Gain a portfolio of research skills and expand your employment horizons.
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons.
Social research methods are important not just to social scientists wishing to study a particular problem or to test a theory in a way that is be considered rigorous. They are also fundamental tools of value to government, service providers and to business. You will be gain skills in a diverse range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, taught by research active staff in Geography. What makes the University of Dundee distinctive is its emphasis on the application of research to understand and tackle ‘real world’ problems. Throughout the MSc Social Research Methods you will engage with ‘live’ research issues and external organisations. Our students go on to gain employment in government, research organisations and business; some take their studies further, undertaking a PhD.
The aims of the MSc/Diploma programme in Social Research Methods are:
- to advance your knowledge and understanding of the nature of research in social science
- to enhance your skills in areas that will equip you as a social scientist for employment in a government, business or a public policy environment as well as in an academic context
The staff teaching the MSc in Social Research Methods course have wide experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and have deployed these skills not only to pursue frontline research in social science, but also as expert advisers to governments and as consultants to local, national and international organisations.
This course emphasises that it is important not only to understand how to use a particular research tool, but also to consider the wider meanings of how knowledge can be constructed in different ways and for diverse range of purposes. One particular feature of the course is the comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a variety of research methods including ethnographic and participatory tools and the analysis of large datasets. The course seeks to encourage students to think critically not only about the methods they use, but also to reflect on the limitations of what is knowable from the evidence presented by others.
Who should study this course?
This course is for students with a completed undergraduate degree looking to develop their knowledge and skills in the area of social research, and who are seeking employment in a range of sectors, or further study for a PhD in Geography or another social science.
Evaluation and Research Intern, Skills Development Scotland
“The MSc Social Research Methods course provided me with an excellent opportunity to develop a wide range of highly transferable research and analytical skills, both quantitative and qualitative. This course also encouraged me to think critically and engage with various academic theories and concepts to develop a deeper appreciation of societal issues and themes. The skills and knowledge I gained from my MSc have been extremely relevant and useful in my current role as a graduate evaluation and research intern with Skills Development Scotland. For anyone considering this MSc it provides a great mix of skills and qualities that are highly attractive to many employers, and also offers an ideal grounding for those wishing to pursue PhD study”.
Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
How you will be taught
Modules start at the beginning of the academic session in September and are taught by lectures and tutorials, plus independent and group study. Throughout there is an emphasis on student participation and class discussion. A recently introduced module Research in Practice involves students undertaking a work placement with a local organisation which uses social research, for example a local authority or charity.
How you will be assessed
The course is assessed by coursework (essays, practical classes, projects), examination and dissertation.
What you will study
There are core modules in:
- Research Training
- Applied Theoretical Approaches in Social Science
- Quantitative Methods in Social Research
- Qualitative Methods in Social Research
Plus students choose two from:
- Research in Practice (work placement)
- Social Inequalities and Social Justice
- Transformations for Sustainability
MSc students also complete a dissertation.
The course seeks to offer students a wide range of skills suitable for entry into careers as information officers and analysts, and research assistants working in a business or government environment. The course is recognised by the ESRC as providing the necessary research skills to go on and study for a PhD. Many of our past students have completed PhDs and now work in universities or other research organisations.
Research by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that the demand for Social Science Masters students with quantitative research skills far outstrips supply. This degree programme course has strong emphasis in this area, but the optional modules allow you to tailor the course to your personal career ambitions.
Previous students have gone on to work for local authority planning departments, the General Registrars Office Scotland (census office), ONS social analysis unit, and also as research assistants within the University sector.
During the course of MSc Social Research Methods, I enhanced my knowledge of statistical software, learned about new qualitative research methods, and improved my research skills.
Most importantly, I learned that I would like to continue on the path of academia.
Therefore I chose to do my PhD in Human Geography at the University of Dundee.
You should have, or expect to have, a first degree in geography or a cognate social science such as economics, planning, sociology or social work. Students are expected to have already achieved a good second class honours degree, or an equivalent standard where students have studied abroad
English Language Requirement
English Language Programmes
We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.
The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.
|Fee status||Fees for students starting academic year 2019-20|
|Scottish and EU students||£7,300 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
|Rest of UK students||£7,300 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
|Overseas students (non-EU)||£17,275 per year of study
See our scholarships for International applicants
You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.
Examples of additional costs:
|One off cost||Ongoing cost||Incidental cost|
|Graduation fee||Studio fee||Field trips|
*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.
- may be mandatory or optional expenses
- may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
- vary depending on your programme of study
- are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable
Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.
For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.
You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.
You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the how to apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.
|Apply now||Social Research Methods MSc||P038023|
Dr Edward Hall
+44 (0)1382 388073