MSc Applied Social Research

Gain transferrable research skills and expand your future career possibilities with our MSc Applied Social Research.

Applied Social Research

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date January 2022, September 2022, January 2023
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 30 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

Overview

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.

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

The objective of our MSc Applied Social Research is to provide you with the skills and knowledge required to collect, analyse and report upon qualitative and quantitative data, taking account of ethics, reliability and validity. Your studies will enable you to:

  • critically examine the theoretical foundations that underpin social scientific research
  • examine issues concerning social research design and the application of techniques of research analysis
  • develop your understanding of the relationship between research and policy, and the meanings of evaluation, its terminology, practice and use

Professional accreditation

Our MSc is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the research training guidelines for undertaking a PhD in Sociology, Social Policy, Social Work or Socio-legal Studies. Its provision is also appropriate for ESRC-recognised interdisciplinary PhD projects or pathways. 

Flexible learning

Students can study full time or part time and flexible learning arrangements can usually be supported in most situations, subject to agreement.

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Faculty facilities

Students taking this course are affiliated with the Faculty of Social Sciences. Scheduled classes use University teaching spaces such as lecture, seminar and lab venues when relevant.

Research overview

When you study Applied Social Research at the University of Stirling, you’ll be introduced to pioneering empirical and theoretical research in a vibrant, multi-disciplinary environment.

Underpinning the expertise of our staff, the University of Stirling scored highly in the most recent Research Excellent Framework (REF 2014) – a UK-wide assessment of universities’ research output. In the Social Work and Social Policy unit of assessment, highlights included:

  • 78% of our overall research activity was assessed to be internationally excellent or world-leading
  • 100% of research environment factors assessed as internationally excellent or world leading
  • 100% of our research impact was assessed as world leading or internationally excellent
  • we were judged to have the 2nd highest research power in Scotland and 13th highest in the UK

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second 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.

INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma if you don’t meet the required criteria for this course. If you successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences and meet the required progression grades, you’ll be guaranteed entry onto this Masters degree.

Other routes of entry

If you don’t currently meet the academic requirements for this course, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need for direct entry.

Explore INTO Stirling programmes to see the pathway and pre-masters routes available for this course and others at the University of Stirling.

English language requirements

Due to disruption in English Language testing caused by COVID-19, we are accepting alternative English Language tests (including online English Language Tests).

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Indicator 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with 60 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Merit in all sub-skills, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 105 overall with a minimum of 95 in each sub-skill
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator - Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 1 February 2021

If you are from India, Bangladesh, Ghana or Nigeria please also check your country/region specific page for any additional, or changes to, English language requirements.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Course details

Boost your research skills and expand your knowledge with in-depth postgraduate modules and a dissertation project. 

The MSc in Applied Social Research requires 120 credits in taught modules (usually by taking six 20-credit modules) and a dissertation (worth 60 credits). The Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Social Research requires 120 credits in taught modules.

Modules

The module information below is intended only as an example of what you may study and features details for the current academic year (2021/22). Modules are regularly reviewed and are subject to future changes.

Course Details

Teaching

Teaching methods are designed for each module to help you develop new skills and make continuous progress. You’ll participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials, computer-based workshops and group work. If you're studying the course full-time, you'll usually take three modules per semester. If you're studying part-time, you'll usually take one or two modules per semester.

Fieldwork

The dissertation in an independent empirical research project which may involve some level of fieldwork activity depending upon methodology. Any fieldwork activity in this context is planned with and supported by an allocated personal supervisor.

Assessment

Whether you’re a full-time or part-time MSc/PgDip student, you’ll experience a range of different forms of assessment across the taught modules. These include essays, critical review essays, book reviews, research proposals, presentations, time limited tests and exercises, and the research dissertation. 

Classroom hours

During Autumn and Spring semesters, most modules run one morning or one afternoon of scheduled teaching sessions each week. Modules for the MSc Applied Social Research have activities scheduled on either Mondays or Fridays each semester. Therefore in most circumstances, your timetable will require attendance on two days per week at most (although other optional activities may sometimes be available on other weekdays).

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

  2021/22 2022/23
Students from the UK£6,600£7,100
Students from the Republic of Ireland£6,600£7,100
Overseas (non-EU) students£16,775£17,275
European Union students£16,775£17,275

Students from the UK

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £10,000 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £11,570 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,025 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

Students from the Republic of Ireland

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

European Union students

EU Postgraduate Scholarship

Eligible EU students will automatically receive our EU Postgraduate Scholarship, which provides a 40% fee discount on full-time postgraduate degrees at the University of Stirling.

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Overseas students (non-EU)

We offer a range of funding options for overseas students.

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

The full-time option for this course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students who study this course full-time may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £10,000 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £11,570 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,025 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

This course is eligible for funding to cover feeds when studied as part of ESRC PhD scholarship - see the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science website for information on how to apply for an ESRC PhD scholarship.

Other sources of funding

If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

European Union and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

After you graduate

You’ll graduate with the skills you need for a career in research, research management or research commissioning in the public, voluntary or private sectors.

Employability is an important focus of the course, and over the past five years many of our graduates have entered social research-related careers in the public, voluntary and private sectors, with others continuing their academic study and undertaking a PhD.

  • Gain research skills relevant to the public, private or voluntary sectors
  • Build experience and professional connections during a research placement
  • ESRC accreditation opens up future opportunities for academic study

Changes at Stirling

Find out about important changes including how you'll be taught, start dates and how we're making campus safer.

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