MSc Social and Behavioural Research Methods

The course

Course type
Entry date

Chat with an academic online

We are running a series of 'Chat with an academic' sessions. Each session is subject specific and runs between 11 January and 5 May 2023. Find the session of interest to you and book your place.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


The MSc Social and Behavioural Research Methods provides a rigorous programme of methodological training suitable for students who wish to pursue a research career, whether in academia or beyond.  Designed to meet the Economic & Social Research Council’s (ESRC) criteria for accreditation*, the programme is the ideal preparation for students looking to pursue a PhD.  Built upon a core set of compulsory courses and featuring tailored pathways across our areas of expertise in Psychology, Business Management, Finance and Accounting, it enables students to select a pathway through the programme that is appropriate to their own needs and interests.

*Programme pending accreditation 

Course content

Year 1 

The full-time programme features a common set of introductory research methods courses in semester 1, delivered through a combination of online learning materials and teaching sessions (60 credits). This is followed by a range of specialist optional courses, delivered through a series of weekly face-to-face sessions in semester 2 (60 credits), with a dissertation in the Spring/Summer (60 credits). 

In semesters 1 and 2, students will have the opportunity to attend regular Q&A sessions focussed on the preparation of their MSc dissertation approval. 

Mandatory courses

  • Research Methods 1: An Introduction to Research Methods
  • Research Methods 2: The Qualitative Researcher 
  • Research Methods 3: The Quantitative Researcher 

Optional courses 

Students select four optional courses from the list below:  

  • Big Data Analytics 
  • Network Analysis for Business 
  • Systems Thinking and Analysis 
  • Econometric Methods for Economic Research 
  • Comparative Financial Reporting  
  • International Accounting Theory 
  • Empirical Financial Modelling 
  • Psychological Interventions 
  • Research with Impact 
  • Research Experience Placement 
  • Coding for Social Science Applications in Python 
  • Discourse Analysis*
  • Advanced Statistics*
  • Experimental Design*

*Course titles to be confirmed


Students can choose the appropriate dissertation course based on their chosen pathway. 

  • Business Management 
  • Accounting, Banking or Finance 
  • Independent Project in Psychology

Entry requirements

For MSc entry, students will typically have a good honours degree (first or 2:1), or its non-UK equivalent, in a relevant subject area  from a recognised British or overseas university.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. Please view our English language requirements.

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)


Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.