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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.

Students will acquire a range of knowledge and skills needed for full participation in the contemporary knowledge economy and in the public, private and voluntary sector labour markets.

What makes the programme stand out?
These courses offer opportunities for a flexible learning experience, with the aim of facilitating wider participation and more efficient use of participants' time. They enable students to access postgraduate education in the social sciences on a part-time, on-line mode.

Who will the programme be of interest to?
This suite of courses is designed to meet the needs of people locally, nationally and internationally who are interested in developing research and evaluation skills in subject areas informed by social policy concerns. This includes those employed in the public, private and voluntary sectors. This focus is reflected in the content of the specialist modules and in the independent research module.

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About this course

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If you want to learn the skills to work on a research project from ideas stage, through writing a grant proposal and gaining ethical approval; if you want to improve your understanding of research methodologies and the theoretical frameworks needed for research into poverty and social inequality or research in areas of conflict, then the Masters /PG Diploma in Social Research Skills will meet your needs. If you do research as part of your job but don’t have a research methods qualification, this is the course for you.

Emphasising flexible learning – it’s entirely online, so you study at a time of your own choosing – this course is particularly popular with students who are in employment and have a young family and so have to study when they can.

The Masters in Social Research Skills provides the knowledge and skills essential for a graduate seeking to advance their career as a researcher.


All modules are delivered entirely on line.

Modules commence in late September and January.

The Independent Research can commence in January or June depending on completion of required prerequisites.

Start dates

  • September 2017
  • January 2018
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 Experimental 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.

Exemptions and transferability

Students who can demonstrate Prior Experiential Learning to a level commensurate with the learning outcomes of a particular module may be able to have that learning accredited and so receive an exemption for the module, but only up to one-third of the credit points required for a qualification.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

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.

In addition to employment in the public, private and voluntary sectors, these courses provide and ideal background for those proposing to apply for entry to Ph.D. programmes in the Social Sciences.


Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017
  • January 2018

Fees and funding

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Fees (total cost)

Find out more about fees

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
View Ulster University’s 2017 fees policy

Northern Ireland & EU:

Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Master’s), please note that the price displayed is for the complete master’s programme. Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis. Find out more

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. 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:


T: +44 (0)28 9036 6654 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