Social Science Research Methods (Social Policy) (MSc) Part-time

This programme provides advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences and meets the training requirements for ESRC PhD funding.

Our MSc in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences. 

You will be provided with a thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies, of the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist and of the principal methods of analysing social scientific data. You will also be introduced to the political and ethical frameworks within which social science research is conducted, and to some of the ways in which the results of social science research are disseminated.

The course pathways have ESRC recognition and they each provide the appropriate training basis for proceeding to a PhD. These programmes provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, the application of social research expertise for occupational career development, and the pursuit of substantive areas of interest at postgraduate level. 

Social Policy pathway

Research training on the Social Policy pathway builds on our strong interdisciplinary social science research base. You will have the opportunity to engage with nationally and internationally recognised social policy research and work with academic colleagues with extensive experience of undertaking research with policy-makers, practitioners and stakeholders in a wide variety of settings.

You will be encouraged to attend and participate in the activities of our School's research groups. These groups hold regular meetings, providing you with the opportunity to engage with ongoing and recent research, and to participate in a community of researchers with shared interests.

Distinctive features

You will be supervised by academic staff with considerable expertise in their chosen fields. These staff members are actively involved in disseminating research via publications in academic and practitioner journals, books and presentations to conferences. Many staff members are involved in editing or reviewing for scholarly management journals.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration3 years
QualificationMSc
ModePart-time
Other ways to study this course
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

A good first degree or a recognised equivalent qualification. Non-graduates will be considered if they can demonstrate, through some recent and relevant professional experience, that they have the ability to undertake the course.

This course is suitable for graduates in social science and cognate disciplines including sociology, politics, critical psychology, education, social policy and social work, criminology, management and business studies, history, area studies, geography, pedagogy, public administration, industrial and employee relations, and law.

Application deadline: 31 August

This is a two-year part-time programme.

You will be required to complete six 20-credit modules - five core research modules and one specialist pathway module. In all modules you will have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to your pathway.

On successful completion of the taught component, you will prepare a dissertation of a maximum 20,000 words. The 60-credit dissertation component requires independent study. Dissertation topics are chosen in agreement with your supervisor.

Year one

Year two

Year three

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationSIT07860 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Your programme will be made up of scheduled learning activities (including lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions) and guided independent study.

You will be expected to actively engage in all the educational activities on your programme of study, to prepare for and attend all scheduled teaching activities, and continue your development as an independent and self-directed learner.

How will I be supported?

All modules within the programme make use of our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learning Central, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and information on assessment. You will be allocated a personal tutor.

Feedback

Feedback will be available to you throughout the programme and you will be able to discuss your performance with your personal tutor. 

How will I be assessed?

You will have to successfully complete the taught component which comprises of 120 credits.

On successful completion of the taught component, you will prepare a dissertation of a maximum 20,000 words.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills which are discipline specific and more general ‘employability’ skills.

Skills will include:

  • the ability to collect, analyse and interpret a range of complex data;
  • a range of appropriate qualitative and quantitative research skills;
  • the use and application of information technologies;
  • the ability to communicate and present ideas and findings in a variety of ways, for example, in writing, and orally;
  • the ability to problem solve, and work individually and in groups.

This programme provides knowledge and expertise suitable for careers in research and development, business, market studies, public agencies at international, national and local levels, education, teaching and other public services work, and voluntary organisations.

It also provides appropriate training for proceeding to a PhD.

As this programme is three years or over in duration and has a one year full time equivalent you will not be eligible for a postgraduate loan.  The UK Government has more information about eligibility for postgraduate loans.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.