Taught course

Social Research (Social Work and Professional Practice)

University of Birmingham · Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Entry to our postgraduate programmes usually require a good Honours degree, or equivalent if you were educated outside the UK.

Months of entry

September, October

Course content

The MA Social Research (Social Work and Professional Practice) is for those who have practice experience in the fields of social work, health and social care or criminal justice, and who are interested in undertaking an academic or research career.

The MA Social Research (Social Work and Professional Practice) is recognised by the ESRC as a research training pathway designed to provide you with a sound background in overall research design and the most up-to-date training in methods, including data collection and analysis for potential doctoral students.

The MA programme includes assessed core modules and short courses (120 credits) and the completion of a 12,000 word dissertation (60 credits), while the Postgraduate Diploma includes the assessed courses only (120 credits).

Please note: this course does not provide a qualification to practice social work. If you are looking for a qualifying programme, please consider our MA Social Work.

The programme offers you a rigorous and systematic social research training, an opportunity to apply this to your particular area of policy (or practice) interest and the opportunity to study relevant aspects of policy and practice in more depth.

Core modules

  • Philosophy of Social Research (20 credits)
  • Research Design, Practice and Ethics (20 credits)
  • Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Foundations in Qualitative Research (20 credits)
  • Issues and Debates in Social Work (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (MA only) (60 credits)

Optional Modules (20 credits):

  • Multivariate Linear and Logistic Regression (10 credits)
  • Factor Analysis (10 credits)
  • Narrative Research (10 credits)
  • Visual Research Methods (10 credits)
  • Researching Disability (10 credits)
  • Approaches to Research on Discourse (10 credits)
  • Policy Evaluation (10 credits)
  • Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis (10 credits)
  • Secondary Data Analysis in Social Research (10 credits)
  • Using and Producing Research (10 credits)
  • Activity Theory and its Research Applications (10 credits)
  • Ethnographic Methods: Ethics, Politics (10 credits)
  • Practice (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Time Series Regression (10 credits)
  • Introduction to Econometric Software (10 credits)
  • Analysing Hierarchical and Panel Data (10 credits)

Students registered for the MA in the college or in one of the schools (named MA programmes below) can select up to 40 credits of modules from their school MA programmes instead of four advanced training courses:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Local Government and Public Policy
  • Social Policy
  • Social Research (Social Work and Professional Practice)

Information for international students

International applicants will be required to hold an IELTs of 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each band or equivalent qualification.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service