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MSc-PGDip in Social Research

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  • Objectives
    The part-time MSc in Social Research provides a thorough grounding in methods of social research and attracts people who have either recently taken up research posts or are hoping to pursue a career in research at some future date. Many leading experts across the social research field have previously graduated with an MSc degree in Social Research from the University of Surrey, and our students remain highly sought after, owing to their ability to think logically and in an informed manner about social problems, together with their skills in designing, conducting and managing effective research to address them. The Department of Sociology has an international reputation for expertise in social research methods, and members of staff teaching on the programme are recognised as leading innovators in developing new research methodologies and applications. The Department achieved the highest score in the last Research Assessment Exercise for its scholarly output and a high score for teaching through the Teaching Quality Assessment. In The Guardian newspaper's 2006 university league tables, the Department was ranked in the top ten sociology departments in the country. The MSc in Social Research is recognised by the ESRC for postgraduate training and a limited number of fully funded scholarships are available to support students on it. The programme is taught on Fridays and each year there is a weekend residential conference. Recent graduates have been appointed to posts in the Home Office, Department of Health, Office for National Statistics, the National Centre for Social Research, and market research companies such as BMRB, whilst others have pursued doctoral studies and an academic career.
  • Entry requirements
    Typical entry requirements Entry is open to graduates or professionally trained non-graduates with relevant experience and qualifications.
  • Academic Title
    MSc/PGDip in Social Research
  • Course description
    MSc/PGDip in Social Research Module overview

    Core Modules

    Data Analysis
    The aim of this module is to provide students with a grounding in the basic principles of data analysis and statistical methods.

    Data Management Using Qualitative Software
    The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the use and capabilities of a qualitative data analysis package.

    Data Management Using SPSS
    The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the use and capabilities of the statistical package SPSS for Windows.

    Field Methods
    This module aims to provide students with a firm methodological basis for conducting various forms of qualitative analysis. Principal data sources are observational fieldnotes, interview transcripts and video.

    Documentary and Online Research
    This module provides an overview of techniques used to analyse written, visual and oral documents, and examines methodological innovations in relation to the Internet.

    Managing Research and the Publication Process

    This module combines material pertinent to planning and managing a research project with topics relevant to the writing process. It includes exercises in editing an article and in reviewing academic publications.

    Research Design and Survey Methods
    This module will provide students with an outline of the main issues in contemporary social research methodology, with a particular focus on the design and conduct of large-scale surveys.

    Concepts and Theories in Sociology

    This module is an introduction to theoretical thinking in sociology. It aims to illustrate the application of concepts and provide a survey of different theoretical perspectives, and to illuminate the connections between sociological theory and empirical research.

    Evaluation Research

    This module covers the theoretical, methodological and practical aspects of evaluative research.

    Principles of Statistical Modelling
    This module provides an introduction to the core ideas and principles of statistical modelling and multivariate data, with particular reference to factor analysis, logistic regression and log-linear modelling.

    Students complete a report of not more than 15,000 words based on their own original empirical research.

    Dissertation Workshops
    The aim of the workshops is to provide an opportunity for students to discuss a range of issues pertinent to the Masters dissertation.

    Optional Modules

    -Workshops in Advanced Methods
    -Social Policy Analyses
    -Sociology of Health and Illness
    -Sociology of New Technology
    Programme length
    MSc: 24 months part-timePGDip: 24 months part-time

    PGCert: 12 months part-time

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