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MSc Survey Methods for Social Research


University of Essex Department of Sociology

Full time & Part time October MSc Full-time: 1 year

About the course

What methods are used to discover how people behave, what they believe and what opinions they hold? What sort of sampling techniques are needed to access different types of population? What is the best way to design a questionnaire?

Our MSc Survey Methods for Social Research will provide answers to these questions and more, preparing you for a professional career in social, academic or market research. Central to our course is an emphasis on practical learning and experience, so you undertake a short work placement in one of a number of professional research organisations.

You explore topics including:

  • Sampling
  • Questionnaire design
  • Analysis of survey data
  • Management of the survey process

This course has ESRC Doctoral Training Centre accreditation, meaning it can form part of a 1+3 funding

Read more about this course


Entry Requirements

A degree with an overall 2:1, or international equivalent, in a Social Science, Humanities, Statistics or Maths. Your degree must also include at least two quantitative or research methods modules (this can also include the research project/dissertation).

Applications from students with a 2:2 or equivalent or a non-social sciences degree will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.

For further details, please View Website


Course Content



Where is University of Essex


Student Profile(s)

Christian Kemp

“Essex has a very strong reputation for the high caliber and standard of both its social and criminological research. I felt that the Department of Sociology at Essex would be an ideal environment where I could not only develop a deeper appreciation of the theoretical aspects of my subject, but also how to practically apply and implement these ideas in the field.

I settled into the academic side of life at Essex quite easily as my course is flexible, and I could choose optional modules that appealed to me the most. The added luxury of being able to choose optional modules is that you can pick those which best suit your future career plans.

I enjoy the theoretical modules that are also rooted in current contemporary social events the most. We learn about quite abstract ideas such as theories of globalisation, whilst discussing how these concepts and ideas can be used to understand contemporary social changes, like the expansion of the global forms of crime and crime control.

There is good support available and lots of social events to help you make new friends. I live at the Quays which have spacious bedrooms and lovely views over the river Colne. It’s great for me because it’s more peaceful allowing me study easily. Being here has also really helped me to understand the options and opportunities available. I have a strong belief that studying here at Essex will greatly help my chances of getting into a successful career.”


Emma Weddell

"I initially wanted to study at Essex because my potential supervisor was teaching there. However I soon realised what an exceptional reputation the Department of Sociology has, which made me even more determined to come here.

I completed my undergraduate degree in sociology and wanted to pursue an academic career, so I took the next step which was research methods training (through Essex’s MA Sociological Research Methods), followed by my PhD. The teaching in the Department was excellent; lectures were always really interesting and well-delivered. It was also great be surrounded by so many like-minded people; everyone on the course worked hard but had a sense of humour. I have made lifelong friends at Essex and for that I will always be thankful.

Since completing my PhD, I have been working in the UK Data Archive, based at the University, and am in the process of applying for post-doctoral funding. I’m also working on my journal articles and conference papers in order to disseminate my research findings. Studying at Essex has provided me with a thorough grounding in sociological research methodology and definitely prepared me for an academic career. "


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