Social Science Research (Social Policy) MSc

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
Full-time:
1 year
Part-time:
2 years
Start date:
October 2018
UK/EU fees:
£7,750
International fees:
£17,100
Location:
Loughborough

Achievements

Accredited

by the ESRC

5th

in the UK for sociology

The Times Good University Guide 2017

Overview

Our Social Science Research (Social Policy) MSc programme provides you with a comprehensive overview of the key methodological and philosophical debates that currently shape social sciences. It also provides an opportunity to develop specialised research methods skills in social policy in an internationally renowned department for Social Policy research.

The Social Science Research (Social Policy) programme consists of compulsory and optional modules, delivered across four different academic schools within the University, which means you benefit from an interdisciplinary approach to your studies. The academic schools involved are:

  • School of Social, Political, and Geographical Sciences
  • School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences
  • School of Business and Economics
  • School of Science.

On completion of the Social Science Research (Social Policy) programme, you will have met the MSc training requirements for PhD funding from the ESRC, opening up the possibility of securing PhD funding from the ESRC. Further information regarding the future career prospects associated with this programme can be found below.

The modules are taught by leading researchers selected for their expertise in the taught research methods and topics.

What makes this programme different?

The Social Policy courses in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough Universities are consistently rated in the top-15 UK Social Policy courses by national league tables.

The Department of Social Sciences hosts the prestigious Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) which over the past 30 years has developed an international reputation for high quality applied policy research. Most prominently, CRSP is currently involved in the study of the Minimum Income Standard programme.

The School of Social Political and Geographical Sciences is the home to the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture (CRCC). Established in 1991, the centre has since grown to be one of the largest of its kind in the UK. The CRCC’s core topics 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 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, you will have met the training requirements for PhD funding from the ESRC, opening up the possibility of securing PhD funding from the ESRC.

Who should study this programme?

  • Individuals wishing to pursue a career in academia
  • Social policy 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 (Social Policy) MSc programme is 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.

Modules

Social Science Research (Social Policy) 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 - 20 credits

This module introduces students to the philosophical foundations of social science research. It provides an overview of the different ontological and epistemological bases of social scientific research methods and theories.

Assessment

Typically this module is assessed by 100% coursework, although the university reserves the right to alter this.

Quantitative Research Methods - 20 credits

This module provides advances training in quantitative research methods, developing students’ skills of collecting, cleaning, and analysing quantitative data, using specialist software.

Assessment

Typically this module is assessed by 100% coursework, although the university reserves the right to alter this.

Research Design and Practice - 20 credits

This module introduces students to research methodologies, enabling them to develop essential skills for planning a realistic research design for their dissertation.

Assessment

Typically this module is assessed by 100% coursework, although the university reserves the right to alter this.

Qualitative Research Methods - 20 credits

This module advances students qualitative research skills, providing training in a range of qualitative and interpretative methods. It also develops students’ critical thinking about measurement in social science research and about the appropriate representation of research findings.

Assessment

Typically this module is assessed by 75% coursework and 25% oral poster presentation, although the university reserves the right to alter this.

Specialist Research Methods: Understanding Social Policy Research

This module will introduce students to social policy development by drawing on a range of perspectives, theories, and concepts. It will illustrate how social policies are created, implemented and evaluated.

Assessment

Typically this module is assessed by 100% coursework, although the university reserves the right to alter this.

Dissertation

In this module students will design, conduct, analyse and report an original empirical study within the field of social policy.

Optional modules

Doing Research with Young People in their Socio-spatial Contexts - 10 credits

This module introduces students to the specific theoretical and practical requirements associated with doing research with young people.

Assessment

Typically this module is assessed by 100% coursework, although the university reserves the right to alter this.

Advanced Content Analysis - 10 credits

This module advances students’ skills of doing computer-assisted content analysis and students’ knowledge of statistical textual analysis.

Assessment

Typically this module is assessed by 100% coursework, although the university reserves the right to alter this.

Methodological Advances in Applied Ethnography - 10 credits

This module advances students’ ethnographic skills by discussing innovations in ethnography, its interdisciplinary use, and its adaptation to contemporary challenges.

Assessment

Typically this module is assessed by 100% coursework, although the university reserves the right to alter this.

Applied Conversation Analysis - 10 credits

This module develops students’ skills in using conversation analysis, a novel research method for analysing talk in a range of institutional settings, which generates findings that help to improve communication.

Assessment

Typically this module is assessed by 100% coursework, although the university reserves the right to alter this.

Methodological Implications of Critical Realism - 10 credits

This module introduces students to the ontological foundations of critical realism and develops their understanding of a critical realist research design.

Assessment

Typically this module is assessed by 100% coursework, although the university reserves the right to alter this.

How you will be assessed

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

How you'll study

Seminars
Lectures
Practical sessions
Field trips
Workshops

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

On completion of the Social Science Research (Social Policy) programme, you will have met the training requirements for PhD funding from the ESRC, and will be therefore equipped to pursue a doctorate in a number of sports and exercise science fields.

Your personal development

Our Social Science Research (Social Policy) programme provides an opportunity to develop specialised research skills relating to social policy within a school that is internationally renowned in this field.

Fees and funding

UK/EU:
£7,750
International:
£17,100

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.

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