Postgraduate Research Courses (PGR)
The Social and Political Science Graduate School provides a broad range of social science research methods training for postgraduate researchers across the University of Edinburgh.
The courses described in these webpages form the shared core of our programme of research training in social and political science. The programme aims to equip postgraduate researchers with skills in key research methods, and in the use and interpretation of techniques for the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.
The Graduate School research training programme is designed to meet the generic requirements of the ESRC Postgraduate Research Training Guidelines, and to provide additional subject-specific, and more advanced, training for students working in the core social science disciplines represented in the School.
Students beginning research degrees normally take a full programme of training courses in their first year of study. The courses are chosen in discussion between the student, supervisor, and Programme Director (for MSc students) or Postgraduate Advisor (for PhD students). The courses are also open to all postgraduate researchers, including students from outwith the School of Social and Political Science, students on some taught Masters programmes, and research students in the later stages of their degrees. The 'normal programme of research training' is outlined in more detail here.
Most research training courses have their first meeting in week 1 of the semester, and run for 10-11 weeks. Schedules for each course are available via the links below.
We offer a set of ‘core skills’ courses.
- Research Design | PGSP11208
- Research Skills in the Social Sciences: Data Collection | PGSP11016
- Core Quantitative Data Analysis 1 and 2 | SCIL11009
- Analysing Qualitative Data | PGSP11110
Almost all our research students take one or more of these. The key introductory course in Data Collection is essentially made up of four two-week sections on what we see as the principal methods: documents and archives; interviews and focus groups; ethnographic observation; survey method. Each of these is explored in detail in more advanced, specialist options.
- Qualitative Methods and Ethnographic Fieldwork | PGSP11188
- Social Network Analysis: Mapping and Exploring the Network Society | PGSP11372
- Evaluation Research Methods | PGSP11373
- Analysing Social Networks with Statistics | PGSP11452
- The Documents of Life | PGSP11302
- Working with Self and Other in Qualitative Research: Theory and Practice | PGSP11429
As well as in methods germane to particular fields and topics:
- Comparative Analysis of Social and Public Policy | PGSP11104
- Listening to Children: Research and Consultation | PGSP11012
- Research in Africa | PGSP11340
Finally, we offer an option in social and political theory:
In addition, a number of programmes have subject specific research training courses:
- Theory and Practice of Political Research | PLIT11001
- Advanced Issues in Anthropological Research | SCAN11006
- Advanced Issues in Social Policy | SCPL11018
- Advanced Issues in Social Work Research | PGSP11089
- Advanced Issues in Socio-Cultural Research | PGSP11101
- Advanced Issues in Sociological Research and Sociology Writing Workshop | SCIL11007
Guidance on how to choose your courses is here.