Taught course

Making Use of Digital Research (Online Distance Learning)

University of Edinburgh · School of Social and Political Science

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in social sciences. Given the applied nature of the programme, professional experience may compensate for lower than normal academic entry requirements subject to the decision of the programme director. Applicants with a degree in business studies or political sciences may be accepted, subject to appraisal by the programme director and the completion of recommended pre-session reading. If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English. IELTS minimum score IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module) Other accepted tests and scores TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module) PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections) CPE: Grade B; CAE: Grade A

Months of entry


Course content

This Postgraduate Certificate is aimed at commissioners, coordinators and users of digital research in business, policy-making and the third sector, including digital marketing and analytical services officers.

The PGCert comprises a suite of courses that together provide the critical understanding and skills needed to make best use of digital research findings, with a particular focus on social media research, web 2.0 data and their synergies with publicly available ‘open’ administrative datasets. These skills include:

  • understanding the production and consumption of automatic measures of user/citizen/customer feedback online
  • making best use of evidence from digital data analysis to inform business and policy decision-making
  • organising interdisciplinary strategies for digital research groups
  • identifying and accessing relevant expertise to undertake digital research for business and policy
  • anticipating future evolution and potential use of the digital research service market

Based on the latest research into the social and economic influences on how digital research is being developed and used, this PGCert is designed both for novices and for more experienced professionals who need to maintain a critical appreciation of the fast moving field of digital research.

Qualification and course duration


part time
12 months

Course contact details

Graduate School of Social and Political Science
+44 (0)131 651 5122