Taught course

Social Research

University of Plymouth · Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business

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Entry requirements

Normal minimum entry requirements are 2:1 and a 200-500 words statement of intent. Candidates are interviewed before an offer is made. We will consider students below 2:1 if they can demonstrate a strong academic portfolio or a record of professional experience Other qualifications accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field may also be considered. Non-standard applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Personal statement

Applicants are required to submit a personal statement of 200-500 words addressing the following questions: Why do you want to study social research methods at Plymouth? What is your specific area of interest? What do you hope to achieve?

Months of entry


Course content

Taught by a team with national leading teaching quality metrics and nationally and internationally recognised research, the MSc Social Research combines the philosophical and methodological foundations for social research with advanced methods training.

This combination will enable you to become part of a new generation of social researchers integrating creative and imaginative critical thinking with the qualitative and quantitative tools necessary for addressing current interdisciplinary global challenges.

Key features:

Real world training: You will develop the ability to create, manipulate, analyse and interpret data to inform decision making. The strongly applied focus of the MSc Social Research will enable you to work in a variety of research settings in the public and private sectors, as well as going on to undertake further (e.g. doctoral) research. The involvement of speakers from a variety of organisations, such as the Office for National Statistics, will ensure that the programme meets the current needs of employers.

World-class research team: The programme is underpinned by our research strengths in areas such as health policy and sustainability communication. In the most recent research assessment (REF 2014) 62% of our research was judged as ‘world leading and internationally excellent’, while a further 36% was deemed ‘Internationally significant’. We have a longstanding reputation for excellence in innovative methodologies and expertise in areas such as action research, synthetic estimation and microsimulation, photo-elicitation and autobiographical research methods.

Flexible blended delivery: Theory-based materials will be delivered via a variety of tools including in-class lectures, video and audio podcasts, and interactive online discussions. Practical-based training will be delivered by face-to-face workshops where students will have the opportunity to interact with staff, invited professionals, and their peers.

Interdisciplinary team-working: The MSc Social Research is designed to provide high quality methods training, equipping the next generation of social researchers with the necessary tools to be able to address key interdisciplinary global challenges.

Information for international students

Please view the country specific pages for further information regarding the equivalency of your degree. International applicants will be required to provide evidence of their English language ability, for example by achieving an IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent, see our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language courses are available if you do not meet these requirements.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    12+ months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions