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Social Science Research Methods (MRes)

Course Description


Our MRes in Social Science Research Methods offers subject routes in Criminology, Education, Gerontology, Health Policy, Management, Social Work and Sociology. The programme is designed to provide training in a range of research skills and methodologies essential to the systematic research practice demanded in many professional environments, or to pave the way to further postgraduate study. As such the programme is open to graduates looking to pursue an academic or research related career and those seeking to enhance their practical social research skills for professional purposes. Modules are taught by experts in their field and will introduce concepts and skills that will enable you to pursue an independent research project of your choice.

The MRes programme requires satisfactory completion of 180 credits, comprised of modules up to 120 credits, plus a 15,000 to 20,000 word dissertation worth 60 credits. Taught modules consist of face to face contact between staff and students, supported by online content, while the independent subject specific training modules and the dissertation are supported by regular individual supervision. There are a broad range of assessment methods to evaluate your analytical abilities and your critical engagement with relevant debates, approaches, theories, scholarship and evidence. These include portfolios, essays, research proposals, reviews, reports, exams, learning plans, pilot studies and the dissertation. Written assignments for taught modules vary in length from 1,500 word reports to 5,000 word personal development portfolios.

See the website https://www.keele.ac.uk/pgtcourses/mressocialscienceresearchmethods/

Course Aims

The general aims of the programme are as follows:
- To equip participants with a ‘toolkit’ for research design, consisting of a range of social science research methods and strategies
- To explore in detail the philosophical assumptions underlying contemporary research in the social sciences
- To develop the qualities needed to evaluate critically social science research
- To provide practice in a range of transferable skills, improve existing skills and enhance employability, whether in an academic context or beyond
- To apply more general methods and philosophies to the student’s own discipline and to gain an in-depth understanding of the current issues related to that discipline

Course Content

Those taking taught modules only, without producing a dissertation, may qualify for a postgraduate

award (30 credits), a post graduate certificate (60) credits or a postgraduate diploma (120 credits).

You will study the following core modules:

• Research Skills and Researcher Development
• Principles of Social Science Research
• Quantitative Research and Data Analysis
• Qualitative Research Methods
• Subject-Specific Training I
• Dissertation

The following is a list of indicative elective modules:

• Subject-Specific Training II
• Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis
• Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
• Ethnographic Research

The University offers this social science MRes in the following disciplines:
- Criminology
- Education
- Geography
- Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations
- Management
- Sociology
- Social Policy
- Social Work

Teaching & Assessment

The programme is assessed through a broad range of methods of assessment, including: portfolio, essay, research proposal, review, report, exam, learning plan, pilot study and dissertation. These enable assessment of the student’s analytical abilities, and of the student’s evaluation of particular debates, material and evidence. The research proposal, the review, the pilot study and the dissertation facilitate assessment of the student’s ability to select, apply and evaluate appropriate research methodologies in their chosen field of studies. The written assignments vary in length from 1,500 word reports through to 5,000 word personal development portfolios. Students must pass all the taught modules before they may proceed to the dissertation, which involves writing a dissertation of 15-20,000 words.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this post-graduate programme.

Find information on Scholarships here - http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/

Visit the Social Science Research Methods (MRes) page on the Keele University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants should be graduates normally with a good honours degree (2.1 or above) in a relevant social science subject. However, students from different backgrounds who believe they have the capacity to undertake postgraduate work in the social sciences should contact us to discuss their situation. Students for whom English is a second language will need English language proficiency of at least 6.5 in IELTS text scores (or equivalent).

Course Fees

UK/EU: Full-time £5,000, Part-time £2,750; International: £13,260 View Website

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