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Postgraduate Social Research Programmes

The School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy (SSHP) is home to a family of interdisciplinary Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma, and Master's programmes, designed for people who wish to develop a strong grounding in social theorising and methods, whether for the workplace or to prepare for doctoral study.


  • The programmes all provide two core modules in qualitative and quantitative methods. These satisfy Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) training requirements.
  • The qualitative module covers a range of approaches including ethnography, discourse analysis, focus groups, and interviewing, for large group designs and small-sample case studies.
  • You have a choice between two quantitative modules.
  • The introductory module is designed for students who have little prior knowledge of quantitative methods and uses the SPSS package which is popular in social research.
  • The intermediate module is for students who already know basic quantitative methods, such as how to use multiple linear regression, and wish to step beyond to, e.g., multilevel models. It uses the free software, R, which is gaining in popularity.
  • The Postgraduate Certificate allows students to obtain a formal qualification for these qualitative and quantitative modules and is ideal for people who wish to concentrate on improving their methods skills.



  • MSc and MRes students write a dissertation and work with supervisors who are leading experts in their field. Recent graduates have chosen topics including intersectional analyses of voter engagement, perceptions of LGBTQ+ Pride in London, ethical consumerism, internet memes as political activism, political independence of voluntary sector organisations, and many more. To get an idea of possibilities, please explore staff profiles across the various SSHP departments. 


  • Who studies on these programmes?
    • Students have usually studied an undergraduate degree in a social science such as sociology, politics, geography, or psychology. Many have experience working in social research, for instance in government departments, councils, charities, and other non-governmental organisations.
    • People from other disciplines are welcome too – please get in touch before applying to discuss whether these programmes would be a good match for you. 
  • What careers do the programmes lead to?
    • Graduates go into research roles, for instance, in government departments, think tanks, NGOs, and political parties. The Master’s degrees also help prepare for doctoral study and satisfy ESRC funding requirements.
  • What funding is available?