MSc Social Science Research Methods (Sociology)
This programme reflects the expertise of our School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies in research methods training. It provides comprehensive training in the whole process of research conceptualisation, design and operationalisation.
The programme is particularly suitable for those seeking a career as a social science researcher or going on to a PhD, including Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded doctoral study. It has been carefully formulated to reflect the training recommended by the ESRC and has been accredited as a research training programme.
You will develop a thorough theoretical and practical grounding in the variety of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods available to the social scientist, 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 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 (Sociology).
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. Students of our MSc programmes go on to pursue varied and interesting careers.
Many sectors - such as the civil service, NGOs and charities - require an MSc and some volunteering or internship experience. Graduates from our programmes have gone on to work for Refugee UK, Shelter, Barnardo's, Amnesty International, government departments and the European Parliament, among others. Find out more from the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies careers webpages.