Central to the Department's activities is the MSc Social Research Methods, which offers specialist options in: Social Policy, Social Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, Philosophy, Development Studies, Government, Management, Population, and Decision and Policy Sciences. The MSc programme will provide you with the opportunity to develop sophistication in research design and quantitative and qualitative research while maintaining a focus in a social scientific discipline. You will acquire skills of ‘practical scholarship’ and ability to design, conduct, analyse and report a social research project.
This programme draws on the range of expertise available within the Department, as well as related academic departments, in order to provide an advanced training in social research methodologies, combined with a focus on one of a number of special areas in the social science.
The syllabus for the MSc goes someway beyond the ESRC's requirements for the first year of a 1+3 PhD programme, and it is designed as a training for doctoral research and as a pre-professional training for careers in social research in the public and private sectors.
Almost 50 per cent of the graduates of this programme have entered PhD programmes, or are working in social research in universities or national and local government.
The social policy aspect of the course is really interesting and relevant to the kind of job I am hoping to get next year. The research methods part of the course is very broad and covers both quantitative and qualitative methods which will be very useful when applying for a job.
Several things attracted me to LSE: the content of the programme, expert research, good facilities, etc; but especially the idea of being taught by the movers and shakers in the social policy research field and being part of a really diverse student body – mixing with people from all over the world with widely different backgrounds. Being in the centre of London is a bonus!
As a mature student with years of work experience behind me, my year at LSE has updated my research skills which I haven't used for ten years, hopefully enabling me to leapfrog into the sort of job I would have had if I hadn't had my children!
Social Research Methods provides an excellent foundation for future research activity: some of the techniques that I will have to master for effective research are not exciting in themselves, so it is much better to learn the basic principles as part of a group than slogging away in the dark on my own half way in to a doctoral programme! The programme provides a good balance between 'Method' and actual content, enabling me to start initial research in my chosen field. Overall, an excellent 'pre-doc' programme.
I had a number of reasons for choosing LSE – good ratings for this programme; convenience – this is my home town; parallel research interests amongst the faculty to my intended area of study. Something I like about my programme (apart from the consistently excellent teaching) is that LSE encourages graduate students to fend for themselves while at the same time providing a fair level of support when needed. After my MSc I intend to pursue doctoral studies.
2:1 degree or overseas equivalent in social science; Relevant professional experience also considered; English standard level.
Recipient: London School of Economics and Political Science
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