The University of Southampton
Social SciencesPostgraduate study

MSc Social Research Methods (1 year)

The Masters in Social Research Methods is designed to equip students within the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership with the tools and methodological expertise required for independent PhD study. It has been designed with close reference to the Economic and Social Research Council’s Postgraduate Training and Development Guidelines Second Edition 2015.

Introducing your degree

The Masters in Social Research Methods (MSRM) has been developed to provide training on a wide range of research methodologies, coupled with subject specific teaching. The programme is designed to make sure that you will have the skills, curiosity and creativity to be truly innovative when conducting research within the broad remit of the social sciences. The programme has interdisciplinarity running through its core, ensuring that after graduation you will be able to work in interdisciplinary teams and to communicate research ideas and findings clearly to a range of audiences. It will enable the next generation of social scientists to undertake high-quality analytical work, handle and understand different forms of data and collaborate with others.

Overview

The aims of the Social Research Methods programme are to train you in a wide range of research methodologies to prepare you for PhD study. This will be aligned with specific subject specific knowledge, taken from one of sixteen subject areas that are part of the South Coast Doctoral Training Programme, so that you have both methodology and subject specific knowledge and understanding.

The aims of the Masters in Social Research Methods are to:

  • Enable you to define your PhD research topic within the social sciences and critically defend this approach in a written proposal.
  • Provide you with the requisite skills for carrying out in-depth research within social science disciplines.
  • Provide you with broad training in social science methodology, including both qualitative and quantitative methods, research design and the philosophy of social science.
  • Ensure that you have covered the key debates and issues within the subject area that you will be studying for your PhD.
  • Develop skills to enable you to work within an interdisciplinary research environment.
  • Develop skills in critical and evaluative thinking.
  • Enable you to develop transferrable skills through oral and written coursework and exams.
  • Support you in becoming an independent researcher.

To Apply

For information on how to apply for the  Masters in Social Research Methods (MSRM) please visit the South Coast DTP’s webpage.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

English Language Requirement

For applicants whose first language is not English, the IELTS requirement will be an overall score of 7.0 with no individual score below 6.5.

Please visit our international pages to find out about the University's regulations about English language requirements and support here.

Selection process

The Masters in Social Research Methods is a programme that is not open to applicants who are not in receipt of funding from the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership. Hence the criteria for admission is the receipt of this funding. Students who are successful in obtaining funding will have at least a 2.1. for their undergraduate degree programme.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Modules

Typical course content

Modules that will be taken during the programme cover three main areas. You will have the opportunity to study modules on research strategy and methodology, including philosophy of social science research, research and survey design, and qualitative and quantitative methods. These are balanced by subject specific modules that are related to your future PhD research subject area. Finally, you will undertake an interdisciplinary module that will ensure that you understand different strategies and ways to conduct research within your broad research area.

Most students will be able to choose modules that will aid in their future research plans from across all partner universities. There is flexibility for you to choose modules to suit your needs in conjunction with your prospective PhD supervisors that will prepare you for your PhD research.

The Masters in Social Research Methods has an overarching structure, within which there are 19 pathways. Students will be placed on one of these pathways, depending on the subject area of the student and where the student will be based for their PhD study within the SCDTP. This will be agreed during selection into the SCDTP between yourself, your supervisors and the SCDTP management group. The pathways are all based in Southampton only, apart from where noted below:

  • Area Studies (with their PhD research to be conducted in Portsmouth)
  • Criminology
  • Demography
  • Economic and Social History
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Gerontology
  • Human Geography
  • Linguistics
  • Management (with their PhD research to be conducted in Southampton)
  • Management (with their PhD research to be conducted in Brighton)
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Psychology (with their PhD research to be conducted in Southampton)
  • Psychology (with their PhD research to be conducted in Portsmouth)
  • Social Policy (with their PhD research to be conducted in Southampton)        
  • Social Policy (with their PhD research to be conducted in Brighton)
  • Health Research
  • Social Statistics
  • Sociology

Within each pathway there are three types of module, relating to a different aspect of training:

A. Research methods training

B. Interdisciplinary training

C. Subject specific training, including the dissertation.

The year is divided into two semesters, each of 12 teaching weeks. In the week before the first semester begins you will meet with your potential PhD supervisors to conduct a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) which will inform your choice of modules over the year. The programme of study consists of a combination of compulsory and option modules and a dissertation, to be completed over the summer months. Each module is worth 5 or 10 ECTS (10 or 20 CATS) points, and a total of 60 ECTS (120 CATS) points are required to complete the taught component of the programme.

In addition to the compulsory modules, research method option modules and thematic cluster pathway modules, students will also have the ability to choose subject specific masters level modules from across all the institutions, based on the TNA, and this will be outlined in the programme specification. These modules will be selected based on the requirements for the proposed PhD research and within the constraints of timetabling and availability.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

The Masters in Social Research Methods is a programme that is not open to applicants who are not in receipt of funding from the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership. For detail about funding eligibility please visit the South Coast DTP’s website.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

Main ItemPROGRAMME SPECIFIC COSTS
Stationery You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
Textbooks

Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Please note that the vast majority of readings in Gerontology are available electronically through e-journals, as digitised text in the Online Course Collection or as e-books.

Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.

IT Computer Discs
Software Licenses Licenses relating to software used in the programme (eg. SPSS, NVivo) are purchased by the University, and students can download them from the iSolutions website using their username and password or through on campus licensing arrangements at the Universities of Portsmouth/Brighton.
Hardware Students have access to workstations in the Hartley Library and in Computer rooms around the campus. Students may wish to purchase their own laptop/PC/tablet.
Printing and Photocopying Costs  

Travel between partner Universities

Travel between the three partner institutions in order to take modules for the Masters in Social Research Methods will be covered by the SCDTP. The travel will be agreed prior to the journey with the SCDTP and will be using the cheapest method of transport available.

Conference expenses

Accommodation

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any accommodation cost associated (as well as conference registration fees).

Travel

Where students wish to attend a scientific conference during their studies, they are liable for any travel cost associated.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Learning & Assessment

Pathways

Pathways

The compulsory modules for each pathway are outlined below. You are also required to take one thematic cluster pathway module, chosen based on your Training Needs Analysis, from the list shown below. In addition, you will chose intermediate research methods modules and subject area option modules up to a total of 60 ECTS/ 120 CATS across Part 1.

Pathways

  • Area Studies (with their PhD research to be conducted in Portsmouth)
  • Criminology
  • Demography
  • Economic and Social History
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Gerontology
  • Human Geography
  • Linguistics
  • Management (with their PhD research to be conducted in Southampton)
  • Management (with their PhD research to be conducted in Brighton)
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Psychology (with their PhD research to be conducted in Southampton)
  • Psychology (with their PhD research to be conducted in Portsmouth)
  • Social Policy (with their PhD research to be conducted in Southampton)
  • Social Policy (with their PhD research to be conducted in Brighton)
  • Health Research
  • Social Statistics
  • Sociology

Area Studies

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Area Studies: Research Techniques and Data Sources
Concepts and Methodologies for Area Studies
Area Studies Dissertation (Portsmouth)

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Criminology

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Criminal Behaviour
Criminal Justice
Dissertation (Crim)

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Demography

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Quantitative Methods 2
Demographic Methods 1
Demographic Methods 2
Understanding Population Change
Project/Dissertation

Optional
Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Economic and Social History

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Dissertation
History Dissertation
Project/Dissertation

You will be enrolled on ONE of the masters dissertation modules below that is most appropriate to your topic

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Economics

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Topics in Economics Theory
Topics in Macroeconomics
Macroeconomics
Microeconomics
Dissertation

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Education

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Understanding Education Research
Education Dissertation

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Gerontology

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Perspectives in Gerontology
Researching Ageing Societies
Gerontology Dissertation

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Human Geography

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Mixed Methods
Frontiers of Human Geography
Research Project

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Linguistics

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Research and Enquiry in Applied Linguistics
Language in Society
Second Language Learning
Dissertation (ALRM)

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Management (with their PhD research to be conducted in Southampton)

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Contemporary issues and debates in Human Resource Management
Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
Dissertation

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Management (with their PhD research to be conducted in Brighton)

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
RESM6026 Managing New Forms of Innovation
Political and Institutional Perspectives on Change Management
Dissertation (Brighton)

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Politics and International Relations

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
MSc Dissertation in Politics and International Relations

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Psychology (with their PhD research to be conducted in Southampton)

Compulsory

Applied Research Methods (AMR): Correlational Methods
Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Advanced Statistical Methods in Psychology
Concepts & Skills
MSc Dissertation

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Psychology (with their PhD research to be conducted in Portsmouth)

Compulsory

Applied Research Methods (AMR): Correlational Methods
Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Advanced Statistics in Psychology
Concepts and Skills
Psychology Dissertation (Portsmouth)

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Social Policy (with their PhD research to be conducted in Southampton)

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
International Social Policy
International Social Welfare
Dissertation

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Social Policy (with their PhD research to be conducted in Brighton)

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Managing in the public and voluntary sectors
Public Administration and Policy Analysis
Dissertation (Brighton)

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Health Research

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Developing Research Skills
Qualitative Methods 2
Quantitative Methods 2
MSc Dissertation

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Social Statistics

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Analysis of Hierarchical Data (Multilevel & Longitudinal Analysis)
Dissertation

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Sociology

Compulsory

Philosophy of Social Science Research
Qualitative Methods 1
Quantitative Methods 1
Research Design and Practice
Survey Design
Understanding Modernity
Understanding Social Change
Dissertation

Optional

Contemporary Issues in Citizenship Governance and Security
Critical Perspectives on Population Change, Health and Wellbeing
Learning, Knowledge and Behaviour
Sustainability, Environment and Resilience
An interdisciplinary view of Global Economies and Business Innovation

Study locations

Hartley Library

Highfield campus

Social Sciences is based on the main campus of the University in the M...Find out more

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