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Course summary

This Masters course provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to carry out robust social research and evaluation. You’ll learn how to collect, analyse and report qualitative and quantitative data, taking account of ethics, reliability and validity. You’ll also critically examine the theoretical foundations that underpin social scientific research. Finally, you’ll develop an understanding of the relationship between research and policymaking.


Core: The nature of social enquiry; research design and process; introduction to information technology and library services; quantitative data analysis; qualitative data analysis; comparative social research; policy analysis and evaluation research; plus 1 of 3 applied social research option modules: thinking sociologically; the principles of social policy; theorising social work. In addition to the modules, you will complete both of the following: group project: an opportunity to obtain first-hand experience of research techniques, data collection strategies and group work with the guidance from staff; plus a research dissertation: MSc students must undertake an original social science research study and complete a research dissertation with academic supervision.

Assessment method

Essays, critical review essays, book reviews, research proposals, a computer lab-based assessment for quantitative data analysis, group project reports and the research dissertation. There are no examinations.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2nd Class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply. If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (6.0 in all bands).

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

for further information on course costs, please refer to the University website;

Sponsorship information

The Economic and Social Research Council quota awards are available on a competitive basis for students who wish to pursue the MSc plus a PhD on a 1+3 basis. For information on funding and scholarships, please see here:

Applied Social Research at University of Stirling - UCAS