This programme provides comprehensive training in the process of research conceptualisation, design and operationalisation. It has been carefully formulated to reflect the training recommended by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It is particularly suited for those seeking a career as a social science researcher or planning to go on to a PhD in Management.

The programme delivers a thorough theoretical and practical grounding in the variety of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods available to social scientists and in the principal methods of analysing data. The programme also covers the philosophies underpinning the research process, ethical considerations and social theory. You will be encouraged to apply your methods training to your substantive research interests.

You will be taught by leading academics whose research tackles global societal issues across management-related disciplines.

Our research groups and centres are:

  • Centre for Action Research and Critical Inquiry in Organisations (ARCIO)
  • Sustainable Production, Inclusivity, Consumption and Economy
  • Innovation and Digitalisation
  • Public Services Governance and Management
  • Global Political Economy
  • Work Futures.

88% of our business and management research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021), reflecting its impact on shaping policy and practice.

Programme structure

This programme comprises six 12-week taught units (20 credits each) followed by a dissertation (60 credits). The dissertation presents you with an opportunity to pursue an independent, in-depth study of a topic relating to management and organisation, reflecting on the epistemological and methodological issues covered in the taught element of the programme.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Social Science Research Methods (Management).

Entry requirements

An upper second-class undergraduate honours degree or international equivalent in Sociology or Research Methods or Business or Management degrees.


An upper second-class undergraduate honours degree or international equivalent in Sociology, Anthropology, Politics, International Studies, International Development, Criminology, Education, Geography, History, Law, Communication Studies, Media Studies, Public Health, Management, Organisational Behaviour/Theory, Business Ethics or Research Methods.

This must include a 2:1 or equivalent in at least 3 management related units. Examples of acceptable units include:

Sociology/societal concepts, Management (HRM/Strategy/Governance/Leadership), Organisational Behaviour/Theory, Corporate/Organisational Culture, Business Ethics/corporate social responsibility, Marketing, Operations Management, Management Consulting, Digital Business, Public Management, Project Management, Research Methods.

For applicants who are currently completing a degree, we understand that their final grade may be higher than the interim grades or module/unit grades they achieve during their studies.

We will consider applicants whose interim grades are currently slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements. We may make these applicants an aspirational offer. This offer would be at the standard level, so the applicant would need to achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of their degree. Specific module requirements may still apply.

We will consider applicants whose grades are slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements, if they have at least one of the following:

  • evidence of significant (minimum of 6 months in a paid role) relevant work experience in sectors such as the United Nations, research work in a think tank or charitable organisation,social enterprise, international developement, social work, policy manager or a managerial role in a relevant sector.
  • a relevant postgraduate qualification.

If this is the case, applicants should include their CV (curriculum vitae / résumé) when they apply, showing details of their relevant work experience and/or qualifications.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level B.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£10,500 per year
Overseas: full-time
£22,800 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

Bristol has an excellent reputation with employers worldwide and our graduates are in demand.

The programme will provide you with a sound basis for further study at doctoral level or for your future career in a wide range of fields, including business, the public sector and third sector organisations.