Social Research Methods MSc - 2018/9

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey

Framework

FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MSc Social Research Methods

Subsidary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Social Research Methods
PGCert Social Research Methods

Professional recognition

Economic and Soical Research Council (ESRC)
This is recognised by the ESRC as a research training MSc degree, making it ideal if you are seeking ESRC funding for a PhD.

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PLE61002 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits
Part-time PLE61006 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

JACs code

L310

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points

N/A

Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Sociology

Programme Leader

BRUNTON-SMITH IR Prof (Sociology)

Date of production/revision of spec

13/11/2018

Educational aims of the programme

  • Give students a thorough grounding in all aspects of research design, from the development of research ideas, through the collection of data, to the analysis of results and dissemination to different user groups
  • Make students aware of the range of secondary data sources available and equip them to evaluate its utility for their research
  • Provide access to expert training in a variety of cutting edge approaches to social science research
  • Drawing on more than 40 years of expertise in research methods training, the MSc in Social Research Methods (SRM) provides you with the tools to answer key questions about the social world. Combining in-depth discussion of theoretical issues with hands on practical sessions using cutting edge qualitative and quantitative research software, graduates of SRM will enter the workplace with the skills necessary to succeed in any social research organisation. You will also have the knowledge and experience to critically engage with the full range of empirical research conducted in the social sciences. The degree has been accredited by the ESRC for progression to doctoral studies, making this an ideal degree if you wish to pursue PhD study. This degree aims to:
  • Introduce students to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and to debates about the relationship between theory and research, about problems of evidence and inference, and about the limits of objectivity
  • Enable students to critically engage with the full range of empirical research conducted in the social sciences
  • Give students the necessary practical and analytical skills to succeed in a social research workplace
  • Develop skills in the use of computing software for the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data sources
  • Provide comprehensive methodological training for students preparing MPhil/PhD theses
  • Provide practical experience of a range of research techniques, including interviews, observation and ethnography, focus groups, surveys, secondary data analysis, evaluation research, and agent based modelling
  • Develop skills in writing, in the preparation of a research proposal, in the presentation of research results and in verbal communication
  • Help students to prepare their research results for wider dissemination for a range of audiences, in the form of seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications
  • Develop skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and Internet resources

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Show critical awareness and understanding of the methodological implications of a range of sociological theories and approaches K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Show systematic knowledge of basic principles of research design and strategy K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Understand the use and value of a wide range of different research approaches across the quantitative and qualitative spectra K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Show advanced knowledge of cutting edge techniques for the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Show engagement with innovations and developments in social research K PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of research ethics K PGDip, MSc
Be able to systematically formulate researchable problems C PGDip, MSc
Analyse qualitative and quantitative data drawn both from `real world' and `virtual world' environments C PGDip, MSc
Critically evaluate existing empirical research from across the social sciences C PGCert, PGDip
Produce publishable research findings and be able to report them to a range of audiences C PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Develop original insights, questions, analyses and interpretations in respect of research questions C PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Use methodological, theoretical, ethical, and philosophical knowledge about social research practice to address complex issues creatively C MSc
Use the range of research techniques commonly employed in sociological research P PGDip, MSc
Employ a quantitative (R) and qualitative (NVivo) software package to manage and analyse data P MSc
Formulate, design, plan, carry out and report on a complete research project P PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Generate both quantitative and qualitative data through an array of techniques, and select techniques of data generation on appropriate methodological bases P PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Work to deadlines and within work schedules T PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Apply computing skills for research instrument design, data analysis, and report writing and presentation T MSc
Work independently and self-organise T PGDip, MSc
Formulate and solve problems T MSc
Communicate ideas, principles and theories by oral, written and visual means T PGDip

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure

Full-time

This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7*. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
*some programmes may contain up to 30 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Part-time

This Master's Degree programme is studied part-time over two academic years, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)

N/A

Modules

Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Optional modules for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Modules in semester 1 are taught in two-hour classes each week, and students must complete all four modules. Modules in Semester 1 are typically scheduled on Tuesday and Friday.

In semester 2 students must select a minimum of four option modules from the available selection. Modules in Semester 2 are each taught intensively across one week.

Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Optional modules for Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Modules in semester 1 are taught in two-hour classes each week, and students must complete two modules ('Field Methods' and 'Social Data Analytics'). Modules are scheduled on a Friday.

In semester 2 students must select two option modules from the available selection. Modules in Semester 2 are each taught intensively across one week.

Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Optional modules for Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Modules in semester 3 are taught in two-hour classes each week, and students must complete two modules ('Methodological Issues in Research Design', and 'Evaluation Research and Evidence Based Policy'). Modules are scheduled on a Tuesday.

In semester 4 students must select two option modules from the available selection. Modules in Semester 4 are each taught intensively across one week.

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) Y Work placements are not guaranteed, but we will work with you to identify suitable opportunities.
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
ERASMUS Study (that is not taken during Level P) N
Study exchange(s) (that are not part of the ERASMUS scheme) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Semester 1 follows a traditional structure, with students taking a total of four modules covering fundamental skills in social science research. Each module is taught across the semester, with a two-hour session each week combining lectures with practical hands on research experience. Semester 2 adopts an innovative intensive short-course format, with students selecting a minimum of four additional modules from a list of courses offered by the department. Each short-course spans one week, with three days of intensive teaching, a day of independent study to begin preparation for the assignment, and a formative feedback session on the Friday.

Students on SRM also join us for a two-day residential conference at a local hotel, providing you with the opportunity to gain up-to-date knowledge of cutting edge social research. This will feature guest speakers talking about a range of social science topics, with a particular emphasis on research methodologies. This will enable you to engage with academic and professional researchers and doctoral students and hear about others experiences of conducting research in practice. This will also include careers talks and PhD workshops. There is no charge to attend.

You are also welcome to take part in the full range of research activities that are run from the department of sociology, including external research seminars, and the annual ‘showcasing sociology’ week. The department will also work with students to identify potential research placements so that you can gain hands on work experience during your degree. These typically take place across the Easter break.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

https://www.surrey.ac.uk/quality-enhancement-standards

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.