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Durham University

Social Research Methods (Social Policy)

The field of Social Policy examines the definition, pattern and range of social problems in contemporary society and the various policy responses to them. It explores the role of the state in relation to the welfare and management of its citizens and the role of state intervention in determining the conditions under which people live. This course is designed to provide you with a grounding in social research as applied in social policy investigations.

Entry requirements

MA: Normally an upper second-class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent. However, applications from candidates with a 2.2 degree (or below) who have approved professional qualifications, for example in Social Work, together with experience, will be actively considered for admission.

Course modules

Core Modules; 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. Social Policy and Society (30 credits); Spanning two terms, this module covers theory and concepts in the first term, and applications of concepts in the second term; Critical perspectives in Marxism, feminism, anti-racism, and environmentalism; Social control, regulations and resistance; Citizenship and community; Applications in healthcare, education, social security, housing, crime, justice and punishment. Policy Related and Evaluation Research (15 credits); Relationship between theory and empirical research in evaluation; Defining and measuring outcomes; Case study analysis; Poster presentation and participatory evaluation. Dissertation (60 credits) 15,000 word dissertation based on a supervised research project.

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 7,750 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (England) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (Channel Islands) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 7,750 per Year 1 (EU) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 19,000 per Year 1 (International) 1 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 (Scotland) 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 (England) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 4,300 per Year 1 (Channel Islands) 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 (EU) 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