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Durham University

Social Research Methods (Sociology)

Sociology as a discipline encompasses the examination and analysis of all aspects of social life and social relations. This course is designed to provide you with a grounding in social research to enable you to develop sociological investigations of the social world.

Entry requirements

MA: Normally an upper second-class (2:1) honours degree or equivalent.

Course modules

You will take a range of taught modules primarily in the first two terms of the academic year. Starting from the first term, you will undertake a module on research design which will enable you to develop a research proposal for your dissertation. In previous years, typical modules offered were: Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits); Introduction to social scientific research; Establishing cause and interpreting meaning in social sciences; Essentials of quantitative and qualitative research in the social sciences. Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits); Spreadsheets and data analysis; Populations, sample data and sampling distributions; Point estimates and confidence intervals; Significance tests, cress-tabulations, and Chi-Square tests; Correlation and linear regression. Research Design and Process (15 credits); Formulating research questions; Evaluating and developing a research proposal; Reviewing relevant literature; Experimental vs. observational studies; Sampling and selecting respondents; Measurement. Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits); Introduction to theory and research practice in qualitative methods; Ethnography and grounded theory; Group discussions; Data analysis and management processes. Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits); Sampling and sample design, questionnaire design; Numerical taxonomy and cluster analysis in practice; Methods for representing complex systems. Contemporary Sociological Theory and Social Transformation (30 credits); Contemporary sociological theories to understand transformations in modern society; Historical contexts of sociological theories; Theorizations of social divisions; Conceptualisations of self and identity. Categorical Data Analysis with SPSS and R (15 credits); Statistical Inference; Measuring and graphing relationships; Binary logistical regression models; Log-linear models. Dissertation (60 credits); 15,000 word dissertation based on a supervised research project. Academic learning is assessed through a range of summative essays, statistical/computer-based projects, research proposals, and a dissertation.

Assessment methods

Modules are usually assessed through essays. Statistics modules may require you to complete specific analyses with more structured instructions. Some module conveners may allow you to submit formative assignments in order for you to obtain a sense of how well you understand the subject. Some modules' assessment may contain a proportion of presentations and group projects.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2019 7,550 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,550 per Year 1 (EU) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 19,000 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,550 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,550 per Year 1 (Channel Islands) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,550 per Year 1 (England) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,550 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (EU) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 10,100 per Year 1 (International) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (England) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (Channel Islands) 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Durham University DH1 3LG North East

Get in touch

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Key information

Contact: 
Recruitment and Admissions Office
Telephone number: 
01913341000