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Social Research Methods (Sociology) (MA)

Course Description

Sociology as a discipline encompasses the examination and analysis of all aspects of social life and social relations. This programme is designed to provide students with grounding in social research to enable them to develop sociological investigations of the social world.

Please note: this course is not a currently recognised pathway within the Doctoral Training Centre.

Course Structure

Core Modules

Students take a range of taught modules primarily in the first two terms of the academic year. Starting from the first term, students undertake a module on research design which enables students to develop a research proposal for their dissertation.

Typical modules outlined below are those that were available to students styuding this programme in previous years.

-Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits)
-Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)
-Research Design and Process (15 credits)
-Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
-Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
-Contemporary Sociological Theory and Social Transformation (30 credits)
-Categorical Data Analysis with SPSS and R (15 credits)
-Dissertation (60 credits)

Academic learning is assessed through a range of summative essays, statistical/computer-based projects, research proposals, and a dissertation.

Learning and Teaching

These MA Research Methods programmes are full time, starting in early October and continuing over 12 months following university terms.

The main teaching methods include lectures, seminars, and computer practical sessions. Lectures introduce the key concepts, theories, current debates and other issues critical for understanding the topics. Seminars are opportunities for students to discuss any questions arising from the readings, to share experience of conducting research, to present their own work for comments. Modules that teach the use of computer software packages have practical sessions in computer rooms so that students can carry out hands-on exercises under supervision and further assistance

Modules are usually assessed through essays. Statistics modules may require students to complete specific analyses with more structured instructions. Some module conveners may allow students to submit formative assignments in order for students to obtain a sense of how well they understand the subject. Some modules’ assessment may contain a proportion of presentations and group projects.

Further academic supports are available. Students have the opportunities to learn from their dissertation supervisors at individual tutoring meetings, dissertation workshops, and forums. Every member of teaching staff has two hours of office hours each week, when students can come without having to make an appointment beforehand. Both the University and the School organize seminars by external speakers that are open to all students.

Students will have access to a variety of learning resources, including learning spaces in libraries and teaching rooms, readings and textbooks, computers, databases, etc.

Visit the Social Research Methods (Sociology) (MA) page on the Durham University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally an upper second class (2:1) honours degree or equivalent. However, applications from candidates with a 2.2 degree (or below) who have approved professional qualifications, for example in Social Work, together with experience, will be actively considered for admission.

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