MSc Social Science Research Methods (Politics)
This MSc provides Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-approved research training in politics and international relations. We aim to provide a thorough grounding in practical methodological skills through hands-on experience and the critical exploration of relevant examples and case studies. It is particularly suited to those seeking a career as a social science researcher or continuing to PhD level, including ESRC-funded doctoral study.
The School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies promotes a close-knit student community with easy access to members of staff who all give a high priority to teaching and supervision while maintaining high-quality, high-volume research.
The programme provides thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of the variety of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods available to the social scientist, and the main methods of data analysis. You will also cover the research process, ethical considerations and social theory. You will be encouraged to apply your methods training to substantive research interests.
You will take a combination of mandatory and optional taught units within the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies. Each unit is delivered over the course of 12 weeks and assessed by an essay (or equivalent form of written submission).
The taught section of the programme is followed in the summer term by a dissertation.
Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Social Science Research Methods (Politics).
An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in any discipline. Applicants must have evidence of at least 1 quantitative and 1 qualitative module/unit at 2:1 or equivalent. Examples of acceptable units include: Quantitative Research Methods; Programming; Data Analysis; Data Mining; Research Design & Practice. Qualitative Research; Survey; Behavioural Studies/Research; Social Research; Comparative Politics/Research.
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 (6 months in a paid role) relevant work experience in sectors such as NGOs, Government Departments, Think Tanks, Research;
- 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
Fees and funding
- UK: full-time
- £12,900 per year
- UK: part-time (two years)
- £6,450 per year
- Overseas: full-time
- £27,400 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.
Bristol graduates are in high demand and have an excellent record of employment following graduation. Alumni of our MSc programmes go on to further study at PhD level or pursue research jobs in government or private sector, for example in the House of Commons, the World Bank and the think tank Demos.
Find out more from the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies careers webpages.