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MScApplied Educational & Social Research

Why this course?

This programme looks at the issues facing educational and social researchers. It offers a range of intellectual and practical resources to structure and explore these issues.

The course is ideal research preparation for a PhD and is ideal for those seeking future academic careers in social sciences. It’s also suitable for those who want to advance their social research skills as part of their current work of for future career development.

It’s a web-based course and is run on an open-learning basis. This allows you to study at times that suit you. The modules are flexible, so you can make choices based on your own personal interests.

The programme will enable you to evaluate, design, conduct, analyse and justify educational and social research, in terms of:

  • underlying conceptions of the person, social relations, education and research practice
  • first-order principles which define valid research problems and knowledge
  • political and social assumptions about the purpose of research and its relationship to constituencies of practice and policy
  • research strategies implied by different philosophical assumptions
  • techniques for engaging in knowledge-gathering from different social and educational settings and sources
  • techniques for analysing data of all types
  • methods of disseminating research outcomes and emergent issues
  • use of research for educational and social ends

You’ll study

You'll study core modules including Educational & Social Research Enquiry and Data Collection in Educational & Social Research as well as a choice of optional modules.

If you successfully complete all of the core modules and one optional module you’ll be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma. You must complete a dissertation to be given the award of MSc.

The modules can also be taken independently as freestanding modules or as components of related academic or professional development courses.

Dissertation project

You’ll draw on and develop knowledge, understanding and relevant experience gained through the core and optional modules and apply and develop practical skills. You’ll take part in a small but substantive piece of research directly related to your own professional and academic practice.

Flexible studies

The course is offered on a one-year full-time and two-year part-time basis with flexible delivery based on distance learning.

It’s delivered by a small team of active researchers from the schools of education and applied social science.

The modules are flexible and can be customised. There’s a particular emphasis on researchers developing the capacity for critical self-reflection, leading to the formulation of research questions and to the choices of research design and analysis that best explore issues in your own area of interest.


The course is recognised as an accredited training pathway for both education and social work within the Scottish ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (DTC).

Course content

Compulsory classes

Educational & Social Research & Enquiry

This class is designed to introduce researchers to the major intellectual traditions which may be used to structure the formulation of research questions in educational & social research.

It will introduce you to the basic assumptions and analytic moves of positivist/realist research, of qualitative/hermeneutic research and of critical/discourse analytic research. It will also introduce you to the use of literature in developing research questions and to competing approaches to the nature of ‘ethics’ in social research.

Design Strategies in Educational & Social Research

This class is designed to introduce researchers to fundamental considerations regarding the design of educational & social research and is concerned with research strategy.

It's informed by the broad philosophical and research traditions explored in Education & Social Research & Enquiry and builds on the formulation of research questions achieved through that class. While Education & Social Research & Enquiry deals with overall research strategy, it provides the basis for the more detailed consideration of specific techniques of data collection to be undertaken in Data Collection in Educational & Social Research.

Data Collection in Educational & Social Research
This class will provide you with a comprehensive and in-depth introduction to data collection procedures, across the main traditions in educational and social research. It's concerned with the full range of techniques of data collection associated with both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Data Analysis in Educational & Social Research

You'll understand the importance of identifying appropriate analytic techniques before data are collected. You'll also be aware of the limits of the claims which can be made on the grounds of data analytic techniques.

Through reflecting upon outcomes and implications of analyses across a range of studies within an education/social context, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the potential for practice development through Applied Educational & Social Research.

Learning & teaching

The course is delivered through the web, giving you access to a range of interactive course materials including audio clips and video.

You can use live chat and discussion threads to work with the other students and course tutors.


Formative assessment tasks within each module unit provide individual and group activities which ground the summative assignment work.

You’re encouraged to work collaboratively, sharing both the workload through peer partnership or small group engagement, and the outcomes for critical reflection across the class. Each module will be summatively assessed by an assignment of 3,000 – 4,000 words.

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree or equivalent.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at the University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


2015/16 - £4,200

Rest of UK

2015/16 - £4,200


2015/16 - £4,200

How can I fund my course?

Scholarship search

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.


Applied Educational and Social Research

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Oct 2015, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Applied Educational and Social Research

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Oct 2015, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Applied Educational and Social Research

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Oct 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Applied Educational and Social Research

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Oct 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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