The Department of Sociology offers a stimulating and supportive environment for our Social Research Methods students. Offered as part of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.
Social researchers use a constantly developing range of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore attitudes and experiences, and to understand patterns of social behaviour. As a highly regarded research department specialising in cutting-edge research methods, the Department of Sociology offers a stimulating and supportive environment for our Masters students. This is enhanced by our research activities in fields such as the environment, health and ageing, new technologies, identities and criminal justice.
Our students remain highly sought after owing to their ability to think logically about social problems, together with their skills in conducting effective research to address them. Taught modules cover key topics in research design and evaluation. Skills are put into operation through a group research project and an individual dissertation.
2014 was the 40th anniversary of our MSc Social Research Methods programme. In 1974 the MSc in Social Research was the first Masters programme of its kind in the UK, and people who have graduated from the programme over the decades are now found in all kinds of organisations and occupations, in all parts of the UK and overseas.
The programme won't just train you in the application of specific research techniques: It will also illuminate the connections between sociological theory and empirical research, and relate research to the development of public policy and the analysis of substantive social issues.
Wider issues of the social research process are also covered. These include the planning and management of research projects, research ethics and the presentation and publication of research findings.
The programme aims to:
- Provide training across a range of technical and practical social research skills
- Equip you with a good understanding of the contribution that quantitative and qualitative approaches make to the collection, interpretation and analysis of data
- Encourage you to reflect critically on methodological, theoretical, philosophical and ethical aspects of social research practice
- Develop an understanding of the contribution that social research makes to social policy formation and the evaluation of planned social interventions
- Provide you with the opportunity to complete a piece of research, in the form of a dissertation, on a topic in which you have a professional interest
For students undertaking full-time study, the programme runs for two semesters (12 months). Students on the part-time mode of study will undertake modules over four semesters (24 months, attending one day per week - Fridays in Year 1 and on Tuesdays in Year 2).
• Data Analysis
• Field Methods
• Theory and Methodology
• Statistical Modelling
• Principles of Survey Design
• Documentary Analysis and Online Research
• Research: From Design to Dissemination
• Evaluation Research
• Workshops in Advanced Methods
Teaching and assessment
A variety of teaching methods is used. In addition to formal lectures, you will participate in workshops and undertake individual practical assignments. You will have full access to University and departmental facilities and resources, including a well-equipped computer laboratory with a wide range of statistical packages and qualitative data analysis software.
The total contact time for core assessed modules is 183 hours. Students may opt to spend time undertaking additional, non-assessed modules. We do not estimate self-study time in our module totals.
On the MSc Social Research Methods, we offer the opportunity to take four weeks of work experience during the Easter vacation. This will provide you with first-hand experience of large-scale and real-life research in action. In the past, students have found placements with organisations such as the National Centre for Social Research, the ESRC Data Archive, the Policy Studies Institute, the Home Office, the Institute for Employment Studies, MORI, the British Market Research Bureau, the National Children’s Bureau, the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, the National Foundation for Educational Research, ONS, Surrey Police and so on.
Where the full period is not practical, as may be the case for part-time students, it is also possible to take up the opportunity of a shorter period of two to four weeks, usually during the summer. Work experience is arranged with the help of the Department’s placement tutor. Please note that while we try to meet all requests for work experience, in some cases it may not be possible.
Recent graduates of the MSc Social Research Methods have been appointed to the Home Office, the Department of Health, the Office for National Statistics, the National Centre for Social Research, Institute for Employment Studies, the Department of International Development and market research companies such as BMRB. Many others have completed a PhD and gone on to an academic career. Part-time students often already work in a research context, and take the MSc for continuing professional development.
The programme has Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/
) recognition for providing an appropriate foundation to undertake a part-time or full-time PhD.
Find out how to apply here - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate
Usually a UK first or 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a social science or related subject. Entry is also open to professionally trained non-graduates with relevant experience and qualifications.We also require evidence of basic numeracy (a GCSE pass at grade C or above in maths).English language requirements: IELTS minimum overall: 7.0; IELTS minimum by component: 6.0