Social Research Methods MSc

Why choose this course?

Surrey’s highly regarded Department of Sociology specialises in pioneering research methods and offers a stimulating study environment for our highly sought-after graduates.

The MSc Social Research Methods programme is backed by decades of experience: we were the first in the UK to run this type of programme in 1974.

What you will study

Social researchers employ a constantly evolving range of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore attitudes and experiences, and to understand patterns of social behaviour.

The MSc Social Research Methods programme won’t just train you in the application of specific research techniques: it will illuminate the connections between sociological theory and empirical research, and relate research to the development of public policy and the analysis of substantive social issues. Wider issues of the social research process are also covered and include: the planning and management of research projects; the methodological, theoretical, philosophical and ethical aspects of research; and the presentation and publication of research findings.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
MSc Full-time 12 months Oct 2018
MSc Part-time 24 months Oct 2018
Stag Hill

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.

Global opportunities

There may be opportunities to acquire valuable European experience by working or conducting research abroad during your degree or shortly afterwards. It is possible to do this in the summer period with an Erasmus+ grant working on your dissertation or as a recent graduate. In order to qualify your Erasmus+ traineeship must be a minimum of two months.

Work experience

On the MSc Social Research Methods, we offer the opportunity to take four weeks of work experience during the Easter vacation. This will provide you with first-hand experience of large-scale and real-life research in action. In the past, students have found placements with organisations such as the National Centre for Social Research, the ESRC Data Archive and the Home Office.

Where the full period is not practical, as may be the case for part-time students, it is also possible to take up the opportunity of a shorter period of two to four weeks, usually during the summer.

Residential conference and day conference

The MSc Social Research Methods includes a residential conference, usually in November. The conference provides an opportunity for discussion in an informal atmosphere, around current research issues and debates, technologies and methods at the forefront of social research; it includes lectures from eminent guest speakers and members of staff, seminars and small group discussions.

The Department also organises a day conference for MSc students at the University, with student presentations and guest speakers.

Programme leader

BRUNTON-SMITH IR Prof (Sociology)

Our students

  • Katt Skippon, BSc Sociology

    "The course at Surrey includes a lot of research methods training which is really useful and transferable to loads of graduate jobs."

    Read more

  • Caitlin Knight, PhD Sociology

    "Having a multidisciplinary supervisory team is a huge asset."

    Read more

Our graduates

  • Sophie Ruffett, BSc Sociology

    "I have grown to be a more confident and adaptable person, surrounded by a community of supportive individuals at the University of Surrey."

    Read more

  • Ann-Marie Msichili, BSc Criminology and Sociology

    "The Sociology department really helps you develop your understanding and support you to achieve to the best of your ability."

    Read more

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Timetable

Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators.

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

Learning and disability support

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

Entry requirements

A minimum UK 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in a social science or related subject. Entry is also open to professionally trained non-graduates with relevant experience and qualifications.

We also require evidence of basic numeracy (a GCSE pass at grade C or above in maths).

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall, 6.0 in each component (or equivalent).

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Recognition of prior learning

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.

Fees

Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Oct 2018 £7,900 £18,200
Part-time Oct 2018 £4,000 £9,100

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2018-19 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught programmes.

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this programme:

  • Trips (including overseas travel and accommodation): £60 approx. - Occasional optional trips to London or within Surrey will be organised by the School which may incur travel costs.

Grand total: £60 approx.

Funding

Scholarship for Pioneers of Tomorrow

Do you want to make a real difference or have you already accomplished something special? Then the "Pioneer" student scholarship program is right for you!

For more details

Student finance

Find out about the Government's postgraduate taught student finance support and Career Development Loans.

For more details.

For more details

Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught masters programme fees.

For more details

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

Contact us

Admissions enquiries

+44 (0)1483 682 222

admissions@surrey.ac.uk

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