Durham University

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 programme is designed to provide students with grounding in social research to enable them to develop sociological investigations of the social world.

Entry requirements

An upper second class (2:1) honours degree or equivalent. 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

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).

Assessment methods

Academic learning is assessed through a range of summative essays, statistical/computer-based projects, research proposals, and a dissertation.

Sponsorship information

Funding is available via the North East Doctoral Training Centre as part of funding arrangements for 1+3 studentships (masters + PhD).


Qualification Study mode Fee Course duration
MA Full-time £ 6,100 per Academic year (home fees) 1 years
MA Full-time £ 14,900 per Academic year (overseas fees) 1 years
MA Full-time £ 6,100 per Academic year (EU fees) 1 years
MA Part-time - 2 years

Campus details

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

Key information

School of Applied Social Sciences
Telephone number: 
0191 334 1505