Social Research MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a social science or a related subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£11,500 (Total)
International fees
£24,500 (Total)

Course overview

Student in seminar room

On this rewarding course, you’ll develop the skills and knowledge to produce meaningful social research.

You’ll take core modules that will teach you how to turn social research issues and questions into workable research designs, as well as handle quantitative and qualitative data and issues such as ethics and funding applications.

You’ll also have the chance to specialise through a choice of optional modules, allowing you to pursue your interests and focus on research in disciplines such as disability studies, care, social policy analysis, criminology and evaluation of programmes and policies.

This course has recently been redesigned to meet the new postgraduate training and development guidelines of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), meaning it stands alone as an MA but will also prepare you to apply for doctoral research in the dynamic fields of social science research. You’ll be well prepared to become a specialist social science researcher, supported by expert tutors across our active research centres and institutes.

Research insight

You’ll learn in a research-intensive, stimulating environment. As well as the Leeds Social Sciences Institute which fosters collaboration, you’ll benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise hosted by the Centre for Disability Studies, Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and many others. All of these centres run their own calendars of events such as workshops and seminars.

Find out more about Research in the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

Course details

You’ll start the course by building your knowledge of research design, learning to connect research problems you are interested in with methodological and theoretical perspectives and practical research strategies. Sampling and selection, choosing the right data collection and analysis methods, the ethics and politics of research design and creating research proposals will all be among the topics you explore.

You’ll also have the chance to deepen your subject knowledge with your optional module, honing in on an area that interests you. You could focus on crime, social policy analysis or evaluative research as well as disability studies, care or social thought.

In semester two, you’ll begin intensive training in analysing quantitative and qualitative data. You’ll learn to use statistical software, design surveys and questionnaires and record, code, organise and manage qualitative data. You’ll evaluate different research methods, understanding their benefits, limitations, and ethical implications.

By the end of the programme, you’ll submit a research project that puts the skills you’ve gained into practice – and perhaps lay the foundations of your future research.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Social Research MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Quantitative Research Methods 15
Qualitative Research Methods 15
Inequalities: Exploring causes, Consequences and Interventions 30
Research Strategy and Design 30
Choose from either Dissertation or Applied Project:
Dissertation 60
Applied Project 60

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will also study 30 credits from the following optional modules:

Module Name Credits
Contemporary Social Thought 30
Contested Bodies 30
Social Policy Analysis 15
Social Policy Debates 15
Policy and Programme Evaluation 15
Reality TV: Truth or Fiction? 30

Learning and teaching

At Leeds we use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you make the most of your studies and equip you with the specialist skills you’ll need in your career. These include seminars, tutorials, online learning and presentations.

You’ll also attend practical sessions and workshops where you’ll put data analysis into practice, allowing you to get hands-on experience and engage with your tutors to make the most of their expertise. Independent study is also vital to this programme, allowing you to refine your skills and prepare for your taught sessions.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

You’ll experience different assessment methods, including presentations, literature reviews, research proposals and essays. In data analysis modules, you’ll be expected to analyse and engage with data within your essays. We offer plenty of support with aspects such as academic writing.

Applying

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent in a social science, or related subject.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

Please note that meeting the entry requirements of this course doesn't guarantee an offer of a place.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Politics and Society (6 weeks) and Language for Social Sciences and Arts: Politics and Society (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

International – Friday 28 June 2024

UK – Friday 16 August 2024

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information we will need include:

  • original or certified copies of your transcripts
  • original or certified copies of your degree certificate
  • original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions Office

Email: pgssp@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Fees

UK: £11,500 (Total)

International: £24,500 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of Sociology and Social Policy usually offers a number of scholarships each year. Find out more on the School's scholarships page.

Career opportunities

In the last decade, there has been enormous growth in social research, leading to an increasing variety of career options. There are a number of different research environments, such as academic departments, third sector organisations, private research organisations and governmental agencies – all of which have distinctive research cultures.

There is an increasing emphasis on the production of high-quality, rigorous and meaningful research by professionally trained researchers. We designed the MA in Social Research to provide such training, and the course will interest people pursuing, or enhancing, a research-related career in a wide range of settings.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.