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MSc in Social Research Methods (Politics)

Course Description

Course Description

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

During the MSc you study the philosophical underpinnings of research, research design, research ethics, and both quantitative and qualitative methods. You also take a series of options on advanced research methods, which provide the key skills necessary for carrying out doctoral-level research. You also take a research option in your chosen discipline or interdisciplinary area, which comprises independent reading, attendance at research seminars, and regular individual supervisions with a dedicated member of academic faculty.

Autumn term: you take modules in introductory quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as Philosophy of Science and Social Scientific Research Practice or a theoretical core module within your chosen discipline.

Spring term: you take Research Design and Ethics and either three intermediate methods modules or one intermediate methods module and a subject-specific module. Intermediate methods modules include Action Research • Comparative Method • Discourse Analysis • Ethnographic Methods • Evidence for Policy and Practice • Participatory Methods • Policy and Programme Evaluation Research • Researching Childhood and Youth.

Summer term: you take a series of advanced methods options and undertake supervised work on a dissertation focused on research methods. This dissertation can be the full research outline for doctoral study.


Taught modules are variously assessed by term papers of 3,000-5,000 words or equivalent coursework portfolios. The research option is assessed by a dissertation of 10,000 words.


The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please visit: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/money/scholarships/pgt2016/

Visit the MSc in Social Research Methods (Politics) page on the University of Sussex website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in a relevant social sciences subject, but applicants with other backgrounds may be considered. All applicants must supply a research proposal of at least three pages. The research proposal should indicate the areas of research you are interested in, summarise what you intend to do, give an indication of the research methodology you propose to use and a brief literature review. Please note that this requirement applies to all applicants irrespective of whether they intend to progress to the PhD afterwards. Overseas Entry Requirements: View Website

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