PostgraduateSocial Research Methods

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This programme is undergoing periodic review*

Postgraduate and Doctoral Open Evening
Wednesday 5 February 2020, 5–7.30pm

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  • You can choose to complete this programme as a PGC, PGD or MA.
  • This programme is suitable for students completing research in Business, Education or the Social Sciences.
  • External assessors have rated the innovative "general research skills" module very highly and commented favourably on the assessment mix.
  • The course has 1+3 recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council.
  • We are ranked as the top university in London for Education (Complete University Guide 2020).


This course is perfect if you are looking to embark on a successful career as a researcher or academic and will provide you with the necessary training as part of your study for your MPhil/PhD.

The course is distinctive in providing students with an exciting opportunity to develop expertise in a range of both quantitative and qualitative research methods of data collection and analysis with a focus on their application to real-world issues.

The course has 1+3 recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council. Only three Education Departments in post-92 universities have this prestigious kitemark.

In order to enhance your engagement with the issues to be examined, and to allow flexibility over how you manage your time, the Social Research Methods programme will be delivered through weekly sessions in the Autumn and Spring semesters supplemented by tutorial support available (both face-to-face and electronically). Evening sessions are provided for part-time students.

All three levels of the programme will include an introduction to the processes and issues involved in designing a quantitative or qualitative research project. You will also undertake modules that will introduce you to the methods of quantitative (including use of SPSS) and qualitative (including use of CAQDAS) research, giving you the skills and confidence to use these approaches to data collection and analysis in your own research.

If you progress to do a PGD or MA you will also explore the philosophy of social science research where you will examine the relationship between epistemology, ontology and methodology. Furthermore, you will explore concepts that underpin educational and social research including empiricism, rationalism, hermeneutics, feminism, post-modernism and critical realism and critique their relation to objectivity, causation, and validity.

You will also focus on key elements of the Research Councils’ Joint Statement of Skills Training for Research Students. You can then choose to study interpretations of the concept of education - and their implications for research - and the role of values in educational theory and research methodologies, or the basic theoretical concepts in social theory, with a particular emphasis on sociology and social policy.

Masters students will complete a dissertation in an area of their choosing in the fields of education or the social sciences.

The PG certificate course addresses core features of social research methods, focusing on different forms of data and how they can be collected and analysed. MA-level study is aimed at students who either want a discrete research-based MA or want to run a pilot study for an MPhil/PhD research project.

The following is a list of modules that you need to take to complete the different awards:

The Design of Social Research
Qualitative Research Methods of Data Collection and Analysis
Quantitative Research Methods of Data Collection and Analysis

All of the PGC modules and
Philosophy of Social Science Research
General Research Skills

plus one of two optional modules:
Educational Research and the Social Sciences
Social Theory and Social Research

All of the PGD modules and


Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

This is the course for those wishing to be employed in the research field of education and/or social sciences and for anyone intending to continue their studies to doctoral level.

*What is validation and periodic review?

Life at Roehampton

At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.

We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.

We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.

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