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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Research Training Courses

Sociology is an integral part of the Graduate School of Social and Political Studies and our staff are heavily involved in teaching on the ESRC recognised Research training courses offered by the School. These courses 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. It is designed to ensure that all students attain the level of competence set by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) postgraduate research training guidelines.

Sociology Postgraduates who do not have an ESRC recognised MSC qualification (or equivalent) are expected to spend part of their first year following a programme of research training, drawn from the core MSc by Research courses. All students, irrespective of prior training, are expected to take the core course: Advanced Issues in Sociological Research & The Writing Workshop. The course focuses on the organisation of research in practice, rather than just understanding the abstract principles behind it and introduces students to the range of work undertaken in the Sociology subject area. Students are expected to present their research ideas and plans to peers and discuss research design in a constructive and supportive environment. The Workshop aspect of the course seeks to develop practical sociological craft skills that are directed towards producing a successful PhD thesis and getting your ideas into publication.

The emphasis on research training not only means that you will be excellently placed to complete your doctoral research to a high standard but gives you a firm grounding in multiple sociological research methods and modes of analysis. After graduating, you will be able to apply for a wide range of social research and arts and humanities academic posts, contribute to the social science community, contribute to community-provided cultural and media activities, and participate in global networks of professional sociology.

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