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MScApplied Educational & Social Research

Why this course?

The MSc Applied Educational & Social Research is a full-time one-year or two-year part-time degree, ideal for those looking to enhance their academic and professional understanding of research. The course looks at the issues facing educational and social researchers and offers a range of intellectual and practical resources to structure and explore these issues. Students are encouraged to identify their own area of interest for research and to explore this throughout the course, before completing their own dissertation research in this chosen area.

The course is aimed at two principal audiences:

  • those wishing to develop their professional understanding of applied research
  • those seeking to develop their research skills prior to undertaking PhD study

The full-time version of the course is available both as face-to-face attendance and as a form of blended learning involving face-to-face meetings with additional web-based content delivered by a dedicated online environment. This allows you to study at times that suit you. The classes are flexible, so you can make choices based on your own personal interests. The part-time version of the course is entirely distance learning.

The course offers an ESRC recognised route (+1) into a PhD in Education. Students following this route undertake 60 credits taught centrally with other ESRC students from across the Faculty.  

International students completing this degree will further benefit from gaining an insight into the UK educational system.

What you'll study

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 four core and one elective modules over two semester. In addition, you'll complete a 12,000 to 15,000-word dissertation allowing you to carry out detailed study in an area of specific interest.

Semester 1
Core modules:

  • Research Paradigms
  • Research Design
  • Data Collection

Semester 2
Core module:

  • Data Analysis

Optional modules (one to be chosen):

  • Advanced Quantitative Research
  • Advanced Qualitative Research

Programme Leaders

Course content

The course is organised into Core Modules (Modules 1-4, including one double module) which, together with an optional module, comprise the 120-credit coursework. The dissertation is worth an additional 60 credits.

The modules are organised sequentially and you're normally expected to take them in order.

Compulsory classes

Educational Research & Enquiry

This module introduces researchers to the major intellectual traditions which may be used to structure the formulation of research questions in educational and social research, introducing participants 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 researchers to the nature of ‘ethics’ in social research.

Design Strategies in Educational & Social Research

The module introduces the main research strategies which are available within the quantitative, qualitative and critical research traditions and how these may be used to generate knowledge about the questions at hand. The module emphasises the importance of self-awareness about the limitations of the knowledge produced and the ethical issues which might be entailed in the process of such research.

Data Collection in Educational & Social Research

This class provides 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

This class will support your understanding of the principles underlying both qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis. The key principle underlying this module is that participants should be fluent in data analytic techniques from different traditions and should understand their communalities and differences.

Optional classes

One to be chosen

Further Quantitative Research Design and Analysis

This class is designed to engage researchers with issues of quantitative research design and data analysis in a range of educational and social contexts and to provide a practical grounding and experience in relevant current analytic techniques. It will consider further topics in measurement and regression and introduce loglinear modeling, logistic regression, multi-level modeling and complex factorial designs. 

Further Qualitative Research Design and Analysis

This class will engage researchers with issues of qualitative research design and data analysis in a range of educational contexts and provides a practical grounding in relevant techniques. You'll develop an understanding of the epistemological and ontological dimensions of qualitative research and which will enable you to undertake research design and analysis using appropriate qualitative approaches. 


Drawing on the understanding and relevant experience gained through your participation in the core and optional modules, and applying and developing your practical skills, the dissertation offers the opportunity to engage in a small but substantive piece of research directly relevant to the participant's own context of professional and academic practice. 

Learning & teaching

You'll have the opportunity to learn from internationally-recognised experts in educational and social research. You'll be taught through a range of student and staff-led research seminars which encourage open discussion and the exchange of ideas.


You'll be assessed through written coursework that draws on academic study and reflection on practical experiences in educational and social research. You'll receive individual support to write a dissertation of 12,000 to 15,000 words on a negotiated topic of interest.

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree or equivalent.

Pre-Masters preparation course

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

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding


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


  • Full-time – £6,500
  • Part-time, distance learning - £3,250

Rest of UK

  • Full-time - £6,500
  • Part-time, distance learning - £3,250


  • Full-time – £14,650
  • Part-time, distance learning - £3,250

How can I fund my course?

Scholarship search

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £4,000 towards the first year of tuition fees of a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Scottish students

Students living in Scotland can find out more about funding from the Student Awards Agency Scotland.

English students

Students ordinarily resident in England may be eligible to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover their tuition fees and living costs.

Strathclyde Alumni

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Alumni Discount

10% tuition fee discount is offered to all Strathclyde alumni completing a full-time postgraduate taught course in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


Completion of this Masters-level degree will enhance your academic and professional understanding of research allowing for career opportunities in the broader field of education and social policy and practice. Career opportunities may include:

  • research roles
  • lecturer
  • educational/social policy developer

For some, this course will be the first step towards a PhD.

Contact us


Applied Educational and Social Research

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Applied Educational and Social Research

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: distance learning, part-time

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