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Masters Degrees (Social Research Methodology)

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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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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 commenced registration.

It is expected that students studying part-time will have obtained a minimum of 60 credits by the end of the first 12 months of registration in order to proceed into the second year.

PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES

On completing the MSc, students will have:
-Gained experience in conducting an extended piece of criminological research of a high calibre
-Obtained a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of the discipline of criminology
-Developed and demonstrated extensive knowledge about the core debates in academic criminology and the central issues in criminal justice policy
-Understood how the concerns of criminology and the criminal justice system connect to and interact with wider social issues
-Acquired and utilised practical knowledge of a range of different traditions and methods relevant to conducting criminological research, from survey research to field methods
-Planned, manage and execute research as part of a team
-Developed the analytic skills and substantive knowledge to enable them to pursue a successful career in academe, research institutes, or relevant government departments

Knowledge and understanding
-Show critical awareness and understanding of the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of the discipline of criminology
-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
-Appreciate the epistemological and ontological questions that underpin social research
-Recognise the significance of social/political contexts and uses of research developed competence about the core debates in academic criminology and the central issues in criminal justice policy
-Show engagement with innovations and developments in social research
-Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of research ethics

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Understood how the concerns of criminology and the criminal justice system connect to and interact with wider social issues
-Acquired and utilised practical knowledge of a range of different traditions and methods relevant to conducting criminological research, from survey research to field methods
-Systematically formulate researchable problems
-Analyse qualitative and quantitative data drawn both from ‘real world’ and ‘virtual world’ environments, using basic and more advanced techniques, and draw warranted conclusions
-Critically evaluate the range of approaches to research

Professional practical skills
-Use the range of research techniques commonly employed in criminological research
-Generate both quantitative and qualitative data through an array of techniques, and select techniques of data generation on appropriate methodological base
-Employ a quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative software package to manage and analyse data

Key / transferable skills
-Work to deadlines and within work schedules
-Apply computing skills for research instrument design, data analysis, and report writing and presentation
-Communicate ideas, principles and theories by oral, written and visual means

PLACEMENTS

A distinctive component of the MSc is the opportunity to undertake a placement at a criminal justice agency or research institute for four weeks during the spring break. The practical experience and insights gained reinforce formal learning.

CONFERENCES

A residential weekend conference is attended by all programme members, PhD students and teaching staff in November. This provides a less formal atmosphere for discussions concerning criminology, research and related themes; it includes lectures from eminent guest speakers and members of staff, seminars and small group discussions. The Department also organises a day conference for MSc students at the University, with student presentations and guest speakers.

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 programme aims to provide students with a solid foundation in a broad range of social science research methods as well as basic research skills. Read more
This programme aims to provide students with a solid foundation in a broad range of social science research methods as well as basic research skills.

Students will acquire a general overview of the philosophy of social research, and understand how this informs research design, methods of data collection and analysis. They will also develop an ability to use a range of research methods, to communicate research findings effectively and an understanding of the potential use of and impact of their research within and beyond academia.

Core Modules

Philosophy of Social Science Research

The module considers fundamental philosophical debates about what counts as ‘knowledge’ across the social sciences. Teaching addresses (natural) science as a method of obtaining knowledge and the interpretative tradition in the social sciences. Students explore fundamental philosophical debates about what counts as ‘knowledge’ across the social sciences and apply these discussions to their own disciplines and field of study.

Research Design, Practice and Ethics

The module introduces students to social science research designs and ethical issues in research practice. Learning supports students to be able to make strategic choices when developing their own projects, and to assess the design and research ethics decision making in others’ published research work.

Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods

Concepts, methods and skills central to quantitative research, including data collection approaches and concept operationalization, are core throughout this module. Building on a grounding in ideas relating to probability sampling, sampling error and statistical inference, coverage of techniques extends from comparisons of means and simple cross-tabular analyses to a discussion of multivariate analysis approaches, focusing on linear and logistic regression.

Foundations in Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is examined across a range of topics, from different approaches and methods including ethnographic and observational research, discourse and conversation analysis, documentary and archival analysis, participatory research and the use of interviews. Ethics in qualitative research is specifically considered, as is the evaluation of qualitative research.

Advanced Training Programme

Unless stated, all advanced training 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 advanced training 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 advanced training 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 do so will be placed on a waiting list. Confirmation will be sent a week before the course dates.

Advanced Training courses run in Semester 3, unless otherwise stated:

Analysing Hierarchical Panel Data
An Approach To Research On Discourse
Case Study Research Design
Documentary Research In Education
Factor Analysis
Introduction To Econometric Software
Introduction To Time Series Regression
Narrative Research
Multivariate Linear To Logistic Regression
Policy Evalution
Q Methodology - A Systematic Approach For Interpretive Research Design
Questionnaire Design
Researching Disability
Role Of Thinking: Philosophy Of Social Science Research
Visual Research Methods

NB: some courses have pre-requisites, e.g. to register on Multiple Linear and Logistic Regression, Factor Analysis, or Narrative Research, you will need to have passed Social Research Methods II (20 credits module), or equivalent. You will need to provide evidence that you have passed a similar course on quantitative/qualitative data analysis where appropriate.

To register for the above advanced training courses, please e-mail: specifying which courses you are interested in. When registering for courses, please provide your name, student ID, department/programme you are affiliated to, and your e-mail address.

In addition, you will write a 12,000-word dissertation (60 credits).

About the School of Government and Society

The School of Government and Society is one of the leading UK and International centres for governance, politics, international development, sociology, public management, Russian and European studies.
Established in 2008, the School comprises three Departments: Politics and International Studies (POLSIS); International Development (IDD) and Local Government Studies (INLOGOV).

POLSIS: The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), one of the largest and most academically vibrant departments of Political Science and International Studies in the UK. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) Politics and International Studies at Birmingham was ranked the 6th best in the power rankings highlighting the large number of staff in POLSIS producing world-leading and internationally excellent research.

IDD: Be part of global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Contribute to conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. Help build capacity of nations and communities to adapt to climate change. Study with us to gain the skills and knowledge essential for working in international development in the 21st Century.

INLOGOV: The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the leading academic centre for research and teaching on local governance and strategic public management. We enrich the world of local public service with research evidence and innovative ideas, making a positive difference.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgfunding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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We're committed to developing our postgraduates into skilled researchers who can conduct rigorous research using a variety of methodologies and methods- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mphil-phd-psychology/. Read more
We're committed to developing our postgraduates into skilled researchers who can conduct rigorous research using a variety of methodologies and methods- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mphil-phd-psychology/

Supervision can be offered in any of the areas of departmental activity.

During your first year you may take a range of taught modules including research design and analysis, methodology, theoretical issues, and statistics; requirements will vary depending on any postgraduate research training you have already undertaken.

The MPhil programme offers the opportunity for you to continue your research to a PhD.

You will attend and contribute to research seminars, and through departmental and Goldsmiths-wide modules you are also encouraged to develop practical skills such as public speaking, poster preparation, scientific writing, and how to deal with the media.

You meet regularly with your supervisor at every stage, and develop a structured approach to designing, executing, analysing and writing up your research.

You will have access to the Department of Psychology's range of laboratories, testing rooms and research equipment. You have an annual allowance to contribute towards your research expenses and participation in at least one national or international conference.

What kind of research could I do?

We are able to support research in most areas of psychology. Some students have already formulated specific research ideas before they apply here, and find a supervisor in the department who is able to help them develop these into a doctoral research programme; if this applies to you, see information on the expertise of all our staff and contact any who you think may be able to help you to pursue these.

Other students are attracted by the research interests of our staff, and may decide to undertake a project which has been suggested by them and which relates to their ongoing research. To explore these or other research ideas, start by emailing the member of staff whose research interests you. Each staff member will discuss research ideas with you via email, skype or phone; and you are very welcome to visit staff at Goldsmiths to discuss your options further.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Denise Barry.

Structure

Our postgraduate students are offered a stimulating study environment in which to research their higher degree.

We have a thriving postgraduate school with some 40 current students on full-time and part-time programmes, including mature students and students from the EU and overseas.

We provide training modules in research methods in your first year, a regular report/presentation schedule, and excellent computing/research facilities.

If you are thinking of doing an MPhil at Goldsmiths, the first step is to get in touch with any members of our staff whose research is in line with your interests.

The MPhil programme offers the opportunity for you to continue your research to a PhD.

Training and support

All our MPhil students are assigned a specific research supervisor (or sometimes joint supervisors).

As well as receiving ongoing support and guidance from their allocated supervisor(s), our students undergo comprehensive training in psychological research methods (unless they already hold an MSc approved by the ESRC) in line with current ESRC training guidelines, which includes quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. This is mainly during the first year of registration (or first two years for part-time students. Our MPhil students also attend various short generic research skills and methods training (CRT) modules run by the College, also in their first year (or first two years if part-time).

Our students have full access to the Department's excellent facilities for lab and field research, and first-rate technical support is available from the Department's five-strong team of full-time technical staff.

Your progress

You may have the option to upgrade to a PhD after 12 months full-time, or 20 months part-time.

Your progress on your thesis is regularly monitored by the Department's Postgraduate Programmes Committee. The Head of Department can recommend suspension from the programme at any stage if progress is not satisfactory.

Postgraduate facilities

All full-time students have their own workplace and a networked computer with access to programmes for their research needs, plus email and internet facilities. Part-time students also have access to a networked computer, generally shared between two or three students. In addition, we have a lab solely for the use of postgraduates, and a postgraduate computing room. We also run a psychological test library for staff and students.

Seminars and presentations

Our postgraduates have regular opportunities to meet up with other students and to make contact with staff.

The Department runs a number of active visiting lecturer seminar programmes and a weekly Postgraduate Seminar Series, at which students learn about the research of their colleagues, and receive guidance on topics such as giving presentations or writing up a thesis. There are also several specialised research groups (including affective neuroscience, consciousness studies, development and social processes, occupational psychology, visual cognition) open to staff, researchers and postgraduate students which hold regular discussion sessions and talks.

All postgraduates are invited to attend an annual Research Seminar Weekend in an informal setting at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park, which is funded by the Department. Here, we have a programme of internal and external speakers.

In addition, our annual Postgraduate Poster Party gives students the opportunity to update the Department on their work.

Conferences

Besides the yearly presentation to the Department, our postgraduates are strongly encouraged to present their work, eg as a paper or poster, at external conferences and financial support is set aside for this. Some recent presentations by postgraduates include:

-Priming for depth-rotated objects depends on attention. (Vision Sciences, Sarasota)
-Imagining objects you have never seen: Imagery in individuals with profound visual impairment. (BPS Annual Conference)
-Modelling dopaminergic effects on implicit and explicit learning tasks. (Annual Summer Interdisciplinary Conference)
-Individual differences in affective modulation of the startle reflex and emotional stroop task. (BPS Conference)
-Evolution and psi: Investigating the presentiment effect as an adapted behaviour. (Society for Psychical Research 25th International Conference)
-Presence: Is your heart in it? (4th Annual International Workshop on Presence)
-The effects of state anxiety on the suggestibility and accuracy of child eyewitnesses. (11th European Conference of Psychology and Law)
-The psychosocial sequelae of aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage. (6th Scientific Meeting of the Stroke Association)
-The role of Electrophysiology in Human Computer Interaction. (HCI Conference)
-Categorical shape perception. Experimental Psychology Society and Belgian Psychological Society)
-Schizotypy, eye movements, and the effects of neuroticism. (10th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Individual (ISSID))
-Eye movements in siblings of schizophrenic patients. (World Congress of Biological Psychiatry, Berlin, Germany)

Assessment

Thesis and viva voce.

Department

Psychology at Goldsmiths is ranked joint 3rd in the UK for the quality of our research**

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

How does music affect mood?
Why do some people believe in the paranormal?
How do people with autism think?

In the Department of Psychology we try and investigate questions like this, conducting research that’s relevant to a range of sectors and industries – from advertising to education, and from banking to the public sector.

You’ll be taught by experts in the field, who are carrying out research that’s world class. And you’ll learn in a department with excellent specialist and general-purpose research laboratories, including:

EEG and brain stimulation labs for neuroscience research
a visual perception and attention laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art eye tracking systems
an infant lab
in-house technical support staff

Skills & Careers

You will receive training in and develop wide-ranging research skills, including:

database searching and bibliographic skills
managing and analysing data
presentation and communication skills
quantitative and qualitative research methods
handling legal and ethical issues in research
research design
project management

How to apply

Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, listed above. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.

Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body. Supervision can be offered in any of the areas of departmental activity, as reflected in the research interests of our staff. Please contact a member of staff in the department, before making a formal application, and establish that they would be willing to supervise you in a research area of common interest.

If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.

Research proposals

Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application.

An approximate timeline of training and research plans and an outline of a previous research project in which you have played a leading role (for instance, a study you conducted for your undergraduate or MSc degree). The personal statement in the Departmental form will be structured in a different way to that on the College form. Please see guidelines on the form itself. Finally, your supervisor will be required to provide a statement detailing ways in which the project fits into their overall research programme and the wider research interests and facilities of the Department. Guidance on how to structure these is given on the form. Please do not exceed the word length, and DO NOT submit additional material emanating from your previous research (e.g. copies of dissertations, published papers) as this will not be read. Note that all aspects of the application are required for an application to be considered.

Funding

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

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

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

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

Modules

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why do we become attached to a particular person? How do relationship dynamics change over time? Does objectifying women lead to their mistreatment? When… Read more
Why do we become attached to a particular person? How do relationship dynamics change over time? Does objectifying women lead to their mistreatment? When is gender made relevant in and for politics? What does it mean in practice to support someone with autism, and how can we assess support? Does self-modesty differ between cultures? How does economic inequality affect self-perception? What identities are invoked in interview interactions?

In this one-year taught masters programme in Social Psychology you will enhance your knowledge and understanding of the theories, concepts and methodological tools that constitute social psychology’s distinctive perspective. You will be guided and supported in exploring the social psychological literature. You will be given rigorous training in qualitative and quantitative analyses. You will have diverse opportunities to build your own research experience, through seeking and implementing research-based answers to questions in the field or in the literature. You will participate in our unique problem based approach to providing empirical answers to social psychological questions.

In short, you will learn to think like a social psychologist, and you will learn to do social psychology.

You will benefit from being part of a growing group of friendly, enthusiastic social psychologists working within a vibrant department, in a lovely city. You will benefit from our expertise in working in different cultures, in the field, and with mixed methods. You will also benefit from the breadth and strength of the interdisciplinary academic community at Edinburgh, for example, by having the opportunity to select option courses, attend research seminars across different disciplines, take part in the social psychology reading group or in discursive psychology and conversation analysis data sessions.

Programme Structure

You will undertake the following:

Core courses (worth 90 credits in total):
•Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R (10 credits)
•Multivariate Statistics and Methodology using R (10 credits)
•Qualitative Methodologies in Psychological Research (10 credits)
•Psychological Research Skills (20 credits)
•Research Methods for Social Psychology (10 credits)
•Problem-based social psychological research (10 credits)
•Current Topics in Social Psychology (10 credits)
•Critical Social Psychology (10 credits)

Option courses worth 30 credits in total:
•Chosen from a wide range of courses relevant to Social Psychology from Psychology or other disciplines, as approved by the Programme Director

And a Dissertation in Social Psychology (60 credits)

Learning outcomes

The overall aim of this programme is to advance your understanding of how social questions can be addressed using social psychology, and to provide you with the conceptual and research tools to do so.

More specifically, on successful completion of this programme, you will be able to:
•think as a social psychologist in seeking understanding of and solutions to practical and theoretical problems
•address the challenges of researching individuals embedded in their social worlds
•understand epistemological issues in social research
•understand key theories and concepts in social psychology
•conduct rigorous independent social psychological research drawing on the range of social psychological approaches and methodologies
•evaluate published research in social psychology
•make well-informed contributions to discussions about social issues

On completion you will also:
•have acquired wider research skills, including giving conference talks, making poster presentations, writing research proposals, knowledge exchange and writing for a lay audience
•be prepared for a range of career paths including PhD work, or the wide variety of careers in which it is valuable to be able to conduct sound social research or evaluation

Career opportunities

The programme will provide relevant preparation for a range of career paths, including:
•undertaking a PhD in Social Psychology or in a related field, possibly leading to an academic career
•undertaking a Professional Doctorate/Masters training programme in Clinical or Health Psychology
•a wide variety of careers where it is valuable to be able to conduct sound social research, or to develop and evaluate practices and policies relating to social behaviour or thinking; such as policy development in education, health, and social care or in areas surrounding marketing; such as opinion-generating, fostering multiculturalism and equality, and communication skills.

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Compulsory modules. The Research Process. This module introduces the main varieties of both quantitative and qualitative research in the social sciences. Read more
Compulsory modules:

The Research Process: This module introduces the main varieties of both quantitative and qualitative research in the social sciences. Principles of research design and issues of data collection and analysis are studied. Data collection and analysis will include:

How to construct, use and critique questionnaires and interviews
Interpret measurement error and missing data
Engage in various kinds of observational research
Analyse observational data
Record, transcribe and analyse conversational, textual and visual data
Conduct archival, documentary and historical research
Key Issues in Social Policy: This module extends and deepens knowledge and understanding of key issues in contemporary social policy. Links between theoretical analysis in welfare and empirical enquiry in social policy are made, and key issues, debates and concepts in social policy analysis and evaluation are explored. Contemporary forms of welfare delivery including issues of participation, user involvement and control in the provision of welfare are critically evaluated. Core debates relating to social change, equality and inequalities, discrimination, risk and dependency, citizenship and rights will be examined. The impact of devolution and local government change on social policy in Wales is reviewed together with national and international comparisons of welfare systems.

Health Policies: This module adopts a comparative approach to the study of health policies in Britain and internationally. Students will consider the politics of health and will develop an understanding of the dynamics of power between professionals, administrators and patients. The role of social policy analysis in evaluating the impact of change, factors associated with good and bad practice, and barriers to implementing new health policies are explored through examples and case studies. The case of the British NHS will be considered in detail examining evidence of attempts to improve the quality of care through funding and organisational change. The module will also examine the implications of devolution for the NHS.

Optional Modules:

Researching Community: This module examines the developments in the field of community research and related theoretical and policy debates surrounding the application of ideas of ‘community’ to current economic and social changes. The module focuses on four main themes:

Conceptual issues: the meaning of ‘community’ and its use as a concept in social scientific and popular discourse. This will be considered in relation to different theoretical approaches such as social constructionism, realism, and post-structuralism.
Empirical applications: an examination of classic and contemporary examples of community research and relevant case studies dealing with different forms of ‘community’.
Policy issues: relating to contemporary forms of intervention in relation to community development, regeneration, mobilisation, participation, leadership and power. This will be considered in the context of frameworks such as communitarianism, social capital, and the ‘third way’.
Community methodology: examines how ‘community’ has been researched and the tools and methods available for empirical investigation. These include ethnographic studies, large-scale surveys, ‘community profiling’ and auditing, and action research.
Nationalism and Minorities: This module will examine key issues and debates concerning the growing claims by ethnic and national minorities and indigenous peoples for distinct language, territorial and other minority rights and recognition within nation-states and beyond. The relationships between nationalism, citizenship and minority rights will be considered with reference to empirical examples. Debates and policies concerned with the management of cultural and ethnic diversity by the state will also be considered. The approach is interdisciplinary drawing on sociology, political theory, anthropology, law and education, with case study examples provided from Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania. It aims to provide students with a global and comparative understanding of individual cases, of their historical antecedents, and of the key similarities and differences between them.

Policy Research and Evaluation: Monitoring and evaluation of policy initiatives has become increasingly important. This module aims to develop full complement of skills required to successfully undertake specialist research and robust evaluation that will inform future policy. Evidence-based policy and practice are imperatives of the public, independent and voluntary sector organisations nationally and internationally. Evaluation research is one of the cornerstones of evidence-based practice both locally and nationally and is important right across local government and public and independent sector organisations. The module will provide key skills to enable individuals to understand, conduct or commission evaluative work at a time when it is increasingly important for organisations to consider the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of the services they provide.

Key Issues in International Social Work: The purpose of the International Social Work module is to widen students’ understanding of the differing models, traditions and welfare contexts of social work. On completing the module, students are expected to be able to:

Critically evaluate social work within the international context
Critically evaluate and contrast social work in the UK with European and other countries
Analyse the strengths and weaknesses in the different ways of doing social work within the countries studied
Discuss in depth the philosophical, historical and theoretical differences between the contexts of social work practice within the welfare frameworks of the different countries
Develop a sound and broad understanding of the contrasting differences with social work based in African and Asian countries
Applied Social Research: This module delivers specialist training in social policy research. It draws upon generic social science research skills and k knowledge and applies them to a joint group project. In the group project, students will select the social policy-related topic in which they will develop their skills as empirical researchers. It is a ‘hands on’ module and students will engage in hypothesis development, research design, data gathering, data analysis and interpretation of the results.

MA Dissertation:

The dissertation is normally around 20,000 words in length for MA degrees. Students will receive full support from lecturing staff throughout the process, from the planning stage through to the final stages of writing up the final version. Every student is allocated a supervisor who will oversee and provide advice and guidance on research design, methodology, results, drafting and final dissertation submission. Recent MA dissertation topics have included:

Mental health policy in Japan
Whose welfare benefits?
Violence against women in Pakistan

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If you are interested in studying for a research degree in the social sciences, or want to learn about research methods, you may consider our innovative MSc in Social Research Methods, run by the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. Read more

Course Description

If you are interested in studying for a research degree in the social sciences, or want to learn about research methods, you may consider our innovative MSc in Social Research Methods, run by the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. If you want to study for a PhD, and are seeking ESRC funding, you will be required to take this or one of our other ESRC-recognised research-training Masters degrees, unless you have already achieved a similar level of research training at a university elsewhere.

At the end of your first year, you graduate with a Masters degree before proceeding to the PhD (this is called 1+3 study).

In the fields of economics, psychology and science, technology and innovation, our specialist Masters degrees are recognised by the ESRC as providing research training suitable for 1+3 study. All other social sciences at Sussex offer research training through the MSc in Social Research Methods. This is for students in the fields of anthropology, contemporary European studies, development studies, education, gender studies, human geography, international
relations, politics, law, migration studies, social work and social care, and sociology.

The degree is designed to provide research training for those intending to move directly to doctoral study. It can also be taken as a standalone one-year degree if you wish to apply advanced research methodologies to an area of academic or policy interest without continuing to a doctorate.

Course structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

During the MSc you study the philosophical underpinnings of research, research design, research ethics, and both quantitative and qualitative methods. You also take a series of options on advanced research methods, which provide the key skills necessary for carrying out doctoral-level research. You also take a research option in your chosen discipline or interdisciplinary area, which comprises independent reading, attendance at research seminars, and regular individual supervisions with a dedicated member of academic faculty.

Autumn term: you take modules in introductory quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as Philosophy of Science and Social Scientific Research Practice or a theoretical core module within your chosen discipline.

Spring term: you take Research Design and Ethics and either three intermediate methods modules or one intermediate methods module and a subject-specific module. Intermediate methods modules include Action Research • Comparative Method • Discourse Analysis • Ethnographic Methods • Evidence for Policy and Practice • Participatory Methods • Policy and Programme Evaluation Research • Researching Childhood and Youth.

Summer term: you take a series of advanced methods options and undertake supervised work on a dissertation focused on research methods. This dissertation can be the full research outline for doctoral study.

Assessment

Taught modules are variously assessed by term papers of 3,000-5,000 words or equivalent coursework portfolios. The research option is assessed by a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Scholarships

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

Read less
If you are interested in studying for a research degree in the social sciences, or want to learn about research methods, you may consider our innovative MSc in Social Research Methods, run by the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. Read more
If you are interested in studying for a research degree in the social sciences, or want to learn about research methods, you may consider our innovative MSc in Social Research Methods, run by the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. If you want to study for a PhD, and are seeking ESRC funding, you will be required to take this or one of our other ESRC-recognised research-training Masters degrees, unless you have already achieved a similar level of research training at a university elsewhere.

At the end of your first year, you graduate with a Masters degree before proceeding to the PhD (this is called 1+3 study).

In the fields of economics, psychology and science, technology and innovation, our specialist Masters degrees are recognised by the ESRC as providing research training suitable for 1+3 study. All other social sciences at Sussex offer research training through the MSc in Social Research Methods. This is for students in the fields of anthropology, contemporary European studies, development studies, education, gender studies, human geography, international
relations, politics, law, migration studies, social work and social care, and sociology.

The degree is designed to provide research training for those intending to move directly to doctoral study. It can also be taken as a standalone one-year degree if you wish to apply advanced research methodologies to an area of academic or policy interest without continuing to a doctorate.

Assessment

Taught modules are variously assessed by term papers of 3,000-5,000 words or equivalent coursework portfolios. The research option is assessed by a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Course Description

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

During the MSc you study the philosophical underpinnings of research, research design, research ethics, and both quantitative and qualitative methods. You also take a series of options on advanced research methods, which provide the key skills necessary for carrying out doctoral-level research. You also take a research option in your chosen discipline or interdisciplinary area, which comprises independent reading, attendance at research seminars, and regular individual supervisions with a dedicated member of academic faculty.

Autumn term: you take modules in introductory quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as Philosophy of Science and Social Scientific Research Practice or a theoretical core module within your chosen discipline.

Spring term: you take Research Design and Ethics and either three intermediate methods modules or one intermediate methods module and a subject-specific module. Intermediate methods modules include Action Research • Comparative Method • Discourse Analysis • Ethnographic Methods • Evidence for Policy and Practice • Participatory Methods • Policy and Programme Evaluation Research • Researching Childhood and Youth.

Summer term: you take a series of advanced methods options and undertake supervised work on a dissertation focused on research methods. This dissertation can be the full research outline for doctoral study.

Scholarships

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

Read less
If you are interested in studying for a research degree in the social sciences, or want to learn about research methods, you may consider our innovative MSc in Social Research Methods, run by the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. Read more

Course Description

If you are interested in studying for a research degree in the social sciences, or want to learn about research methods, you may consider our innovative MSc in Social Research Methods, run by the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. If you want to study for a PhD, and are seeking ESRC funding, you will be required to take this or one of our other ESRC-recognised research-training Masters degrees, unless you have already achieved a similar level of research training at a university elsewhere.

At the end of your first year, you graduate with a Masters degree before proceeding to the PhD (this is called 1+3 study).

In the fields of economics, psychology and science, technology and innovation, our specialist Masters degrees are recognised by the ESRC as providing research training suitable for 1+3 study. All other social sciences at Sussex offer research training through the MSc in Social Research Methods. This is for students in the fields of anthropology, contemporary European studies, development studies, education, gender studies, human geography, international
relations, politics, law, migration studies, social work and social care, and sociology.

The degree is designed to provide research training for those intending to move directly to doctoral study. It can also be taken as a standalone one-year degree if you wish to apply advanced research methodologies to an area of academic or policy interest without continuing to a doctorate.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

During the MSc you study the philosophical underpinnings of research, research design, research ethics, and both quantitative and qualitative methods. You also take a series of options on advanced research methods, which provide the key skills necessary for carrying out doctoral-level research. You also take a research option in your chosen discipline or interdisciplinary area, which comprises independent reading, attendance at research seminars, and regular individual supervisions with a dedicated member of academic faculty.

Autumn term: you take modules in introductory quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as Philosophy of Science and Social Scientific Research Practice or a theoretical core module within your chosen discipline.

Spring term: you take Research Design and Ethics and either three intermediate methods modules or one intermediate methods module and a subject-specific module. Intermediate methods modules include Action Research • Comparative Method • Discourse Analysis • Ethnographic Methods • Evidence for Policy and Practice • Participatory Methods • Policy and Programme Evaluation Research • Researching Childhood and Youth.

Summer term: you take a series of advanced methods options and undertake supervised work on a dissertation focused on research methods. This dissertation can be the full research outline for doctoral study.

Assessment

Taught modules are variously assessed by term papers of 3,000-5,000 words or equivalent coursework portfolios. The research option is assessed by a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Scholarships

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

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The MSc in Research Methods for Social Science and Health provides in depth knowledge and critical understanding of. Read more
The MSc in Research Methods for Social Science and Health provides in depth knowledge and critical understanding of: (1) epistemology, methodology and ethics in the social sciences; (2) principles of research design and methodology commonly used in health and social science research; (3) research governance and the management of risk; (4) quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection, analysis and reporting.

Key benefits

• Integrates social science with King’s leading health schools and their internationally recognized excellence in biomedical and health research and training.

• Taught by a dynamic and research-led team of academics with a wide range of disciplinary and methodological expertise, providing students with first hand exposure to advanced academic research.

• Situated in the heart of London, providing unrivalled opportunities to engage with the worlds of policymaking, non-governmental agencies and biomedical research.

• Provides an open and supportive learning environment, fostering independent and critical learners and researchers.

Visit the website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-courses/research-methods-for-social-science-and-health-msc-pg-dip-pg-cert.aspx

Course detail

- Description -

Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s is a unique interdisciplinary department founded in 2012 with a mission to address the changing landscape of health and medicine from a social science perspective. Working closely with colleagues in biomedicine and the life sciences, it explores the complex social determinants of health, illness and ageing, and the ways in which advances in biomedicine and biotechnology are changing expectations about life and health, and the social and ethical challenges of global inequalities in health, illness and medical care.

The programme draws on departmental research first hand, and benefits from close connections with King’s internationally renowned health schools. Taught by a dedicated team of experienced academics, the programme introduces students to epistemology and ethics in the social sciences, and provides foundational training in research design and governance, and in quantitative and qualitative methodology. It offers a variety of options for advanced and more specialized training. The dissertation forms an integral part of the programme, enabling students to put the knowledge and research skills they’ve gained into practice on a topic of their own choosing. Through the programme students develop a critical understanding of research, a variety of methods and their practical application in health and social sciences.

- Course purpose -

The postgraduate programme provides an excellent foundation for understanding, conducting and using social science research in policy, medicine and healthcare. It is designed for researchers, professionals and practitioners seeking to develop their understanding and practical application of research methodologies, especially those from health, policy, NGO and government sectors, and those who manage and/or commission research.

- Course format and assessment -

Combination of lectures, tutorial classes, independent study, optional modules, attendance at regular seminars and colloquium, and an extended research project.

Assessment encompasses a mix of both formal and informal assessment methods, including oral presentation, extended essays both formative and summative, unseen examination, and a dissertation.

How to apply: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/taught-courses.aspx

About Postgraduate Study at King’s College London:

To study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London is to study at the city’s most central university and at one of the top 20 universities worldwide (2015/16 QS World Rankings). Graduates will benefit from close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life, while the excellent reputation of our MA and MRes programmes ensures our postgraduate alumni are highly sought after by some of the world’s most prestigious employers. We provide graduates with skills that are highly valued in business, government, academia and the professions.

Scholarships & Funding:

All current PGT offer-holders and new PGT applicants are welcome to apply for the scholarships. For more information and to learn how to apply visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources

Free language tuition with the Modern Language Centre:

If you are studying for any postgraduate taught degree at King’s you can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages without any additional cost. Visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/mlc

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Interested in a research-orientated career in psychology? Gain confidence in the acquisition, analysis and use of research information on our psychological research methods programme. Read more
Interested in a research-orientated career in psychology? Gain confidence in the acquisition, analysis and use of research information on our psychological research methods programme. Develop a sophisticated understanding of psychological research, from the creation of questions you’ll need to ask, through to the meaningful organisation of results. Be primed for a research role across a range of sectors, including consultancy and government agencies, and have the foundation for future PhD work.

Key features

-Designed to provide you with the understanding and skills to help you develop academic or commercial careers based on psychological research.
-Choose to study full time over one year, or take the flexible two year part-time pathway to fit in with your career plans or caring commitments.
-Be confident studying with us – this programme is provided by the School of Psychology, which was recognised in the latest Research Assessment Exercise with 85 per cent of activity judged to be of international standard, placing it in the top third of departments nationally.
-Benefit from a programme recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as providing the research training within the 1+3 framework.
-Receive thorough training in research methodology and design, as well as the philosophical issues that underpin your research decisions.
-Learn to analyse a problem, select the appropriate methodology and understand the implications of your choice.
-Gain the skills and knowledge to conduct research in a rigorous, appropriate and ethical manner, using a range of techniques (qualitative and quantitative) in a range of settings (experimental, observational, fieldwork, and focus groups).
-Hone your ability to communicate your research findings effectively to different audiences, both orally and in writing.
-Equip yourself, as part of the masters programme, with the skills and experience to design and conduct a major psychological research project.
-Learn from a teaching team with the in-depth knowledge of many areas of psychology and experience of publishing both fundamental and applied research in the best scientific journals. Their expertise, spanning from ethics to research design and statistics, offers you the ideal environment to develop your research skills.
-Immerse yourself in our school’s newly refurbished laboratory and teaching space, including electrophysiology (ERP), Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), virtual reality and eye-tracking laboratories.
-Benefit from our school’s research expertise. The Centre for Brain, Behaviour and Cognition attracts substantial external funding from UK research councils, the EU, charities and industry.
-Acquire skills that are highly prized by a wide range of employers, and be ready to join previous students employed in academia, consultancy, government agencies and non-governmental bodies.
-Contemplating a PhD in the future? This programme will provide you with the essential pre-requisites for research at this level, including a thorough grounding in research methodology, design and analysis as well as the philosophical issues that underpin research decisions.

Course details

You’ll cover the whole spectrum of psychological research skills and most research methods used by psychologists, and have the opportunity to study methods that are particularly relevant to you. We aim to equip you with high-level research skills and give you the opportunity to apply these skills in original psychological research. Early in the programme, you’ll begin a substantial independent piece of research and continue this throughout the year. Special emphasis is placed on practical research skills and communication - these are integrated in project work to achieve professional standards of psychological research. If you study full time the programme lasts one year starting in late September and involves attendance for at least two days a week over two 12-week teaching periods. Successful completion of the taught modules leads to the postgraduate diploma award. If you want to study part time please discuss your requirements with the Programme Director.

Core modules
-PSY558 Evaluating Complex Interventions
-PSY556 Statistical Methods for Experimental and Clinical Research
-PSY561 Skills and Techniques in Psychological Research 1
-PSY557 Quantitative Analysis of Complex Clinical and Behavourial Data
-PSY555 Communication of Research for Psychology
-PSY562 Skills and Techniques in Psychological Research 2
-PSY572 Project
-PSY559 Experimental Research Design
-PSY560 Qualitative Research Methods for Psychology
-PSY571 Project Planning and Literature Search

Optional modules
-PSY567 Designing for Behaviour Change
-PSY566 Issues in Behaviour Change
-PSY568 Issues in Clinical Psychology
-PSY569 The Brain and its Disorders
-PSY564 Understanding Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
-PSY570 Issues in Cognitive and Brain Science
-PSY577 Foundations in Clinical Psychology: Children and Families
-PSY563 Understanding Risky Behaviour

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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The MSc in Social and Applied Psychology gives you the opportunity to sample a range of modules from our Group Processes and Developmental programmes as well as other modules related to social and applied psychology. Read more
The MSc in Social and Applied Psychology gives you the opportunity to sample a range of modules from our Group Processes and Developmental programmes as well as other modules related to social and applied psychology.

*This course will be taught at the Canterbury campus*

Key benefits

- Much of our social psychology research is co-ordinated through the Centre for the Study of Group Processes (CSGP), the largest research group in this area in Europe. The Centre attracts a stream of major international social psychology researchers, who regularly visit to work with our staff and are officially affiliated to the Centre.The Social Psychology group also includes the co-editor of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations (Abrams).

- Social psychology research at Kent is funded by a variety of British and international sources, currently and recently including ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme, Age Concern, European Commission, European Science Foundation, Home Office, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Nuffield, and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, as well as government departments such as the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions.

- All of our taught Master’s (MSc) programmes have been recognised by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the nationally recognised criteria for preparation training for PhD research.

Visit the website: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/75/social-and-applied-psychology

Course detail

This programme considers how social psychology can be applied to a wide range of social problems and answer key questions such as: How are attitudes formed and developed, and how do they relate to behaviour? What are the key motives that affect people’s reactions to the social world? What social psychological processes are implicated in the form and content of language and communication?

Our teaching and research covers the psychology of intergroup behaviour, group decision and performance, attitudes and persuasion, organisational psychology, social cognition, children’s self-concept and social attitudes, and cross-cultural questions, relating social psychological research in these areas to social problems. Course tutors include academics and experts who work in the media, the health service and other applied settings.

Purpose

You will gain a thorough grounding in research methods, and conduct a project in an area of social/applied psychology that interests you. The programme is taught by the School’s outstanding research group in social psychology.

Course structure

The programme consists of 4 compulsory modules and 2 option modules.

Core modules include:

• Advanced Statistics and Methodology
• Current Issues in Social and Applied Psychology I: Theory
• Current Issues in Social and Applied Psychology II: Applications
• Dissertation

You also select two from a choice of the following:

• Advanced Topics in Intergroup Relations
• Advanced Topics in Cognitive Development
• Advanced Developmental Social Psychology
• Advanced Topics in Group Processes
• Developmental Psychology in Professional Practice
• The Psychology of Eyewitness Testimony
• Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychopathology

Assessment is mainly by coursework assignment (4-6,000-word essays), examination (for the Advanced Statistics and Methodology module only), plus the dissertation.

Careers

Our postgraduate students commonly go into the fields of health, teaching or further education. For instance, many of our graduates take up roles as assistant psychologists in the NHS with a view to becoming a professional clinical or forensic psychologist. Upon completing our Master’s courses, graduates have also pursued doctoral study and academic careers at higher education institutions.

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

Why study at The University of Kent?

- Shortlisted for University of the Year 2015
- Kent has been ranked fifth out of 120 UK universities in a mock Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise modelled by Times Higher Education (THE).
- In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Kent was ranked 17th* for research output and research intensity, in the Times Higher Education, outperforming 11 of the 24 Russell Group universities
- Over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2014 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.
Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/why/

Postgraduate scholarships and funding

We have a scholarship fund of over £9 million to support our taught and research students with their tuition fees and living costs. Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/scholarships/postgraduate/

English language learning

If you need to improve your English before and during your postgraduate studies, Kent offers a range of modules and programmes in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Find out more here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/international/english.html

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This programme is designed to prepare you to successfully undertake postgraduate study at MPhil and PhD level, or to become an independent/career social researcher. Read more
This programme is designed to prepare you to successfully undertake postgraduate study at MPhil and PhD level, or to become an independent/career social researcher.

It has Economic and Social Research Council 1+3 Recognition status and has been specifically constructed for you if you intend to undertake professional and/or academic research in sociology, social policy and criminology. It provides an excellent broad-based practical grounding in research techniques. You are introduced to the principles of research design and strategy, as well as qualitative and quantitative data-analysis and presentation. Practical skills are developed through task-based activity.

Key Facts

REF 2014
22nd at 4* and 3* (world leading and internationally excellent) and 100% 4* and 3* impact (outstanding and very considerable) out of 62 submissions.

Why Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology?

Our work makes a tangible difference to society

Our research over the past five years has led to changes in criminal justice policy and procedure, changes in the way that public bodies are audited, and has led to the establishment of best practice in the evaluation of large-scale arts and cultural programmes.

An exciting study experience

Whether economic or cultural inequalities, the dangers of our online lifestyles, the definitions and consequences of crime or the social dimensions associated with problems such as health, we aim to give our students an exciting study experience in order to better understand what it means to be social, where society might be heading and what we can do to contribute to all our social futures.

Career prospects

The Social Research Methods MA is recognised nationally by the Economic and Social Research Council for providing quality methods training for those seeking a career in social science. The programme gives students the required skills to progress directly onto doctoral level social research, or to take up employment in a wide variety of careers within the government, charitable and/or private sectors. National and local government, as well as Regional Development Agencies have noted the rapid rise in demand for graduates qualified in the full spectrum of research design and analysis techniques.

The Social Research Methods MA is designed to meet the needs of both pre-employment training and within-post career development. Many students pursue an academic career or a university research career in the Social Sciences (Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology) or in a related discipline. Other research graduates have developed a career in commercial research or have developed their research skills in a practical context in either the public or the private sector.

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