The MA Methods of Social Research provides essential training for employment where an understanding of social research is important, as well as for further academic research in a social science discipline.
This MA programme at Kent exposes students to a wide range of thinking and approaches in social science research presented in a multi-disciplinary context and at an advanced level.
The focus of the programme is on developing practical skills in data collection, in data analysis and interpretation, and in the presentation of research findings so that students gain insight into the research process from design to the production of new knowledge.
More generally students will broaden their understanding of the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues that matter in research, and will become aware of debates about the relationship between theory and research and between research and policy/practice.
Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/119/methods-of-social-research
About the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR):
SSPSSR has a long and distinguished history, and is one of the largest and most successful social science research communities in Europe. It has received top ratings in Research Assessment Exercises, and most recently had 70% of its work judged as either “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” in terms of its “originality, significance and rigour”.
The School supports a large and thriving postgraduate community and in 2010 distributed in excess of £100,000 in Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) quota awards, and in University and SSPSSR bursaries and scholarships to new students.
Academic staff specialise in research of international, comparative and theoretical significance, and we have collective strengths in the following areas: civil society, NGOs and the third sector; cross-national and European social policy; health, social care and health studies; work, employment and economic life; risk, ‘risk society’ and risk management; race, ethnicity and religion; social and public policy; sociology and the body; crime, culture and control; sociological theory and the culture of modernity.
The MA programme consists of:
- four compulsory one-unit modules (total of 80 credits, 40 ECTS)
- two optional one-unit modules or one two-unit module (total of 40 credits, 20 ECTS)
- and a supervised dissertation (60 credits, 30 ECTS).
The compulsory modules are:
- Qualitative Research
- Quantitative Data Analysis
- Critical Social Research: Truth, Ethics and Power
- Design of Social Research
The dissertation will be on a topic of your choosing and involves carrying out original empirical research using the research methods covered in modules.
Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma (PCert/PDip):
There is the option to take this programme as a Postgraduate Certificate, where you just take the four compulsory modules (80 credits). The Certificate is offered to all registered PhD students (part-time or full-time) within the Faculty of Social Sciences (not only to SSPSSR students) free of charge subject to supervisors’ consent.
You can also take it as a Postgraduate Diploma, where you take the four compulsory modules and two optional modules but without taking the dissertation (120 credits).
Full time or part time?:
The Programme can be taken either full-time over one year or part-time over two years. For part-time students, in the first year you take 'Design of Social Research' and 'Qualitative Data Analysis.' In the second year, you take 'Quantitative Research' and 'Using Research – Advanced Critical Skills'. Additional credits will be obtained from optional modules offered within the Faculty.
Teaching for the MA will take a variety of forms, including lectures, tutor-led seminars, student-led seminars, small group work, workshops on data analysis, guided search of on-line data sources, and self-directed learning based on the University Library.
Students will be assessed in each module and on a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice.
Module assessments vary. Some require either one 5,000-word or two 2,500-word essays; others require more of a portfolio of work, including in-class tests. The individual module outlines contain the necessary information on assessment.
This programme aims to:
•provide appropriate methods training for students preparing an MA dissertation or MPhil/DPhil theses, or for students going on to employment involving the use of social science research
•introduce you to a variety of different approaches to social science research, presented in a multidisciplinary context
•cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research questions or hypotheses and translating these into practicable research designs
•make you aware of the range of secondary data available and equip you to evaluate their utility for research
•develop skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and internet resources in a multidisciplinary context
•introduce you to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and the debates about the relationship between theory and research, the problems of evidence and inference, and the limits of objectivity
•develop skills in the use of SPSS and other statistical techniques of data analysis, including multivariate analysis
•develop skills in writing, the preparation of a research proposal, the presentation of research results, and verbal communication
•help you to prepare your research results for wider dissemination, such as seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications to a range of audiences, including academics, policymakers, professionals, service users and the general public
•give you an appreciation of the potential and problems of social research in local, regional, national and international settings.
Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills.
We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation, as well as time management and leadership skills.
You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of social and public policy is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.
Recent graduates have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs.
Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/