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School of Social Sciences

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MSc Sociological Research
Explore cutting edge contemporary sociology for a range of research and industry careers.

MSc Sociological Research / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

  • Would you like cutting edge training in methods for careers in research and industry?
  • Do you want to develop sophisticated analytical and practical skills?
  • Are you looking for a course featuring outstanding teaching led by internationally respected scholars?

This programme aims to educate and train students to give them the requisite skills and knowledge to become an effective, professional sociological researcher. This entails teaching them:

  • 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
  • techniques and principles of qualitative analysis

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


Course Director: Dr Nick Thoburn


Tel: +44 (0)161 275 2496

Teaching and learning


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

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

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module 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

You take six course units in Research Design, Social Theory; Cultural Identity; Methodological Issues; Quantitative Methods, and Qualitative Methods, and two optional course units. Examples of optional course units include: Politics and Culture; Protest and Progress: Understanding Movements for Social and Political Change; Cultures of Digital Play; New Developments in Theories of Gender and Sexuality. Students may also negotiate an Independent Studies course unit, linked to their particular research interests, subject to a suitable academic supervisor being available. Students complete a 12,000 word dissertation, on a research topic of their 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
Archival Research POLI60251 5 Optional
Biography & Life History in the Social Sciences POLI60331 5 Optional
Interviewing Activists POLI70021 5 Optional
Doing Interviews SOAN60201 5 Optional
Practising Participant Observation SOAN60892 5 Optional
Sociology of Art SOCY60182 15 Optional
Creative Methods SOCY60192 5 Optional
Gender, Time & Change SOCY60211 15 Optional
Identity, Power and Modernity SOCY60221 15 Optional
Foundational and advanced perspectives on qualitative research SOCY60231 10 Optional
Secrets, Lies and Mass Deception SOCY60241 15 Optional
Human-Animal Relations SOCY60251 15 Optional
Culture, Modernity & Media SOCY60342 15 Optional
Independent Studies I SOCY60531 15 Optional
Sociology of Consumption SOCY60552 15 Optional
Independent Studies II SOCY60592 15 Optional
New Developments in Theories of Gender and Sexuality SOCY60991 15 Optional
Postcolonial Theory and Methods in the Social Sciences SOCY70112 15 Optional
Narrative Analysis SOCY70722 5 Optional
Social Capital and Social Change SOCY71012 15 Optional
Understanding Big Data For Social Research SOST60512 5 Optional
Introduction to Quantitative Methods SOST70511 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 27 course units

Disability support

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