Social Research Methods
Develop a thorough grounding in approaches to researching sociology, criminology, social policy or social work.
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
The MA Social Research Methods is part of a suite of advanced postgraduate methods-based courses delivered across the University faculties. The MA aims to provide core accessible and inclusive cross-disciplinary advanced research methods training across the social sciences with specific subject-specific training in research practices related to a chosen field of social policy, criminology, sociology or social work.
The course will equip you with the research and employability skills required to transition successfully to enhanced careers in academia, commercial companies, public sector, non-governmental organisations or other sectors. This degree will provide academic rigour and coherence, whilst allowing a degree of flexibility and choice within the chosen course in terms of disciplinary focus and advance research approaches.
The course covers conceptual and practical underpinnings and implications of research, looking at various research techniques and the rationale behind them. It will enable you to develop essential skills in both quantitative and qualitative work and to apply those skills to social research in a particular subject area (criminology, social policy, sociology, social work).
Some combinations of options within our Social Research Methods degree offer recognised training as part of the North East and Northern Ireland Doctoral Training Partnership. Particular modules are subject to availability, in particular academic years.
You will take a range of taught modules that will enable you to develop advanced understanding and skills in social research.
Those taking this course will study modules totalling 180 credits. Indicative content is listed below: subject to potential minor changes from year to year.
In addition, core modules will be taken as follows:
In addition, students will take a relevant 15 credit optional module developing a particular aspect of research further; for example, in previous years, one option has been:
Other anticipated optional modules (subject to availability) include those focused on advanced ethnographic research, intermediate statistics, multi-level modelling, simulating data in R, and/or systematic review.
This Masters degree is completed by undertaking a 15,000 word dissertation (60 credits) based on a supervised research project.
These MA Research Methods courses are offered full-time, starting in early October and continuing over 12 months following University terms. They can also be taken part time over two years.
The main teaching methods include lectures, seminars, workshops and computer practical sessions. Lectures introduce the key concepts, theories, current debates and other issues critical for understanding the topics. Seminars are opportunities for you to discuss any questions arising from the readings, to share experience of conducting research and to present your own work for comments. Workshops combine lecture and seminar content interactively within individual sessions. Modules that teach the use of computer software packages have practical sessions in computer rooms so that you can carry out hands-on exercises under supervision and further assistance.
Modules are usually assessed through coursework. Statistics modules may require you to complete specific analyses with more structured instructions. Some module conveners may allow you to submit formative assignments in order for you to obtain a sense of how well you understand the subject. Some modules’ assessment may contain a proportion of presentations and group projects.
Further academic support is available. You will have the opportunity to learn from your dissertation supervisors at individual tutoring meetings, dissertation workshops, and forums. Every member of teaching staff has two hours of office hours each week where you can access additional support for your modules, assignments and so forth. In addition, both the University and the School host seminars for external speakers that are open to all students.
Normally a second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent.
An undergraduate degree in social sciences is desirable but not compulsory and we welcome students with degrees in arts, humanities and science subjects. You should demonstrate clearly why you are interested in the MSc in your personal statement.
We are also keen to consider applications with a professional background in criminal justice.
When submitting your online application, you will also need to provide:
|Home students||£9,900 per year|
|EU students||£23,800 per year|
|Island students||£9,900 per year|
|International students||£23,800 per year|
|Home students||£5,500 per year|
|EU students||£13,100 per year|
|Island students||£5,500 per year|
|International students||£13,100 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries
Our degrees are an excellent foundation for careers in a wide range of sectors, including health and welfare, the Civil Service, local government, the voluntary sector, banking and academia.
We support students in gaining excellent employability skills. As well as pursuing further study, recent graduates have proceeded to careers with a range of high-profile employers.
We are a leading international centre of excellence in applied social research that shapes and informs social policy and practice. We enhance individual, community and social wellbeing, promote social inclusion, and form the foundations of research-led education. We have expanded over time to provide a focus for collaboration across the related academic disciplines of applied sociology, criminology and social work.
For more information see our department pages.
For a current list of staff, please see the Department of Sociology pages.
Our Departmental buildings are located in the centre of Durham City and we teach, supervise and meet students in these. Our main office building is in 32 Old Elvet and includes a student common space, networked computer access and our main teaching and learning offices.
Our University library is one of the best in northern Britain and is well resourced with books, ebooks and journals supporting all of our areas of study. College libraries also hold copies of some of the main textbooks.
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