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Alumni Profiles

Below are profiles of Methodology graduates, sharing what they have been up to since completing their degree.

The MSc in Social Research Methods provided an opportunity for me to focus on the different methods that are used in the social sciences through a wide-ranging and diverse set of course options.

Joe Strong - MSc in Social Research Methods 2017/18

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I came to the Department of Methodology as part of my Economic and Social Research Council funded PhD. The MSc in Social Research Methods provided an opportunity for me to focus on the different methods that are used in the social sciences through a wide-ranging and diverse set of course options.

Coming from a qualitative background, it gave me the chance to start from scratch and build my quantitative skills through their core and additional courses. I was able to put these into practice with my dissertation under the supervision of Flora Cornish and the support of Jouni Kuha. (I’m also finally able to read quantitative papers and engage with their methodology, which has been an invaluable new skill!).

Currently, I am working on my PhD in Demography in the LSE Department of Social Policy, focusing on the relationships between men, masculinities and emergency contraception and abortion in Ghana. In pursuing a mixed methods research design, involving collecting data through a survey, focus groups and interviews, the skills I honed during my MSc have given me an incredible methodological foundation from which to build. In addition, I have worked as a researcher on projects and papers relating to abortion and healthcare services across the world, and recently finished working as an Occasional Research Fellow on a funding bid from the Department of International Development.

If you want to know more about my experience and the work I am doing now, please don’t hesitate to contact me on j.strong3@lse.ac.uk

Daniel Jeong - MSc in Social Research Methods 2013/4

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Currently, I am a User Experience Research within Facebook’s Community Integrity team, which aims to protect people from negative experiences on the platform. My work addresses some complex topics such as security and misinformation. I use various research methods to identify user needs and then work with cross-functional partners (e.g., product managers, designers, engineers, data scientists) to transform our products. These recommendations ultimately serve to improve the experiences of users across the Facebook suite of products (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger WhatsApp, etc.).

Facebook’s Research team comprises individuals with academic and applied backgrounds, such as social psychology, sociology, human factors and human-computer interaction. The MSc in Social Research Methods taught me how to design meaningful research projects and measure abstract concepts and variables. At the same time, I refined my abilities to conduct a wide range of research, including surveys, focus groups and ethnography.

 

Tze Ming Mok - MSc in Social Research Methods 2013/14

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The MSc in Social Research Methods has equipped me very well for both an applied research career and for academia. In that sense, it’s a great dual-purpose MSc, like one of those reversible travel tops. I found out about the MSc when a friend on the programme smuggled me into the Peacock Theatre one lunchtime, knowing I was getting bored of my career in NGO communications. After watching Jouni Kuha explain boxplots, I was hooked.

I was a returning student and at least a decade older than much of my cohort when I enrolled for the MSc. I also had not done maths since 5th form. But the attitude to quantitative beginners on the course was accepting and gentle, and the collegiality of the small department was strong. Crucially, there was a mutual respect across the methodological specialties amongst the faculty, and the MSc required students to study methods across the full ‘toolbox’ of methods – both quantitative and qualitative. After I completed the MSc, this proved very helpful in the job market, and I worked as a researcher at NatCen Social Research, evaluating government welfare programmes using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

I then started a PhD in the LSE Social Policy Department on ethnic enumeration methods from a critical race perspective, which I completed in three years because the MSc Social Research Methods makes you really good at designing research proposals that you can complete in three years.

I now live back in my home country of New Zealand, where I am an Associate Investigator with Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence focusing on complex systems and the intersection of STEM, society, and indigenous knowledge. I am also an applied researcher for the New Zealand thinktank The Workshop, which specialises in evidence-based methods of communication to support progressive social policy in the digital era. I currently serve on the council of the Population Association of New Zealand. My favourite plots are still boxplots. 

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There was a mutual respect across the methodological specialties amongst the faculty, and the MSc required students to study methods across the full ‘toolbox’ of methods – both quantitative and qualitative.