M.Sc. Social Research Methods

London School of Economics and Political Science

Application deadline: None
Tuition fee:
  • € 11,620 / Year (EEA)
  • € 17,973 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 90 ECTS
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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This programme is designed as training for doctoral research or pre-professional training careers in social research. Specialis2 in one of the following options: Sociology, Social Psychology, Statistics, Social Policy, Philosophy, Government, Management, Decision and Policy Sciences, Development Studies and Population.

This programme is based in LSE's Methodology Institute and offers the following benefits:

* An advanced training in quantitative and qualitative social research methods, in the context of a disciplinary specialisation.
* A syllabus that goes some way beyond the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) requirements for the first year of a 1+3 PhD programme. The MSc is designed as a training for doctoral research and as a pre-professional training for careers in social research in the public and private sectors.
* Almost 50 per cent of the graduates of this programme have entered PhD programmes, or are working in social research in universities or national and local government.
* Study within LSE's Methodology Institute, which is a base for cross-disciplinary research and teaching in the broad area of social science methodology.
* The Institute has links with both governmental and private sector research groups.
* The programme is taught jointly with other departments in the School.


You take core courses in research design, quantitative analysis and qualitative research methods, and a unit in a specialist field. You also submit a research report of 10,000 words on a topic related to your specialist field of study, and you have the chance to take short courses on computer packages for qualitative analysis and interviewing skills during the year.

Core courses
(* half unit)

* Quantitative Analysis from basic to advanced (two half units)
* Qualitative Social Research: Interview, Text and Image*
* Fundamentals of Research Design*
* Dissertation


Choose to the value of one unit from the range of optional courses in your chosen specialist field:


* Politics and Society
* Crime and Society: Concepts and Method
* Sociology of Employment I: Social Relations at Work*
* Sociology of Employment II: Contemporary Management and Globalisation*
* Gender and Societies*
* Non-traditional Data: New Dimensions in Qualitative Research*

Social Psychology

* Any graduate level course(s) in Social Psychology, subject to timetabling constraints, and as approved by the course manager, to the value of one course unit.


* Philosophy of Science
* Philosophy of the Social Sciences
* Philosophy of Economics

Social Policy

* Social Policy Research


* Special Topics in Quantitative Analysis*
* Research Design for Experimental and Observational Studies*
* Multilevel and Longitudinal Modelling*
* Statistical Inference: Principles, Methods and Computation*

Decision and Policy Sciences

* Any course from MSc Decision Sciences, subject to timetabling constraints, and as approved by the course tutor.


* Any graduate level course(s) in Government, subject to timetabling constraints, and as approved by the course tutor, to the value of one course unit.

Development Studies

* Any graduate level course(s) in Development Studies, subject to timetabling constraints, and as approved by the course tutor, to the value of one course unit.


* Any graduate level course(s) in Management, subject to timetabling constraints, and as approved by the course tutor, to the value of one course unit.


* Population Analysis: Methods and Models*

Plus choose one half unit from the following:

* Population and Development: An Analytical Approach*
* Planning for Population and Development*
* Reproductive Health Programmes: Design, Implementation and Evaluation*
* Demography of the Developing World*
* Gender and European Welfare States*
* Health and Population in Contemporary Developed Societies*
* Health and Population in Developing and Transitional Societies*

Please note that not all options will be available every year and the choice of options may be constrained by timetable limitations.


Minimum entry requirement:

* 2:1 in social science. Relevant professional experience can also be considered

English requirement:

* TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 603 in the paper test or 100 in the internet based test. For full information on TOEFL and testing centres worldwide, please see * IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 6.5. For full details about the British Council's English tests, please see

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

200 (Grade A)
TOEFL paper-based test score : 603
TOEFL iBT® test: 100

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


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