Taught course

Health Research

University of Essex · School of Health and Human Sciences

Entry requirements

A 2.1 degree in a relevant subject (typically social sciences, health sciences or health studies) or equivalent professional standing

Months of entry


Course content

Our MA Health Research is one of two programmes we offer that can either be taken simply as Masters-level programmes or alternatively can be used as the Masters element of our ESRC-accredited pathways for our Doctoral Training Centre.

MA Health Research offers a grounding and substantive introduction to the key methodological and theoretical components required to undertake health related research from a social scientific perspective. It combines quantitative and qualitative research perspectives from the areas of sociological research methods and the specific application of these research methods to the burgeoning health context (burgeoning in the sense of an ageing population and increased need for health care).

As part of our ESRC-funded doctoral training pathway, tour content, aims and outcomes are closely allied to the ESRC '7 Global Research Challenges' criteria. This currently means that our course is focussed on developing areas of scholarship in terms of the issues of Health, Well-being and Psychosocial Issues, Understanding Individual Behaviour and Global Economic Performance, Policy and Management.

Our course should be of interest if you wish to pursue a career in health related research, or employment in health related governmental and non-governmental organisations, or to pursue further postgraduate study to doctoral level. It is taught across our School and Institute for Social and Economic Research, drawing upon both substantive and methodological expertise from within these schools. This is a unique opportunity for you to study within an interdisciplinary environment.

Our programme aims:
1. To provide advanced training in researching psychosocial aspects of health and wellbeing;
2. To provide a solid understanding of the epistemological debates concerning different approaches to research in the organisation and provision of healthcare; and
3. To provide firm knowledge of core substantive areas of social science, organisational studies and health, eg health policy, public health, epidemiology, medical sociology.

Our School of Health and Human Sciences offers a multidisciplinary environment with an excellent reputation for research and teaching. We submitted with our Department of Sociology in the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE, December 2008) and were awarded joint first in the UK. Within our School, our educational provision meets professional regulatory requirements and achieves high standards. We do so by having staff that are multi-professional, including clinically-qualified lecturers, sociologists and social policy and management specialists, so they have clinical and academic credibility.

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5.

Fees and funding

This course has ESRC Doctoral Training Centre accreditation, meaning it can form part of a 1+3 funding opportunity worth up to £18,000 each for talented postgraduates. The University is one of only 21 ESRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. Some University of Essex studentships also available.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations33
Written coursework / continuous assessment34
Dissertation33 (12000 words)

Course contact details

Graduate Administrator
+44 (0)1206 872719