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Social Research

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What you'll need

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  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

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Related courses

There are three courses related to Social Research that you might be interested in.

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Master of Research

A Master of Research (MRes) is a research-based postgraduate degree awarded in any academic discipline that offers research training.

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Course overview

This MRes will provide advanced theoretical and practical training in postgraduate research. You'll learn from internationally recognised Sociology experts in the sophisticated research environment of a long-established and influential Department.

Introduction

Whether economic or cultural inequalities, the dangers of our online lifestyles, the definitions and consequences of crime or the social dimensions associated with problems such as health, we aim to give our students an exciting study experience to understand better what it means to be social, where society might be heading and what we can do to contribute to all our social future.

Our teaching draws upon the expertise of the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, where the academic environment and approachable staff create an atmosphere of mutual knowledge exchange between staff and students.

We’ll introduce you to the politics and practice of social research. You’ll explore the following aspects of the research process: the context of the modern university; the role of the social scientist; power, critique and reflexivity in the social sciences; the constraints, benefits and limitations of social science.

You’ll conduct an extensive research project on a subject of your choice supported by regular supervision from a sociological expert. We will provide you with research training to equip you with transferable skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving and project management.

This MRes is an excellent research training opportunity, and you’ll gain valuable experience whether you’re preparing for a career or looking for continuous professional development.

Who is this course for?

This master’s is suitable for graduates from the Social Sciences or related areas who want advanced theoretical and practical training in postgraduate-level research.

What you'll learn

  • How to plan and conduct a large sociological research project
  • A critical understanding of epistemological, methodological and ethical approaches in social research
  • Training in general research skills
  • Skills in scholarly presentation, documentation, critical evaluation and the communication of ideas
  • How social, public and civil policy can be influenced by sociological knowledge
  • Project management and problem-solving skills

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

The programme consists of 60 credits of taught modules and a 30,000 word dissertation worth 120 credits.

In Semester one, you are required to take two 15 credit modules.

The process of preparing the dissertation, including developing a research question and proposal, will take place throughout Semesters one and two. Your dissertation will usually be submitted in September.

Compulsory modules

THE POLITICS AND PRACTICES OF SOCIAL RESEARCH (SOCI501)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module provides students with an introduction to the politics and practice of social research. It does so by exploring the following aspects of the research process: the context of the modern university; the role of the social scientist; power, critique and reflexivity in the social sciences; the constraints, benefits and limitations of social science. Those are explored in relation to practical dillemas and cases studies in social science research.

PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE (SOCI504)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

SOCI504 is a module that introduces students to academic debates about knowledge production and method within sociology and the social sciences. The module is structured to provide an insight into the historical debates about the relationship between method and knowledge and how they inform the development and transformation of the social sciences.

Dissertation (SOCI525)

Credits: 120 / Semester: whole session

​​In this module students formulate a research question and develop a research proposal, including a clear research strategy. Students will work independently to conduct library based or original empirical, social–scientific research aimed at answering a research question, applying methodological principles and research techniques. The dissertation requires students to creatively use theoretical insights and concepts relevant to the research question at hand, to generate new knowledge about the issue addressed in the thesis and report about the research and the results in a clear and systematic way

Optional modules

DOING ETHICAL RESEARCH (SOCI571)

Credits: 5 / Semester: semester 1

This module will provide you with a good understanding of ethical principles underpinning formal ethical review (process) and the complexity of considerations that arise in the field (practice). The module will be delivered through a workshop that will provide the opportunity for student-led discussions on specific ethical issues related to your research. It will be assessed through a short critical review of an ethical issue(s).

Understanding Society Using Quantitative Methods (SOCI508)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module looks into the rationale and practice of analysing numerical data, largely derived from survey research, and the use of such data to understand the social world. It covers a range of skills from basic univariate and multivariate analysis techniques, to a consideration of the potential insights offered by longitudinal datasets and their analysis.

An Introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis (SOCI517)

Credits: 5 / Semester: semester 1

This 5 credit module is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Students are introduced to a critical understanding of discourse, which in turn encourages the analysis of language use in relation to questions of power in society. The module seeks to enable students’ engagement in such analyses, introducing them to appropriate methods and techniques, and providing them the opportunity to put these into practice.

Visual Data, Visual Analysis (SOCI518)

Credits: 5 / Semester: semester 1

This module is organised around a review of the critical sociological literature on visual data and visual analysis. Drawing together existing research in this sub-field – which is growing rapidly in significance – the module focuses particularly on academic research that has sought to develop critical approaches to the production and deployment of visual data in specifically urban contexts.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Your experience

The Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology is one of the longest-established social science departments in the world.

Students have access to the state-of-the-art facilities of the School of Law and Social Justice Building and excellent library and IT facilities just one minute’s walk away.

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Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Careers and employability

You will develop a range of social scientific, analytic and communication skills and a variety of transferable skills valued by many employers in a range of industries (e.g. media organisations, charitable organisations, and commercial and financial service sectors).
 
An MRes in Social Research offers a broad spectrum of career opportunities and will provide you with a solid basis for pursuing a researcher-related career in various sociological-related fields and sectors, including policy development and research in the public and third sectors.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Our graduates have gone onto successful careers in both the public and private sectors:

  • Criminal justice agencies
  • Police
  • Social welfare
  • Local government
  • Non-governmental organisations (e.g. working with organisations supporting homeless people and refugees)

Many students pursue an academic career or a university research career in the Social Sciences (Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology) or in a related discipline.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £4,712
Part-time place, per year £2,356
International fees
Full-time place, per year £21,850
Part-time place, per year £10,925
Please note, the fees shown are for the academic year 2023-24 and will rise for 2024-25. Some MRes courses incur additional bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which applies to you in your offer letter.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

Please note, this programme may have additional costs associated with it depending on your choice of a lab or computational/fieldwork-based project.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

Please note, this programme may have additional costs associated with it depending on your choice of a lab or computational/fieldwork-based project.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

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Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of up to £5,000 off your tuition fees.

This includes £2,500 if you have a first-class degree, or equivalent qualification, and £2,500 if you’re from a Commonwealth country.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit: https://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website https://meb.gov.tr/ for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Sustainability
Women in STEM
Community
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

Applicants for the MRes Social Research programme should hold a minimum of a 2:1 class Honours Degree in a social science, or in a field relevant to the programme, from a UK university.

All applicants are required to supply: a completed application form, proof of qualifications, research proposal, personal statement and two references (one of which, as a minimum, must be academic). Applicants are considered on the basis of academic ability and potential and other relevant considerations are also taken into account. Applicants who have marginally missed the benchmark indicated above, are considered on a discretionary basis.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MRes, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 6.0
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 6.0 6 weeks On campus
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
6.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.0, and no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 6.0, for further details.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Social Research MRes

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.