Anthropology, economics, geography, political science, sociology – you already know what the social sciences are. But how do they work? What makes them special?
There are clear senses in which they differ from some of the natural sciences, such as their extremely diverse set of methods and analytic techniques, but does this make the social sciences any less scientific or objective?
With LSE widely recognised as the world’s leading specialist social science university, the MSc Philosophy of the Social Sciences is the ideal degree with which to pursue questions about human societies, and to apply philosophical reasoning to understanding the nature of the social sciences themselves.
This programme offers a critical examination of the conceptual and methodological issues underlying social scientific research. The Department's strength in philosophy of economics and rational choice theory makes it the ideal environment in which to study, examine and critique the use of these methods within the social sciences.
Past programme graduates have gone on to a wide variety of careers, ranging from law, forming their own start-up, working in the City and working at Google. We have a very good record of students entering excellent PhD programmes.
This programme allows you to combine advanced-level training in sociology and social policy. The combination allows you to acquire substantive knowledge about the nature of social needs, the emergence and reactions to social problems, and the contested, political boundaries between the individual and the state, across two complementary disciplines. Choose from the quantitative, the qualitative or the substantive pathway: this means you have a broad choice of modules.
Modules from (depending on pathway): Understanding Modernity; International Social Policy; Understanding Social Change; International Social Welfare; Philosophy of Social Science Research; Research Design and Practice; Quantitative Methods; Qualitative Methods; Project Modules 1 and 2 (from a range of specialist options) Plus dissertation.
With a deep and rigorous programme of coursework and research in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, the MSc Philosophy of Science explores both general questions about the nature of science and specific foundational issues related to the individual sciences.
This programme is primarily designed to be accessible and stimulating for two main audiences: those who have studied science as undergraduates and would now like to study the philosophical foundations and methodology of science in depth, and those who have studied philosophy and would now like to delve deeper into the philosophy of science.
Founded in 1946 by the eminent philosopher of science Sir Karl Popper, LSE’s Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method is the ideal place to explore conceptual, methodological and foundational issues in the sciences. Along with the closely related Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, it enjoys an international reputation for its cutting-edge research, bustling seminar series and distinguished faculty and visitors.
This master's programme prepares you for many different possible destinations, including PhD work in philosophy or related disciplines, and employment in many non-academic fields such as science journalism, science administration and science management.
What is human wellbeing and what are the various steps taken by governments to promote it? The MSc International Social Policy considers these questions. You can choose pathways in ageing societies and development studies. We also offer a research methods pathway, which is ESRC accredited and an excellent basis for PhD study in Social Policy.
Modules from (depending on pathway): International Social Welfare; Philosophy of Social Science Research; Perspectives in Gerontology; Development and Migration; Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship; The South and Global Politics Plus dissertation.
In Philosophy of Humanity and Culture we go into the topics dealt with in classics from the European tradition. Topics we will be discussing include the difference between ‘nature and ‘culture’, ‘humans’ and ‘animals’, ‘being’ and ‘appearing’, ‘Enlightenment’ and ‘Romanticism’. In this, we put particular emphasis on the importance for our identity of history, religion, art, language and psychology. We also pay attention to the role of memory, gender, the relationship between literature, film and philosophy, war, art and remembrance, and that between religion and secularization. Together, these all contribute to our understanding of human existence, culture and society.
In modern times, from the seventeenth century onwards, widely differing answers have been given to the questions raised in classic works. Answers that resonate in present-day philosophical, scientific, religious and political debates. As a philosopher, you are not easily satisfied with answers given. That is why in the Philosophy of Humanity and Culture Master’s program you learn to continuously ask relevant questions, and what these questions entail. In addition to clear observation, reasoning, and speaking and writing, you learn to critically scrutinize humans and human society through various philosophical approaches. That way you position yourself firmly at the heart of life and society.
This programme delivers high-quality research methods training, including practical experience with qualitative and quantitative data analysis software packages and detailed analysis related to research epistemology and the philosophy of social science. It can provide opportunities to gain 'hands on' experience and contribute to current research projects, working, for example, with the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM).
The programme is suited to those hoping to later pursue a research degree (usually PhD) but who do not meet the research methods training entry requirements, as well as those who wish to apply for an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentship, as the programme is recognised by the ESRC for 1+3 funding.
The programme is a Faculty-wide course and modules are taught within the School of Education, the School of Applied Social Sciences (Sociology) and the Department of Psychology. This provides you with the opportunity to come into contact with other students studying research methods in different disciplines across the Social Sciences.
15 credits from:
Teaching is offered through lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will take part in a range of learning activities, including reading, discussion, presentations, criticising existing research, analysing and interpreting data, designing experiments, search literature and synthesising the results of multiple studies. Each module is assessed with an assignment (3,000) words for a 15-credit module and a dissertation of 12,000 words.
Career opportunities in education are wide and include classroom teaching, educational leadership and management, administration and policy development.