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PG Cert Narrative Research by Distance Learning

Course Description

Human beings are great storytellers, making sense of their experiences by constructing narratives to help them analyse the things which have happened to them or to the world around them.

Narrative research offers new areas of inquiry and creative solutions to problems in a wide variety of areas.

The University of East London has been a pioneer in the subject, establishing its prestigious international Centre for Narrative Research in 2000. It continues to attract leading academics and researchers from around the world.

We understand that it is not always possible to make it on to campus to study. Many of our students live overseas, while others have family and work commitments to balance.

So, flexible learning is a key to this course. You will have the option of studying the full PG certificate by distance learning, including the Narrative Research and the unique Narrative Force modules. But, if you can, you are also welcome to attend our on-campus sessions.


The course consists of two core 30-credit master’s-level modules in Narrative Research and Narrative Force – how a story can sometimes have a force or dynamic of its own.

Through a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, it addresses key questions which will give you the skills to make decisions about how to conduct narrative research to produce the most meaningful results possible. These questions include:

How do people come to see themselves as distinct subjects about whom a story can be told? What role do memory and ideology play in people’s accounts of their lives?
How do class, ethnicity, gender and other social characteristics shape the stories people tell? How does culture intervene in the way narratives are produced?

How do we decide on a research question in narrative analysis? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different modes of narrative inquiry and analysis?
What are the possibilities and limitations of narrative research for drawing conclusions of theoretical and practical significance?


The learning materials for this course are detailed and activity-based to encourage you to engage actively with concepts, theories and techniques. We will provide you with key reading texts, while the learning material provides links to electronic journals and websites.

Online support is available through two platforms: UEL Direct and UEL Plus.
UEL Direct provides access to online services, enabling you to manage your account and view your assessment feedback and results online. It also provides general course information and some support material tailored to the needs of distance learners.

UEL Plus, the platform used for the delivery of the course, provides the academic content for each module and facilitates online discussions between learners and UEL staff. It also helps you download course material.

Sometimes we use Skype for tutorials and we encourage our students to interact with each other on their ideas and learning. This is part of a flexible approach to all of your learning.

Our academic team are actively involved in both international narrative research projects and in producing publications on the latest developments in practice across a variety of areas.

They have also written respected text books on narrative research. So you will have access to academics who are experts in both the practical and theoretic approaches to the subject.


Our students for distance learning are based all over the world – from Canada and New Zealand to Sweden and other parts of the UK – and their career paths go in many different directions.

Some are looking to use narrative research in their current jobs, returning to work with a completely new set of skills which will allow them to apply for more challenging roles within their organisation.

Others are PhD students or researchers intending to use narrative research in their work and adopt a more creative approach to their current role or research.

We have wide experience of teaching students from health services or organisations, especially the National Health Service in the UK. But our courses have also attracted people working in variety of industries from the media to public sector bodies and local authorities.

Using and applying narratives is an expanding area for careers, especially in fields such as academic social science and cultural studies, applied social policy and in the computer industry.

By working with some of the most experienced narrative research experts in the world – especially through the Centre for Narrative Research – you will finish the course with the knowledge and connections to help you in your current role and open up new career opportunities.

Visit the PG Cert Narrative Research by Distance Learning page on the University of East London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a first class or second class honours degree. This degree should be in a relevant field of study. Applicants holding an honours degree in a field of study which is not of obvious relevance may also be considered. Applicants who have relevant research or professional experience may also be considered. All applicants with appropriate qualifications will be invited for an interview. In lieu of the interview overseas students may be asked to supply detailed written evidence of their interest in Narrative Research, together with evidence of work of a sufficient standard for successful postgraduate study.

Course Fees

Full-time: UK/EU Students £5,970. Part-time: £995 per 30 credit module.

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