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MA Social Media and Social Research

Study at the forefront of an exciting new field

Year of entry: 2020


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2020 (term 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

We are taught by lecturers who are experts in their fields. I have enjoyed learning about the different methods of quantitative and qualitative analysis and how to use statistics to inform research.
MA Social Media and Social Research

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


You'll study of six core modules:

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


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 15,000-word dissertation based on your research project. 

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, analyze, 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. 
  • Advance and utilise social research practices in the contemporary context following critical evaluation and application of relevant concepts, theories and methods
  • utilize extended social research expertise tocritically 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 2020/21

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £8,040£18,240
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

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

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

Home/EU students

International students

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 be taught through lectures and seminars where you can discuss readings in a group. A member of the teaching staff will act as your supervisor throughout the degree, to help guide your studies and monitor progress.

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 and present your work.

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

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Sociology on Campus West.

Most of your contact hours will be in Wentworth College, with some additional teaching on Campus West.

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 handed in) 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 15,000-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

Work in a variety of social research organisations in the following industries:

  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Arts
  • Heritage and leisure
  • Management

Transferable skills

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

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Sociology or a cognate discipline, or equivalent suitable experience

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:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, minimum 169 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've not 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 IELTS 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 electronically through our online system. 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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