This MSc offers advanced training in social research methods, designed to be flexible to accommodate students arriving with a range of previous methodological training. The core modules provide a good grounding in the research process and quantitative and qualitative methods. The optional modules allow students to build on these and develop more advanced skills in particular methods of interest.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
Fee deposit: All full-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £500.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a social science discipline.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Advanced
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
This degree is designed to cover the research methods used in collating evidence for the design, critique and evaluation of substantive issues in the social sciences. Students will gain hands-on experience in a range of methods used to study issues of interest in the real world. Students will be expected to apply their understanding of methodology to critique existing research, design their own research, carry out their own analysis and communicate clearly with academic specialists and non-specialists.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four compulsory modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Social Research Methods.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
Students spend the first term studying a range of core methods, before specialising in more advanced techniques in the second term. Exemptions may be given from some introductory modules for students with a strong background in a particular method.
- Introduction to Qualitative Methods
- Introduction to Regression Analysis
- Survey Design
- Systematic Review Design and Planning
Students take four of the following advanced optional modules.
Please note that while we try to ensure all optional modules are available, the department reserves the right to drop an optional module for an academic year. In such cases students will be given advance notice.
- Impact Evaluation Methods
- Using Stata Efficiently and Effectively
- Advanced Qualitative Methods
- Systematic Reviews for Complex Policy Issues
- Research Engagement, Participation and Impact
- Advanced Quantitative Methods
Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.
All students undertake an independent research project that culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
This programme is delivered via face-to-face daytime lectures, seminars and practical computer workshops. Assessment is through coursework assignments and a 12,000-word dissertation.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working as:
- university and college lecturers and researchers
- civil servants
- third sector employees
- social researchers
- market researchers.
Many employers seek graduates with skills in research methods, including government departments, academic institutions, the media, finance and marketing.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Social Research Institute is a research-intensive department with world-leading experts in quantitative, qualitative and systematic review methodology - as well as a broad range of social science substantive subjects. We have a lively community of staff, PhD, MSc and undergraduate students involved in seminars, workshops and reading groups in addition to formal teaching.
Our department specialises in applying research methods to inform policy in areas such as education, health, labour markets, human development and child/adult wellbeing.
The department’s staff have a broad range of interests, which includes expertise in economics, sociology, psychology, social statistics, survey methods and data collection, mixed-methods research, and the techniques of policy evaluation.
Department: UCL Social Research Institute
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
This programme only requires one reference in support of your application. Your reference should be academic unless you have been out of university education for more than four years. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
This programme is aimed at students interested in studying the world around them. It is suitable for those looking to lay the groundwork for further work at PhD level as well as those wishing to seek employment with enhanced knowledge and skills.
Applications are invited from anyone with a suitable undergraduate degree in a social science subject or relevant experience in a related field.
- All applicants
- 30 July 2021
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Social Research Methods at graduate level
- why you want to study Social Research Methods at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
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