Long Essay and the Research Process

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Tim Newburn Old 2.40a


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Criminal Justice Policy, MSc in Population and Development, MSc in Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy), MSc in Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning), MSc in Social Policy and Development and MSc in Social Policy and Development: Non-Governmental Organisations. This course is not available as an outside option.

For all MSc Social Policy programmes involving a dissertation or long essay. Exemptions at the discretion of the course tutor. Lecture notes will be available electronically via Social Policy public folders (for part-time students)

Course content

The course aims to provide an understanding of issues associated with the research process in the context of MSc Social Policy long essays. It includes an examination of philosophical issues underpinning research methods in social policy, the place of different research methods (qualitative and quantitative) in social policy and the process of writing a long essay.


2 hours of lectures in the MT. 3 hours of lectures in the LT.

Indicative reading

Three useful texts are: Alan Bryman (2012) Social Research Methods, 4th edition Oxford University Press; C Robson, Real world research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers, 3rd edition Oxford University Press, 2011; N S R Wallimann, Your Research Project: A step-by-step guide for the first-time researcher, Sage, 2001.


Non-examinable. It is expected that the student's dissertation will be informed by the course and appropriate discussion of methodological issues will be incorporated in all dissertations.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2016/17: 183

Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable

Controlled access 2016/17: No

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information