Introduction

MRes in Social Science offers you the opportunity to develop advanced social science research skills.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MRes
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen
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The MRes in Social Science is a one-year research degree, combining specialist and generic methods training to equip students with transferable skills for graduate employment in the public, private and third sector. It also lays the foundation to undertake advanced doctoral studies. The degree programme comprises four taught courses, two per semester, followed by a supervised research project in the summer semester. The MRes is recognised under the Economic and Social Research Council’s Scottish Doctoral Training Programme, Sociology Pathway. The Diploma in Social Science Research, comprising of four taught courses, also offers intensive training which is recognised under the Scottish Government’s Student Awards Scheme (SAAS).

The MRes programme is tailored to provide the methodological training and critical capacity for advanced research in social science. It gives you the knowledge, understanding and competence to deploy qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis in the conduct of theoretically informed research. The dissertation allows you to develop practical, intellectual and critical skills in a substantive area of your interest. The skills gained can be used across many employment areas.

For most courses in the programme, students gain experience with specific research methods by applying them to address substantive topics of their choosing. In this way, students can customise their methods training around their particular social science interests.

Available Programmes of Study

Social Science

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MRes 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Science (SL5512)

30 Credit Points

All researchers need to understand quantitative research, not only those who carry it out themselves. Everyone comes across quantitative research in literature reviews and even in the press. In this course students will acquire an understanding of the most common quantitative methods they are likely to use or come across in published social science research. The module will encompass different types of quantitative study and address issues such as when quantitative methods are appropriate, how quantitative questions are formulated, research design, sampling (both online and offline), scale construction, reliability and validity and ethical practices in quantitative research and design.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Quantitative Analysis in Social Science (SL5513)

30 Credit Points

This course familiarises students with quantitative research techniques commonly used in the social sciences. It begins by covering the basic concepts underlying quantitative methods and the fundamental statistical techniques used for analysing relationships between two variables. The main part of the course focuses on multiple regression analysis, perhaps the most widely used technique in quantitative social science research. Students gain practical knowledge by undertaking two research reports to assess a substantive topic of their choosing.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Candidates must choose one dissertation course from the following:

Dissertation in Political Research (PI5904)

60 Credit Points

This is a compulsory element on the MRes Political Research programme.

View detailed information about this course
Dissertation in Social Research (SO5909)

60 Credit Points

Students wishing to complete the MRes in Social Research must submit a research dissertation. The MRes training courses are designed to assist students in identifying an area of study and in writing a proposal to carry out work on s supervised piece of independent research of their own. The dissertation is 14,000 words in length with a 500 word summary.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Science (SL5011)

30 Credit Points

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods: This course introduces students to a range of methods used in qualitative sociological research (such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, diaries, photography and film, and archived data sources). The emphasis will be on the research process, from project design to analysis and presentation, with methodological issues raised in the context of researchable questions. Issues of reliability, representativeness and validity, and the potential for combining methods will be addressed. Students use the course work to develop their research interests and reflect on their research practices.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses
Theories and Issues in Political Science and Ir (PI5022)

30 Credit Points

This course provides the theoretical/conceptual underpinning for the MRes in Political essential Research. It examines some of the central theoretical approaches in the study of political science and international relations which will be used to critically approach an analysis of a number of contemporary issues. Issues to be addressed will include, but are not confined to, the debates surrounding: Globalization; the European Union; Nationalism and Human Rights. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to apply these theoretical approaches to the analysis of issues within their own field of interest.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Social Theory (SO5014)

30 Credit Points

Karl Popper argued, wisely, at least this time, that ‘all languages are theory-impregnated’. In this course we learn to reflect explicitly about that which may otherwise simply remain implicit in empirical sociological examination. In this project, we are assisted by important thinkers who have developed distinctive and influential ways of considering the social. We begin with classical sociological theory (Marx, Weber, Nietzsche) before moving on to the work of more recent social thought (including, Actor Network Theory and Dorothy Smith), giving students an advanced working knowledge of the most important theoretical tools available to jobbing social scientists.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact socscipg@abdn.ac.uk.

MRes 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Advanced Qualitative Methods in Social Science (SL5011)

30 Credit Points

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods: This course introduces students to a range of methods used in qualitative sociological research (such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, diaries, photography and film, and archived data sources). The emphasis will be on the research process, from project design to analysis and presentation, with methodological issues raised in the context of researchable questions. Issues of reliability, representativeness and validity, and the potential for combining methods will be addressed. Students use the course work to develop their research interests and reflect on their research practices.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Candidates must choose one of the following:

Theories and Issues in Political Science and Ir (PI5022)

30 Credit Points

This course provides the theoretical/conceptual underpinning for the MRes in Political essential Research. It examines some of the central theoretical approaches in the study of political science and international relations which will be used to critically approach an analysis of a number of contemporary issues. Issues to be addressed will include, but are not confined to, the debates surrounding: Globalization; the European Union; Nationalism and Human Rights. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to apply these theoretical approaches to the analysis of issues within their own field of interest.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Social Theory (SO5014)

30 Credit Points

Karl Popper argued, wisely, at least this time, that ‘all languages are theory-impregnated’. In this course we learn to reflect explicitly about that which may otherwise simply remain implicit in empirical sociological examination. In this project, we are assisted by important thinkers who have developed distinctive and influential ways of considering the social. We begin with classical sociological theory (Marx, Weber, Nietzsche) before moving on to the work of more recent social thought (including, Actor Network Theory and Dorothy Smith), giving students an advanced working knowledge of the most important theoretical tools available to jobbing social scientists.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Science (SL5512)

30 Credit Points

All researchers need to understand quantitative research, not only those who carry it out themselves. Everyone comes across quantitative research in literature reviews and even in the press. In this course students will acquire an understanding of the most common quantitative methods they are likely to use or come across in published social science research. The module will encompass different types of quantitative study and address issues such as when quantitative methods are appropriate, how quantitative questions are formulated, research design, sampling (both online and offline), scale construction, reliability and validity and ethical practices in quantitative research and design.

View detailed information about this course
Advanced Quantitative Analysis in Social Science (SL5513)

30 Credit Points

This course familiarises students with quantitative research techniques commonly used in the social sciences. It begins by covering the basic concepts underlying quantitative methods and the fundamental statistical techniques used for analysing relationships between two variables. The main part of the course focuses on multiple regression analysis, perhaps the most widely used technique in quantitative social science research. Students gain practical knowledge by undertaking two research reports to assess a substantive topic of their choosing.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Candidates must take one dissertation course from the following:

Dissertation in Political Research (PI5904)

60 Credit Points

This is a compulsory element on the MRes Political Research programme.

View detailed information about this course
Dissertation in Social Research (SO5909)

60 Credit Points

Students wishing to complete the MRes in Social Research must submit a research dissertation. The MRes training courses are designed to assist students in identifying an area of study and in writing a proposal to carry out work on s supervised piece of independent research of their own. The dissertation is 14,000 words in length with a 500 word summary.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £9,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £19,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Teaching includes a range of interactive methods and approaches to learning in order to enhance students’ critical thinking, presentation and interpersonal skills. MSc: 12 months full-time, over 3 semesters/24 months part-time over 6 semesters. Courses are taught on an 11 week basis per semesters. Students will typically attend six hours of lectures/seminars per week. Prospective students requiring a visa to study in the UK are advised to apply as early as possible to secure a place. Applicants received after 30 June (September intake) from students who need to apply for a visa will not be processed in time for entry, but will be considered for entry into the next intake as appropriate.

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessment takes a variety of forms, including essays, assignments, reports and presentations for each individual course module and a 15,000 word dissertation on an agreed independent topic relevant to the Masters Programme. The variety of assessment in the programme ensures that students apply theory to practice and become expert communicators and team players. The programme is designed for full-time or part-time students

Why Study Social Science?

The MRes in Social Science provides you with an excellent range of research and analytical skills which are in demand across the globe.  

The MRes in Social Science is taught by a dynamic community of scholars, all of which are research experts in their field.  

The MRes is an interdisciplinary research programme taught in the School of Social Science. The School provides an exciting and vibrant research-led environment of the highest quality.   

The MRes in Social Science provides you with the flexibility to work within the public, private and third sector organizations in many contexts, including policy.  

The MRes in Social Science is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Centre (ESRC) as well as the Scottish Government Postgraduate Student Award Scheme.  

We provide a number of related research centres, such as the Institute for Conflict, Transition, and Peace Research (ICTPR) and the Centre for Global Security and Governance, as well as a world-class library, computer facilities, reading rooms, study spaces and a range of cafes to suit all international tastes.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Applicants for admission will normally be expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with a 2:1 standard from a recognised university or body.

Applicants without this qualification may be admitted subject to having an alternative qualification, or an approved level of work experience appropriate to the field of study. Also taken into careful consideration is the trajectory of results, an applicant without an overall 2.1 but with 2.1 results in their final two years of study may be admitted.

The MRes is a research degree in the sense that, alongside courses in research methods, students work out their own specific research topic under the supervision of the department. Many students, but not all, intend to go on to study for a PhD, in which case the dissertation written at the end of the MRes may serve as the foundation of a PhD research proposal. To apply for MRes, please include a short outline of your intended research theme. This need not be very detailed, up to about 1000 words in length.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference x 2
two reference letters, one of which should be from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employers, or other professional individuals

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Careers

Academic

Research organisations

Non government organisations

Charities Government organisations

International organisations

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Dr Christopher Kollmeyer

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Features

The Institute for Conflict, Transition and Peace Research

ICTPR at the University of Aberdeen brings together a diverse and interdisciplinary group of scholars and students to develop in-depth theoretical understandings of the concepts and practices of transitions in terms of conflict and peace.

Find out more

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Social Science
University of Aberdeen
Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
Aberdeen
AB24 3QY