2021 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. Choose from a wide range of modules that reflect your interests, and apply your qualitative and quantitative skills to your field of research. Our graduates go on to PhD research or careers that demand world-class research skills.
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.

Apply now


Core modules

Explore modules

Optional modules

You will also take one or both of the following courses, amounting to 15-30 credits:

  • Advanced Qualitative Methods
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods

Plus 15-30 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.

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.