The MSc in Sociological Research is explicitly designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills for both PhD work and a future in professional social research. It offers high-level courses covering all of the main theoretical and philosophical issues likely to be of concern to the contemporary sociological researcher, as well as ‘hands on’, workshop-based courses on the main research methods and ‘tricks of the trade’.
The course is one of a select few Sociology Masters courses around the country recognised for ‘research training’ by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This means that if you apply for the course (intending to go on to PhD work) you can apply to the ESRC for funding. If you apply to the ESRC for PhD funding, you must have completed either this course or one of the other recognised courses to be eligible. All lecturers teaching the course are active researchers, keen to share their knowledge.
In addition to writing a dissertation of between 12,000 to 15,000 words, you are expected to successfully complete eight units, six of which are compulsory. The Quantitative and Qualitative Methods units are in the format of four introductory lectures and one-day workshops and the remaining four units are in the format of one weekly session of two hours over a 12-week period. Most courses are assessed by one essay of 3000 – 4000 words.
The compulsory units are: Research Design I Research Design II Quantitative Methods Qualitative Methods Methodological Issues in Social Research Social Theory & Cultural Identity
You will also be required to attend the Sociology Research Seminar but this is non-credit bearing.
Optional units may be chosen from outside Sociology but some examples of units currently on offer are: Independent Studies I Social Movements A Century of Women Culture, Modernity and Media Gender, Time & Change Sociology of Consumption Independent Studies II Survey Research Secondary Analysis of Survey Data Data Analysis Advanced Data Analysis Applied Demography Design and Analysis of Complex Surveys Figuring out Society Development: Comparative Social Change State and Society in South Asia New Developments in Feminist Theory Issues in the Research of Gender and Sexuality Gender and Postcolonial Theory Gender, Sexuality and Culture Doing Gender, Sexuality and Cultural Studies
You may also negotiate an Independent Studies unit, linked to your particular research interests, subject to a suitable academic supervisor being available. Recent examples of topics chosen for independent study include: boys’ underachievement in the English Language classroom, eye witness testimony, ‘citizens income’ policies, and the use of focus groups for research.