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Course content

This new and distinctive MRes aims to develop a systematic understanding and critical appreciation of alternative approaches, methodologies and paradigms of social science research. It will develop fully trained and competent social science researchers, who are able to understand and use research techniques appropriate to their subject area as well as being conversant with approaches used by other social scientists.

The programme has a substantial theoretical and quantitative core but also delivers complementary qualitative training. This will provide an essential foundation for any working researcher, whether they are going on to do a PhD or otherwise engaged in research. The training will enable students to think through how they can use their knowledge and skills of advanced quantitative methods in different contexts and apply them to a variety of problems; and, progressively, to identify their own needs for training.

It is a joint initiative between the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter. The course is delivered collaboratively; each semester one core unit is taught intensively, with time spent at each location. This collaborative delivery means that the expertise of academics at each institution can be made available to students from all three universities, enhancing the training capacity of each.

This programme has been accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the South West Doctoral Training Centre.

Programme structure

This programme comprises 180 credits in total.

Compulsory modules include:

  • Research Design Methods & Skills for AQM
  • Qualitative Methods in Social Research
  • Mathematics and Programming Skills for Social Scientists
  • Quantitative Dissertation

Learning and teaching

With the exception of the dissertation, each module on this programme is normally taught through academic lectures expanded through seminar discussion, presentations, group work, reading and essay assignments.

Work on formulating a dissertation topic begins early in the academic year and you will have an individual supervisor for your dissertation.

Careers

Graduates of Politics at the University of Exeter have been highly successful in securing interesting career opportunities and in progressing to higher research degrees.

Our careers advisory service offer expert guidance to all students and will help you plan your future through activities such as psychometric testing, employer presentations, skills events, practice job interviews and CV preparation.

In addition to the academic and knowledge-based skills provided by this programme’s subject material, your studies will also develop personal skills which are highly valued by employers, such as:

  • Advanced independent thinking, with the ability to undertake self-directed learning and time management to achieve consistent, proficient and sustained attainment
  • Experience of working as an individual on challenging material
  • The ability to reflect on your learning, evaluate personal strengths and weakness, and map out a plan of personal development based on those reflections
  • Competence with standard IT applications, and an understanding of efficient and effective ways to obtain information from library, database, and online sources.
  • Experience of working as a participant and/or leader of a group, and of contributing effectively to the planning and achievement of that group’s objectives
  • Experience of giving presentations to others in your field
  • The ability to construct a rigorous argument, and defend that argument citing relevant sources, both in written form and orally.

Visit the MRes Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) In Social Sciences page on the University of Exeter website for more details!

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