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Social Inequalities and Research Methods (MSc) (2022 Entry)

About this taught graduate course

Course overview

This course will introduce you to several dimensions of social inequality. You will study key topics such as social class and social stratification, work and employment, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, health and disability. You will develop an in-depth understanding of key theoretical approaches and concepts for understanding inequality, and you will be introduced to key empirical studies in the area of social inequalities.

The main aim of this course is to provide you with a thorough training in sophisticated qualitative and quantitative research methods that can be used to understand social inequalities. You will have the opportunity to further specialise in research methods of your choice in your dissertation project.

By the end of this course, you will have solid skills in research design, data collection, data management, and data analysis, and a wide-ranging understanding of the methodological and analytical aspects in the study of social inequalities.

Skills from this degree

  • Ability to analyse and evaluate research in the broad field of social inequality
  • Ability to analyse and evaluate theories that seek to explain causes and effects of social inequality
  • Ability to critically evaluate and utilise basic and advanced quantitative and qualitative techniques for the study of social inequality
  • Ability to conduct independent research
  • Ability to write about complex ideas in a clear way
  • Ability to understand and assess claims to knowledge made by a range of relevant disciplines

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

An upper-second class (2:i) honours degree or equivalent.


English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirements. This course requires the following:

  • Band B
  • IELTS score of 7.0 with no more than two components at 6.5 or 6.0, or other accepted language test.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements page.


Additional requirements

Read our department advice on applying to ensure your application has the best chance for success.

Core modules

Researching Inequality: Race, Class, and Gender in Global Perspective

What is the role of social research in understanding social inequalities? How can social research contribute to reducing social inequalities? This is a foundation module in the study of social inequality, providing an in-depth understanding of contemporary research into global social inequality, and drawing out the relationships between individual, local and global patterning of inequality. It foregrounds race, class and gender, whilst also asking you to think about the causes, intersections and effects of other inequalities that interest them (for example, intergenerational, urban/rural, sexuality, disability, health, education, citizenship status, wealth).

Qualitative Methods in Social Research

It is the aim of this module to provide postgraduate social science training in the area of qualitative research methods and methodologies. The module is concerned with the ways in which social scientists conduct qualitative research and analyse their data. Particular attention is paid to the importance of data analysis, as well as data gathering techniques.

Quantitative Methods in Social Research

This module aims to develop practical quantitative research methods skills, and a critical appreciation of such methods. It covers the secondary analysis of data from large-scale surveys, the collection or generation of survey data, and the use of non-survey sources for quantitative analysis. It also includes considerations of the evaluation and interpretation of existing data sources/published data (including official statistics) and the development of research instruments.

The conceptual and contextual factors determining the meaning and value of survey data are also discussed. The module includes a number of ‘hands-on’ computing sessions (in which statistical software# is used to manipulate and analyse data). The statistical techniques considered (and applied using statistical software) within the module range from basic descriptive and inferential statistics (such as cross-tabulations and chi-square) to multivariate techniques (such as logistic regression). The components of the module assessment relate to quantitative data sources and questionnaire design, sampling and the production of primary data, descriptive and inferential statistics, multivariate analysis, and the interpretation of published statistical analyses.

Dissertation

The dissertation module gives you the opportunity to complete an independent piece of research on a topic of your own choice with the support of your dissertation supervisor, plenary teaching, and other online resources. The aim is for you to creatively use the substantive and methodological training acquired in the earlier part of your course to critically analyse a research topic of sociological relevance.


Optional modules

Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:

  • Gender, Imperialism and International Development
  • Social Data Science
  • Gender Analysis and Development Practice
  • Cultures of Life, Authority and Power in Modernity
  • Market Life: Wealth and Poverty in Global Capitalism
  • Social Research for Social Change
  • Understanding Social Science
  • The Sociology of Urban Life
  • Postcolonial Theory and Practice
  • Transnational Media Ecologies
  • Feminist Pedagogy/Feminist Activism
  • Queering Sociology
  • Key Problems in Criminal Justice
  • Creative Research Methods
  • Ethnography and the Anthropological Tradition
  • Sociology of End Times
  • Social Data Science

Read more about our core and optional modules on the Sociology website.

Teaching

This MSc courses has three core modules which will be studied alongside a range of optional modules. You will be required to choose three optional modules.

All our MA courses follow a consistent structure meaning that you will follow a programme of taught modules, followed by a 15,000-word dissertation. Part time students will take three modules in Year One, and three modules plus dissertation in Year Two.


Class sizes

Class sizes can range from 6 to 30 students, depending on each module.


Typical contact hours

Each module consists of at least 20 hours of teaching. Many modules follow a 1-hour lecture/1-hour seminar format, while other modules are taught in 2-hour workshops.

You will have a supervisor for your dissertation research project, who you will meet regularly for guidance and advice.


Assessment

Taught modules are assessed through written assignments. You will focus on completion of your MSc dissertation following the end of Spring Term.


Reading lists

Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.


Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules when you join us.

Your career

Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including: Coventry University, KPMG, Oxfam and Waitrose. They have pursued roles such as: business and financial project management professionals; higher education teaching professionals; IT project and programme managers; legal professionals and research and development managers.

Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • Make Your Mark - Careers with a degree in Sociology
  • Working for More than Profit
  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • Your Sociological future: Sociology Alumni Evening
  • My Sociological Future- What next? Career planning for undecided Sociology finalists

Sociology at Warwick

We have an international reputation for research excellence, a global and cosmopolitan perspective, and high-quality teaching. Our curriculum offers a comprehensive and up-to-date foundation with a diverse range of specialist options:

What does it mean to understand the world in which you live? What will your contribution be to this changing world? How do your own experiences and life chances compare to those of others?

Sociology – the study of humans in society – attempts to capture the rich variety and complexity of human social life. Indeed, it is difficult to think of any area of social existence that a sociologist wouldn’t be interested in examining, from the most intimate of personal relationships to the worldwide circulation of ideas, beliefs, products and people.

Find out more about us on our website.


Our Postgraduate courses

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Taught course fees  Research course fees


Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.


Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad. Information about department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Funding routes available

Find out about the many different funding routes available for postgraduate study at Warwick.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

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Here is our checklist on how to apply for taught postgraduate courses at Warwick.

Research course applications

Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.

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Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in the UK. These events give you the chance to learn about our Master's and PhD study routes, and the wider context of postgraduate study.

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