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MA Social Media and Social Research

Study at the forefront of an exciting new field

Year of entry: 2024 (September)


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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Social media and other emerging communication technologies are becoming a key aspect of social research practice.

The data they generate contain insights into how entire populations communicate, behave and interact with each other. 

This course provides the practical research skills and conceptual foundations you need to conduct studies in this new field. 

Creative and research-led teaching

Our staff are world-leading experts, and this translates directly to our postgraduate teaching


Gain skills in digital social research that are highly valued by employers

Course content

You'll examine the role of social media in contemporary societies, and its potential for ethical research. You'll develop a foundation in traditional social science research skills, as well as explore new methods of analysis for both large- and small-scale data.  

Study abroad

This course is not associated with a specific Study Abroad programme, but York offers a number of options through international partnering programmes.

Study Abroad with York


Core Modules

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.


You will develop, design, implement and manage your own original research project, supervised by a member of staff. You will analyse the data and produce a 10,000-word dissertation. 

Examples of dissertation titles with social media topics include:

  • The role of new media in politics.
  • Application of digital by-product data: Using online ratings and reviews to analyse the market preferences of cultural products.
  • “That’s entertainment”: A comparative analysis of culture and the current situation of TV entertainment programmes in the UK and China.
  • The spread of celebrity gossip in the circumstances of new media.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Exercise specialised knowledge and understanding of social media and their importance for social, cultural and global processes and how it applies to a range of areas including everyday interactional practices, cultural production and circulation, and political and institutional engagement.
  • Critically interpret, analyse, and evaluate social theories, concepts, methodologies and arguments in order to articulate a clear understanding of the sociological study of social media, culture and globalization.
  • Develop informed and advanced research strategies based upon critical consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of different methods, in order to identify the epistemological approaches in social scientific research.
  • Critically select and use a range of social scientific research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, which are appropriate to meet the requirements in industry, national and local government and public services.
  • Develop arguments to support the use of emerging forms of social and behavioural data (both large, and small-scale) in order to understand the relationship between social media and contemporary sociological research.
  • Draw upon concepts, theories and methods in order to advance and utilise social research practices in the contemporary context.
  • Utilize extended social research expertise to critically evaluate social research, and to design research appropriate for the investigation of cultural, social, and global aspects of social media and emerging communication technologies.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £10,590£23,900
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study.

  • UK (home) fees may increase in subsequent years (up to a maximum of 2%).
  • International fees may increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Department scholarship information

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You'll spend time working on your own, reading assigned texts and researching supporting materials, as well as working with others in seminars to discuss readings in a group and present your work. A member of the teaching staff will act as your supervisor throughout the degree, to help guide your studies and monitor progress.

You'll also attend  from visiting scholars on a wide variety of sociological topics.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Sociology on Campus East. Most of your contact hours will be on Campus East.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Core modules will be assessed by a mixture of ‘open’ essays (where an assignment is prepared in your own time) and presentations. Open assessments are released early in the term so you can select one or more essay titles to read around the topic and plan your chosen essay.

Towards the end of your studies, you'll complete a 10,000-word dissertation on an original piece of your own research.

Two-months after completing my Masters degree, I secured a job as an SEO and Social Media Analyst at the Telegraph Media Group.
Christopher, MA Social Media and Social Research

Careers and skills

You'll develop skills employers need in many fields, and especially those requiring awareness of digital social research practice and theory.

Career opportunities

  • Social media analyst
  • Social media manager
  • Social media and content strategist
  • Digital marketing executive
  • Digital communications officer
  • Content editor

Transferable skills

  • Data analysis
  • Critical reasoning
  • Social media
  • Social research

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Sociology or a cognate discipline, or equivalent suitable experience
International pre-masters programme Pre-masters from our International Pathway College
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 176, with 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 70 with a minimum of 65 in each component
KITE 459-494, with 426-458 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Department of Sociology

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