The MA Social Research (Social Policy) is recognised by the ESRC as a research training programme designed to provide participants with a sound background in overall research design and the most up-to-date training in methods and data collection and analysis. The core elements are delivered by staff from across the College of Social Science, many of them engaged in cutting-edge research in their particular fields. The MA Social Research (Social Policy) welcomes applications from international students.
A good Honours degree or equivalent is normally required. This will usually be in a social science, although applications from those with degrees in other disciplines will be considered. Applications are also encouraged from those without an Honours degree who have five years or more relevant work experience in a policy or practice area.
We accept a range of qualifications
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
by holding an English language qualification to the right level.
by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students.
Introduction to Social Science Research (20 credits)
Module Lead: Fiona Carmichael; Nick Peim
This module aims to provide a general introduction to studying and research methods and prepares you for your dissertation, emphasising key skills such as searching literature, finding datasets and presenting and criticising arguments. It also covers ethics of research, the role of theory and philosophical bases for understanding the social world.
Research Design (20 credits)
Module Lead: Graeme Douglas; Gary Thomas
This module links the introductory module and data collection module through consideration of research design, questions, warranting practices and sampling methods. All the elements of research design are linked into an over-arching theme of the full cycle of research activity.
Social Research Methods I (20 credits)
Module Lead: Harriet Clarke; Ian Davison
This module introduces the principles and practices of data collection and explores rationales of the various methods. It will focus on the different stages of data collection, including various methods used to gather textual and numerical data.
Social Research Methods II (20 credits)
Module Lead: Harriet Clarke; Matt Bennett
This module introduces students to a range of approaches for analysing and handling data. It will include covering statistical methods for quantitative data and methodological approaches for qualitative data. It emphasises that the method of analysis is not determined by the method of collection.
Dissertation (60 credits)
On completion of the taught modules (120 credits), Masters students undertake a 10,000 word dissertation on a subject of their choice. Each student is allocated a supervisor, selected for their experience of both the subject matter and supervision.
Students can choose from a variety of optional Substructure Modules or Advanced Research Methods Modules, for example:
20 credit modules
Sectors and Services in British Social Policy
Module Lead: Lee Gregory
Politics of British Social Policy since 1940
Module Lead: Robert Page
Third Sector in Social Policy
Module Lead: John Mohan
Migration, Superdiversity, Policy and Practice
Module Lead: Lisa Goodson
International Social Policy
Module Lead: Kelly Hall
Globalisation, International Migration and Citizenship
Module Lead: Nando Sigona
Policy Futures: Global and Local Perspectives
Module Lead: Rob Macmillan; John Mohan
10 credit modules
Multivariate Linear + Logistic Regression
Module Lead(s): Matt Bennett
Module Lead(s): Ian Davison
Module Lead(s): Nicki Ward
Visual Research Methods
Module Lead(s): Ian Grosvenor; Nick Peim
Module Lead(s): Graeme Douglas; Harriet Clarke
Approaches to Research on Discourse
Module Lead(s): Nick Peim
Module Lead(s): Martin Powell
This course is designed for those considering research as a career. That includes those wanting an academic career, for whom this degree is ideal preparation for undertaking a doctorate (PhD). It also includes those seeking a research career in such areas as central government, local government, charities and in consultancies and market/social research. The degree also provides good transferable skills in evaluation and in analysing data, and the ability to critique published research.
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