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A flexible learning experience, developing advanced research skills while facilitating wider participation and efficient use of participants' time.


Study Social Research Skills at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

These courses provide advanced training in social research skills and policy evaluation in subject areas informed by social policy concerns.Modules on quantitative and qualitative methods and policy evaluation form the core of the programme. Participants in the MSc will also take two specialist modules and a linked independent study module in which they will demonstrate the application of research skills. The specialist modules are:

- Researching Social Inequality and Exclusion;

- Researching Peace and Conflict in Divided Societies.

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About this course

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This suite of courses is designed to meet the needs of participants from the public, private and voluntary sectors who are interested in developing research and evaluation skills in subject areas informed by social policy concerns. This focus is reflected in the content of the specialist modules.

The courses are directed towards those wishing to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills to:

Carry out research projects from the design to write-up stage.

Critically appraise published and commissioned research.

Develop the skills necessary for commissioning appropriate research and evaluation studies.


This Master's is Social Research Skills is entirely online and allows access to people anywhere provided they have web access.

Duration is normally two years but the course is flexible and students can chose the pace of the programme to suit their own work and life demands.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

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Entry Requirements

Entry requirements are normally a BA Hons or BSc Hons degree in one of the social sciences or in a cognate area including a research methods component. Normally, a 2:1 is required but Accreditation of Prior Experiental Learning may be taken into account. Such compensation for cognate work experience may be made at the discretion of the University.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

All teaching and learning is online. Assessment is entirely through coursework, so there are no examinations.

Candidates shall be assessed in the modules for which they have enrolled in each year of study. At the discretion of the Board of Examiners, and very rarely, candidates may be required to provide additional evidence of competence such as a tele-link viva voce examination.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

The course is designed to meet the needs of participants from the public, private and voluntary sectors who are interested in developing research and evaluation skills in subject areas informed by social policy concerns. Former students have gone on to become researchers in academia, in national and international NGOs and in both public and private sector. Some graduates have set up their own research consultancies, while others have used the qualification to help them gain promotion.


Please apply at

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

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Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy

Northern Ireland & EU:

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course. 

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees. 

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director, Goretti Horgan can be contacted at:

Tel: 02890366654 or skype goretti.horgan


Participating in and completing this course has been a hugely rewarding and enriching experience for me. I had never previously experienced online learning and was initially unsure and a little daunted by the prospect. However the structure and support offered throughout enabled me to balance gaining my MSc with work and personal commitments.

The course content is wide-ranging and challenging but learning materials are of excellent quality, as too was the tutorial support and feedback I received. The course offers both a theoretical overview and the development of practical and transferable research and evaluation skills. However, the most important and beneficial elements for me were the ongoing opportunities to engage in reflective and peer learning and the ‘real-world’ application of new learning and capabilities which gave me the capacity and confidence to develop at both a professional and personal level.

Margaret Mullan, graduated 2015