interests to stimulate the mutual experience and learning.

The excellence of the research undertaken within the Department of Social & Policy Sciences has been recognised most recently by the award of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011.

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

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

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

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

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

Programme structure

Core Units

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

Optional units

- Comparative European social policy
- International family policy
- Globalisation & economic insecurity: social policy challenges
- Comparative research methods
- Quantitative methods 2
- Qualitative methods 2

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

Learning and teaching

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

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

Methods of assessment

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

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

Careers

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

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

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

About the department

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main areas of research

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What makes this programme different?

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

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

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

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

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

Who should study this programme?

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

What you'll study

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

Modules

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



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The University of Bath Institute for Policy Research offers a pioneering Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice (DPRP). Read more
The University of Bath Institute for Policy Research offers a pioneering Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice (DPRP). The course is designed to enable experienced professionals working in a range of policy arenas – locally, nationally, and globally – to develop their policy analysis expertise without having to take a full career break. Combining advanced training in policy research and analysis with a thesis based on original research, it is based on a cohort model and can be spread out over up to six years.

Key features

- A combination of advanced policy research and analysis training with a thesis component based on original research
- Part-time programme structure designed to cater for busy professionals
- A means to enable participants to draw on their working experience at the same time as engaging with up-to-date academic research and thinking
- A cohort structure based around an annual two-week residential to provide networking with other participants as part of the programme
- Access to a wide range of sector-specific expertise across the University, including Technology Policy, International Development, Health, Education and Social Policy

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/prof-doct-in-poli-rese-and-prac/

Why take a professional doctorate in policy research and practice?

In all areas of government and public administration – whether in local government, national civil services or international organisations – the world of policy making is changing fast. There is an increasing recognition of the need for a secure and transparent evidence base on which to make policy, but there are also a range of approaches and methods that policy makers can use to assess the evidence base and consider the likely impact of different policies. This Doctorate will enhance professional capability and critical reflection on the theories, methods and practices of policy making.

The course involves a blend of face-to-face and distance learning. The academic coherence of the course is built around a ‘hub and spoke’ model comprising two core policy analysis units (in Transformational Policy and Practice and Policy Research Methodology) and two specialist units to enable students to broaden and deepen their understanding of policy research across a range of disciplines. You are required to complete four ‘taught’ units over three years of study – two core and two optional – followed by a supervised piece of original research over up to three years.

Educational aims of the programme

The Professional Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice is designed to:

- give particular priority to the transfer of multidisciplinary research and learning to the workplace, to enhance the academic and the professional contribution that policy makers and practitioners can make to theory and practice in their field
- engage current practitioners with knowledge, awareness and understanding of philosophical, organisational, political, social, economic, managerial, interpersonal, and technical dimensions of policy
- develop the capability to broaden an understanding of critical issues facing policy makers today
- provide you with a broad foundation from which you can hone your specific interests towards the conduct of supervised research and make an original contribution to your field
- support you in publishing and disseminating your research

Course structure

The Professional Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice is built around a part-time cohort model. You will advance through the course with a cohort of other participants from a range of countries, sectors and organisations. Teaching is focused on a two-week residential held in early September each year, with subsequent virtual seminars, tutorials, and supervision throughout the rest of the year.

This structure will enable you to interact, learn, and network with a stable cohort of participants, while ensuring the flexibility to continue your own professional career.

The course is structured into two stages: the taught stage and the thesis stage.

If your circumstances change and you are unable to complete the course, there are alternative qualifications that may be awarded depending on the number of credits accumulated.

- Taught stage:
The taught stage is based on four units. In the first year, two compulsory core units provide advanced training in policy analysis and research methods. The first year is designed to equip you with the knowledge and capability to understand and use a range of research methodologies, novel analytical frameworks and toolkits to address key issues within a broad policy context. The two core generic analysis units include:

- Transformational Policy and Practice – to introduce you to theoretical understandings of ‘policy’ and policy making and how they relate to practice. This will include a series of case studies of policy making and implementation from different countries

- Policy Research Methodology – to develop your knowledge and understanding of the methodologies (philosophic frameworks) employed in policy research, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the merits of particular quantitative and qualitative methods.

Each of these generic units carry 18 credits and are assessed with an 8,000 assignment or equivalent. Successful completion of these units would normally entitle you to the PG Certificate exit award if appropriate.

- Specialist streams:
Over the subsequent two years you elect two specialised units, relevant to their field of practice, from a choice of up to four units. These are designed to enable you to develop and hone specific interests towards the conduct of supervised research: current optional units are listed below. The five initial units are:

- international development policy
- education policy
- health policy
- technology policy
- social policy (awaiting final approval).

Each specialist unit carries 18 credits and is assessed by an 8,000 word assignment.

You will be asked to choose a specialist unit in the first year, while undertaking your core modules so that teaching resources can be planned for the following year.

- Research enquiry:
You will spend the final three years of your study developing a supervised research enquiry. Supervision is primarily provided virtually over this period but it would normally be expected that you adhere to a minimum number of face-to-face contact hours. We also provide other online support for you during this time including webinars and online forums.

About the IPR

The University of Bath Institute for Policy Research (IPR) brings together many of the University’s research strengths to foster inter-disciplinary research of international excellence and impact. It bridges the worlds of research, policy and professional practice to enable us to address some of the major policy challenges we face on a local, national and global scale.

Read more (http://www.bath.ac.uk/ipr/)

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/index.html

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The MSc in Social Policy and Social Research encompasses both a theoretical understanding of the policy process with advanced research methods training, providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to work in complex and challenging policy contexts. Read more

The MSc in Social Policy and Social Research encompasses both a theoretical understanding of the policy process with advanced research methods training, providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to work in complex and challenging policy contexts. This degree has ESRC 1+3 training recognition, meaning it stands alone as an MSc but will also prepare students for doctoral research.

About this degree

Students are equipped with the conceptual tools and empirical evidence necessary for investigating social policy and policy-making, including critical assessment of the role of research evidence in policy development and implementation. Graduates will be able to apply this knowledge and understanding and analytical and methodological skills to conduct social research in different policy contexts.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Understanding the Policy Process: Theories and Issues
  • Evidence for Policy and Practice
  • Social Theory and the Study of Contemporary Social Problems

Optional modules

Students select optional modules from the following list.

  • Introduction to Data Analysis
  • Introduction to Regression Analysis
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research
  • Systematic Reviews Design and Planning
  • Survey Design
  • Impact Evaluation Methods
  • Longitudinal Data and Analysis
  • Using STATA Efficiently and Effectively
  • Advanced Qualitative Methods
  • Systematic Reviews for Complex Policy Issues
  • Research Engagement, Participation and Impact
  • Systematic Reviews: Meta-Analysis, Qualitative Synthesis and Mixed-Methods Synthesis

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words. Workshops and online resources help prepare students for the dissertation.

Teaching and learning

A rich variety of teaching of methods are used, including lectures combined with seminars. In some modules, students are given the opportunity to develop presentational skills through group projects. The programme includes both face-to-face and online components. Assessment is through coursework assignments and a 12,000-word dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Social Policy and Social Research MSc

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates of this programme may find work in a broad range of areas, including as social policy researchers and advisers in government, NGO personnel, or as university and college lecturers and researchers.

Employability

Graduates from this MSc gain sought-after skills that allow them to pursue professional careers in academia and/or policy research, policy analysis, policy development and implementation, programme management, and policy advocacy within the public, private, or non-profit sectors.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme offers a unique opportunity to study social policy and the ways in which research, along with other forms of evidence and knowledge, connects with and impacts on policy-making and professional practice. Training is also provided in social research methods relevant to people working in a policy or academic context. It is structured to allow students to customise their degree according to their preferred area of study and future career plans.

The programme is located within the Department of Social Science, a research-intensive department with an outstanding international reputation. It is taught by an interdisciplinary team, all with specialist expertise across a wide range of policy areas.

Our central London location and network of partners and alumni gives us access to nationally and internationally prominent guest speakers who give insight into policy as it is formed.



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Programme Aims. The MA in Social Policy and Social Development Programme aims to prepare students to develop the necessary core professional and personal competence required to work in the field of social policy and to engage in professional practices in social development. Read more

Programme Aims

The MA in Social Policy and Social Development Programme aims to prepare students to develop the necessary core professional and personal competence required to work in the field of social policy and to engage in professional practices in social development. This involves gaining critical knowledge and skills in analysing and appreciating local and global policy issues and the ability to formulate and assess policy options that ensure effective, appropriate and sustainable outcomes, uphold social justice and improve social well-being. To these ends, the programme is designed to bring together theory and practice that enables participants in the programme to meet challenges in social development ethically and imaginatively.

Special Features

Unlike most other postgraduate programmes in social policy, this MASPSD is designed for those who are either to embark on a career in Social Policy and Social Development or those who are already mid-career practitioners seeking to improve their knowledge about public and non-government sectors specialising in social policy and planning for social development. It is structured to offer rigorous, interdisciplinary and hands-on training across a number of academic, managerial and professional disciplines that prepare participants to transfer knowledge into action to bring about social development, especially through responsible policy analysis, formulation, impact assessment and evaluation.

The programme provides students with a solid foundation in social policy analysis that can be adapted and applied in many fields of human service provision and practice in social development. Graduates are expected to gain the competence necessary to participate effectively in social policy processes, conduct needs assessments, evaluate policy impacts and develop appropriate and relevant policy options that respond responsibly to new challenges in social development.

Programme Structure

MA : to be eligible for the award, students are required to take 30 credits (6 Required Subjects including the Integrative Project and 4 Elective Subjects).

PgD : Students who have successfully completed 21 credits (5 Required Subjects and 2 Elective Subjects) can exit that programme with a Postgraduate Diploma.

PgC : Students who have successfully completed 12 credits (2 Required Subjects and 2 Elective Subjects) can exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate.

Professional Recognition

Graduates of this programme may apply for membership of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA).

Core Areas of Study

Required Subjects

  • Policy Research Method
  • Social Context and ethics
  • Social Policy Analysis and Social Accountability
  • Social Planning and the Policy Process
  • Theory and Practice of Social Development
  • Integrative Project

Elective Subjects

  • Assessing Globalization and Social Development
  • Organization Theories and Analysis
  • Comparative Social Policy and Social Development
  • Contemporary Issues in Social Policy
  • Digital Technologies and Social Development
  • Social Impact Assessment
  • Social Policy and Social Development in China
  • Social Policy Evaluation
  • Emerging Issues of Social Policy in Asia
  • Quantitative Methods for Policy Research and Evaluation


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Welfare states everywhere face enormous challenges from population ageing, changes in family life and work-patterns, migration and the economic crisis. Read more

Welfare states everywhere face enormous challenges from population ageing, changes in family life and work-patterns, migration and the economic crisis. In a globalised and interdependent world, these issues can only be understood from an international perspective which accounts for these common pressures and processes, but which also recognises and engages with the diversity of national traditions and institutions for delivering welfare.

The International Social Policy programme takes a policy analytic approach to provide you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy. You learn about the common features of social policy arrangements internationally and the variety and differences that characterise welfare across the countries and regions of the world. Drawing on the research-based expertise available at SSPSSR which relates to countries ranging from China, South Korea and Singapore in South East Asia to the UK, Germany and Sweden in Western Europe, you are equipped to understand how national and global forces interact to shape trajectories of welfare system development.

The programme enables you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring enduring cross cutting themes in social policy, including the prioritisation of equality and capabilities, as well as to drill down to how and why policy unfolds in key welfare fields. You develop policy analytic skills in relation to such areas as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, and children & family related policy. You acquire expertise in the use of primary and secondary data collection in areas pertaining to all these aspects of social policy, and are thus equipped to think critically about the development of social welfare systems in a global age across the full range of national contexts and policy situations.

Course structure

We place considerable emphasis on structured, interactive seminars with a high degree of student participation. You also join the staff/graduate seminars which allow MA and research students to become involved in a professional research culture.

The programme gives you a clear and confident grasp of social policy in developed and developing countries. You gain an advanced understanding of the relevant debates, theories and concepts of international issues alongside skills in research design and data collection.

Modules

You take compulsory modules alongside optional modules of your choice. Modules may include:

  • Design of social research
  • Key issues in comparative social policy
  • Comparative social policy
  • Organised civil society and the third sector
  • The family, parenting culture and parenting policy
  • Governing science, technology and society in the 21st Century
  • Foundations of sociology
  • Politics and sociology of the environment
  • Sociology of health, illness and medicine
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Terrorism and modern society

https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/118/international-social-policy#structure

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy
  • impart country-specific as well as cross-national empirical and theoretical knowledge of current challenges and processes of transformation of welfare systems
  • enable you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring specific policy fields such as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, poverty and social exclusion, urban development, and family policy
  • develop your skills in research design and data collection in areas pertaining to social policy
  • familiarise you with using primary and secondary data to develop cutting-edge research in the field of international social policy.

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.

Our graduates obtain a range of transferable skills and report high levels of being in employment or further study within six months of graduation across all of our degree programmes.

Over 98% of Kent's postgraduate students who graduated in 2016 were in work or further study within six months. Recent graduates from our School have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs.

How to apply: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Why study at the University of Kent

We offer inspirational teaching and supervision alongside first-class library and IT facilities. You also benefit from our high-impact research in all subjects. Whatever you are looking to study, Kent provides a dynamic and challenging environment for your postgraduate studies.

  • Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework
  • Kent is ranked 21st in the Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Table of Tables’ 2017
  • Kent is ranked 25th in the Complete University Guide 2018
  • Kent is ranked 22nd in the Guardian University Guide 2018
  • 42% of our academics are from overseas and we have students representing 158 nationalities
  • In the most recent research rankings, 97% of research at Kent was found to be of international quality (REF 2014)
  • Kent is ranked 17th in the UK* for research intensity and research output (REF 2014)
  • Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/why-kent/

* of 122 universities, not including specialist institutions



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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

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

Overview

The programme is designed for:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Programme structure

Core Units

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

Optional units

- Quantitative methods 2
- Qualitative methods 2

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

Learning and teaching

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

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

Methods of assessment

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

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

Careers

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

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

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

About the department

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main areas of research

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

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

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

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

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Social and policy research coupled with comparative analysis that has an international dimension. This masters programme is ideal for mid-career professionals. Read more
Social and policy research coupled with comparative analysis that has an international dimension.

Overview

This masters programme is ideal for mid-career professionals. You'll find the course useful if you are, or intend to, work with policy; either as an adviser, researcher, analyst or consultant.

You'll study a strongly international curriculum that is based around a combination of comparative social and public policy management and advanced research skills training. This course builds directly on our applied policy research expertise, both in the taught modules which draw heavily on our own research and in the practice-relevant activity that provides an opportunity to participate in ongoing policy research projects.

Course content

This is a 21-month course that specialises in social and public policy analysis and social research. You'll focus on comparative cross-national and international policy. You'll also spend time analysing policy development and policy lessons from OECD member states.

The first half of this MPA will enable you to study and explore a combination of comparative social policy and public management. In the second half you'll get advanced research skills training. You'll undertake practice related activities including small group projects that will expose you to applied policy research in practice with the support of a learning mentor.

Modules
You'll study six modules in your first year that will introduce you to the concepts and techniques you'll use later in the course. You'll also build on your knowledge with a series of masterclasses and your own policy analysis.
-Social Policy Analysis
-Comparative and International Social Policy Research Methods
-Globalisation and Social Policy
-Comparative Social Policy - Governance, Management and Delivery
-Applied Policy Transfer Project
-Comparative Applied Social and Public Policy, Evaluation and Research Master Classes

Placement
You'll undertake a placement which is selected, where possible, to match your interests, expertise and career aspirations. You'll work alongside a mentor with expertise in policy-related activities.

In your second year you'll study five modules that build advanced research skills and allow you to deepen your understanding of applied social and public policy. You'll also write an experiential analysis of your placement experiences and undertake detailed independent study on a topic that links to your professional interests and experience.
-Introduction to Social Research Methods
-Applied Policy Research Placement Report
-Advanced Quantitative Methods
-Advanced Qualitative Methods
-Placement Linked Systematic Review Report

You'll work on two independent projects that will be assessed as part of your course.

In your first year you'll work on the Applied Policy Transfer Project to produce a 8,000 word report under the supervision of your mentor. You'll be able to specialise on a specific policy issue in which you'll explore cross-national evidence to identify policy solutions that may be transferred from one country to another.

Towards the end of your second year you'll undertake a longer independent project in which you'll produce a structured scoping review of up to 10,000 words.

Careers

This course is ideal for mid-career professionals that aim to work in, or already work in, social or public policy.

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Our highly sought-after graduates benefit from a programme that integrates training in identifying, framing and effectively researching social problems with a leading computational approach to social science. Read more
Our highly sought-after graduates benefit from a programme that integrates training in identifying, framing and effectively researching social problems with a leading computational approach to social science.

Furthermore, we are home to the Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS) and its world-leading expertise in agent-based modelling.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

Interest in simulation has grown rapidly in the social sciences. New methods have been developed to tackle this complexity. This programme will integrate traditional and new methods, to model complexity, evolution and the adaptation of social systems.

These new methods are having an increasing influence on policy research through a growing recognition that many social problems are insufficiently served by traditional policy modelling approaches.

The Masters in Social Science and Complexity will equip you to develop expertise in the methods necessary to tackle complex, policy-relevant, real-world social problems through a combination of traditional and computational social science methods, and with a particular focus on policy relevance.

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.
-Data Analysis
-Field Methods
-Computational Modelling
-Theory Model Data
-Modelling the Complex World
-Policy Modelling
-Theory and Method
-Statistical Modelling
-Evaluation Research
-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 going on to employment involving the use of social science and policy research
-Provide training that fully integrates social science, policy modelling and computational methodologies to a high standard
-Provide training resulting in students with high quality analytic, methodological, computational and communication skills

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:
-Develop skills in tackling real world policy problems with creativity and sound methodological judgment
-Cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research 
questions or hypotheses and translating these into practicable research designs and models
-Introduce students to the methodological and epistemological issues surrounding research in the social sciences in general and computational modelling in particular
-Develop skills in programming in NetLogo for the implementation of agent-based models for the modelling of social phenomena
-Develop skills in the acquisition and analysis of social science data
-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
-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 ofresearch 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, stakeholders, policy makers, professionals, service users and the general public

Knowledge and understanding
-Show advanced knowledge of qualitative, quantitative and computational methodologies in the social science
-Show advanced knowledge of modelling methodologies, model construction and analysis
-Show critical understanding of methodological and epistemological challenges of social science and computer modelling
-Show critical awareness and understanding of the methodological implications of a range of sociological theories and approaches
-Show understanding the use and value of a wide range of different research approaches across the quantitative and qualitative spectra
-Show advanced knowledge in data collection, analysis and data driven modelling
-Show advanced knowledge of policy relevant social science research and modelling
-Show advanced understanding of the policy process and the role of social science and modelling therein
-Show advanced knowledge of statistical modelling

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Systematically formulate researchable problems; analyse and conceptualise issues; critically appreciate alternative approaches to research; report to a range of audiences
-Conceptual development of Social Science and Complexity models to creatively enhance the understanding of social phenomena
-Integration of qualitative, quantitative and computational data
-Judgement of problem-methodology match
-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
-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 traditional and computational techniques employed in sociological research
-Ability to produce well founded, data driven and validated computational models
-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
-Ability to communicate research findings models in social science and policy relevant ways
-Ability to manage independent research

Key / transferable skills
-Communicate complex ideas, principles and theories by oral, written and visual means
-Apply computational modelling methodology to complex social issues in appropriate ways
-Creativity in approaching complex problems and a the ability of communicating and justifying problem solutions
-Apply computing skills for computational modelling, research instrument design, data analysis, and report writing and presentation
-Work to deadlines and within work schedules
-Work independently or as part of a team
-Demonstrate experience of a work environment

PLACEMENTS

On the MSc Social Science and Complexity, we offer the opportunity to take a research placement during the Easter vacation. This will provide you with first-hand experience of real-life policy research in action.

Organisations in which placements might be possible are a number of consultancies (e.g. Sandtable), government departments (e.g. Defra) and academic research centres (e.g. Centre for Policy Modelling at Manchester).

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Computational methods and especially computer-based simulations, are becoming increasingly important in academic social science and policy making.

Graduates might find career opportunities in government departments, consultancies, government departments, consultancies, NGOs and academia.

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

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

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

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This 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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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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Rigorous training in the comparative analysis of institutions, from local to international. The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy will train you in comparative and international policy analysis, research and design. Read more
Rigorous training in the comparative analysis of institutions, from local to international.

Overview

The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy will train you in comparative and international policy analysis, research and design. It is ideal for those working in, or wishing to work in international policy analysis and policy development in governments, charities and NGOs around the world.

It is based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work which was ranked equal first in the UK for the impact of its research, with 87% of its research activity rated as world leading or internationally excellent.

This MA is especially suitable for:
-Graduates from degrees in social policy, politics, sociology, international studies or other social sciences
-Graduates from other backgrounds who wish to develop a high quality of graduate level research training in social research methods and policy analysis
-Graduates who wish to develop an understanding of comparative and international welfare institutional arrangements
-Those looking to develop a career in social research and/or policy analysis

Course content

The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training. You'll start with a solid introduction to comparative social research methods and social policy analysis. You'll then explore how social policy is affected by globalisation. You'll finish with a comparative exploration of how emerging governance structures and actors affect the management and delivery of social policy in national and international settings.

This masters degree has a broad international approach, rooted in the analysis of higher income countries in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and adapting this to a study of a broader sample of countries across the globe.

This particular masters degree attracts an international student body so you'll benefit from a truly comparative experience.

Most people study for full-time for 12 months, but part-time study over 24 months is also available.

Modules
In the autumn term you'll take two compulsory modules:
-Social Policy Analysis
-Comparative and International Social Policy - Research Methods

In the spring term you'll take two more compulsory modules that focus on international and comparative social policy:
-Comparative Social Policy - Governance, Management and Delivery
-Globalisation and Social Policy

You'll examine how social policy is affected by globalisation in four regions: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
More details on the MA in Comparative and International Social Policy modules.

In the summer term and summer months you'll take part in the Graduate Dissertation Workshop. This will give you the chance to develop and present your research interests. You will participate in a group project with other students who have similar interests. You will also use this time to work on your individual research project.

Careers

The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy develops skills that employers need in a number of areas, especially policy analysis and research. You'll also find you develop transferable skills that will allow you to progress to different areas or to continue your studies at PhD level.

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