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Courses / Postgraduate / Social Research Methods (MSc)
Master of Science
1 year
Course Type
Next course starts
September 2023

About this course

On our MSc Social Research Methods master's course, you’ll learn how to undertake high-quality research work, process and analyse data, and collaborate effectively in different disciplines. We’ll train you in a range of research methods to prepare you for PhD study. After graduating, you’ll go into your PhD with the confidence and creativity to conduct ground-breaking research in the social sciences. 

This UK master’s degree is for students who have gained funding for PhD research from the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP). 

We’ll train you in a range of research methods to prepare you for PhD study. In addition you’ll gain subject-specific knowledge in one of the areas covered by the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (a collaboration between the universities of Southampton, Brighton and Portsmouth). 

After graduating from this course you’ll be able to: 

  • define your PhD research topic and defend your approach in a written proposal 
  • carry out in-depth research in the social sciences 
  • understand research methodologies, research design and the philosophy of social science 
  • understand the key debates and issues in your PhD subject area 
  • work in an interdisciplinary research environment 
  • think and evaluate critically 

The pathway you’ll take on this master’s course depends on your area of PhD study and where you’ll be based for your PhD.

You’ll only be eligible for this course if you have successfully applied for funding from the SCDTP on its 1+3 training pathway (masters and PhD). Visit for more information.

Flexible study

If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:

  • a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years

Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.

Course lead

Your course leader is Professor Michael Vlassopoulos, Professor of Economics. He is widely published in areas including racial discrimination, prosocial motivation, charitable giving and online privacy has been published in leading academic journals. Read Professor Vlassopoulos’s staff profile to find out more about his work.

Course location

This course is based at Highfield.

Awarding body

This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.

Download the Course Description Document

The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.

Changes due to COVID-19

Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.

Find out more on our COVID advice page.

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