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Social Science Research Methods (International Relations) (MSc)

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. 

International Relations pathway

The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Science Research Methods (International Relations) aims to provide advanced training in research methods. This programme will offer you an opportunity to develop analytical skills, an interdisciplinary knowledge base, and a practical understanding of research in International Relations.

This programme will provide you with:

  • A thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies.
  • Information on the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist.
  • 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.

In order to have meaningful contact with research being conducted by staff in the School, you will be linked to a research group. The Politics and International Relations pathways are closely associated with the operation of the School’s research units and centres. The International Relations pathway is closely associated with the research activities of the International Studies Research Unit (ISRU) which encompasses a wide range of areas. 

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 2019
Duration1 year
QualificationMSc
ModeFull-time
Other ways to study this course
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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

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

This is a one-year full-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. You will choose your dissertation topic in agreement with your supervisor.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationPLT02560 credits
Developing Core Research SkillsBST70320 credits
Foundations of Social Science ResearchCPT89820 credits
Qualitative Research MethodsSIT70020 credits
Quantitative Research MethodsSIT70120 credits
Research ApplicationsSIT70320 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Issues in International RelationsPLT22320 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?

You will be allocated a personal tutor.

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. 

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.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£7,350None

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£16,650£1,000

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.