MSc Sociological Research / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Hannah Wilson

One of the best things about the course is the opportunity to carry out smaller research projects within the QRM (Research Methods) units.

This means that I will graduate having already had experience of carrying out qualitative and quantitative research.

Hannah Wilson / MSc Sociological Research student

This course aims to educate and train you to give you the requisite skills and knowledge to become an effective, professional sociological researcher.

This entails teaching:

  • the philosophical underpinnings of sociology;
  • key issues and questions in sociology;
  • key sociological theories;
  • key issues in selected substantive areas of sociology (students are offered a range of options of such substantive areas);
  • principles of research design;
  • techniques and principles of quantitative analysis; and
  • techniques and principles of qualitative analysis.

This is a recognised 1+3 entry route for ESRC PhD training.

Teaching and learning

Part-time students complete the full-time course over two years. There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time route.

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory course units and then select your optional units to suit your requirements.

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your unit choices during induction week with your Course Director.

Coursework and assessment

You are assessed by course work, mainly via 3,000 word essays or the equivalent, plus a 12,000 word dissertation.

Course unit details

Throughout the MSc Sociological Research course, you will take six course units, which are:

  • research design;
  • social theory;
  • cultural identity;
  • methodological issues;
  • quantitative methods; and
  • qualitative methods.

Plus two optional course units, including:

  • politics and culture;
  • protest and progress: understanding movements for social and political change;
  • cultures of digital play; and
  • new developments in theories of gender and sexuality.

You may also negotiate an independent studies course unit, linked to your particular research interests, subject to a suitable academic supervisor being available. You would need to complete a 12,000 word dissertation, on a research topic of your choice, in addition to the eight taught course units.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Social Theory & Cultural Identity SOCY60331 15 Mandatory
Research Design I SOCY60401 15 Mandatory
Research Design II SOCY60412 15 Mandatory
Methodological Issues in Social Research SOCY60432 15 Mandatory
Introduction to Quantitative Methods SOST70511 15 Mandatory
Using Documents in Social Research POLI60252 5 Optional
Interviews POLI70022 5 Optional
Doing Interviews SOAN60201 5 Optional
Practising Participant Observation SOAN60892 5 Optional
Creative Methods SOCY60192 5 Optional
Foundational and advanced perspectives on qualitative research SOCY60230 0 Optional
Foundational and advanced perspectives on qualitative research SOCY60231 10 Optional
Secrets, Lies and Mass Deception SOCY60242 15 Optional
Human-Animal Relations SOCY60252 15 Optional
Culture, Modernity & Media SOCY60342 15 Optional
Independent Studies I SOCY60531 15 Optional
Sociology of Consumption SOCY60551 15 Optional
Independent Studies II SOCY60592 15 Optional
New Developments in Theories of Gender and Sexuality SOCY60992 15 Optional
Urban Sociology SOCY70061 15 Optional
Postcolonial Theory and Methods in the Social Sciences SOCY70111 15 Optional
Social Capital and Social Change SOCY71012 15 Optional
Internet Research SOST60232 5 Optional
Understanding Big Data For Social Research SOST60511 5 Optional
Displaying 10 of 24 course units

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: