Masters degrees in Research Skills equip postgraduates with the advanced methodologies for identifying, collecting and analysing information and material in a way that is useful to other individuals and organisations. This can involve practical training designed to support (or prepare for) a postgraduate research degree, or more general techniques used in other fields such as public relations, politics and social policy.
Taught MA and MSc degrees are typical for this field. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree, though work experience may be accepted in some cases.
Offered with a highly flexible, interdisciplinary approach, these courses allow you to learn (and undertake) research methodologies appropriate to your field of interest. You can gain competency in a range of techniques and strategies for collecting and analysing data, including mixed methods and action research.
Many courses are offered via distance learning, which are ideal for those wishing to work while they study. If you do not want to undertake a full Masters, then shorter taught courses such as Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas are also available.
As well as being an ideal stepping-stone towards PhD study, these Masters can provide you with techniques which can benefit professional roles such as lab researchers, investigative journalists, forensic scientists and more. You may also apply these methods to roles in teaching or management.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Research Methods at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
This Master's degree in Social Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in a range of research methods used in the social sciences.
Teaching and Employability:
- Teaching is carried out by highly-respected, research active, professionals conducting research across a range of research areas and publishing in top international journals
- Students benefit from state-of-the-art technology with over twenty general purpose research rooms and numerous specialised testing facilities
- Specialist modules in criminology, social work and human geography, research leadership and management
- Emphasis on development of ethical, knowledgeable, skilful social researchers” through critical discussion, up to date information, debates and presentations
MSc Social Research Methods is a highly regarded and prestigious qualification which has been developed to:
- enable students to develop practical research skills and advanced methodological expertise (both qualitative and quantitative);
- instil familiarity with research ethics and governance, and
- gain knowledge about theoretical research concerns across the spectrum of social science disciplines.
Elective modules and a dissertation provide scope for specialisation in applied social sciences, including but not limited to: criminology, human geography, social work and health.
This Master’s degree in Social Research Methods has ESRC accreditation and provides advanced training in a range of research methods used in the social sciences. The degree instils familiarity with research ethics and governance, and students gain knowledge about theoretical research concerns across the spectrum of social science disciplines.
Students on the Social Research Methods course are encouraged to devise research dissertations themselves (supported by an academic supervisor).
Modules on the Social Research Methods programme typically include:
Qualitative Research Methods
Introduction to Research and Study Skills
Data Collection Methods
Ethics and Philosophy of Social Research
Quantitative Research Methods
Advanced Research in Human Geography
Research Leadership and Project Management
Case Studies in Applied Social Research: Social Work
Case Studies in Applied Social Res: Applied Research in Crime & Criminal Justice
Dissertation (Social Research)
Teaching is in the form of lectures, seminars, group-project work and individual study. All Social Research Methods students are assigned a Personal Tutor and Dissertation Supervisor appropriate to their chosen area of study.
The Social Research Methods course is made up of six 20-credit modules (Part 1) and a 60-credit dissertation (Part 2).
The Social Research Methods course is suitable for:
- students who want to prepare themselves for the challenge of MPhil or PhD study; who are already professionally involved in working with people in the social sector and want to develop their own skills and professional expertise
- students from different academic disciplines who are interested in conducting social research and are interested in seeking employment or already have employment in both public and private sectors
- previous students are those with backgrounds in social policy, sociology, law, criminology, human geography, politics, arts and humanities, ageing studies , psychology and health science
- anyone wanting to add a valuable qualification as part of developing a full academic career
- anyone who is interested in society, social behaviour, and social change and would like to learn more
- anyone working in, or wishing to work in, government or voluntary organisations, and commercial areas where social research is undertake
Past Social Research Methods students have gone on to be employed in public and private sectors, research work, PhD , vocational work, the criminal justice system, social work, environmental health, teaching, local government, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and health and social care.
Contributing lecturers are renowned nationally and internationally. For example, Professor David Hughes has published on the universal coverage healthcare reforms of Thailand and Turkey, Debbie Jones jointly led on The Student Sex Workers' project from Swansea University's Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology.
The MSc Social Research methods is serviced by research active staff, many of whom are leaders in their field of research. The team has strong links with Criminology whose staff have been awarded Howard league Research Medal 2013 for work on the Swansea Bureau Youth Scheme. Lecturers from the course also include those from the world renowned Centre for Innovative Aging and also Human Geography.
The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience.
In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences.
This course is perfect if you are looking to embark on a successful career as a researcher or academic and will provide you with the necessary training as part of your study for your MPhil/PhD.
The course is distinctive in providing students with an exciting opportunity to develop expertise in a range of both quantitative and qualitative research methods of data collection and analysis with a focus on their application to real-world issues.
The course has 1+3 recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council. Only three Education Departments in post-92 universities have this prestigious kitemark.
In order to enhance your engagement with the issues to be examined, and to allow flexibility over how you manage your time, the Social Research Methods programme will be delivered through weekly sessions in the Autumn and Spring semesters supplemented by tutorial support available (both face-to-face and electronically). Evening sessions are provided for part-time students.
All three levels of the programme will include an introduction to the processes and issues involved in designing a quantitative or qualitative research project. You will also undertake modules that will introduce you to the methods of quantitative (including use of SPSS) and qualitative (including use of CAQDAS) research, giving you the skills and confidence to use these approaches to data collection and analysis in your own research.
If you progress to do a PGD or MA you will also explore the philosophy of social science research where you will examine the relationship between epistemology, ontology and methodology. Furthermore, you will explore concepts that underpin educational and social research including empiricism, rationalism, hermeneutics, feminism, post-modernism and critical realism and critique their relation to objectivity, causation, and validity.
You will also focus on key elements of the Research Councils’ Joint Statement of Skills Training for Research Students. You can then choose to study interpretations of the concept of education - and their implications for research - and the role of values in educational theory and research methodologies, or the basic theoretical concepts in social theory, with a particular emphasis on sociology and social policy.
Masters students will complete a dissertation in an area of their choosing in the fields of education or the social sciences.
The PG certificate course addresses core features of social research methods, focusing on different forms of data and how they can be collected and analysed. MA-level study is aimed at students who either want a discrete research-based MA or want to run a pilot study for an MPhil/PhD research project.
The following is a list of modules that you need to take to complete the different awards:
plus one of two optional modules:
This is THE course for those wishing to be employed in the research field of education and/or social sciences.
If you want to develop your career in academic research within a medical environment and you need the research methodology to do this, Medical Research Skills will enable you to provide wide ranging research techniques to not only improve and widen your career and employability, but make a name for yourself within your chosen field of expertise. You can also undertake medical research toward spin-out innovation as a direct result of your research within a university environment after graduating. The PG Cert is and ideal start to ensuring you are equipped with plenty of research breadth and ideal if you are studying within Aberdeenshire, Angus, and Moray and possibly in most of Scotland to fit around your medical work. The course is available over 24 months part time.
You learn by self directed learning and practical classes using real life examples to ensure multidisciplinary learning, exposure to leading academics and clinical experts to provide rigour in your research, and insight into actual situations in a clinical environment. You get opportunities to network and attend seminars and events run by the medical school.
This programme will provide training in generic research skills within a clinical context. The rationale is to equip Aberdeen AFP doctors with fundamental research skills that will enable them to pursue a clinical academic career. Clinical academia is a strongly competitive environment. Thus the need for doctors to have a keen and active interest, along with the appropriate research training and portfolio, has never been greater. The University of Aberdeen College of Life Sciences and Medicine recognises this and is offering this unique opportunity to further develop your clinical academic profile and standing.
Research Skills and Scientific Writing
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about fees
*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
Find out more about:
Research in an educational setting requires a very specific set of skills. In this advanced-level programme you will gain those skills and develop your understanding of the nature and use of research in education.
Recognised as a Research Training programme by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), this masters has been designed as both a free-standing degree and the first year of doctoral study (the first year of a ‘1+3’ programme).
This programme will allow you to develop analytical and practical skills useful not only for a career in academia but also in other research settings and in the commercial sector. If you are an education professional, the theories and techniques you will develop on this programme will enable you to undertake empirical work in your own area of practice.
On completion of the programme you will be able to critically evaluate research evidence based on quantitative and qualitative data and will have gained the knowledge and experience to conduct rigorous research in education and allied social subjects.
PLEASE NOTE: The MSc Educational Research is currently being reviewed and is likely to become a pathway in the MSc Education programme. The structure of the programme will remain very similar and the new structure will also still count as the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised programme within the School of Education, being part of the 1+3 PhD structure (1 year MSc and 3 years PhD). Successful applicants of the MSc Educational Research will be required to transfer to the new MSc Education (Research) should this new pathway receive final University approval and validation.
Further informal inquiries about this review can be sent to the programme director (see ‘Further information’ section below).
You will be taught through a range of learning and teaching activities: lectures, seminars, practical training, group work and discussion and self-study activities.
You will complete four programme-specific compulsory courses and two option courses. On completion of your taught courses, you will also produce an independently researched dissertation.
Option courses may be chosen from those within the MSc Education, or from other MSc programmes in the School or from elsewhere across the University, subject to approval.
This programme is an excellent step towards PhD study and a career in academia or in research within government and national or international organisations. It will also provide you with a series of analytical and practical transferable skills that will enhance your career prospects in any field of your choice.