MSc Social Research Methods and Statistics / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

My masters degree provides a good foundation of statistical and research methods

and I have really enjoyed the course units on more advanced statistical methods

Emily Buehler / MSc Social Research Methods and Statistics student

The MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics is designed to be accessible to non-statisticians, yet is more focused than many other existing master's courses in social research methods.  

The MSc includes training in:

  • survey design;
  • statistics;
  • how to analyse data;
  • how to use statistical analysis software such as R, SPSS and Stata.  

The MSc modules are taught with an emphasis on hands-on training in the application of methods and software.  

Modules include:

  • Statistical Foundations;
  • Introduction to Statistical Modelling;
  • Survey Research;
  • Demographic Forecasting;
  • Social Network Analysis;
  • Longitudinal Data Analysis.  

You will need a base level of knowledge in undergraduate research methods, which you will build on throughout the course, to gain comprehensive statistical and analytical skills. A series of pre-sessional training materials are available prior to the MSc start date.  

Research activities within the discipline area are both methodological and substantive. We focus on a range of subject areas including social inequalities, population dynamics and survey methodology.  

The course is recognised by both the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the North West Doctoral Training Centre, where we receive a large number of Advanced Quantitative methods (AQM) and CASE awards each year.  

We develop future social scientists who will have a thorough grounding in research and are equipped with the tools for collecting and analysing statistical data.

Special features

  • Join one of the few social statistics groupings in the UK.
  • We focus on effective collaboration, working closely with our colleagues in data science, sociology, health, geography and mathematics.
  • Linked with The Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research .

You are provided with a personal tutor and job application support.

Course unit details

This course provides a thorough grounding in advanced quantitative methods, taught within an applied social science framework.

Whilst the training focuses on advanced quantitative methods, the course is designed to be accessible to students coming from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds and with varying levels of prior statistical knowledge.

The course is available full-time over one year or part-time over two-years, and may be studied as either an MSc or a Postgraduate Diploma.

All students take course units totalling 120 credits (eight 15-credit course units) over the year (or two years) which may include:

  • Methodology and Research Design;
  • Introduction to Statistical Modelling;
  • Statistical Foundations;
  • Qualitative Research Methods;
  • Survey Research Methods;
  • Longitudinal Data Analysis;
  • Complex Survey Design and Analysis;
  • Statistical Models for Social Networks;
  • Demographic Forecasting;
  • Strucutral Equation and Latent Variable Modelling;
  • Qualitative Evaluation of Policies, Interventions and Experiments;
  • Topological Data Analysis (first time roll out 23/34).

All students proceeding to MSc must complete a research dissertation. Those on the Postgraduate Diploma may upgrade to the full MSc, subject to satisfactory course performance.

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
Qualitative Research Methods SOCS60230 15 Mandatory
Survey Research Methods SOST60421 15 Mandatory
Dissertation SOST65000 60 Mandatory
Introduction to Statistical Modelling SOST70011 15 Mandatory
Complex Survey Designs and Analysis SOST70032 15 Mandatory
Statistical Foundations SOST70151 15 Mandatory
Methodology and Research Design SOST70520 15 Mandatory
Topological Data Analysis DATA70302 15 Optional
Longitudinal Data Analysis SOST70022 15 Optional
Structural Equation and Latent Variable Modelling SOST70042 15 Optional
Demographic Forecasting SOST70102 15 Optional
Causal Inference for Policies, Interventions and Experiments SOST70172 15 Optional
Statistical Models for Social Networks SOST71032 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme:

The Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class bachelor's degree and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

Manchester Humanities International Excellence Scholarship:

The University of Manchester is proud to offer scholarship awards to exceptional international students commencing their postgraduate studies across subjects in its Faculty of Humanities from September 2022

Manchester Master's Bursary:

The University of Manchester is committed to widening participation in master's study and allocates 75 awards of £4,000 each year.

For more information on our awards, see fees and funding or search the University's postgraduate funding database

Disability support

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