Introduction

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

This programme is studied on campus.

The MRes in Social Research is a one-year research degree, combining specialist and generic training to equip you to undertake advanced doctoral study and to conduct social research in the public, private and third sectors. 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 & Social Research Council’s Scottish Doctoral Training Program, Sociology Pathway. The Diploma in Social Research, comprising of the four taught courses, also offers an intensive training which is recognised under the Scottish Government’s Postgraduate Awards Scheme (PSAS).

The MRes programme provides you with an advanced training in social research. It equips you with the skills needed to undertake independent research based on a wide range of methodologies. The dissertation allows you to develop practical, intellectual and critical skills in an area of your interest. The skills gained can be used across many employment areas and if you wish, to undertake a PhD in Sociology, the programme provides the support and training required to complete the first stages of doctoral research.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MRes, PgCert, PgDip or RPS
Duration
4 months, 9 months, 12 months, 21 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September, Any Month or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen

Study Options

MRes 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time January
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Quantitative Sociology: Philosophy & Methods (SO5523) - 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 sociological 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

Approaches to Quantitative Analysis in Social Research (SL5511) - 30 Credit Points

The course utilises secondary sources to demonstrate approaches to data analysis of social surveys. It provides a review of techniques suited to different data types, including categorical data in the form of tables and 'yes' and 'no' outcomes in multivariate analysis. The course makes comparisons among social groups and between societies in cross-sectional and longtitudinal designs that include control, moderating and mediating factors in explanatory models. Students identify a topic and undertake their own analysis of a secondary data source to produce two research reports. Those two report comprise the total assessment for the course.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

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

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods (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

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

MRes 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

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

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods (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

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Quantitative Sociology: Philosophy & Methods (SO5523) - 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 sociological 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

Approaches to Quantitative Analysis in Social Research (SL5511) - 30 Credit Points

The course utilises secondary sources to demonstrate approaches to data analysis of social surveys. It provides a review of techniques suited to different data types, including categorical data in the form of tables and 'yes' and 'no' outcomes in multivariate analysis. The course makes comparisons among social groups and between societies in cross-sectional and longtitudinal designs that include control, moderating and mediating factors in explanatory models. Students identify a topic and undertake their own analysis of a secondary data source to produce two research reports. Those two report comprise the total assessment for the course.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

A dissertation of at least 15,000 words in length must be submitted by all students. Students intending to continue to PhD can use the dissertation to clarify their research question, review appropriate literature, explain and defend their research methods, and analyse and describe their preliminary findings.

For students completing their studies with the Masters of Research in Social Research the dissertation will report on a completed piece of independent research.

Compulsory Courses

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

PgCert 4 months or 9 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

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

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods (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

PgDip 9 months or 21 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

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

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods (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

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Quantitative Sociology: Philosophy & Methods (SO5523) - 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 sociological 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

Approaches to Quantitative Analysis in Social Research (SL5511) - 30 Credit Points

The course utilises secondary sources to demonstrate approaches to data analysis of social surveys. It provides a review of techniques suited to different data types, including categorical data in the form of tables and 'yes' and 'no' outcomes in multivariate analysis. The course makes comparisons among social groups and between societies in cross-sectional and longtitudinal designs that include control, moderating and mediating factors in explanatory models. Students identify a topic and undertake their own analysis of a secondary data source to produce two research reports. Those two report comprise the total assessment for the course.

View detailed information about this course

RPS 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time Any Month

Please contact socscipg@abdn.ac.uk for more information about this programme.

Course Availability

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.

PROGRAMME LENGTH

MSc: 12 months full time- over 3 semesters.
Courses are taught on a 12 week basis per semester Students will typically attend six hours of lectures/seminars per week.
Intakes:September or 24 months part-time
Prospective students requiring a visa to study in the UK are advised to apply as early as possible to secure a place. Applications 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.
The semester order below is for September entrants.
The programme consists of 180 credit points taken over the duration of one year.
Teaching includes a range of interactive methods and approaches to learning in order to enhance students’ critical thinking, presentation and interpersonal skills.
Courses are assessed through essays, presentations, group and project work. 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

Learning Methods

  • 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 Research?

  • MRes Social Research at University of Aberdeen is taught by top research experts in their field.
  • The MRes Social Research at Aberdeen gives you an advanced grounding in top level research ability.
  • The MRes Social Research provides you with the flexibility to work within public, private and third sector organizations in many contexts including policy.
  • The MRes is recognised by the Scottish Government Postgraduate Awards Scheme.
  • We provide a wide range of related research centres which include the Centre for European Survey Research and the New Europe Centre -Centre for Global Security and Governance.
  • We provide world-class library, computer facilities, reading rooms, study spaces and a range of cafes to suit all international tastes. The campus (1459) provides a stunning mix of old and new buildings which are on the tourist map for Scotland and the UK due to their architectural relevance and heritage.

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 are expected to hold a relevant Honours degree with at least 2:1 standard from a recognised educational body. In exceptional circumstances, applicants without this qualification may be admitted if they have an alternative qualification, or an approved level of work experience. Two academic references are also required for application.

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 serves as 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 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

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

MRes 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time January

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

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £15,000
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
PgCert 4 months or 9 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September

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

PgDip 9 months or 21 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September

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

RPS 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time Any Month

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

Additional Fees

  • 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.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Academic
Research organisations
Non government organisations
Charities
Government organisations
International organisations

Career Opportunities

  • Charity Fundraiser
  • Government Official
  • International Non-Governmental Officer
  • Junior Lecturer
  • Researcher

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.

Facilities

Centre for European Survey Research

The ECSR has Associate Survey Agencies in more than 100 countries worldwide and can offer basic and applied research in form of quantitative and qualitative surveys as well as other empirical research tools in the social and economic sciences.

Centre for Global Security and Governance

The Centre for Global Security and Governance brings together academic experts, policy makers, and students to define, analyse, and propose remedies to the most pressing security and governance challenges the world faces in the 21st century.

New Europe Centre

The New Europe Centre represents a group of researchers at the University of Aberdeen with projects from a number of different funding sources. We are committed to doing quality research in order to better understand the world around us.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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