Social Science Research (Communication and Media) MSc

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
1 year
2 years
Start date:
October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:



in the UK for Media

Guardian University Guide 2017


in the UK for Communication and Media

The Complete University Guide 2018


by the ESRC


Accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), our prestigious Social Science Research (Communication and Media) MSc degree is designed for students interested in pursuing a research career in communication and media in both academia and industry.

This programme provides an opportunity to develop specialised research methods skills in communication and media in an internationally renowned department, as well as a comprehensive overview of the key methodological and philosophical debates that currently shape social sciences.

The school is also home to the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC) which was established in 1991. The centre has since grown to be one of the largest of its kind in the UK. Core themes include: Culture, Economy, and Policy; Interaction and Discourse; Media, Memory, and History; Nations, Migrants, and Citizenship; Political Communication; Social, Political, and Cultural Theory.

The School of Social, Political, and Geographical Sciences is a stimulating environment in which to pursue a postgraduate degree. It fosters interdisciplinary research and collaboration and it is internationally renowned for its research into communication and media studies.

What makes this programme different?

  • Connected to the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC)
  • A stimulating environment for research and collaboration
  • Opportunity for PhD funding from ESRC

Who should study this programme?

  • Individuals wishing to pursue a career in academia
  • Communication and media practitioners, who wish to both develop and strengthen their applied research skills
  • Those wishing to conduct research in non-academic public and private sector roles

Entry requirements

Minimum of an upper second class honours degree or equivalent in a wide range of subjects. In exceptional circumstances an applicant may be admitted to the degree who does not possess the requirements mentioned, but who has substantial relevant work experience.

English language requirements

All applicants for admission to Loughborough University must have a qualification in English Language before they can be admitted to any course or programme, whether their first language is English or not.

IELTS: 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in all elements.

What you'll study

Our Social Science Research MSc programmes are designed to produce graduates with rigorous research and analytical skills, who are well equipped to progress onto being high level researchers in their chosen field of study.


This programme covers a wide range of topics; to give you a taster we have expanded on some of the core modules affiliated with this programme and the specific assessment methods associated with each module.

Compulsory modules

Philosophy of social science

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the different ontological and epistemological ways in which social science research is framed. This will then be applied by analysing pertinent theoretical approaches for their ontological and epistemological nature which are located in the critical traditions of thought. Their role in research design will be considered, especially with a view to the different sources of knowledge that are available and appropriate.

Quantitative research methods

This module will support students to make informed assessments of the design and construction of quantitative data sources and their implications for analyses; appropriately prepare and analyse quantitative data using statistical software; and apply and interpret a range of forms of statistical analysis competently, including descriptive, inferential and multivariate techniques.

Research design and practice

More information will be available soon. If you have any immediate queries regarding this module, please contact:

Qualitative research methods

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the basic theory, practice and procedures for using qualitative research methods when undertaking a research project.

Specialist research methods: Production and reception

The aim of this module is to become familiar with a range of research methodologies for the analysis of media and cultural production and reception.


The aim of this module is for the student to develop employability and academic skills relevant to conducting an individual research project and to undertake a piece of research on a communication or media topic of their choice, in depth and with rigour. The final project should build on methodological skills developed in earlier modules.

Optional modules

Doing research with young people in their socio-spatial contexts

The module aims to analyse how to conduct research with young people, paying attention to their social and spatial contexts. The module examines both theoretical and practical aspects of researching with young people in their socio-spatial contexts.

Advanced content analysis

The aim of this module is to consider advanced approaches to quantitative content analysis, in particular assessing the extent to which computer-assisted analysis can extend the reach and rigour of statistical textual analysis.

Methodological advances in applied ethnography

The aim of this module is to consider advanced approaches to doing ethnographic research in a range of settings and interdisciplinary contexts, including innovations in ethnography and practical sessions on adapting ethnography for contemporary challenges and applied settings.

Applied conversation analysis

The aims of this module are to i) train students in the perspective and methods of Conversation Analysis (CA), ii) demonstrate how CA can be applied to the study of interactions in medical, legal and social welfare settings, and iii) demonstrate also how CA can be used to improve the effectiveness of communication in such settings.

Methodological implications of critical realism

More information will be available soon. If you have any immediate queries regarding this module, please contact:

How you will be assessed

Modules are assessed by a combination of examinations, coursework and group work.

How you'll study

Practical sessions
Field trips

Your personal and professional development

The Department of Social Sciences is committed to helping you develop the skills and attributes you need to progress successfully in your chosen career.

Future career prospects

The programme is in full compliance with the Economic and Social Research Council’s requirements for an MSc in Social Science Research. On completion of the course, a student will have met the training requirements for PhD funding from the ESRC, opening up the possibility of securing PhD funding from the ESRC.

Your personal development

Our Social Science Research (Communication and Media) programme provides an opportunity to develop specialised research skills in communication and media within a school that is internationally renowned in this field.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Our academics

Our master's programmes in the Department of Social Sciences are delivered by an internationally renowned interdisciplinary team, through the use of contemporary case studies and research-informed applied teaching and learning.