MSc Social Science Research Methods (Socio-Legal Pathway)
In total students are required to take 180 credits. This includes 110 credits (60%) in substantive socio-legal modules (including the dissertation) and 70 credits (40%) in generic research methods modules.
Semester 1: October - January
Contemporary Research and Practice [10 credits]
Research Methods Modules
Semester 2: January - June
Methods and Evidenced Based Policy and Practice in Community Safety and Youth Justice [10 credits]
Specialist Option Modules
Research Methods Modules
Research Methods Option
Evidence and Evidence Based Policy and Practice [10 credits]
Interviews and Interviewing [10 credits]
Discourse and Conversational Analysis [10 credits]
Strategies of Applied Research [10 credits]
June – September
Dissertation [60 credits]
The MSc requires a dissertation of 20,000 words, normally reflecting the student's interests, subject to the agreement of the Board of Studies.
Please visit the Examples of Previous Dissertations & Student Testimonials page for past dissertation titles.
To obtain the masters degree students must successfully complete taught courses to the value of 120 credits and a 20,000 word dissertation. The programme is divided into the following elements:
- Specialist Socio-Legal modules: These modules are designed to meet the specialist requirements of the ESRC’s Socio-Legal (Criminology) pathway. They provide a systematic introduction to the specific challenges and approaches found within the field of Criminological Studies. Topics covered include key theoretical approaches in Criminological Studies and practical issues arising from the investigation of complex, interdisciplinary topics such as research in prisons and community sanctions, the complex issues involved in policing research, and theory and practice of penal studies.
- Generic Methods modules: These modules are designed to meet the generic research methods training requirements of the ESRC. They provide a thorough grounding in core social science skills including philosophy of social science, research design, and the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.
- Methods and Specialist options: These optional modules provide students with the chance to tailor the degree studies to their own research interests by developing additional skills in a particular methodological and/or substantive domain.
- Dissertation: The dissertation is a crucial element of the degree allowing candidates to specialise on a criminological topic of their choosing. This stage of the MSc gives students the opportunity to apply the methodological and analytic skills developed in the taught element of the scheme to a specific topic.
The degree scheme is designed to meet the generic and subject specific requirements set out in the ESRC’s Postgraduate Training Guidelines.