Taught course

Methods of Social Research

University of Kent · School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Entry requirements

A good honours degree in a relevant subject. In certain circumstances, the School will consider applicants who have not followed a conventional education path and these cases are assessed individually.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA Methods of Social Research provides essential training for employment where an understanding of social research is important, as well as for further academic research in a social science discipline.

This MA programme at Kent exposes students to a wide range of thinking and approaches in social science research presented in a multi-disciplinary context and at an advanced level.

The focus of the programme is on developing practical skills in data collection, in data analysis and interpretation, and in the presentation of research findings so that students gain insight into the research process from design to the production of new knowledge.

More generally students will broaden their understanding of the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues that matter in research, will become aware of debates about the relationship between theory and research and between research, policy and practice.

Course structure Master's (MA)

The MA programme consists of:

  • four compulsory one-unit modules (total of 80 credits, 40 ECTS)
  • two optional one-unit modules or one two-unit module (total of 40 credits, 20 ECTS)
  • and a supervised dissertation (60 credits, 30 ECTS).

The compulsory modules are:

The dissertation will be on a topic of your choosing and involves carrying out original empirical research using the research methods covered in modules.

Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma (PCert/PDip)

There is the option to take this programme as a Postgraduate Certificate, where you just take the four compulsory modules (80 credits). The Certificate is offered to all registered PhD students (part-time or full-time) within the Faculty of Social Sciences (not only to SSPSSR students) free of charge subject to supervisors’ consent.

You can also take it as a Postgraduate Diploma, where you take the four compulsory modules and two optional modules but without taking the dissertation (120 credits).

Full time or part-time?

The Programme can be taken either full-time over one year or part-time over two years. For part-time students, in the first year you take 'Design of Social Research' and 'Qualitative Data Analysis.' In the second year, you take 'Quantitative Research' and 'Using Research – Advanced Critical Skills'. Additional credits will be obtained from optional modules offered within the Faculty.

Information for international students

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Fees and funding

Please visit our funding web pages for the most current opportunities and application details.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (subject enquiries)
+44 (0)1227 823684
+44 (0)1227 827005