MSc Social Research Methods

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Comments about MSc Social Research Methods - At the institution - Middlesbrough - North Yorkshire

  • Objectives
    The course focuses on qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. In addition, you'll study the various philosophies which underpin research. The programme seeks to demystify the nature of research and allows you to work within your own discipline. A practical emphasis means that you learn how to prepare research proposals and publish articles and conference papers in your own field.
  • Entry requirements
    Applicants should normally have at least a second-class honours degree in a social science or an applied area with substantial social sciences content - for example, policing, health and social care, education or business studies. Equivalent qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant work experience will be given consideration. Basic competence in mathematics and fluent written English is essential.
  • Academic title
    MSc Social Research Methods
  • Course description
    Research and evaluation work is carried out in nearly all contemporary organisations. This programme develops the skills and conceptual frameworks needed to understand and carry out academic or professional research on a wide range of contemporary social and behavioural issues.

    More information
    Introduction to the Philosophy and Practice of Qualitative Research

    This module explores the philosophies underpinning qualitative research and their critiques of the scientific method. You will also be introduced to interviewing and ethnographic research methods. You will be assessed by an essay and an interview project.

    Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
    This module introduces the scientific method and supports you to begin using the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) computer package. You are guided through basic quantitative techniques and will be assessed through two data analysis reports.

    Developing and Managing Small Research Projects
    You will be introduced to the skills, techniques and knowledges required to develop a small research project. This module is assessed by a written proposal which helps you to begin to develop your dissertation project. You will also be assessed on the development of a research skills CV as part of your personal development portforlio (PDP).

    Advanced Qualitative Research and Social Theory
    This module allows you to explore a variety of qualitative methodologies and analytical techniques such as web ethnography, discourse analysis, representational analysis and creative methodologies. You will be introduced to NVivo, a computer-based package to help analyse qualitative data. You will also explore the links between social theory and research. This module is assessed by a presentation and write-up of a data analysis project. Your research skills CV will also be further developed and assessed.

    Concepts and Issues in Multivariate Analysis
    This module will introduce you to more complex quantitative techniques, allowing you to develop higher level skills in using SPSS. You will be assessed by two data analysis exercises.

    Managing Research
    You will be introduced, through guest lectures and workshops, to the skills and knowledge required to manage larger research projects. You will be assessed for this module through a written and verbal presentation of a research bid for a larger project which will be developed in groups but written up individually.

    Social Research Project (dissertation)
    You will conduct and write up a piece of independent research which is supported through individual supervision by an appropriate tutor from within the school. Your research can be written up as an article for a journal or as a report for a client.

    Course structure
    Modules include Introduction to the Philosophy and Practice of Qualitative Research, Advanced Qualitative Research and Social Theory, Developing and Managing Small Research Projects, and Concepts and Issues in Multivariate Analysis. A social research project allows you to explore your own research interests.

    This is an excellent preparation for research careers in the public, private and voluntary sectors, including market research companies, local government, the police and health services. It also provides a firm foundation for those who want to undertake research for the degrees of doctor of philosophy (PhD) or doctor of professional studies (DProf).

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