MSc Social Science Research Methods (Psychosocial Studies Specialism – Sociology Pathway)
The MSc Social Science Research Methods (Psychosocial Pathway) provides students with an opportunity to study contemporary issues in theoretical and applied psychosocial and critical psychology research within a research training context. The MSc is taught by internationally renowned scholars in the field and is the only ESRC-recognised masters of its kind in Britain. The programme is inter-disciplinary in nature and draws upon scholarship and research in psychology, sociology, cultural and gender studies. Modules include Recent debates in psychosocial studies and critical psychology; Approaching Subjectivity and An Introduction to Psychosocial research methods. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have researched issues such as anxiety and environmental campaigns; phenomenological approaches to adoption; women and embodiment on the internet; cynicism and political subjectivity; identity and the construction of avatars and ethical concern for distant suffering. The school is home to the top-ranked interdisciplinary journal Subjectivity.
Teaching and Training
Example: Our teaching in postgraduate psychosocial studies and critical psychology has a long-established international reputation, and a significant number of international students have studied with us. Both staff and students bring to the programme a wide variety of histories and academic backgrounds, which provides exciting exposure to a diversity of practical experiences as well as in-depth academic knowledge.
The MSc is recognised by the ESRC as providing post-graduate research methods training qualifying students in the foundation for doctoral research (1 of the 1+3). This training provides a generic introduction to quantitative and qualitative methods of social research, and the wider issues of research design. The dissertation provides an opportunity for students to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained from the taught modules in the form of an applied piece of psychosocial/critical psychological research, supervised by an experienced academic researcher.
The MSc provides a distinctive combination of cutting edge approaches to psychosocial research and critical psychology, providing an excellent foundation for future employment in psychosocial-linked jobs and research posts. The course is also a valuable qualification for professionals and volunteer workers involved in social and psychological research.
In addition to formal classroom training, there are many opportunities for intellectual development within the Subjectivity and Psychosocial research Group, the Gender and Sexualities Research Group, the Childhood research Group and the Culture, Imagination and Practice Research Group. Postgraduate psychosocial students regularly meet, present work in progress and exchange ideas. Students may also gain form being involved in the events we organise such as the international Subjectivity conference and the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods Network for Methodological Innovation on Researching Affect.
For detailed information about the Programme Elements, please visit the Degree Structure page.
Period of Study
The period of study is twelve months (October - September). The taught coursework takes place over two semesters (October - June). The dissertation is begun in the second semester but is completed during the summer months. The summer is a period of independent research with one to one supervision.
For further information about the Degree Structure, please visit the Degree Structure page.
Applications for study are invited in any area that falls within the School’s broad remit. Before applying, it is advisable for potential applications to use the School's website to familiarise themselves with the expertise of its staff. For further information about applications and admission requirements, please visit the How to Apply page
Valerie Walkerdine: Subjectivity; Gender and class; Psychoanalysis and psychosocial studies; critical psychology; Post foundational approaches to psychology and the psi sciences; Affect and experience; Community regeneration, affect and the global labour market; Cultural theory and artistic practice
Dimitris Papadopoulos: Matter, Materialism, Knowledge Politics; Precarious Labour, Embodied Capitalism and the Transformation of Work; The Problem of Experience in Social Science and Social Theory; Political Change, Subjectivity, Sovereignty & Control; Cultural and Gender Politics, New Radical Social Activism; Critical Psychology, Activity Theory, LS Vygotsky
Steven Stanley: Mindfulness-informed psychosocial research as applied to various topic; Development of mindfulness/insight meditation as a first-person method of social psychological inquiry; relevance of ancient contemplative traditions to contemporary social science; Application of Buddhist theory and practice to traditions in modern psychology
Research Groups in the School
The above staff are members of one of more of the School’s numerous research groups. Students are encouraged to learn about and become members of these groups themselves and to attend research events in the School throughout their course, including the School Seminar Series.