2020 start

Social Research

Sheffield Methods Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences

On this course you'll become well-versed in the theoretical concepts in social research. You'll develop highly sought-after qualitative and quantitative research skills through our hands-on teaching. Our MA meets the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) training and development guidelines.
Postgraduate social research students at workshop

Course description

This course will help you to become proficient in theoretical concepts in social research and will provide you with the practical skills to undertake higher level research across the full range of social sciences.

You’ll develop highly sought-after qualitative and quantitative research skills through our hands-on teaching methods. You can tailor the course to your interests by selecting from a wide range of modules – from all the departments in social sciences – that will expose you to the latest debates within your field of research. 

The programme has been specifically developed to meet the ESRC postgraduate training and development guidelines. Students completing the MA Social Research can advance to PhD-level study within their chosen field in the social sciences, or find employment within roles that require high-level research skills.

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Core modules

  • Principles of Research Design
  • Introduction to Quantitative Research
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research
  • Working Beyond Disciplines
  • Research Ethics and Integrity
  • Independent Research Project or Independent Research Proposal

Optional modules

One of:

  • Advanced Quantitative Methods
  • Advanced Qualitative Methods

Plus 30 credits from within the subject area of your intended PhD research topic or research specialisation.


  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Computer workshops
  • Independent study
  • Individual tutorials


  • Group work
  • Essays
  • Project reports
  • Portfolios
  • Oral presentation
  • Independent research project


  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, normally in a discipline related to your intended specialism.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

By introducing students to interdisciplinary research practice and the research challenges within their specific academic subject, the MA Social Research provides the strongest possible foundation for PhD study or a career in research across the full range of social science disciplines.

Dr Mark Taylor
SMI Lecturer of MA in Social Research


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now


+44 114 222 8345

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.