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MA Social Media and Social Research

Study at the forefront of an exciting new field

2018/19 entry


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2018 (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. 

The Social Media and Social Research masters provides the practical research skills and conceptual foundations needed 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


Our course gives you skills that employers value in digital social research

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

The Social Media and Social Research masters degree examines the role of social media in contemporary societies, and their 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


The Social Media and Social Research masters consists of six modules:

Understanding Social Media
Identify and critically analyse key characteristics of contemporary new media such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter within the context of debates about broader sets of socio-cultural transformations.

Quantitative Methods and Data Analysis
Learn a range of statistical techniques, such as basic descriptive statistics, tables and chi-squared tests, analysis of variance and multiple and logistic regression analyses. The emphasis is on exploratory data analysis and visualising and interpreting secondary quantitative data; no mathematical formulae are used to teach the module.

Qualitative Methods
Learn and practice methods for the collection and analysis of qualitative data. Topics include observation, focus groups, interviews, visual data in social science research, the use of computer-assisted qualitative data analysis, and narrative, interaction and discourse analysis.

Metrics and Society
You will explore the social role, significance and consequences of metrics and data. Many of the most significant technological developments of our age will centre around data and metrics. This module will give you the means to understand these developments. You'll see how we are measured and how measurement links into power, governance and control. You will think through what part measurement plays in defining our everyday experiences in society.

Advanced Methods in Social Research
Develop your qualitative and quantitative research skills further with more advanced research methods. You'll gain practical-based knowledge of methods in social sciences and explore software packages which will enable you to critically engage with more advanced methods.

Themes and Issues in Contemporary Sociology
This module offers a critical and comprehensive introduction to key themes in contemporary sociological analysis and theory. You'll also gain a solid grounding in theoretical matters in cultural studies, conversation analysis, criminology, political economy and health and healthcare.

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.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2018/19

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£7,580£16,780
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee

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

Sociology funding for masters students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Modules are composed of 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 and monitor progress.

  • You’ll spend most of your time reading assigned texts and researching supporting materials on your own, discussing the readings and lectures in a group and presenting work when requested.
  • 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 nearby 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 and exercises, where assignments are planned on your own time and handed in.

  • 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 essay.
  • To cap 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

The Social Media and Social Research masters degree develops skills employers need in many fields, and especially those requiring awareness of digital social research practice and theory.

Our Sociology alumni

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 Grade

You must have at least a 2:1 degree in sociology or a cognate discipline, or equivalent suitable experience or qualifications. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the course coordinator to enquire about your interests.

The international equivalents of UK qualifications are shown on our country-specific pages. You can also contact the international team for guidance.

English language

If your native language is not English, you should meet an English language proficiency level of 7.0 in the British Council's IELTS test with at least IELTS 6.0 in writing. We do accept other English Language Tests. Students who have successfully completed a recent undergraduate degree at a UK University are exempt from the English Language requirement.

We also strongly recommend that applicants attend the University's Intensive Summer Courses organised by the EFL Unit.


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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