Students Desk

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

MSc Social Research Methods is now open for 2023/24 applications.

Visit the MSc in Social Research Methods online prospectus page.

MSc Social Research Methods 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 some way 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. 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.


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 Social Research Methods Handbook and MSc Social Research Methods Moodle for programme information.