Published: 29 March 2019

Five reasons to study a masters in criminology or social research methods at Surrey

Here are the top five reasons why you should choose the University of Surrey for your social research methods or criminology masters.

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1. Ideal courses for graduates and practitioners

Here in Surrey’s Department of Sociology, our research-led courses in social research methods and criminology are perfect for graduates and practitioners who seek advanced knowledge about issues that are relevant in the world today. On our masters courses, you’ll develop skills you can use in both professional and academic environments after you graduate. Our MSc in Social Research Methods is also recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as a research training MSc degree, making it ideal if you are seeking ESRC funding for a PhD.

2. Research-inspired teaching

All of our teaching staff are research active and they bring their research into the classroom. The modules we offer reflect the unique expertise, specialisms and cutting-edge research of our academics. For example, on one of our MSc Criminology courses, you could learn about crime and offending, cybercrime and cybersecurity, the criminal justice system, or policing and the police. On our MSc Social Research Methods, you might study modules in agent-based modelling, qualitative and mixed methods data analysis, multi-level modelling for social scientists, social network analysis, and practical survey design and web based methods.

3. Tailor your learning experience

Our MSc Social Research Methods offers an innovative new way of obtaining your degree. Once you’ve established the foundation skills for advanced social research in the first semester, you’ll go on to select four modules from a suite of advanced methods courses taught intensively in week-long modules. We designed this innovative modular format to give you an in-depth understanding of particular research techniques, combining structured lectures with practical workshops in our in-house computer lab. This enables you to fully immerse yourself in particular research approaches, while also providing an effective structure for us to build advanced understanding.

4. Gain industry links and placement opportunities

At Surrey, the Showcasing Sociology week includes panels, guest lectures and careers events, so you can build your professional network and explore employment opportunities. The event celebrates the latest research from both our staff and guest researchers, ensuring that you’re always up to date with the latest developments in the sector.

We also offer you the opportunity to complete a four-week work placement during the Easter vacation,  providing you with first-hand experience of large-scale research in action. In the past, students have found placements with organisations such as the National Centre for Social Research, the UK Data Archive, the Home Office and criminal justice agencies including the police. While placements are not guaranteed, our placement officer will work with you to identify possible placement opportunities.

5. Get experience by learning together

Surrey has developed a pioneering new module in collaboration with Her Majesty’s Prison Send where students can study a range of criminology topics alongside serving prisoners. The Learning Together programme forms part of a national scheme bringing the criminal justice and higher education sectors together for the purpose of shared learning. As a criminology student, you’ll have the opportunity to apply and participate in the eight-week programme between May and July.


Discover more about the postgraduate sociology courses on offer at Surrey.

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