Taught course

Research Methods with Human Geography

The University of Manchester · School of Environment, Education and Development

Entry requirements

Normally, we require a minimum of an upper-second bachelor's degree in a relevant field or a minimum of a merit at master's degree level in a relevant field.

Accreditation for Prior Learning will be considered. Credit would only be given for whole course units, where consideration has been given to mapping the intended learning outcomes of the unit to the evidence provided.

Months of entry


Course content

MSc Research Methods provides grounding in social science research methods, developing you as a well-rounded researcher.

You will graduate from the course able to access the full range of research in relation to your chosen specialism of human geography (pathways in education, international development, and planning and environmental management are also available), with the necessary practical skills to design, conduct and develop research studies.

The course complies with the research training requirements for ESRC scholarships for a PhD scholarship (commonly termed +3). It is also suitable as the master's year as part of an ESRC scholarship award that covers both the master's and PhD (commonly termed a 1+3 award). The course is therefore ideal if you want to apply for an ESRC scholarship or School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) scholarship, as 70% of the ESRC Core Training can be demonstrated prior to commencing a PhD.

A distinctive aspect of the course is that the strong focus on developing your research skills is combined with the opportunity to study one of the four pathway fields of education, human geography, international development, and planning and environmental management.

We believe that developing deeper and new understandings of your chosen field requires a thorough understanding of research methodology. Conversely, developing a deeper understanding of research methods is inextricably linked to the context in which research is conducted.

You will therefore study four mandatory research methods units and four units taken from the human geography pathway - which will be a mix of mandatory and elective units.

You will study and learn alongside peers from the three other related fields - fields that share strong traditions of interdisciplinary and mixed methods approaches. The course will therefore allow you to develop interdisciplinary connections within SEED, and draw upon the significant expertise from our departments in Education, Geography, Global Development, and Planning and Environmental Management.

In addition, you will attend some of the introductory PhD research training lectures, which will be supported by seminars and tutorials. This will provide you with a taste of life as a PhD student.

Information for international students

Applicants whose first language is not English should meet the following language requirements:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.5 in writing, no sub-section below 6.0
  • TOEFL iBT overall score of 90 with a minimum score of 22 in writing and 20 in the other subsections
  • Pearson PTE overall score of 59 with a minimum score of 59 in the written section and 55 in all other subsections
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) overall score of 176 or above, with 176 in writing and no sub-section below 169 - OR - Grade C if taken before January 2015.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

School of Environment, Education and Development
+44 (0) 161 275 0969