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Social Research (Local Government and Public Policy) MA/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

This programme aims to provide students with a solid foundation in a broad range of social science research methods as well as basic research skills.

Students will acquire a general overview of the philosophy of social research, and understand how this informs research design, methods of data collection and analysis. They will also develop an ability to use a range of research methods, to communicate research findings effectively and an understanding of the potential use of and impact of their research within and beyond academia.

The core modules you will take are:

Introduction to Social Science Research (20 credits)
Research Design (20 credits)
Research Methods I (20 credits)
Research Methods II (20 credits)
Advanced Training Programme

Unless stated, all advanced training courses run as 2-day intensive workshops from 10–4pm with breaks. This list is updated regularly as new courses are approved so do check this website from time to time to see what is on offer.

These advanced training courses are open to all research students in the College (and some departments in other Colleges, such as Geography, subject to the discretion of the Programme Team). However, places on each course are limited and priority will be given to MA Social Research students.

These advanced training courses are also open to all staff in the University who may wish to attend without completing the assessments. However, all doctoral researchers and staff who wish to do so will be placed on a waiting list. Confirmation will be sent a week before the course dates.

Advanced Training courses run in Semester 3, unless otherwise stated

From Multiple Linear to Logistic Regression
Narrative Research
Analyzing Hierarchical and Panel Data
Visual Research Methods
Ethnography and Language in the Social Sciences
Documentary Research in Education, History and the Social Science
Researching Disability
Approaches to Research on Discourse
Policy Evaluation
Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis (using NVivo)
Secondary Data Analysis in Social Research
Q Methodology – A Systematic Approach for Interpretive Research Design
Activity Theory and its Research Applications
Introduction to Time Series Regression
Introduction to Econometric Software (module runs in Semester One)
Randomised Controlled Trials
The Role of Thinking (subject to approval)
NB: some courses have pre-requisites, e.g. to register on Multiple Linear and Logistic Regression, Factor Analysis, or Narrative Research, you will need to have passed Social Research Methods II (20 credits module), or equivalent. You will need to provide evidence that you have passed a similar course on quantitative/qualitative data analysis where appropriate.

To register for the above advanced training courses, please e-mail: specifying which courses you are interested in. When registering for courses, please provide your name, student ID, department/programme you are affiliated to, and your e-mail address.

In addition, you will write a 14,000-word dissertation (60 credits).

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the Social Research (Local Government and Public Policy) MA/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Rebecca O'Neill

Rebecca is a final-year PhD student currently studying within the Department of Local Government Studies. She completed her undergraduate study at the University of Birmingham studying public policy and government management. She also completed her Masters in social research at the University. Her thesis is concerned with the role of evidence within complex policy processes. Her case study is High Speed Two (HS2), the planned high-speed railway between London and the north of England.

Rebecca is also a postgraduate mentor, you can contact her online with questions or read further about her experience at the University of Birmingham on her mentor page: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk/mentor/rebecca-oneill/


Entry Requirements

2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject

Course Fees

MA: £6,570 FT, £3,285 PT; PGDip: £4,380 FT, £2,190 PT; PGCert: £2,190 FT (UK/EU); £14,850 FT only (overseas)

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Recipient: University of Birmingham
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