Research course

Social Sciences Research Methodology

University of Nottingham · Methods and Data Institute

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Entry requirements

Masters (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline, with an average of 63% or above, and 2:1 at undergraduate level (or international equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

A PhD is the most advanced form of postgraduate study. It is awarded on the successful completion of supervised research, verbal examination and final thesis.

You will normally need to take four intensive clinics with the Methods and Data Institute in your first two years, which teach the theory and practice of a particular research method.

Students without sufficient background in research methods may also be required to take additional taught modules in their first year. These will typically cover research design, philosophy of social sciences, qualitative methods and quantitative methods.

Methods and data research areas include:

  • methodological research, focusing on studies of measurement and operationalisation, complex data structures, research design, multivariate analysis and textual analysis
  • comparative social research, in the context of a number of large scale, EU-wide collaborative research projects about citizens, political parties, media, social movements and political institutions
  • political and social attitudes and behaviour, based on work collecting data about parties and voters in various contexts
  • systematic analysis of text, developing and applying automated methods of content analysis to political text such as speeches and manifestos to determine topic, content, and the ideological positions of actors

All applicants will be expected to pass an interview, to be conducted in person, via Skype or on the phone.

Information for international students

IELTS: 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Fees and funding

See information on how to fund your studies, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Support Hub
+44 (0)115 951 5559