MSc in Applied Social Research

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About the course

The MSc in Applied Social Research is an ideal route for those wishing to gain employment as social researchers or as a first-year training programme for students aiming to progress to PhD level study. The course provides a comprehensive programme of advanced study, covering quantitative and qualitative research methods and issues from across the social sciences.

The research training includes modules in interviewing techniques, questionnaire and survey design, ethnographic practice, philosophical issues, quantitative and qualitative data analysis and computing with SPSS.

The programme offers an advanced and applied postgraduate study that equips students with demonstrable skills and experience for a wide range of careers in the following fields: research agencies, charities and independent organisations, trade unions, pressure and lobby groups.

Key Facts

Tuition Fees

UK/EU: £5,200 full-time

A new system of postgraduate loans for Masters degrees in the UK are now available. They provide up to £10,000 a year for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. For more information, visit our Postgraduate Loans page.

Overseas: £12,800 full-time

*Please note, part-time fees and fees for Home/EU students have not yet been confirmed, and may increase.

More information on fees can be found in the funding information section of this page.

Application deadlines

All applicants: TBC

Entry requirements


Applicants are normally expected to have a 2.2 class degree or higher (or equivalent) in the social sciences or a related discipline, but applicants with other qualifications and relevant experience are carefully considered.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Study information

As a whole, the programme aims to develop:

  • a general understanding of the research process in the social sciences
  • an awareness of the diversity of research styles, approaches or strategies
  • more specific and practice-based knowledge of a number of quantitative and qualitative research techniques, and an ability to evaluate their appropriateness to particular research settings and objectives
  • an appreciation of the links between empirical research and theoretical and ethical epistemological issues in social sciences through reference to chosen topic tracks
  • an ability to complete successful applied research within particular substantive fields

The core modules are organised in such a way that there is a logical progression from Semester 1 to Semester 2, from the more abstract to the more concrete and from specific research methodologies to their corresponding analytical issues and techniques. Optional modules reflect staff’s specialist expertise in different areas of the social sciences and may be subject to change. All students undertake supervised empirical research and produce a dissertation of 15,000–20,000 words.

Core modules

Semester 1

  • Philosophical Issues in Applied Social Research
  • Survey Methods Questionnaire Design
  • The Research Interview

Semester 2

  • Central Issues in Applied Social Research
  • Computerised Quantitative Data Analysis
  • Explorations of Qualitative Research Theory and Practice
  • Ethnographic Practice

Summer period

  • Dissertation

Optional modules

  • Encountering Development: Why Gender Matters
  • Feminist Perspectives in Social Research
  • Feminist Theory: Between Difference and Diversity
  • Key Issues in Identity Politics and Policies
  • Other(ed) Bodies: Anthropology of Gender and Sexual Diversity
  • The Body in Culture, Politics and Society

Modules are subject to availability.

* All modules are subject to availability.

Funding information

Future prospects

The MSc in Applied Social Research equips you with the expert knowledge and skills for a social research related career in the public, voluntary and private sectors. Many students go on to work in the following fields: research agencies, charities and independent organisations, trade unions, pressure and lobby groups and in the commercial and retail sector.

The MSc is a great stepping stone to further PhD level study in the areas of social science, criminology and psychology. Our staff have a variety of research interests including:

  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Gender and Sexualities
  • Globalisation, Power and Post-Colonialism
  • Health, Well-being and Social Inclusion
  • Culture, Religion and Society