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MA Social Research

Develop the skills and knowledge to become a highly skilled social science researcher.

Year of entry: 2021/22

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2021 (term dates)

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Prepare for a career in social science research. 

This course gives you the ideal platform to showcase your capabilities to future employers and PhD programmes alike – so you can break new ground in the worlds of professional and academic research.

Drawing on expertise from across the social sciences, you'll develop highly sought-after research skills to world-class standards. You can tailor your studies to your own interests from the social sciences, and you'll complete your final independent research project or dissertation in one of our social sciences departments:

Accreditation

The MA is recognised by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), so it's ideal if your seeking ESRC funding for PhD. This recognition also demonstrates the high quality of the training you'll receive.

Creative and research-led teaching

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

Employability

Develop highly sought after practical, qualitative and quantitative research skills

Course content

You'll be taught by internationally recognised experts, across a number of social science disciplines and experience exceptional teaching in both qualitative and quantitative methods. From day one, you'll be encouraged to produce your own original research and become an autonomous researcher capable of researching key societal issues.

When you’re equipped with the modern concepts, methods and techniques that underpin the research process, you’ll strengthen your analytical skills to take your research career to the next level. You'll develop interview and other data collection techniques and become proficient in methods of data analysis, including visual, conversation, regression and multiple correspondence analysis.

At the heart of this degree is an opportunity to put your training into practice through an original research project, with expert guidance from academics that are at the forefront of research.

Modules

You'll study five core modules and undertake a dissertation. You'll choose option modules to complement your research interests.

Core modules

We cannot accept credit transfer or recognition of prior learning in place of any of the core modules on this course, as outlined in the ESRC Postgraduate Training and Development Guidelines (2015).

Option Modules

You'll choose 40 credits of option modules. We work with a range of academics departments across the University, to give you a wide variety of options. Examples of modules you could study include:

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

Dissertation

Dissertation (60 credits)

You'll undertake an in-depth study of a topic of your choice, guided one-to-one by an academic superviser based in a department relevant to your area of research.

You'll develop and demonstrate skills in the planning, definition and management of a substantial piece of enquiry that will further knowledge in your chosen specialist field.

You'll demonstrate skills in literature review, research design, data analysis and critical evaluation and synthesis.

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:

  • Make informed research decisions (such as study design, selection of methodologies) based on specialist knowledge of particular areas of Social Science combined with an appreciation of interdisciplinary debates, an awareness of different epistemological approaches, and of the impact of research on society.
  • Independently design effective research strategies by assessing the context, utility and impact of proposed research and formulating research questions and hypotheses which can be tested and are amenable to empirical investigation.
  • Confidently apply the principles of research ethics and professional practice in the design and conduct of research.
  • Select and competently apply appropriate qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods to the investigation of social science phenomena.
  • Manage data by designing efficient data-gathering instruments; accessing and linking data sets (both primary and secondary); dealing with missing data and measurement error; and representing data in an accessible manner.
  • Analyse research findings using up-to-date techniques by interpreting numerical data using statistical inference, modelling and quantitative analysis software, and by interpreting a range of phenomenological or textual data using qualitative approaches and appropriate software.
  • Effectively present and disseminate complex research findings tailored to the needs and levels of prior knowledge and expertise of varied audiences.
  • Confidently collaborate and communicate with peers and colleagues across interdisciplinary fields of research and practice.
I've enjoyed thinking at an academic level again, especially about new concepts that have developed since I finished my undergraduate degree.
Tim, MA Social Research

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2021/22

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £8,440£18,700
Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
£4,220£9,350

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 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. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).

Additional costs

You may need to buy a small number of textbooks.

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 2021/22 throughout the year.

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

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.

Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)

We hope to deliver this course as advertised for 2021/22 entry, but it’s unclear when we’ll be able to return to a normal timetable. For an idea of how this course might be affected, see our changes for 2020/21 entry.

Teaching format

You'll learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, lab work and one-to-one supervision. We offer a personal approach to learning with much of our teaching conducted in small groups.

A member of the teaching staff will act as your supervisor throughout the degree, to help guide your studies and monitor progress.

  • You'll develop your skills both through working in groups and through independent reading and research.
  • You'll also have the opportunity to attend seminars and workshops from across the social sciences from visiting scholars on a wide variety of sociological topics.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Research Centre for Social Sciences 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

You'll be assessed through a variety of methods including ‘open’ essays (where an assignment is prepared in your own time), presentations and a dissertation.

Careers and skills

Graduates finish this course well equipped to pursue further study, such as a PhD. You will also gain relevant and highly sought-after skills that qualify you for a research career in academic institutions, local and central government or commercial research.

Career opportunities

  • Teaching and academia
  • Politics
  • Public services
  • Campaigning
  • Commercial research

Transferable skills

  • The ability to research, source and examine information
  • The capacity to critically analyse evidence and construct arguments
  • Excellent written and oratory skills
  • Intellectual independence and autonomy
  • Teamworking skills.

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in a relevant subject. We are willing to consider your application if you have lower qualifications, especially if you have high marks in relevant modules and/or appropriate professional experience. If you are applying with a lower qualification, you must include a written work sample with your application.
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:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, minimum 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in all other components
PTE Academic 61, minimum 61 in Writing and 55 in all other components
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, minimum 176 in Writing and 169 in all other components
TOEFL 87, minimum 23 in Writing and 21 in all other components
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components
Duolingo 110, minimum 110 in production and 100 in all other components

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.

Applying

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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Research Centre for Social Sciences

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