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Masters Degrees (Social Theory)

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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Theory and Space 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 Theory and Space at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

The MSc by Research Social Theory and Space enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The Social Theory and Space programme would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree.

You will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work.

Key Features

Swansea is a research-led University and the Department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a postgraduate Geography student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.

In the latest Research Assessment Exercise, 95% of Geography research at Swansea was judged to be of international quality, and 60% was regarded as World-leading or internationally excellent.

Facilities

As a student of the Social Theory and Space programme you will have access to:

Computer laboratory with 24 computers providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Computer laboratory with 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications

Specialist laboratory suites for stable isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation

In addition, the computing facilities include 15 dual-processor workstations for Earth Observation, a 20-node multiprocessor Beowulf cluster, and the Department’s IBM ‘Blue Ice’ Supercomputer, used mainly for climate and glaciological modelling.

Research

All academic staff in Geography are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture and a strong postgraduate community.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that Geography at Swansea University is ranked joint 9th in the UK for research impact and 11th in the UK for research environment.

Research groups include:

Environmental Dynamics

Glaciology

Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation

Migration, Boundaries and Identity

Social Theory and Urban Space



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Philosophy at Essex takes philosophy back to its roots in everyday existential, social and political issues. Read more
Philosophy at Essex takes philosophy back to its roots in everyday existential, social and political issues. Our radical approach cuts across traditional boundaries, fostering dialogue between different schools and disciplines, and we are one of the few universities in the world that bridges the divide between the two great traditions of Analytic and Continental philosophy.

Our MA Philosophy will provide you with a rigorous grounding in modern and contemporary European philosophy. We have leading expertise in critical theory, phenomenology, German Idealism, nineteenth Century German philosophy, aesthetics, existentialism, contemporary French philosophy, philosophy and psychoanalysis, and medical humanities.

You study modules of your choice, develop your research, writing, and employability skills through an intensive Writing Workshop, and prepare an MA dissertation in your chosen area of research.

Our department is widely regarded as among the very best in the UK, having been recognised as one of the top 10 UK universities for research excellence (REF 2014), and being placed in the top 10 in The Guardian University Guide in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

As an alternative to our more flexible MA Philosophy, you can focus your study on a more specific area by following one of the following pathways:

MA Philosophy (Continental Philosophy Pathway)
All of our academic staff work on Continental Philosophy, including classical German philosophy (Kant and German Idealism), Frankfurt School Critical Theory (Adorno, Habermas, Honneth), nineteenth-century philosophy (Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche), and phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty). On this pathway you choose from a range of specified topics in these areas, in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Continental Philosophy.

MA Philosophy (Critical Social Theory Pathway)
We are the leading centre for Critical Social Theory in the UK with five members of academic staff working on the Frankfurt School (Adorno, Habermas, Honneth), contemporary French thought (Derrida, Foucault, Rancière) and issues in Critical Social Theory, such as activist political theory, theory of recognition, aesthetics and politics, deliberative democracy, and the moral limits of markets. On this pathway you study modules on the Frankfurt School and Contemporary Critical Theory, in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Critical Social Theory.

MA Philosophy (Philosophy and Art History Pathway)
Drawing on the collaborative and interdisciplinary approach of the School, our new Philosophy and Art History pathway enables students to get a thorough grounding in philosophical aesthetics. You explore issues in aesthetics and their bearing on other areas of philosophy (such as critical theory or existentialism) and Art History (such as aesthetic practices and curating), and profit from the wide-ranging expertise of our staff in both disciplines. On this pathway you study modules on Philosophy/Aesthetics and Art History (dealing, for example, with Art & Politics, Art, Architecture and Urbanism, or Art, Science & Knowledge), in addition to some outside options and a dissertation on a topic in Philosophy and Art History.

Our expert staff

Our courses are taught by world-class academics, and over three quarters of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), which puts us fifth in the UK for research outputs.

Our open-minded and enthusiastic staff have an exceptionally broad range of research interests, so whatever questions in philosophy catch hold of your imagination, there is certain to be someone you can approach to find out more.

Recent projects and publications include:
-Béatrice Han-Pile and Dan Watts’ major new research project, The Ethics of Powerlessness: the Theological Virtues Today
-The Essex Autonomy Project, a major interdisciplinary project funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), which aims to investigate the role of autonomous judgment in many aspects of human life
-Peter Dews’ The Idea of Evil, Polity, 2007
-Béatrice Han-Pile, Foucault’s Critical Project: Between the Transcendental and the Historical, Stanford University Press, 2002
-Fiona Hughes, Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgement: A Reader’s Guide, Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
-Wayne Martin, Theories of Judgement: Psychology, Logic, Phenomenology, Cambridge University Press, 2006
-Irene McMullin’s Time and the Shared World: Heidegger on Social Relations, Northwestern University Press, 2013
-Fabian Freyenhagen’s Adorno’s Practical Philosophy: Living Less Wrongly, Cambridge University Press, 2013

Specialist facilities

-Graduate students have access to desk space in the School and many students work there on a daily basis
-A dedicated German-language course for graduate students in philosophy
-Attend our Critical Theory Colloquium
-Attend the Werkstatt, where recent work on phenomenology is presented
-An exciting programme of research seminars, reading groups and mini-courses that help you expand your philosophical knowledge beyond what you learn on your course
-Access a variety of philosophy textbooks and journals in the Albert Sloman Library and in our departmental library

Your future

Many of our philosophy graduates embark on doctoral study after finishing their MA. We offer supervision for PhDs in a range of fields including:
-Continental philosophy
-Critical Social Theory
-History of philosophy
-Applied ethics

Our graduates have also gone into careers in law, the media, local administration, HM Revenue and Customs, and top jobs in the Civil Service.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Dissertation: Continental Philosophy (optional)
-Dissertation: Critical Social Theory (optional)
-Dissertation: MA Philosophy (optional)
-Dissertation: Philosophy & Art History (optional)
-Phenomenology and Existentialism (optional)
-Kant's Revolution in Philosophy (optional)
-Hegel (optional)
-Contemporary Critical Theory (optional)
-Topics in Continental Philosophy (optional)
-MA Writing Workshop (optional)
-The Frankfurt School (optional)
-Philosophy and Aesthetics (optional)
-Collecting Art From Latin America (optional)
-Art & Politics (optional)
-Current Research in Art History (optional)
-Art, Architecture and Urbanism (optional)
-Contemporary Theories of Justice (optional)
-Environmental Politics (optional)
-Political Economy (optional)
-Political Theory (optional)
-Research Seminar in Political Theory and Methods (optional)
-Theory and Explanation in Political Science (optional)
-Ideology and Political Discourse (optional)
-The New Nature Writing (optional)
-Foundations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (optional)
-The Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons in International Law (optional)
-Human Rights and Development (optional)
-International Trade, Investment and Human Rights. (optional)
-Human Rights for Women (optional)
-Transitional Justice (optional)
-Psycho Analytic Theory (optional)
-Psychoanalytic Methodology (optional)

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This pathway enables you to study social changes at an advanced level. It provides an opportunity for in-depth study of some key dimensions of modern society. Read more
This pathway enables you to study social changes at an advanced level. It provides an opportunity for in-depth study of some key dimensions of modern society. The scope of this pathway is deliberately broad to allow students to study any area of sociology where the department has the expertise to supervise dissertations.

It aims to integrate the consideration of themes in social theory with the study of substantive topics, as well as give a thorough grounding in research methods. There are four elements:

1. Social theory: This course aims to stimulate a critical, globally conscious theoretical reflexivity. Above all, it provides students with the tools for a wide range of social interpretation and analysis, particularly of the contemporary social world.

2. Modern society: This part of the course has a modular structure. Modules consider a series of key dimensions or institutions of modern society with particular emphasis on current changes resulting from the interaction of global forces and national institutions. All of the modules being taught on all of the sociology MPhil pathways are available to students doing this pathway, as well as several other modules on topics such as ‘health and illness’ and ‘globalisation’.

3. Research methods: This includes sessions on philosophical issues in the social sciences; research design; data collection and analysis in relation to quantitative and qualitative methods; reflection on research ethics and practice; library and computer skills. Your dissertation supervisor will advise you on which courses to take.

4. Dissertation: A dissertation on a topic of your choice but broadly related to one of the Modern Society modules. A research supervisor will assist you in refining your research topic, conducting the research and writing the dissertation. A dissertation workshop provides the opportunity to present aspects of your dissertation work and to receive constructively critical feedback from course teachers and fellow students.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hssompsgt

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the programme students should have:

- an advanced understanding of current sociological research in selected topics;
- skills necessary to conduct independent social research and experience in their use;
- an ability to apply and develop modern social theory with respect to empirical topics;
- a deeper understanding of their chosen specialist area, including command of the literature and current research;
- the ability to situate their own research within current developments in the field.

Format

The course offers teaching on Social Theory, Substantive modules and Research Methods. Students work towards a written dissertation supported by supervisions and a dissertation workshop.

- Students typically receive bi-weekly supervisions over 8 weeks
- Modern Society modules 12 hours x 4 modules; Research Methods 12 hours x 2 modules; 72 hours hours per year.
- Social Theory 8 hours hours per year.
- Dissertation workshop 10 hours hours per year.
- Within the Department various journal clubs are offered 8 hours per week.
- Students conduct a critical appraisal as part of the training.
- The Department runs a dissertation workshop in the first term.

Students receive written feedback on each essay and the dissertation. Feedback is also given during the dissertation workshop on the direction and progress of the dissertation research.

Assessment

Students write a dissertation of not less than 15,000 and not more than 20,000 words on a subject approved by the Degree Committee.

Students write one methods essay of not less than 2,500 and not more than 3,000 words (or prescribed course work) and two substantive essays of not less than 4,000 and not more than 5,000 words.

Continuing

Students are encouraged to proceed to the Faculty's PhD programme, provided they reach a high level of achievement in all parts of the course. MPhil students who would like to continue to the PhD would normally need to have a final mark of at least 70% overall and 70% on the dissertation.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

The Department of Sociology holds ESRC funding awards. Sociology is a recognised Doctoral Training Centre pathway toward a PhD. Therefore candidates for the MPhil in Sociology (Modern Society and Global Transformations) can apply for 1+3 ESRC funding.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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Our Masters degree in Social Policy is designed to develop students’ critical knowledge and understanding of social policy. Read more
Our Masters degree in Social Policy is designed to develop students’ critical knowledge and understanding of social policy. Together with active researchers you will be led through the key contemporary debates in social policy as well as learning how to develop and carry out your own social policy-focused research projects.

Our Master’s has a strong focus on critical and radical approaches to the study of social policy both here in the UK and from a global perspective. In particular the course is concerned with how social policies can reinforce and reproduce marginalisation and oppression in society for groups such as women, deprived communities, ethnic minorities, migrants, disabled people and older people. Concurrently, nevertheless, the program will also analyse how various social policies have been the result of resistance to dominant economic structures and should therefore also be conceptualised as key institutions formalising the rights of the same groups which social policies often oppress. Social policy is also a deeply political subject and as consequence our program explores the theoretical links between the economy and transformations in welfare systems.

With our strong focus on research methods, however, our course also enables students to develop the central skills required to analyse, understand and critically evaluate any social policy issue. Not only do we encourage students to understand policies comparatively, we also provide a significant amount of research training which covers the key philosophical issues and traditions in social science complimented by significant instruction on the uses and strengths of the range of methods and methodological approaches (i.e. quantitative and qualitative data analysis, focus groups, ethnography and so on).

Drawing on our vibrant and developing research culture we offer contemporary and relevant degree programme, drawing expertise from our interest in current social policy trends in Britain, Europe and globally. Studying for a Master’s in Social Policy is guaranteed to be an intellectually engaging experience which will allow students to develop the skills required for many relevant career pathways.

Curriculum

The programme consists of four modules and a dissertation (final research project) totalling 180 credits. Assessment methods will vary and may include academic essays, reports, presentations and examinations, research proposals and a research dissertation.

Advanced Social Theory (30 credits) – You will engage with, evaluate and critically analyse a range of social theory ranging in scope from classical social theory to post-modern approaches.

Advanced Studies in Social Research (30 credits)-You will understand the methodological principles and practices that underpin independent research at Master’s level. You will examine the research process, including design, data collection and analysis, interpretation and presentation.

Transformations in the UK welfare state (30 credits) – This part of the course explores the key issues in social policy in the UK in a contemporary perspective. Notably we will explore the relationship between social policies and the wider political economy, unpicking and critically analysing recent changes in social policy such as privatisation, marketization and austerity. The course will analyse these changes in the welfare state in relation to poverty, class, ‘race’, gender, ageing, sexuality and disability.

Comparative Social Policy and Globalisation (30 credits) – This part of the course will concentrate on developing an international perspective on social policy. The module has two main aims. Firstly, to comparatively analyse different welfare states across the world and, secondly, to explore social policy in relation to globalisation and global capitalism.

Dissertation/Research Project (60 credits) – The focus of the research project will be on an issue of relevance to the study of social policy. The study can involve the collection of primary data or a literature-based dissertation.

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Gain an in-depth understanding of the latest issues and debates in sociology. Hone your research skills, and develop expertise that will prepare you for a career in social policy, social work, local government, public service and more. Read more

Gain an in-depth understanding of the latest issues and debates in sociology. Hone your research skills, and develop expertise that will prepare you for a career in social policy, social work, local government, public service and more.

Course duration: 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time (September starts); 15 months full-time (January starts).

Teaching times

Semester 1: Monday 3-6pm (part-time).

Semester 2: Monday 3-6pm (part-time).

Overview

Our Master's course will help deepen your knowledge of the theoretical and substantive aspects of contemporary sociology. You’ll develop expertise in the principles and application of social research methodology, and examine key debates and issues like progress and reason, genetic structuralism and the role of modernity.

Our optional modules will also let you explore more specialist areas such as modern crime control, nationalism or nature and society.

All your studies will be supported by our research-active staff, whose interests reflect the latest developments in sociology. Our staff and their areas of expertise are:

  • Course Leader Dr Liz Bradbury : social theory; gender studies; psychoanalysis; the Frankfurt School
  • Dr Shaun le Boutillier : social theory; applied ethics; explanations of the relations between individual and society
  • Dr David Skinner: race and racism, the social and political aspects of scientific and technological innovation; the relationship between the natural and social sciences; forensics, databases and surveillance; the changing management of public services
  • Dr James Rosbrook-Thompson: 'race' and ethnicity; urban sociology; delinquency and disorder; the sociology of sport; and cosmopolitanism and notions of belonging.
  • Daniel Smith: elite identities, Britishness, popular culture, celebrity and new social media.

To support your learning, we run a research seminar series and frequent symposia and conferences. All our students are welcome to attend and contribute.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/sociology

Careers

This course will prepare you for work in many fields, including human resources, social policy, social work, educational development, community development, counselling, local government, the civil service, public services and charities.

Or you might decide to continue on to a research degree, like our PhD Sociology.

Modules

Core modules:

Contemporary Social Theory

Postgraduate Research Methods

Major Project

Optional modules:

Nationalism, Diasporas and Identities

Nature, Technology and Society

Independent Learning Module

Assessment

Depending on the module, you’ll show your progress through a combination of essays, presentations, case studies and portfolio work, as well as a Major Project at the end of the course.



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This programme provides practical, career-orientated training in social science research methods, including research design, data collection and data analysis relating to both qualitative and quantitative modes of inquiry. Read more

This programme provides practical, career-orientated training in social science research methods, including research design, data collection and data analysis relating to both qualitative and quantitative modes of inquiry.

Students will have the opportunity to specialise in particular methodologies and to learn more about the application of these methodologies to illuminate important issues and debates in contemporary society.

Course Details

The programme is designed to provide a fundamental grounding in both quantitative and qualitative research skills, along with the opportunity to specialise in more advanced training in quantitative research, qualitative research or in practical applications of research techniques.

CORE MODULES:

Semester 1

Approaches to Social Research (20 CATS)

This module offers an introduction to the different styles of social science research as well as guidance and illustrations of how to operationalize research questions and assess them empirically. Students will be shown how to conduct systematic literature searches and how to manage empirical research projects. The module will also explore issues around the ethics of social science research as well as the connection between social science research and policy concerns. It is designed as preparation for undertaking postgraduate research and dissertation work.

Theory and Debates in Social Research (20 CATS)

This module aims to deepen students' understanding of key debates in social theory and research, providing advanced level teaching for those building upon basic knowledge and undertaking postgraduate research. It is designed to demonstrate and explore how social theory is utilised, critiqued and developed through the pursuit of social science research.

The Sources and Construction of Qualitative Data (10 CATS)

The purpose of this module is to illuminate the theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research. The module will discuss the impact of various theories on the nature and conduct of qualitative research particularly around questions of epistemology and ontology. The role of different types of interviewing in qualitative research will be utilised in order to explore the relationship between theory and methods.

The Sources and Construction of Quantitative Data (10 CATS)

The aim of the module is to provide a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice of measurement and constructing quantitative data in the social sciences. Through lectures and practical exercises, this module will provide students with relevant knowledge of secondary data sources and large datasets, their respective uses and usefulness, and their relevance for the study of contemporary social issues

Semester 2

Qualitative Data Analysis (10 CATS)

The module will provide students with an overview of different approaches to qualitative data analysis. It will include introductory training to this skill that includes such techniques as thematic analysis and discourse analysis, as well as computer assisted qualitative data analysis. It will provide the knowledge necessary for the informed use of the qualitative data analysis software package NVivo. The module gives students a base level introduction to the analytical and technical skills in qualitative data analysis appropriate to the production of a Master's dissertation and/or use of CAQDAS software for social science research purposes.

Quantitative Data Analysis: Foundational (10 CATS)

This module provides an introduction to the basics of quantitative data analysis. The module will begin with a brief review of basic univariate and bivariate statistical procedures as well as cover data manipulation techniques. The module is taught through a series of seminars and practical workshops. These two strands are interwoven within each teaching session. Please note that students may be granted an exemption from this module if they have already successfully completed a module that has the equivalent learning outcomes.

Quantitative Data Analysis: Intermediate (10 CATS)

This module advances students' confidence and knowledge in the use of SPSS. The module focuses on multivariate regression models, including the appropriate use and awareness of statistical assumptions underlying regression and the testing and refinement of such models.

Dissertation (60 CATS)

A dissertation of no more than 15,000 words on a topic relevant to social science research methods training. The thesis will involve either carrying out and reporting on a small social science research project which includes a full and considered description and discussion of the research methods employed or the discussion of a research issue or technique to a level appropriate for publication.

OPTIONAL MODULES (all 10 CATS)

We offer a range of advanced modules in quantitative and qualitative research methods, for example, logistic regression, internet-based research and visual research methods. We also provide specialist modules which reflect the teaching team’s diverse research interests, from the social logic of emotional life to conflict and change in divided societies. Optional modules generally run during the Spring semester and are offered subject to sufficient student demand and staff availability. Students will be able to choose a maximum of three to four option modules (depending on whether they need to complete Quantitative Data Analysis: Foundational). Please note that it is unlikely that all the following modules will be available for 2017/8. Please check with the Programme Director for queries about specific modules.

  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • Social Science Research Online
  • Visual Research Methods
  • Longitudinal Analysis
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
  • Conflict and Change in Northern Ireland: New Sociological Research
  • Researching Emotions and Social Life
  • University Research and Civil Society Organisations


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This unique programme is aimed at international and UK students with an interest in international social work, community development, and comparative social policy. Read more

This unique programme is aimed at international and UK students with an interest in international social work, community development, and comparative social policy. The programme examines advanced knowledge about the theory and practice of social work and community development in an international context. You will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of global social issues (such as social exclusion, poverty, environmental degradation, and disasters) and relate this knowledge to developments in their own country. You will be equipped with the skills to engage in research and to apply research findings effectively in practice. The programme includes a two-week field-based learning opportunity in a social work or community work agency. The dissertation provides space for you to carry out research on an aspect of social or community work in the UK. 

Durham University is a world leader in international social work and community development research, theory, and practice. Our social work team has edited the prestigious International Social Work journal and works closely with social work’s key international organisations - , the International Association of Schools of Social Work, .the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), and the International Council of Social Welfare (ICSW). Its Programme Director also represents social work at the UNFCCC and other UN bodies.

Course structure 

You will study in a small group of international students, and also alongside UK students on postgraduate social work and research degree programmes. This will give you plenty of opportunities to share knowledge and experience in addition to your learning through lectures, presentations and seminars.

The MA consists of five core modules, designed to give you an understanding of social work as it is practiced in the UK, and a thorough grounding in research methods and their application. You will also choose two specialist modules according to your particular professional interests. Finally, you will undertake a research project and write a dissertation. To achieve the Master's degree, you must accumulate a total of 180 credits, as listed below.

Core Modules

International Social Work (30 credits)

  • International social work: Debates and controversies.
  • The history of international social work.
  • International institutions and social work theories and practices.
  • Legislative underpinnings to international social work
  • Internationalised Social problems 

Social Work: Context and Practice (30 credits)

  • Contemporary social work and social welfare in a diverse society
  • Construction of social problems
  • Ethical frameworks for social practice
  • Contemporary social work theories and practice.

Community Development and Organising (15 credits)

  • Critical analysis of communities
  • Origins, history, and theoretical approaches to community development
  • Contemporary forms of community development practice
  • Community and public policy.

Practitioner Research and Dissertation (60 credits)

  • Uses of research in social welfare policy and practice
  • Approaches to social research
  • Ethical issues in research
  • Literature reviewing, sampling, data collection and analysis methods.

Field Based Learning (15 credits)

  • Social work practice
  • Comparative theory/practice approaches
  • Social and community work organisations
  • Practice based pedagogies

Note students are required to pay for travel costs to and from their fieldwork practice placement.

Optional Modules

These are subject to staff availability. In previous years, typical modules offered were:

Youth Policy and Practice (15 credits)

  • Youth policy in the UK
  • Origins, development, and theoretical underpinnings of youth work
  • Critical overview of contemporary youth work practice Key forms of intervention.

Management in Community Settings (30 credits)

  • Critical analysis of a range of perspectives which have informed the management oforganisations in community settings, including those relating to:
  • Development of understanding in effectively managing and developing these organisations in the current context to increase their effectiveness in achieving their aims in ways that are consistent with professional values
  • Personnel management
  • Physical resource management
  • Financial management
  • Strategic management
  • Change management.

Policy Related and Evaluation Research (15 credits)

  • Relationship between theory and empirical research in evaluation
  • Defining and measuring outcomes
  • Case study analysis
  • Poster presentation and participatory evaluation.

Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)

  • Spreadsheets and data analysis
  • Populations, sample data and sampling distributions
  • Point estimates and confidence intervals
  • Significance tests, cress-tabulations, and Chi-Square tests
  • Correlation and linear regression.

Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)

  • Sampling and sample design, questionnaire design
  • Numerical taxonomy and cluster analysis in practice
  • Methods for representing complex systems.

Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)

  • Introduction to theory and research practice in qualitative methods
  • Ethnography and grounded theory
  • Group discussions
  • Data analysis and management processes.

Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice (30 credits)

  • Apply theories of crime and justice to topical issues
  • Theory and practice of criminal justice
  • Analysis of contemporary politics
  • Governance of criminal justice.

Crime, Violence and Abuse (30 credits)



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

Why study at Roehampton

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

Course summary

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

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

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

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

Content

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

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

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

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

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

Modules

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

PGCert

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

PGDip

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

plus one of two optional modules:

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

MA

  • All of the PGD modules and
  • Dissertation

Career options

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

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

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

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

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

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

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How you will be taught

There are core modules in:

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

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

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

Students enrolled on the MSc programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

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

Careers

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

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

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

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

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

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The MRes in Social Anthropology provides training in research methods combined with work on a specific anthropological research project. Read more
The MRes in Social Anthropology provides training in research methods combined with work on a specific anthropological research project. It is a one-year programme of rigorous training in research issues and methods featuring guidance in and production of a substantial research project proposal, plus 15,000-word independently researched dissertation (thesis). The taught portion of the MRes programme is the same as the 9-month PhD pre-fieldwork training programme: students take the same courses in ethnographic methods and social theory, and receive the same close interaction with their supervisor, a senior member of department staff. There is also training in quantitative social science methods.

The course offers critical discussion of students' research projects and provides training in:

- how fieldwork contributes to social scientific knowledge
- how to isolate the theoretical questions that inform particular pieces of ethnography
- how to identify the kinds of empirical evidence necessary to address those questions.

Students are allocated a supervisor and faculty advisor in the same way as those registered for the PhD; and will normally continue with this supervisor throughout their PhD.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hssamrsap

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students should have:
(1) developed a deeper general knowledge of the comparative, theoretical and epistemological issues underlying contemporary social anthropological research and, where relevant to proposed doctoral research, developed a deeper knowledge of a specific geographical and/or topical area of anthropology and of the critical debates within it;

(2) developed a knowledge of a range of current methods, methodologies and research findings and a conceptual understanding that enables their proper deployment and evaluation.

(3) where relevant, advanced own plans for field research and undertaken field preparation with reference to (a) overall aims of the course; (b) specific social, ethical and other practical matters relating to their chosen ‘field’.

Format

The taught element of this course consists of these compulsory streams:

- The Pre-fieldwork seminar
- The Ethnographic Methods Course, Parts I (Michaelmas) and II (Lent)
- Statistics for Social Anthropologists (workshop in Michaelmas term)
- The Social Sciences’ Research Methods Centre Course on Basic Statistical Methods, modules on Foundations in Applied Statistics and on Designing Surveys.

Students are also strongly encouraged to attend other optional elements:

- The ‘Experiences from the Field’ seminar, run by writing-up students recently returned from the field.
- Ad hoc sessions in transferable skills or anthropological method, such as journal publication, technologies of research and data management, film-making and research with children.
- The Senior Research Seminar, scheduled for Fridays during term time.. This is the place where the division really gets together, and we usually attract very good speakers from across the UK and overseas.

Students receive written feedback on their three assessed essays and thesis. In addition, students receive termly progress reports online from their supervisor via Cambridge Graduate Supervision Reporting System (CGSRS).

Assessment

A thesis of not more than 15,000 words in length, including footnotes, but excluding tables, appendices, and bibliography, on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Science. An oral examination on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls may be held at the discretion of the examiners.
The mark awarded for the thesis will comprise 60% of the total.

1. One essay of not more than 4,000 words in length, relating to anthropology and social theory chosen by the candidate from a list of questions announced by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Science by the Division of Michaelmas Term.
2. One essay of not more than 4,000 words in length, relating to professional research practice chosen by the candidate from a list of questions announced by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Science by the Division of Michaelmas Term.
3. One essay of not more than 4,000 words relating to research methods. This is the individual report on the extended case study prepared for the Ethnographic Methods course. This essay will count for 10% of the total marks for the examination.
Each essay will count for 10% of the total marks.

One “open book” online test for the Foundations in Applied Statistics course and one written assignment for the Designing Surveys course taken via the Social Science Research Methods Centre Survey Methods.

Assessments will be administered on a pass/fail basis as part of the relevant modules and count for 10% of the total.

Continuing

Students continuing to the PhD will undertake 12-18 months of ethnographic fieldwork subject to successful completion of a 7,000 word Research Proposal Portfolio and receiving clearance to proceed to fieldwork from the PhD Committee.

On return to Cambridge, students devote the remainder of their research time to writing their PhD dissertation in close consultation with their supervisor.

Upon return from the field, writing-up students are also expected to attend the following seminars during term-time:

- The PhD Writing-up seminar
- The Senior Research seminar
- The Senior Research Seminar analysis session.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

- William Wyse Bursary -

All applicants for the MRes are eligible to apply for the Wyse Bursary for Social Anthropology for which a separate application is required.
http://www.socanth.cam.ac.uk/online-forms/

- ESRC-DTC Studentships (UK or EU nationals only) -

In order to be eligible for an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) award, applicants who do not already hold a ESRC-recognised research training Masters will be registered for this course and not the PhD in the first instance. In addition applicants should submit a brief statement explaining their interest in become a DTC student and how this might benefit their future career. Further information on the DTC is available here: http://esrc-dtc.cshss.cam.ac.uk

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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The MPhil in Sociology of Media and Culture pathway provides students with the opportunity to study the nature and transformation of media and cultural forms at an advanced level. Read more
The MPhil in Sociology of Media and Culture pathway provides students with the opportunity to study the nature and transformation of media and cultural forms at an advanced level. The programme gives students a firm grounding in the theoretical and empirical analysis of media and culture and enables them to study particular media and cultural forms in depth, examining their transformations over time and their impact on other aspects of social and political life. The programme consists of 4 components:

1. Theories of Culture and Media: all students taking this programme will be expected to follow this course of lectures that will cover some of the major theoretical contributions to the study of media and culture, ranging from Adorno and Habermas to Bourdieu and Becker and from medium theory to Castells and more recent theoretical work on new media and the internet. Students are also strongly encouraged to follow the course of lectures on social theory.

2. Substantive modules: there will be at least three core substantive modules taught by Prof John Thompson, Prof Patrick Baert and Dr Ella McPherson. The modules will be research-led and will reflect the research being undertaken by members of the Department. The content of specific modules may vary from year to year but topics covered will typically include the nature of the digital revolution and its impact on the media and creative industries; the changing nature of news and journalism in the digital age; the role of new media in the development of social movements and new forms of political mobilization and protest; the uses of social media and the internet and their impact on everyday life and culture; the role of ideas, intellectuals and media forms in processes of social and political change. Students in this programme will be expected to take at least three of these modules; they may also take the fourth module in this programme, or they may substitute one of these modules with a module taken from another MPhil programme offered by the Department (Modern Society and Global Transformations, Political and Economic Sociology, Sociology of Reproduction).

3. Research Methods: all students will take a course on research methods which includes sessions on philosophical issues in the social sciences; research design; data collection and analysis in relation to quantitative and qualitative methods; reflection on research ethics and practice; library and computer skills.

4. Dissertation: all students will write a dissertation on a topic of their choice that allows for theoretically informed empirical analysis of some aspect of media or culture in contemporary societies. The choice of dissertation topic is made in consultation with your supervisor, who can advise you on the suitability and feasibility of your proposed research and on research design. A dissertation workshop provides the opportunity to present aspects of your dissertation work and to receive constructive feedback from course teachers and fellow students.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hssompsmc

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the programme students should have:

- an advanced understanding of current sociological research in selected topics;
- skills necessary to conduct independent social research and experience in their use;
- an ability to apply and develop modern social theory with respect to empirical topics;
- a deeper understanding of their chosen specialist area, including command of the literature and current research;
- the ability to situate their own research within current developments in the field.

Format

The course offers teaching on Social Theory, Substantive modules and Research Methods. Students work towards a written dissertation supported by supervisions and a dissertation workshop.

Students receive written feedback on each essay and the dissertation. Feedback is also given during the dissertation workshop on the direction and progress of the dissertation research.

Assessment

Students write a dissertation of not less than 15,000 and not more than 20,000 words on a subject approved by the Degree Committee.

Students write one methods essay of not less than 2,500 and not more than 3,000 words [or prescribed course work] and two substantive essays of not less than 4,000 and not more than 5,000 words.

Continuing

Students are encouraged to proceed to the Faculty's PhD programme, provided they reach a high level of achievement in all parts of the course. MPhil students who would like to continue to the PhD would normally need to have a final mark of at least 70% overall and 70% on the dissertation.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

The Department of Sociology holds ESRC funding awards. Sociology is a recognised Doctoral Training Centre pathway toward a PhD. Therefore candidates for the MPhil in Sociology (Media and Culture) can apply for 1+3 ESRC funding.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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Our MA Social Work course will help you become a highly effective social worker through a combination of teaching and practice placements. Read more

Our MA Social Work course will help you become a highly effective social worker through a combination of teaching and practice placements.

Our course meets the requirements of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) for social work practice in England, the Knowledge and Skills Statements for children, adult and mental health social workers, and the regulatory requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

You will be eligible to apply to register as a qualified social worker with the HCPC upon completion of the course.

You will benefit from particularly high quality placements and greater input from practising social workers through our membership of the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy, a government-sponsored Teaching Partnership that ensures close links between local employers and universities across Greater Manchester.

Both placements and taught elements will help you learn how to work with a variety of user groups in a range of settings.

Aims

The course aims to:

  • qualify you as a registered social worker;
  • prepare you to work safely and effectively with service users and carers;
  • produce social work practitioners who are intellectually inquisitive and motivated to pursue further learning and research and professional development throughout their career.

Special features

Outstanding curriculum

Benefit from a range of innovative teaching and learning  methods that integrate theory and practice, actively involving service users, carers and current social work practitioners.

We encourage students to take an active involvement in shaping the course.

170 days of placements

You will have two high quality statutoryplacements  within a local authority, voluntary or private agency, which will enable you to develop into a confident, resilient and reflective social work practitioner.

Greater employment opportunities

We are a member of the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy teaching partnership and have strong links with social work employers across the region.

Student support

You will receive outstanding study, placement and personal support from staff and fellow students.

Addressing the philosophy of Athena SWAN , we look to minimise early starts and late finishes, and ensure Christmas, New Year and Easter are included in your annual leave entitlement.

Research specialisms

You will have access to teaching staff who actively undertake research in health and social care at a university rated number one in the UK under the Research Excellence Framework (Unit of Assessment 3) in this area.

Our staff's specialist research interests include deaf people and children (SORD), adoption and looked after children, safeguarding practice, law for social workers, mental health, LGBT, learning for professional practice and researching social work pedagogy.

Teaching and learning

You will learn from experts in social work through interactive teaching sessions incorporating lectures and workshops at the University. See the teaching and learning page for more information.

You will develop practical skills and experience through placements. See the placements page for more information.

Coursework and assessment

We use a range of assessment methods to accommodate different learning styles and learning outcomes.

These include using simulated visits and assessments, essays, case studies and group presentations. We may use other formats.

You will be assessed for your readiness for direct practice (ARDP) prior to commencing your first practice placement, and will be assessed at the end of your first and final practice placements.

Course unit details

Year 1

Learning in the first year provides a solid foundation where students are introduced to key knowledge and skills and prepared for professional practice.

You will learn about what social work is and develop necessary practice skills. You will explore the context social work operates in, including the legal framework and professional safeguarding responsibilities.

You will take:

  • Introduction to Social Work;
  • Social, Political and Organisational Context for Social Work;
  • Law for Social Work Practice;
  • Understanding Life Course Trajectories for Social Work Practice;
  • 20 days of professional skills development;
  • a 70-day placement.

See a typical first year timetable and find out what a day on placement is like by reading Year 1 student Emily's diary .

Year 2

Learning in the second year provides an in-depth understanding of the processes that govern and inform social work processes and interventions with a range of service user groups.

The Foundations of Research course will prepare you for completing a dissertation for your MA award.

Your dissertation provides an opportunity for you to undertake in depth study on a social work-related topic or aspect of practice. 

You will take:

  • Safeguarding Children, Adults and Their Families;
  • Young People and Vulnerable Adults;
  • Foundations of Research;
  • Social Work Interventions with Adults, Families, Children and Young People;
  • 10 days of professional skills development;
  • a 100-day placement;
  • a dissertation.


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

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

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

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

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

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How you will be taught

Modules start at the beginning of the academic session in September and are taught by lectures and tutorials.
What you will study

There are core modules in:

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

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

Students enrolled on the Masters programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

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

Careers

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

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

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

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

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

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The Department of Social Work has a longstanding tradition of providing excellent social work education and training and has produced a wide range of research that has been highly influential in the development of social work practice. Read more
The Department of Social Work has a longstanding tradition of providing excellent social work education and training and has produced a wide range of research that has been highly influential in the development of social work practice.

The MSc Social Work is an accelerated programme for applicants who already have a first degree and want to embark on a career in social work; the course will fully prepare you for a professional career in the statutory or voluntary social care field.

This Masters degree runs in close partnership with local social care agencies and local authorities based in inner and outer London boroughs. The course is a combination of a taught and practice curriculum, where you will undertake two fieldwork placements in addition to the College-based teaching over the two years.

We welcome overseas and self-funding students.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/socialwork/coursefinder/mscsocialwork.aspx

Why choose this course?

Students have said the following about this course:
- “Lectures are delivered by experienced practitioners and leaders in the Health and Social Care field.”

- “The teaching is of a high standard and lectures are interactive with opportunities for small group activity.”

- “Staff are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and professional.”

- "There is excellent support for mature students, especially those with childcare and family commitments.”

- “I am a final year student and proud to be a postgraduate student at Royal Holloway.”

Department research and industry highlights

Since its inception, the department has developed a reputation for delivering high quality research across a range of areas by engaging with matters of public concern. In the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 45% of the department’s quality profile was ranked 3-4*.

- A team of researchers in the department recently conducted a major study into leadership in health and social care services.

- Two members of staff are currently completing a small-scale study into decision-making in the field of child and family welfare.

- The department hosted the Centre for Trauma and Abuse studies and continues to maintain strong links with this centre.

- The department runs the most successful Graduate Diploma in Child and Family Studies in partnership with 28 London Boroughs and has been designated a Centre of Excellence.

Course content and structure

The MSc in Social Work is a two-year course that runs over two academic years, and is based at Royal Holloway’s Egham campus. The course is full time and students are expected to attend from 9am - 5pm, both in College and while on placement. The course integrates theory, research, policy and practice in social work, and the academic and practice programmes run concurrently.

- Course structure and organisation
In the first year you'll attend College four days a week during the first term. In the second term you are on placement (70 days) from Monday to Thursday and in College on Fridays. The placement continues in the third term. There are occasional block weeks on placement and Recall Days when you need to attend College.

In year two you'll attend College on Mondays and Tuesdays and are on placement (100 days) the rest of the time. Again there are occasional block weeks on placement and Recall Days when you need to attend College. Please see information about placements for more details regarding the practice element of the course.

- First year courses
Practice Learning 1: preparation for practice. .

Social Policy for Social Workers: gain an understanding of social policy issues related to social work.

Human behaviour in the social environment: gain knowledge about psychology in relation to working with service users.

Child observations: develop observation skills that are relevant to social work with all service user groups.

Theories and knowledge for Social Work practice: gain knowledge of theories and approaches used to understand how to work with service users.

Law for Social Work: learn about law relating to working with services users.

- Second year courses
Critical Social Work: issues relating to working with service users and about different service user groups e.g. adult and child safeguarding, assessments, working with asylum seekers, substance misuse, working with resistant service users.

Choose one of three optional seminars depending on your area of interest: mental health, child and family welfare or vulnerable adults.

Practice Learning 2 - critical reflection: students explore and reflect upon their practice in seminar groups.

Research methods: Students learn about research methods in preparation for their dissertation.

Understanding and working in organisations: learn about the legal obligations, structures and cultures within organisations and how these impact on policy, procedure and practice.

- Support
Students are provided with one to one support from: Academic Tutors, who'll support you throughout the course; Placement tutors and Practice Educators; Dissertation Supervisors in the second year.

Royal Holloway provides range of wider services that support students including the Educational Support Office, Student Financial Advisor, Counselling Services, Students’ Union and Careers Service.

On completion of the course graduates will have advanced knowledge of:
- sociology, psychology, social policy and law and their application to social work practice

- the contribution and application of social research to social work theories and practice

- the range of statutory, voluntary and private welfare organisations within social work agencies and in health, housing and educational environments

- the range of theories and methods needed for effective social work practice

- the social and individual origins of a typical range of problems presented to social care agencies

- values and ethics relevant to social work practice

- the significance of inequalities and difference in working with organisations and social service users

- the significance of cultural diversity and anti discriminatory practice in working with organisations and social service users.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations, presentations and a dissertation. Students are also required to successfully complete one 70-day and one 100-day practice-learning placement.

Employability & career opportunities

The MSc in Social Work qualifies graduates for careers in statutory and voluntary social work. Qualified social workers can continue their professional/academic development through taught post-qualifying programmes or research opportunities within the department. This course also equips you with the subject knowledge and a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

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