Social Research (Education) MA

Start date
September/October
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
Fees

2022-2023
£9,810 f/t (Home)
£3,270 p/t (Home)
£21,240 f/t (International)
More Fees and funding details.

 

The University of Birmingham’s School of Education is one of the best schools in the UK to study social research.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) more than 81 per cent of all the research in the School of Education was rated as internationally excellent (3*) or world leading (4*).

On this course you will acquire a general overview of the philosophy of social research, and understand how this informs research design, methods of data collection and analysis. You will also develop an ability to use a range of research methods, to communicate research findings effectively and an understanding of the potential use of and impact of your research within and beyond academia.

The MA in Social Research will provide you with a solid foundation in a broad range of social science research methods as well as basic research skills.

 

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Modules

Core modules

Philosophy of Social Science Research

The module considers fundamental philosophical debates about what counts as ‘knowledge’ across the social sciences. Teaching addresses (natural) science as a method of obtaining knowledge and the interpretative tradition in the social sciences. Students explore fundamental philosophical debates about what counts as ‘knowledge’ across the social sciences and apply these discussions to their own disciplines and field of study.

Research Design, Practice and Ethics

The module introduces students to social science research designs and ethical issues in research practice. Learning supports students to be able to make strategic choices when developing their own projects, and to assess the design and research ethics decision making in others’ published research work.

Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods

Concepts, methods and skills central to quantitative research, including data collection approaches and concept operationalization, are core throughout this module. Building on a grounding in ideas relating to probability sampling, sampling error and statistical inference, coverage of techniques extends from comparisons of means and simple cross-tabular analyses to a discussion of multivariate analysis approaches, focusing on linear and logistic regression. 

Foundations in Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is examined across a range of topics, from different approaches and methods including ethnographic and observational research, discourse and conversation analysis, documentary and archival analysis, participatory research and the use of interviews. Ethics in qualitative research is specifically considered, as is the evaluation of qualitative research.

Elective modules

You will take a minimum of four elective modules from the following list (10 credits each)*:

Dissertation

In addition, you will write a 12,000-word dissertation (60 credits).

*The modules listed on our website may occasionally be subject to change. For example, as you will appreciate, key members of staff may leave the University and this might necessitate a review of the modules that are offered. Where a module is no longer available, we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Fees

Fees 2021-2022

Home

£9,500 full-time; £3,167 part-time

International

£20,160 full-time only

The fees shown above are the first year fees for students starting their courses September in 2021 and fees may change in subsequent years.

Please view our Fees for International Students page for further details. 

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and Loans

Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. More details may be found on the international scholarships page

You may be eligible for a postgraduate government-backed student loans system for Masters degrees in the UK which provides up to £11,222 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. 

For further information contact the School directly or visit the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via online enquiries. 


For EU students applying for the 2021/22 academic year

The UK Government is currently working to determine the future fee status for new EU students for the 2021/22 academic year. The Government will provide sufficient notice for prospective EU students on fee arrangements ahead of the 2021/2022 academic year and subsequent years in future. For more information please visit the gov.uk website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

How To Apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

A good Honours degree or equivalent is normally required or equivalent if you were educated outside the UK. Applications are also encouraged from those without an Honours degree who have five years or more relevant work experience. Speakers of English as a second language will be required to hold an IELTs 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each band or equivalent qualification.

English language support - before your course starts

The University offers Presessional English courses for students who wish to improve their knowledge of spoken and written English in preparation for academic study at the University of Birmingham. Students with conditional offers have the option of attending one of these courses instead of retaking IELTS 

English language support - during your studies

BIA provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Birmingham.  Services include Open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials.  For a small fee, BIA also offers classes for partners of international postgraduate students and staff, social events including day trips and HOST visits.   

International Requirements


Individual staff research interests

Professor Julie Allan
Disability and children’s rights, educational theory.

Professor James Arthur
Citizenship education and civic engagement; the relationship between theory and practice in education; communitarianism; social virtues; citizenship and religion in education.

Dr Bene Bassetti
Bilingualism and language learning: Bilingual cognition (especially language and thought in L2 learners and bilinguals) and Second language writing systems (reading/spelling a second language; effects of orthography on L2 phonology). Dr Bassetti particularly welcomes proposals that: involve Chinese, as a first or second language; involve experimental research or could be cosupervised with colleagues in Psychology or English.

Professor Kalwant Bhopal
Race, racism, gender, class, intersectionality, educational inequalities, schools and higher education, qualitative research, case study research, ethnography, Gypsy and Traveller groups, social justice, equity.

Dr Laura Day Ashley
Non-state education, Education in India, The history of schooling, Cross-cultural education, Alternatives to education and progressive education, Qualitative approaches, Ethnography, Case Studies, Anthropological approaches, education and marketisation / privatisation / the private sector; NGOs and education (especially developing countries).

Dr Laura D'Olimpio
Moral education; Moral philosophy and applied ethics; Aesthetics; particularly aesthetics and ethics; Philosophy in schools; Media, mass art, technology and digital literacy; Philosophy of film and literature; Virtue ethics and character education; Public philosophy.

Professor Graeme Douglas
Visual impairment; Educational outcomes and SEN; Transitions from school; Curriculum balance; WHO ICF model of disability; The views of disabled people; Technology and SEN / disability.

Dr Reza Gholami
Impact of transnationality and diversity on education practice and policy; Citizenship education, subjectivity and social change in the contemporary/future world; Educational responses to extremism and counterextremism.

Dr Celia Greenway
Early Years workforce reform; Early Years practitioners professional identity; Gender issues connected to the recruitment of males into Early Years; Leadership and Management within the nursery sector; Creative Curriculum with reference to young children’s social and emotional development; Outdoor learning and Forest schools.

Dr Karen Guldberg
Technology Enhanced Learning for children with autism; social learning theory and inter subjectivity theory; Evidence Based Practice in Education; participatory methodologies

Mr Neil Hall
Assessment and intervention in child and adolescent mental health; understanding how family mental health and trauma affects children’s learning and well-being, behaviour and development; teachers’ models of child and adolescent mental health.

Dr Sarah Hall
Holocaust and genocide education within a school context, and post-holocaust theology in the classroom; Literary theory and re-reading narrative within Biblical texts especially through a feminist lens; RSE (Relationship and Sex Education): policy and school context; PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education): policy and school context including work on RSE and Mental Health; Secondary School based subject mentors as ‘HEI teachers’ through their work with students undertaking professional courses; Tutoring and managing ‘the tutor’ in a HEI context.

Professor Michael Hand
Philosophy of education; moral education; religious education; political education; teaching controversial issues; philosophy in schools.

Dr Tom Harrison
Character, virtue, citizenship, cyber-phronesis, youth social action.

Dr Julie Howe
Professional practice in educational psychology services; social constructionism with a particular interest in gender; anti-oppressive practice in educational psychology; the educational implications of acquired brain injury.

Dr Dina Kiwan
Citizenship, civil society, activism, conflict, human rights, ethnic and religious diversity, disability, gender, sexuality, migration, refugees, intersectionality.

Dr Lila Kossyvaki
The impact of adult style on the communication of young children with autism; Autism and severe learning difficulties; Video Interaction Guidance (VIG); Technology enhanced learning environments for individuals with autism; Play skills; Staff and parents' training; Cultural differences and autism.

Dr Ben Kotzee
Philosophy of education; virtue theory; ethics in education; professional education.

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson
Moral education, virtue ethics, well-being, educational values, teacher/student emotions and self-concepts.

Dr Andrea MacLeod
Adults with autism spectrum conditions; models of support; self-advocacy; higher education students with autism; participatory methodologies.

Dr Eleni Mariou
Multilingualism in educational and social contexts; Language ideology and discourse; Cultural and political implications of English as an International Language; Language education.

Professor Jane Martin
Biography, history and education, Comprehensive education, Gender and education, Education and politics, Education and social movements, Identities and social action, Teacher unions.

Dr Ian McGimpsey
Youth Work.

Dr Kevin Myers
History of education; history and heritage; social history of childhood and youth.

Dr Jawiria Naseem
Dynamics of Higher Education and the labour market in France and Britain; Socio-economic inequalities among (female) graduates; Citizenship and belonging among second generation and Muslim minority ethnic groups.

Dr Maria Reraki
Language, literacy and dyslexia; dyslexia and language learning; inclusion for pupils with dyslexia in monolingual and bi/multilingual education; dyslexia and English Language Teaching (ELT); Educational development and inclusive education in language settings; (language) teachers' attitudes to inclusion.

Dr Siân Roberts
Twentieth century educational interventions with children and refugees in contexts of war or displacement; pedagogic contributions by refugee educationalists who arrived in the UK , 1914-1950; transnational interventions by British Quaker women in education, social justice and humanitarian aid, 1914-1950; visual representations of children by humanitarian and political activists; the history of educational broadcasting.

Dr Nicola Smith
Children and families with EAL; children as researchers and parental involvement in early years education.

Dr Anita Soni
Early years; Children's Centres; personal social and emotional development in young children; key person approach; supervision and group supervision.

Dr Tonie Stolberg
Science education, Sustainable development education, Science and the creative arts, The teaching of and learning about controversial issues Religion and science, The impact of faith on teaching and learning, Cultural influences on education, Pedagogy, Values and education, Philosophy of education, Phenomenological education.

Dr Emmanouela Terlektsi
Education of deaf and hearing impaired children , Literacy skills of deaf children and young people, socioemotional development of deaf children and young people.

Dr Tracey Whatmore
Professional development, partnership, international and comparative education, early childhood education, policy studies.

Dr Kirsty Wilson
Mathematics education; algebraic thinking; pedagogy and teachers' practices, including use of technology; primary and early years mathematics; primary teacher education.

Professor Deborah Youdell
Sociology of Education, Pedagogy, institutional processes and education policy, Identity and race, Professor Deborah www.birmingham.ac.uk/deborah-youdell ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, social class, ability and disability, Post-structural thinking, Politics and critical/political practice.

Many core elements of the Social Research programme are delivered by the College of Social Sciences, so you will be undertaking the modules with other students from across the College. However, your dissertation will be undertaken and supervised within the School of Education.

There is an induction programme during the first two weeks of the term, which is compulsory, but non-assessed and a programme of skills training which is delivered at University-level, mainly by the Staff Development Unit, throughout the year. You will be encouraged to attend all the modules in the programme which are appropriate to you. You must discuss your skills training needs with your designated supervisor in the first week of the first term.

This MA is recognised by the ESRC for the provision of research methods training as Year 1 of a '1+3' programme of doctoral study. It is also available as a stand-alone Masters. Home students may enter into a departmental competition to be nominated for the ESRC open competition for '1+3' or '+3' funding (the '1+3' award covers the MA and provides three years' further funding for PhD research; for '+3' funding you must already have an ESRC-recognised research methods MA degree or equivalent).

In the latest QS World University rankings, the University of Birmingham was ranked 81st globally and 14th in the UK. Over the last five years, an impressive 98.3 % of Education postgraduates have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation.

Birmingham’s Education graduates choose to work in variety of education roles in schools and administrative roles in public and private sector organisations. Work in retail, sales and administration are also popular options. Some chose to continue their education and apply for professional courses such as teacher training or undertake a PhD.

What type of career assistance is available to postgraduate researchers in Education?

The College of Social Sciences, to which the School of Education belongs, has specially designated careers advisors and careers consultants who can provide guidance for postgraduate researchers on career paths, CVs, training opportunities, application and interviews. The University’s central Careers’ Service also runs workshops and offers personally tailored advice and guidance including 1-1 careers advice and 1-1 CV advice. The Career’s Service runs CV writing workshops especially for postgraduates in the College of Social Sciences, giving advice on how to compile CVs for both employment and for academic roles.

The University also has dedicated careers advisors who run workshops and provide networking opportunities with potential employers. These are especially popular with international postgraduate researchers.

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