MSc in Social Research

Social Policy Research Centre

The postgraduate programme MSc in Social Research Methods will be hosted by the Social Policy Research Centre at Middlesex University. Members of 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 Design and Ethics, Qualitative Research Methods, Quantitative Research Methods, Evidence-based Evaluation for the Social Sciences and Dissertation or Work Integrated Learning (60 credits), while the optional modules comprise Digital Research, Researching Cybercrime, Researching Migration, Marketing Research Process, Social Statistics with SPSS, Qualitative Analysis with NVivo 10 and Integrated Work and Learning (20 credits).

Aims of the Course
  • Acquire evidence-based evaluation research skills which are at the forefront of research practice across the public sector
  • Learn from internationally renowned scholars in the fields of sociology, criminology, social policy, migration and gender studies
  • Enjoy seminars and workshops with key research institutions and agencies with which we have established strong links.

There is a growing demand for qualified social scientists with thorough theoretical background and up-to-date, practical and technical skills.

Completing this course will open up opportunities for career development in a wide range of professions, including:

  • NGOs, the public sector and the private sector as an officer, researcher or policy analyst
  • Public and community sector service provision, including advice and welfare
  • Independent and public research institutions working for local and central government
  • PhD/academic career
  • Jobs within international and European organisations.
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: Dr Elena Vacchelli

Wider academic team: Dr Alessio D’Angelo, Professor Louise Ryan, Dr Erin Sanders-McDonagh, Dr Lisa Clarke, Dr Alessandro Gandini, Dr Zhongqi Jin, Dr Elena Martellozzo, Dr Meri Juntti


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


Hendon Campus, London NW4 4BT, United Kingdom

Entry requirements

A 2:2 honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in an appropriate subject. We also consider candidates with other relevant qualifications. Candidates without formal qualifications need to demonstrate three years’ relevant work experience and the ability to study at postgraduate level.

Contact details

Dr Elena Vacchelli

Social Policy Research Centre

Middlesex University, Hendon Campus,

The Burrows, London NW4 4BT,

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 8411 5415




For further information, visit the webpage on Middlesex University‘s website.