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The award

How long you will study
2 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 3250 per year

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
GBP 6500 per year

All study options

About Research Methods at City, University of London

Empower yourself as a producer and user of empirical research by developing a methodological toolkit of knowledge and skills.

Who is it for?

This programme is for students who wish to develop their knowledge and skills as a professional researcher in academia, private or public sectors. It is suitable for those seeking to undertake foundational training for doctoral level research, as well as those planning to work in an environment where they might need to commission, undertake, or otherwise critically engage with empirical social research.

Students will typically have a first degree in an arts or social sciences subject. Some students come to us with prior experience of conducting empirical research, or using it, while some are new to the field - the programme thrives on the diversity of experiences and interests of its students.


The aim of the course is to boost your understanding, appreciation and practice of qualitative and quantitative research methods. It is taught by academics in the School of Arts and Social Sciences, so whatever your academic or professional background, you will achieve a broad perspective on the production and consumption of empirical research across a range of disciplines. At the same time, you will be able to pursue your own subject specialism through elective module choices and by conducting your own original research for your dissertation.

In the course we aim to equip you with an overview of key issues in research design and philosophical foundations of social research. We offer several modules in applied quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. These equip you with a set of practical skills to enable you to conduct and critically read research using these methods, and provide a firm foundation from which you can pursue further specialist training.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in a social science discipline, but other relevant subjects will be considered. Applications are also welcome from those with experience of working in a relevant area. An equivalent qualification from an overseas institution will be considered.

Students are required to have a grade C or above in Mathematics at GCSE or equivalent.

All students are expected to be computer literate

INTO City, University of London

Don't meet the entry requirements? INTO City, University of London offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare you for study at City, University of London. You'll learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry. To prepare for this degree course, learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences and the Arts.

English requirements

For students whose first language is not English, the following qualifications will meet the English language requirement for entry to the programme:

  • A first degree from a UK Institution
  • A first degree from an overseas institution on the UKVI list of approved majority-English speaking countries
  • A national of a country on the UKVI list of approved majority-English speaking countries
  • GCE O Level/GCSE English language or English literature, grade C minimum.
  • Cambridge ESOL CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) at grade C or above.
  • An overall score of 7 in the English Language Testing System (IELTS) with at least 7.0 in the writing component

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

The application process for 2018 entry is now open:

Apply for MSc Research Methods (full-time)

Apply for MSc Research Methods (part-time)

If you require assistance regarding your application or have any queries then please contact:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7040 0249, +44 (0)20 7040 3721

You will need to submit:

  • A completed application form (either electronically or by post)
  • A certified copy of your undergraduate academic results and degree certificate
  • Proof of English proficiency (if you are not a native English speaker, or someone who has not been taught in English for their first degree subject)
  • Personal statement of up to 500 words on your academic and/or relevant professional experience to date and how it informs your intentions to undertake this course. In addition, you may wish to outline your vision for how the degree will feed into your research or professional career.

The admissions tutor may request academic references at a later date to help make a decision on your application.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is delivered predominantly by lecturers and other academic staff across the School. You will experience a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and computer lab sessions. You will be expected to read in preparation for classes, and to participate in discussions, group work, presentations and other practical activities. You will be expected to take responsibility for your own learning and to engage in independent study. You will be guided by reading lists for each module, and teaching materials will be made available via the virtual learning environment Moodle. The dissertation is a major part of your MSc work, for which you will receive individual supervision.

Assessment is by means of coursework (written assignments, essays or reports), class tests, presentations, unseen written examinations, and the dissertation. The particular assessment details vary according to the module being studied. Your overall degree result is based on your performance in the taught modules and the dissertation.


The course consists of taught modules from interdisciplinary core subjects, plus department-specific elective modules, and a research dissertation.

In full-time study you will typically take four 15-credit modules in Term 1 and four in Term 2. The balance of teaching between the terms may vary according to your module choice. Most modules are worth 15 credits each, with a few elective modules worth 30 credits. Your dissertation is worth 60 credits.

As a general guide, a 15-credit module delivered over ten weeks of teaching will typically comprise an hour-long lecture and an hour-long seminar or workshop each week. We would notionally expect you to spend 150 hours in total studying for each 15-credit module (this time includes time spent attending lectures and seminars, reading, working through exercises, preparing for examinations, writing coursework, using online resources, navigating Library resources, and so on).

Core modules

You will take six core modules alongside your dissertation. Your taught core modules will be as below:

  • Research design, methods and methodology (15 credits)
  • Rationale and philosophical foundations of social research (15 credits)
  • Qualitative research methods (15 credits)
  • Applied qualitative research methods (15 credits)
  • Introduction to quantitative inference* (15 credits)
  • Research methods dissertation (60 credits)

You will choose one of the following core quantitative analysis modules (or two if you do not study Introduction to quantitative inference) with the guidance of the Programme Director:

  • Statistical models** (15 credits)
  • Applied econometric and psychological research methods (15 credits)
  • Multivariate data analysis (15 credits)
  • Statistical modelling ** (15 credits)

* May not be compulsory if you have prior training in quantitative methods.
** You may study Statistical models or Statistical modelling, but not both.

Elective modules

In addition, you take one or two elective modules (to the value of 30 credits) from the following list.

Some modules have a stronger methodological element, while some are more substantively focused:

Culture and Creative Industries (Sociology Department)

  • Evaluation, politics and advocacy (15 credits)
  • Culture (15 credits)
  • Cultural policy (15 credits)

Department of Journalism

  • Storytelling (30 credits)
  • Literary criticism non-fiction (30 credits)

Department of Economics

  • Macroeconomics (15 credits)
  • Financial derivatives (15 credits)
  • Corporate finance (15 credits)
  • Asset pricing (15 credits)
  • Econometrics (15 credits)

Department of International Politics

  • Religion in global politics (15 credits)
  • International financial institutions (15 credits)
  • Understanding security in the 21st century (15 credits)
  • International organisations in global politics (15 credits)
  • Development and world politics (15 credits)
  • Political economy of global finance (15 credits)
  • The politics of forced migration (15 credits)
  • Global governance (15 credits)
  • International politics of the Middle East (15 credits)
  • Global financial governance (15 credits)
  • Economic diplomacy (15 credits)
  • Foreign policy analysis (15 credits)
  • US foreign policy (15 credits)

Department of Psychology

  • Fundamental processes in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology (15 credits)
  • Mental health, wellbeing & neuroscience (15 credits)
  • Research methods & programming (15 credits)

Department of Sociology

  • Survey research methods (15 credits)
  • Transnational media and communication (15 credits)
  • Developments in communications policy (15 credits)
  • Political communication (15 credits)
  • Democratisation and networked communication (30 credits)
  • Communication, culture and development (30 credits)
  • Celebrity (15 credits)
  • Analysing crime (30 credits)
  • Criminal justice policy and practice (30 credits)
  • Criminal minds (15 credits)
  • Victims: policy and politics (15 credits)
  • Crime news and media justice (15 credits)

*Please note, elective modules are run subject to minimum enrolment numbers/availability and may vary slightly from year to year.

Download the relevant programme specification

Contact details

Postgraduate and Research enquiries +44 (0)20 7040 0249
+44 (0)20 7040 3721

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Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study2 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 3250 per yearInternational course feesGBP 6500 per year
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 6500 per yearInternational course feesGBP 13000 per year

Notes about fees for this course


Full-time: £6,500

Part-time: £3,250 per year


Full-time: £13,000

Part-time: £6,500 per year

More about fees

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).


Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

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Find out more about the Postgraduate Solutions Study Bursary

Graduate Loyalty Discount: The School of Arts & Social Sciences offer a 10% discount on tuition fees for all City graduates.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

Academic facilities

You will have the opportunity to learn a range of statistical software applications to aid data collection and analysis, such as SPSS, Stata, MatLab and R.

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We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

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Entry requirements

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