MSc/PG Dip/ PG Cert Professional Practice in Research Methods

Social Policy Research Centre

The postgraduate programmes MSc/PG Diploma and PG Certificate in Professional Practice in Research Methods are hosted by the Social Policy Research Centre at Middlesex University. Members the SPRC have national and international profiles as widely published scholars and researchers, many of them leading academics in their respective research fields. Their areas of research expertise encompass migration, religion, ethnicity and citizenship, gender and sexuality, social networks, human security and human rights, welfare changes, access to public services, health and education, inequalities and discrimination. The study programme draws specifically on their extensive interdisciplinary knowledge.

Research Methods

To have a deep understanding of the ontological and epistemological basis of social science research is essential for a number of career paths and is a must for students wishing to pursue a career in social research studies. The members of the SPRC are highly experienced in a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and tools, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, participatory observation, literature and policy reviews, statistical analysis, survey administration (including online surveys), data mapping, spatial analysis and data visualisation.

Course structure

The study programme is shaped to contain both theoretical and practical modules and allows the students to acquire skills which can be directly applied in their future work environments. The core modules are Research Methodology and Design, Qualitative Research Methods, Quantitative Research Methods, Dissertation, while the optional modules comprise Spatial Analysis, Work Experience Internship and Migration, Racism and Citizenship as well as the possibility to take other subject-specific optional modules.

Aims of the Course
  • To provide comprehensive grounding in qualitative and quantitative social research theories and methods;
  • To equip students with hands-on skills (including SPSS, Excel, NVivo and other software packages), thus greatly enhancing employability;
  • To train students to design and carry out quantitative or qualitative social researches effectively;
  • To equip them with skills necessary to critically analyse and evaluate the collected data and to present findings;
  • To teach students to observe social phenomena with an analytical eye and to develop the habit of challenging existing social structures.

There is a growing demand for qualified social scientists with thorough theoretical background and up-to-date, practical and technical skills. The knowledge and training acquired through this course are increasingly sought-after within the public sector (including central and local governmental organisations, academia), the voluntary sector (NGOs) and also within the private commercial research sector. The programme is also highly recommended as preparation for doctoral study (PhD) in social sciences or other areas.

PG Diploma and PG Certificate

In addition to the full MSc, training in research methods is also offered as a PG Diploma or PG Certificate, to allow more flexibility for prospective students who wish to gain specific research methods skills, but do not consider pursuing a full Master programme.

Academic Team

Programme Leader: Professor Louise Ryan

Wider academic team: Professor Eleonore Kofman, Alessio D’Angelo, Dr Elena Vacchelli, Dr Lisa Clarke


Full-time: 1 year; part-time: 2 years


Hendon Campus, London NW4 4BT, United Kingdom

Entry requirements

Good honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in an appropriate subject. Candidates with other relevant qualifications and with a minimum of three years of relevant work experience are also considered.

Contact details

Professor Louise Ryan

Social Policy Research Centre

Middlesex University, Hendon Campus,

The Burrows, London NW4 4BT,

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 8411 5415



For further information check out our brochure, to apply visit the webpage on Middlesex University‘s website.