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Applied Social Research (MSc-Postgraduate Diploma)

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  • Objectives
    The MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Social Research aims to provide training in the methods and approaches used in applied social research. The objectives are: table To provide you with the skills and knowledge base required to collect, analyse and report qualitative and quantitative data, taking account of ethics, reliability and validity. table To enable you to examine critically the theoretical foundations that underpin social scientific research. table To enable you to examine issues concerning comparative social research. table To develop your understanding of the relationship between research and policy and the meanings of evaluation, its terminology, practice and use.
  • Entry requirements
    Entrance Requirements An Honours degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject, from a university in the UK, or equivalent academic or professional qualification or equivalent relevant experience. Preference is given to candidates with 2.1 degrees or better. Candidates with other qualifications or experience may be admitted to the Diploma in the first instance. English Language Requirements If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum 6 in each skill), or TOEFL 577/233/90 (Paper/Computer/Internet).
  • Academic Title
    Applied Social Research (MSc/Postgraduate Diploma)
  • Course description
    Structure and Content

    The MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Social Research comprises eight compulsory taught core modules, a group project and (for the MSc) a dissertation. The modules are:
    The Nature of Social Enquiry
    -Research Design and Process
    -Introduction to Information Technology and Library Services
    -Quantitative Data Analysis
    -   

    Qualitative Data Analysis
    -Comparative Social Research
    -Policy Analysis and Evaluation Research

    You must take one of three Applied Social Research options:
    -Thinking Sociologically
    -The Principles of Social Policy
    -Theorising Social Work

    These modules comprise a series of reading groups in which a number of central ideas are debated. In addition to the modules, you will complete a group project and dissertation:
    -Group Project: An opportunity to obtain first-hand experience of research techniques, data collection strategies and group work with the guidance of staff.
    -Research Dissertation: Master’s students must undertake an original social science research study and complete a research dissertation with academic supervision.

    Examples of recent dissertation topics include:
    -A study of high risk behaviour
    -Young people and national identity
    -Substance use prevalence and looked-after young people in Scotland
    -Women’s decisions about returning to work after childbirth


    Delivery and Assessment

    Teaching methods are designed for each module to facilitate your acquisition of skills and progressive development. You are expected to participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials, computer-based workshops and group work.

    Full-time and part-time MSc/Diploma students experience a range of different forms of assessment across the compulsory taught modules. These include essays, critical review essays, book reviews, research proposals, group project reports and the research dissertation. There are no examinations.

    Career Opportunities

    Over the past five years, over half of our graduates have entered social research-related careers in the public, voluntary and private sectors e.g. a manager commissioning research for a local authority, a research fellow at a university and a senior research executive for a European-wide commercial research organisation.


    In general, one in 10 graduates have enhanced their practice in current posts by undertaking studies in Applied Social Research, with support from their employer. Over one third of our graduates continue with academic study and undertake a PhD.
    New programme: MSc Applied Social Research (Criminology)


    This programme prepares students for undertaking social research and evaluation in criminal justice and criminology, leading to careers in research, research management, commissioning or using research. Our MSc is a new programme that has been designed to run concurrently with the MSc in Applied Social Research, a longstanding programme in the Department of Applied Social Science that is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council as meeting the standards of their Research Training Guidelines.

    Also available: MSc Applied Social Research (Professional)


    This programme comprises seven modules in Applied Social Research, followed by modules in one specialist professional field. It is particularly suitable for professionals in these fields who wish to enhance their research skills and update their professional research knowledge. It is linked with the Doctor of Applied Social Research programme.

Other programs related to Social Sciences

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