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Sociological Research - MA


Course Description

Discover how to turn raw data into useful information which can tell us about how people work. You learn how to gain an understanding of society through carrying out case studies, surveys, and observational research.

Our MA Sociological Research provides a strong foundation in doing empirical research, encompassing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. We offer you advanced study of research design and of specific research techniques and their evaluation. In the process you also acquire a critical appreciation of empirical research methodology.

Graduates of this course will understand the connection between theory and empirical methodology, and be able to produce, evaluate and effectively communicate research findings. You explore topics including:
-Debates in contemporary social theory
-The theory and methods of qualitative interviewing
-Quantitative data analysis
-Sociological research design

This is a broad-based research training which is indispensable if you wish to proceed to a PhD. This course has ESRC Doctoral Training Centre accreditation, which means that it can form part of a 1+3 funding opportunity worth up to £21,575 for talented postgraduates.

Our Department of Sociology was rated top 10 in the UK for research quality (REF 2014), and we consistently receive strong student satisfaction scores, including 96% overall student satisfaction in 2015.

Our expert staff

We are a large and friendly department, offering a diverse range of research interests and with staff members who are committed to teaching, research and publication that covers a broad geographical spectrum.

Many have worked at the local level with local authorities, justice councils, community partnerships and charities. Others have worked at a national and international level with bodies like the United Nations, the European Commission’s Expert Group on Public Understanding of Science, Amnesty International, The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Home Office and national non-governmental organisations.

Specialist facilities

-Dedicated postgraduate support facilities
-Our renowned off-campus Graduate Conference takes place every February
-A unique Student Resource Centre where you can get help with your studies, access examples of previous students’ work, and attend workshops on research skills
-The Sociology common room is open all day Monday-Friday, is stocked with daily newspapers, magazines and journals, and has free drinks available
-Links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects and has its own library, and the UK Data Archive, which stores national research data like the British Crime Survey
-Our students’ Sociology Society, a forum for the exchange of ideas, arranging talks by visiting speakers, introducing you to various career pathways, and organising debates

Your future

This course offers invaluable training if you seek future employment in a wide range of social research occupations. You will develop key employability skills including; thinking analytically, research design, essay writing, quantitative and qualitative data analysis and interviewing skills.

You are provided with excellent preparation for further academic study, and many of our postgraduates go on to successful academic careers, both in the UK and overseas.

Others have established careers in non-governmental organisations, local authorities, specialist think tanks, government departments, charities, media production, and market intelligence.

We work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
-Interviewing and Qualitative Data Analysis
-Texts and Documents (optional)
-Ethnography (optional)
-Topics in Contemporary Social Theory
-Sociological Research Design
-Dissertation

Visit the Sociological Research - MA page on the University of Essex website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Christian Kemp

“Essex has a very strong reputation for the high caliber and standard of both its social and criminological research. I felt that the Department of Sociology at Essex would be an ideal environment where I could not only develop a deeper appreciation of the theoretical aspects of my subject, but also how to practically apply and implement these ideas in the field.

I settled into the academic side of life at Essex quite easily as my course is flexible, and I could choose optional modules that appealed to me the most. The added luxury of being able to choose optional modules is that you can pick those which best suit your future career plans.

I enjoy the theoretical modules that are also rooted in current contemporary social events the most. We learn about quite abstract ideas such as theories of globalisation, whilst discussing how these concepts and ideas can be used to understand contemporary social changes, like the expansion of the global forms of crime and crime control.

There is good support available and lots of social events to help you make new friends. I live at the Quays which have spacious bedrooms and lovely views over the river Colne. It’s great for me because it’s more peaceful allowing me study easily. Being here has also really helped me to understand the options and opportunities available. I have a strong belief that studying here at Essex will greatly help my chances of getting into a successful career.”

(Student Profile)

Emma Weddell

"I initially wanted to study at Essex because my potential supervisor was teaching there. However I soon realised what an exceptional reputation the Department of Sociology has, which made me even more determined to come here.

I completed my undergraduate degree in sociology and wanted to pursue an academic career, so I took the next step which was research methods training (through Essex’s MA Sociological Research Methods), followed by my PhD. The teaching in the Department was excellent; lectures were always really interesting and well-delivered. It was also great be surrounded by so many like-minded people; everyone on the course worked hard but had a sense of humour. I have made lifelong friends at Essex and for that I will always be thankful.

Since completing my PhD, I have been working in the UK Data Archive, based at the University, and am in the process of applying for post-doctoral funding. I’m also working on my journal articles and conference papers in order to disseminate my research findings. Studying at Essex has provided me with a thorough grounding in sociological research methodology and definitely prepared me for an academic career. "


(Scholarship)

ESRC Doctoral Training Centre scholarships - 16 Awards

For 2011-12, our ESRC Doctoral Training Centre will offer 16-fully funded ESRC studentships, most worth £18,000 per year, across over 20 doctoral pathways. The University of Essex has become one of only 21 Doctoral Training Centres accredited by the UK Economic and Social Research Council following a highly competitive selection process. Our Doctoral Training Centre will fund 16 doctoral students each year across many different social science disciplines. It also offers excellent training opportunities and a highly stimulating research environment to hundreds of postgraduate students, researchers, professionals, practitioners and users.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Up to £18,000

Eligibility

We encourage applications from top students seeking to research over a range of social science areas, including: criminology and socio-legal research; economic and social research; economics and econometrics; environmental governance; finance; health and organisational research; human rights; language and linguistics; management and accounting; politics and international relations; political economy; psychoanalytic studies; sociology and social change.

Application Procedure

For more information, please visit our website: http://www.essex.ac.uk/studentfinance/pg/government_support/esrc.aspx

Further Information

http://www.essex.ac.uk/studentfinance/pg/government_support/esrc.aspx



Entry Requirements


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