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Course content

This programme reflects the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies' expertise in research methods training. It provides comprehensive training in the whole process of research conceptualisation, design and operationalisation.

It is particularly suitable for those seeking a career as a social science researcher or going on to a PhD, including Economic and Social Research Council-funded doctoral study. It is specially formulated to reflect the training recommended by the ESRC and has been accredited as a research training programme.

You will develop thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of the variety of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods that are available to the social scientist and the principal methods of analysing data. The programme also covers the research process, ethical considerations and social theory. You will be encouraged to apply your methods training to substantive research interests.

Programme structure

The MSc programme comprises six 12-week taught units and six assessed essays, followed by a dissertation.

Core units
-Qualitative Social Research
-Quantitative Social Research
-Philosophy and Research Design in the Social Sciences

Plus at least one of the following:
-Advanced Qualitative Research
-Advanced Quantitative Research
-Discourse Analysis
-Research Methods
-Philosophy of Social Science

Optional units
You will choose no more than two sociology-based optional units from those on offer in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies during the second teaching block.

Dissertation
The summer term is completed with a dissertation. The dissertation enables you to pursue an independent, in-depth study, reflecting on the epistemological and methodological issues covered in the taught element of the programme.

Careers

Bristol graduates are in high demand and have an excellent record of employment following graduation. Students of MSc Research Methods programmes go on to further study at PhD level or research jobs in the public or private sector. Graduate destinations have included government departments, the World Bank, and the think-tank Demos, among others.

Visit the Social Science Research Methods (Sociology) MSc page on the University of Bristol website for more details!

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