MSc Social Research Methods and Statistics / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course description

Emily Buehler

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 Analysis;
  • Social Network Analysis;
  • Longitudinal Data Analysis.

You'll 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).

Course units typically include:

  • Methodology and Research Design;
  • Introduction to Statistical Modelling;
  • Statistical Foundations;
  • Qualitative Research Methods;
  • Survey Research;
  • Multilevel Modelling;
  • Longitudinal Data Analysis;
  • Advanced Survey Methods;
  • Social Network Analysis;
  • Introduction to Demography;
  • Structural Equation Modelling.

All students proceeding to MSc must complete a research dissertation of up to 15,000 words. 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 SOCY60230 0 Mandatory
Foundational and advanced perspectives on qualitative research SOCY60231 10 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 SOST70521 15 Mandatory
Researching Elites POLI70022 5 Optional
Doing Interviews SOAN60201 5 Optional
Practising Participant Observation SOAN60891 5 Optional
Creative Methods SOCY60192 5 Optional
Internet Research SOST60232 5 Optional
Understanding Big Data For Social Research SOST60511 5 Optional
Longitudinal Data Analysis SOST70022 15 Optional
Structural Equation and Latent Variable Modelling SOST70042 15 Optional
Demographic Forecasting SOST70102 15 Optional
Quantitative Evaluation of Policies, Interventions and Experiments. SOST70172 15 Optional
Social Network Analysis SOST71032 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

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.

For more information, 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: