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MSc Social Research Methods

The MSc is clearly the UK market leading social research methods degree. This is true both in terms of the quality of the teaching but also in terms of the quality of the students choosing to read for it. Methodology Department students know how to do empirical research and this puts them in a different league from students graduating from other programmes in the UK.

From the 2013 Report of the External Examiner: Professor Colin Mills, Professor of Sociology, Nuffield College, Oxford.  

 

Information for prospective students

Central to the Department's activities is the MSc Social Research Methods, which, alongside the standard Social Research Methods degree, also offers more specialised streams in Social Policy, Population and Gender. The MSc programme will provide you with the opportunity to develop sophistication in research design and quantitative and qualitative research, and to undertake courses in one or more social science disciplines. You will acquire skills of ‘practical scholarship’ and the ability to design, conduct, analyse and report a social research project.

This programme draws on the range of expertise available within the Department, as well as related academic departments, in order to provide an advanced training in social research methodologies, combined with a focus on substantive social science disciplinary interests. 

The syllabus for the MSc goes someway beyond the ESRC's requirements for the first year of a 1+3 PhD programme, and it is designed as a training for doctoral research and as a pre-professional training for careers in social research in the public and private sectors. Please see the programme content for further information.

The MSc may be taken full-time over a calendar year, or part-time over two years. Please see the Calendar for further information on the programme structure.

Aims and objectives


The MSc aims to provide:

  • The skills of 'practical scholarship' built on a thorough grounding in the principles of quantitative and qualitative social research
  • An advanced training in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies
  • Experience in the design, collection, analysis and reporting of empirical social research
  • Experience of computer analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data
  • Training as a precursor to doctoral research and/or for employment in social research in the public and private sectors.


The programme outcomes are:

  • Understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies
  • Understanding of conceptual and methodological questions underlying quantitative and qualitative research
  • Ability to design, conduct, analyse and report a social research project

How to apply

All MSc programmes at LSE expect applicants to have achieved a 2.1 or equivalent in their first degree. In some cases relevant work experience can be taken into account. Please see the subject options for the MSc Social Research Methods at the graduate admissions and make your choice.  

Please Note:  Our MScs are combined under one code, LT31, for which there are ten options: Social Policy, Sociology, Social Psychology, Philosophy, Statistics, Government, Decision and Policy Sciences, Development Studies, Management and Population. Please indicate which one (or two) you are interested in in your personal statement. This is just an indication - your choice can always be changed at the start of the course if another one should prove more suitable. 

Please see graduate admissions where you can find a full prospectus and information on the admissions processes. Click here for more information on how to apply.

Funding

If you are taking the MSc Social Research Methods degree under its Population stream, you may be eligible to be nominated for scholarships awarded by The Population Investigation Committee in conjunction with the ESRC for the postgraduate study of demography. Please see ESRC/PIC Masters Studentship Scheme in Population studies for more information. If you would like to be considered for nomination for a ESRC/PIC schiolarship, please e-mail Gillian Urquhart.

Please see the Financial Support Office information about Graduate Merit Awards for the MSc Social Research Methods. This and general information about financial help for MSc students can be found at the financial support office


Current students

Please refer to the MSc Handbook for information including procedures and regulations, and visit MSc Social Research Methods Moodle for course information and submission of assignments.

See also:

MSc in Applied Social Data Science

PhD in Social Research Methods

Examples of previous dissertation titles

Reading list