Social Research Methods and Statistics MSc
Why did you choose Manchester?
I chose Manchester because I did my undergraduate degree here, and I had a fantastic student experience. I was particularly impressed by the University’s pioneering research, excellent teaching and supportive staff. In addition, Manchester is a vibrant and inspirational city offering countless recreational and job opportunities for both students and professionals.
Why did you pick your course?
I have a strong passion for Biopsychosocial research, and my goal is to do a PhD investigating the link between society and health with the application of advanced quantitative methods. Therefore, I decided to undertake the Social Research Methods and Statistics MSc because it provides a thorough grounding in advanced quantitative research and advanced statistics for complex data. These skills are highly useful not only for conducting academic research but also for any career path in government or commercial sectors given the global shortage of data scientists. As a result of my excellent academic performance during my undergraduate degree I was also awarded a scholarship contributing towards the cost of tuition fees.
What are the best things about your degree?
The most attractive feature of this MSc is the focus on practical research and statistical skills, as well as training in a number of the most advanced and widely used software packages including MLwiN, Mplus, SPSS, STATA and R. Another strength of the course is the opportunity to conduct a piece of quantitative research independently, which may be published in a scientific journal.
Are there any course units that you have particularly enjoyed? What made them stand out?
I have particularly enjoyed course units such as Introduction to Statistical Modelling or Multilevel Modelling which have provided me with the opportunity to learn new statistical models to analyse survey data and address substantive social research questions. Through the weekly practical classes and extensive statistical software training, I have learnt fundamental analytical and practical skills which will be very useful in any quantitative research setting.
I have also enjoyed learning more about philosophical issues in social science and current debates in quantitative social research and statistics. Furthermore, I have appreciated the chance to practise my presentation skills and improve my ability to communicate clearly with a greater number of people.
How has this course equipped you for your future?
I believe that the course is equipping me with invaluable skills which will allow me to become a successful social and data scientist in the future. I am currently applying for a number of PhD schemes, and what I have learnt through the course so far has been very helpful in many respects. For instance, I have been able to develop a PhD proposal involving the application of advanced quantitative methods. I also succeeded at the interview for another PhD position, where I impressed the interview panel with my outstanding knowledge about research methods and statistics. Besides this, the School of Social Sciences has advertised several job opportunities within both academia and government, and I have already received a number of job offers from employers on LinkedIn.
What else did you do in your spare time?
The workload is high and as I work part-time in a recruitment agency I do not have much spare time. Despite this, I have made some good friends on the course from whom I have received good advice and support. We spend quite a lot of time together, either before the lectures for a coffee in the library, or after the lectures for a drink at the pub when we are not too busy with the coursework.
Why should a prospective applicant choose Manchester?
Manchester has countless opportunities for research as well as employment. It allows you to expand your knowledge, master new skills and reflect on your aspirations in order to build a successful career.
The course will equip you with essential quantitative research skills, extensive statistical training and transferrable employability skills to make you stand out to prospective employers.