MSc in Social Research


Program Description

MSc Social Research is an advanced degree in social science methodology. It is suited to those who wish to prepare for PhD research or for those who want to increase key employability skills in the areas of qualitative fieldwork, quantitative data management, and data analytics.

As a student on this programme, you’ll draw upon a wide variety of expertise from within the Centre for Urban and Community Research, the Methods Lab, and the Department of Sociology more widely.

Based in London in an incredibly culturally diverse area, you will have direct access to one of the most stimulating fieldwork areas through which experience will be acquired conducting ‘live sociology’. This experience combined with undertaking a rigorous curriculum means that upon successful completion of the MSc all students will be proficient in preparing, designing, undertaking, and presenting advanced level social research suitable for all types of audiences.

Throughout the degree, you will undertake rigorous training in both qualitative and quantitative research designs and techniques.

Key research techniques covered include:

  • Conducting interviews
  • Ethnographic research
  • Discourse analysis
  • Visual sociology
  • Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis
  • Working with quantitative comparative data
  • Multiple regression analysis
  • Multi-level modelling
  • Longitudinal modelling
  • Structural Equation Modelling
  • Latent Class Analysis

Thinking Ahead

We encourage students to use their MSc degree as a platform for PhD level research. Goldsmiths is part of the South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) through which students can apply for fully-funded ESRC PhD studentships.

For those looking to refine particular research skills to better understand groups and audiences, staff on the programme have many years’ experience working with charities, government agencies, and private sector companies, and can advise on research techniques and further training courses to fit bespoke needs.


Module title Credits
Modelling Social Data I 30 credits
Modelling Social Data II* 30 credits
Theory, Concepts and Methods of Social Research I* 30 credits
Theory, Concepts and Methods of Social Research II* 30 credits
Dissertation 60 credits


The assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice-based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

122461_photo-1496902526517-c0f2cb8fdb6a.jpg Nik MacMillan / Unsplash

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Selection process

As part of the admissions process, you may be offered an informal advisory meeting with the Programme Convenor.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments.
  • An electronic copy of your reference on letter headed paper, or alternatively the email address of your referee who we can request a reference from. It is preferred that you use an academic reference, however, in cases where applicants are unable to provide one, a professional reference is acceptable.
  • A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF or completed online.
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory).

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.


You will gain advanced methodological knowledge within the social sciences coupled with hands-on experience working with a range of research techniques and software for data analysis. This grounding offers an advantageous position from which to apply for PhD funding or to move into careers which require advanced research skills and knowledge.

A number of students that have completed the MSc in Social Research have successfully acquired ESRC funding for doctoral-level studies, while others have entered the public and third/NGO sector as well as the Civil Service ‘fast track’ scheme for government social research.

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

We're a world-class university, ranked in the world's top 350 universities by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17, and the world's elite by the QS World University Rankings 20 ... Read More

We're a world-class university, ranked in the world's top 350 universities by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17, and the world's elite by the QS World University Rankings 2016-17 Read less