Programmes

MSc Social Research Methods

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Methodology
  • Application code L3T1
  • Starting 2019
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • UK/EU part-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Overseas part-time: Closed
  • Location: London

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 the opportunity to focus on a substantive social science area.

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.

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

The MSc Social Research Methods (Gender) is offered as a 1+3 PhD programme, in conjunction with the MPhil/PhD Gender (Social Research Methods)
The MSc Social Research Methods (Population) is offered as a 1+3 PhD programme, in conjunction with the MPhil/PhD Demography/Population Studies.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Social Research Methods
Start date 30 September 2019
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Applications 2017 98
Intake 2017 27
Tuition fee UK/EU: £14,088
Overseas £21,744
Financial support Graduate Support Scheme (deadline 26 April 2019), ESRC funding as part of a four-year award (deadline 7 January 2019)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in social science. Relevant professional experience also considered
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Standard (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

The programme has two parts. In the first part you will complete a mix of modules in research design, quantitative research methods and qualitative research methods (to a total of two units) as well as a dissertation (one unit). Within the programme regulations of the degree, you are able to tailor this mix of modules to emphasise either quantitative methods or qualitative methods. In the second part, for all students other than those on the Gender, Population or Social Policy streams (which have their own lists of options), courses to the value of one full unit can be taken from a range of optional courses.

(*denotes half unit)

In summary the programme will comprise

Research Design*

You will select one or two half units from a selection of Methodology courses that cover research design.  This will include a mandatory core half unit module that provides a broad introduction to a range of principles of social research design.

Quantitative Research Methods

You will select one or two half units from a range of Methodology (and subject to certain conditions being met, possibly Statistics) courses that cover quantitative data analysis from a basic to an advanced level.

Qualitative Research Methods*
You will select on or two half units from a range of Methodology courses that cover methods of qualitative data collection and analysis from a basic to an advanced level. 

Dissertation
An independent research project of 10,000 words on an approved topic of your choice.

Courses to the value of one unit from a range of options (the options available to you depend on the stream of the degree you have chosen).

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Careers

Almost 50 per cent of the graduates of this programme have entered PhD programmes, or are working in social research in universities or national and local government.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Fernando Barranzuela

MSc Social Research Methods, 2011 
Director of Postgraduate Programmes, Universidad de Piura (Peru)

 FERNANDOBARRANZUELA170x230jpg

I chose the MSc in Social Research Methods at LSE because it gave specific training in social research methods for marketing research. Also, I was looking for research training to apply for a doctoral program, which I am currently doing at Henley Business School. LSE was an unforgettable experience! For my family and I, the LSE experience has been one of the greatest milestones in our lives. 

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Student stories

Laura Sochas, France

MSc Social Research Methods

The programme prepares you really well for both applied and academic research. It’s very practical. There are almost as many teachers as students, so you can get lots of help if you need it, particularly for your dissertation. The department’s atmosphere is relaxed and collaborative, with great administrative support, which contributes to a stress-free experience. It’s inter-disciplinary as well, meaning everyone has different research interests.

I feel like the quality and breadth of methods training available has been invaluable in terms of building my skills both for research consultancies and academic research. I worked for four years in health research before my masters, which made me appreciate even more how important these skills are to being a confident and independent researcher. I find that in the professional world, it’s much easier to pick up content knowledge than methodological knowledge so I would definitely recommend using your masters to pick up practical methods skills.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- academic statement of purpose
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

This programme is available as part of an ESRC-funded pathway onto a PhD programme. The 1+3 scheme provides funding for a one year research training master's linked to a PhD programme and is designed for students who have not already completed an ESRC recognised programme of research training. An application must be submitted for the relevant master’s programme, including a research proposal for the PhD aspect of the pathway. Applicants must also indicate their wish to be considered for the 1+3 pathway within their personal statement.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details. 

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Social Research Methods

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in social science. Relevant professional experience also considered.

In addition, for this programme, if your first language is not English, you must submit a writing sample of five-ten typewritten pages.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission. 

See international entry requirements

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2019/20 for MSc Social Research Methods

UK/EU students: £14,088
Overseas students: £21,744

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

This programme is available as part of an ESRC-funded pathway onto a PhD programme. The 1+3 scheme provides funding for a one year research training master's linked to a PhD programme and is designed for students who have not already completed an ESRC recognised programme of research training. An application must be submitted for the relevant master’s programme, including a research proposal for the PhD aspect of the pathway. Applicants must also indicate their wish to be considered for the 1+3 pathway within their personal statement.

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 

Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 26 April 2019.
Funding deadline for ESRC funding: 7 January 2019. 

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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