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Postgraduate Course

Social Sciences MRes

Develop the methodological, theoretical, and interpersonal skills needed to research, understand, and change the contemporary social world.

Student reading from a colourful book

On this course you will develop strong critical theory and advanced research skills, enabling you to engage in rigorous research and thoughtful analytical work. You will use these skills to produce a significant piece of independent research. This project will develop your research interests, and provide you with valuable transferable skills.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time
  • Start date – September 2024, September 2025
  • School – York Business School

Minimum entry requirements

    2:1 honours degree in a related subject

    Interview if your honours degree is in an unrelated subject

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £8,000 full time

    International 2024-25 £11,300 full time

Course overview

Through the Social Science MRes you will learn to engage with the social world around you and conduct sophisticated research into it. To achieve this, you will explore new social theoretical perspectives and research methods. You will also examine the underlying philosophical debates behind the social issues you investigate.

Your independent research project will give you a developing profile in social research and data analysis. It will also provide you with practical experience to help you succeed in your career. As part of your final research piece, you will deliver your dissertation proposal at the Social Sciences Postgraduate Research Conference.

By the end of this course you will have:

  • Developed a specialist area of research interest
  • Identified your preferred methods of investigation
  • Gained experience in a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Produced a publishable-quality piece of research
  • Learnt to present research findings to academic and stakeholder audiences
  • Developed widely transferable skills such as organisation and team working

Course structure

How you will study

This course will take 1 year to complete and must be studied full time. You will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules
  • A Dissertation module throughout the year

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.


Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will become familiar with approaches to quantitative research and learn to carry out a range of appropriate research methods. You will enhance your ability to carry out your own research, preparing you for your dissertation and providing you with essential employment skills.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module focuses on developing qualitative research methods. It will allow you to undertake advanced social scientific research. This could include interviews, focus groups, ethnography or arts-based methods. You will also consider the ethical implications of such research. You will work with your tutors to interpret and analyse the data you have gathered. This module will prepare you for your dissertation, and particularly the ethical approval process.

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop and design a research proposal and prepare a conference presentation. You will then deliver your presentation at our postgraduate conference. You will receive one-to-one support throughout the module from an academic supervisor. Through this module you will learn how to navigate ethics approvals, disseminate research ideas and manage your time.

Credits: 80

Compulsory module

The dissertation is the core of the MRes Social Science course. It offers you the chance to develop and undertake original empirical research. Through this you will gain a deep understanding of a subject you are passionate about. You will develop a coherent argument and produce a piece of writing of up to 20,000 words. To complete this you will draw on both qualitative and quantitative research.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

Teaching will consist of a mixture of group seminars and individual tutorials. This includes additional sessions with staff from across the university.

As a graduate student, independent learning will be central to your study. You will be encouraged to take responsibility for your role in managing your own learning and its outcomes. Our Academic Support Team are able to provide help regarding written English, study, research and technology skills if required.

We keep our group sizes small so we can get to know your creative personality and support your aspirations. We deliver your modules through:

  • Seminars
  • Lectures
  • Reading Groups
  • Interactive Presentations and Workshops
  • Guided Research Tasks
  • Dissertation supervision

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.



You will be assessed in each module in a variety of ways that may include: methodological investigation, research reports, conference poster design, presentations and the completion of a dissertation.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    2:1 honours degree in a related subject

    Interview if your honours degree is in an unrelated subject

If your degree is in an unrelated subject, but you can provide evidence of relevant professional experience, your application may still be considered.

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Research Proposal

You will need to submit a piece of writing as part of your application to this course. You will need to write a brief research proposal that should:

  • Be up to 500 words
  • Describe the research you would like to pursue

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

UK 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £8,000 for full time study

This cost applies to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

Funding opportunities

International 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £11,300 for full time study

This cost applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £8,000 full time

    International 2024-25 £11,300 full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Social Sciences take you?

This degree will help you to to prepare for a PhD or develop your career prospects within humanities or the criminal justice system. It could also take you in a completely different direction, using the many transferrable skills you will develop. These include problem solving, developing arguments, analysing and evaluating information, collaboration, independent working, communication and more.

This will give you an advantage in careers such as:

  • The voluntary sector
  • Private research organisations
  • Local and central government
  • Social policy
  • Education
  • Management consultancy
  • Human resources
  • Advertising and market research

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £7,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2020)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

For postgraduate degrees you must apply directly to York St John University using the links below. This will take you to the application form you need to fill out for this specific course. 

To complete the online application form you will need to create login details. 

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Fees and key information

Apply now

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