MA Social Research

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Overview

This Masters award provides an opportunity for postgraduate learning and development in the study of research in the social sciences, with an orientation towards knowledge and enquiry at the forefront of the field. The programme has been developed to meet the Economic and Social Research Council’s new postgraduate training and development requirements and as such, it is broad-based and has relevance across a number of social science disciplines.

You will develop theoretical knowledge and practical expertise via a series of generic social science, as well as education-specific and interdisciplinary units that enable the development of research-informed and subject-specific proficiency. The programme promotes collaboration and the cross-fertilisation of ideas in social research, acknowledging the complexities of contemporary educational thinking and practice. 

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Graduates of the programme will be enabled to move in to senior positions within education and related fields; nationally and internationally. We maintain contact with our graduates at Faculty level via our Alumni office, and also informally, and work with MMU Careers and Employability Service to make sure that DLHE (Destination of Leavers in Higher Education) survey data informs curriculum approaches and content.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

MMU standard entrance requirements for postgraduate taught programmes apply. (Applicants need to have an honours degree or a postgraduate diploma or a professional qualification recognised as being equivalent to a UK honours degree. Other qualifications or experience may be acceptable if students are able to demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills to a UK honours degree standard.)

Language requirements

International applicants need to demonstrate English Language requirements at IELTS 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any component, or equivalent.

Course details

Term 1 Units: 

  • Principles and Debates in Social Research
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research
  • Introduction to Quantitative Research
  • Professional Skills for Researchers

Term 2 Units:

  • Disciplinarities: Re-searching Beyond Boundaries

You will take two optional units that develop your ability to critically engage with published research and to develop your own research skills in support of your fields of interest:

You will choose one unit from each of the following:

  • Contemporary Issues in Education, Childhood and Youth
  • Social Policy and Social Work: research, policy and practice
  • Further Qualitative Methods
  • Further Quantitative Methods

Term 3 

  • Independent Research Project

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Principles and Debates in Social Research

This unit introduces students to key principles and debates in relation to the design and practice of research, including a consideration of the key philosophical positions in Western thought that have informed existing research traditions. The unit covers three broad areas of content that underpin the pursuit of research: a range of philosophical and theoretical frameworks within which research is conducted; a variety of strategies and approaches to designing, conducting, evaluating and analysing research; and critical reflections on the position of the researcher in the research process. 

Introduction to Qualitative Research

This unit introduces students to a variety of qualitative research approaches for the investigation of human and more-than-human worlds, developing an appreciation of how qualitative methods are used to create knowledge. It aims to familiarise students with a full range of qualitative research methods and analyses in common use in social science. Current theoretical, methodological and ethical concerns will be debated. Students will learn how to use and evaluate the tools, techniques and processes of qualitative research, as well as applying them to their own research projects. This unit provides the basis for more subject-specific and advanced training in this field.

Introduction to Quantitative Research

This unit will provide students with an appreciation, and experience of, the theoretical underpinnings and practical application of the range of common quantitative tools and techniques that can be used as part of the research process. Students will gain an overview of the foundational concepts and practice of quantitative research.

Professional Skills for Researchers

The Unit will provide students with the opportunity to reflect on their current level of skills development and will give them the opportunity to cover a range of sessions provided through attendance on workshops or online via the Research Student Skills Development Programme within the Graduate School, from provision offered by Faculties or events attended externally.  

Disciplinarities: Re-searching Beyond Boundaries

This unit will explore how more expansive understandings of issues in social science research are developed through cross-, inter- and transdisciplinary working. As the demands on research to take account of ever more complex issues increase, students will examine ways it is able to respond more fully to the challenges faced in an increasingly mixed-up, boundary-blurring, heterogeneous, interdependent and ethically confronting more-than-human world. 

Likely Optional Units

Contemporary Issues in Education, Childhood and Youth

This unit will examine research approaches to issues and associated social policy and legislation (in education, health or social care settings) that affect the experiences, as well as public and other perceptions, of babies, children and youth in the UK.

Social Policy and Social Work: research, policy and practice

This unit will provide students with experience in how research is translated and used in the areas of social policy and social work. It will enable them to understand the relationship between theory and practice through the analysis of contemporary case studies. Weekly workshops will provide students with materials to inform the development of research agendas that can generate impact.

Further Qualitative Methods

This unit aims to provide students with the skills needed to engage critically with contemporary theoretical trends in qualitative research in the social sciences, and to relate these to research and practice. The unit extends students knowledge and skills in qualitative research for investigating human and more-than-human worlds, developing an appreciation of how qualitative methods are used to create knowledge. 

Further Quantative Methods

This unit will provide students with an introduction to further quantitative social science research methodology and design. The unit will examine survey based research and working with primary data; including Sampling or selecting cases or subjects, Dealing with non-response and missing data;  Random and systematic measurement error, how it should be mitigated through instrument design and corrected for during analysis;  Inductive and deductive methods; Hypothesis testing, exploratory and inferential methods, and measuring causality; Population inference from cross-sectional and longitudinal sample surveys and inference from research using experimental designs; Inferential statistical tests for parametric and non-parametric data;  Linear and non-linear forms of multivariate regression;  Data reduction and grouping methods, such as factor and cluster analysis.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A Masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment

School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies

Our School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies specialises in teaching and research around education disciplines focused on children, young people, families and communities.

The department works collaboratively with communities, partners, local authorities and arts organisations on social enterprise projects, and has been at the forefront of developments in its field for over 20 years.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £14,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Up to £10,609 available to students who live in England

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

How to apply

Download our course application form. There are instructions on what to do next and who to send the form to in the Word document. 

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Programme Review
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Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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