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Social Science Research Methods (Politics) (MSc/PgDip)

1 year (full-time) / 3 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

The information below relates to the Politics pathway of the MSc/PgDip Social Science Research Methods programme.

Features of the Politics Pathway

The Politics pathway through the Social Science Research Methods MSc is suitable for two groups of people:

Testimonial of a Recent Graduate

"As a former politics student, I decided to take the SSRM mostly due to my desire to become a social researcher outside of academia but still within the political sphere. I felt that it offered me the chance to develop the necessary technical skills needed to enter the profession. This course has certainly taught me a great deal about research and the requisite skills that are also applicable outside of the academic sphere. It is invigorating, mentally challenging and technically rigorous. I now feel equipped to pursue my career with what I have learned from the SSRM."

SSRM graduate (Politics pathway) more student views

Description of the Pathway

In order to have meaningful contact with research being conducted by staff in the school, students are linked to a research group. Within the Department of Politics and International Relations, the Politics and International Studies route is closely associated with the operation of the School’s research units and centres. The Politics pathway is closely involved in the activities of the EGIPP research unit, housed in the School of European Studies. The Politics pathway is an inter-disciplinary scheme with ownership across the School and affiliation to all research units.

Students will be supervised by academic staff that have extensive experience of funded research for local and national government and voluntary sector bodies, as well as experience of research collaboration with local and national organisations and good links with local policy-makers and practitioners. These staff members are actively involved in disseminating research via publications in books, academic and practitioner journals and presentations to conferences. Several staff members have been involved in editing journals related to area studies, politics and international relations.

For the taught component, students will be required to complete six 20-credit modules (5 core research modules and 1 pathway module). In all modules students have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to their Politics pathway.

European Governance & Public Policy Autumn term: The module introduces students to theories of governance and public policy, combining an introduction to theories and methods in comparative political science and key debates in analysing the European Union and Europe.
Foundations in Social Research Autumn term: The module introduces philosophical/theoretical concepts alongside practical issues of research method choice and design.
Qualitative Research Methods Autumn & Spring: This main aim of the module is to provide knowledge, training and practice in the collection, analysis and representation of qualitative data.
Quantitative Research Methods Autumn & Spring: This module introduces students to the systematic collection and analysis of quantitative data, including a broad range of commonly used statistical techniques.
Research Applications Spring term: This module critically explores the various applications of research to different settings. Students tailor their learning by selecting from a menu of options.
Core Competencies for Postgraduate Social Scientists Autumn & Spring: This module introduces students to essential postgraduate social science survival skills. The module ends with an end-of-year Student Conference.

The dissertation in the Politics pathway

On successful completion of the taught component, students prepare a dissertation (of a maximum 20,000 words) to be submitted by mid-September. The 60-credit dissertation component requires independent study. Dissertation topics are chosen by the students in agreement with their supervisors.

Recent Politics pathway thesis titles include:

Entry Requirements

A good first degree or a recognised equivalent qualification. Non-graduates will be considered if they can demonstrate, through some recent and relevant professional experience, that they have the ability to undertake the course.

This course is suitable for graduates in social science and cognate disciplines including sociology, politics, critical psychology, education, social policy and social work, criminology, management and business studies, history, area studies, geography, pedagogy, public administration, industrial and employee relations, and law.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Application Deadlines

The deadline for applications from international students for this course is 1st August 2015.

The deadline for applications from home students for this course is 1st September 2015.

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time PgDip: £6,000
MSc: £6,000
PgDip: £14,500
MSc: £14,500
Part-time PgDip: £3,000
MSc: £3,000*
PgDip: £7,250
MSc: £7,250*
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.
Notes * Fees payable in years 1 and 2 only

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Ian Stafford (SSRM - Politics pathway)  

Telephone: +44 (0)29208 70325 

Fax: +44(0)29 2087 4946 


School Website:

School Contact

Name: SSRM Administrator Contact  




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