* What does it mean to become a researcher?
* How do we learn the "craft" of social research?
* In what ways might social and cultural research be evaluated?
Recent years have been characterised by a significant expansion of opportunities to undertake social and cultural research. Such an expansion has contributed to the call for improved research education and training. The aim of the degree is to provide a strong theoretical and practical introduction to the world of sociological, social and cultural research. You will be exposed to the range of general academic research skills and expertise expected of the professional researcher in the social sciences.
The degree is a valuable preparation and qualification for a career in social research. It is also an excellent primer for those candidates planning to undertake a PhD in Sociology, Cultural Studies and cognate disciplines.
Typical Modules (subject to change)
Qualitative Methods in Social and Cultural Research
Main topics of study: developing research questions; research philosophies (positivism, phenomenology, reflexivity); ethnography; internet research; interviews; biographical methods; focus groups; surveys and sampling; qualitative data analysis; politics and ethics of research.
Quantitative Data Analysis
Main topics of study: Collecting data, data forms, data entry and data management; univariate statistical measures and tests; basic bivariate analysis correlation, association and statistical significance; basic regression i.e. linear regression; multiple regression and data-modelling; logistic regression, life-tables and hazard modelling.
Graduate Research Skills and Professional Development
Main topics of study: reviewing research aims and objectives; choosing research methods; study design, sampling, and analytical issues in the use of such methods; appropriate resources for such studies; using information technologies; managing a research project, presenting research information.
Recent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:
* Facebook and the mediated presentation of self.
* The cultural contingency of lay understandings of happiness.
* Veiling: second generation Muslim women and the crisis of multiculturism.
Elective (three from)
Issues and Controversies in Media and Communications
Main topics of study: media ethics, media and moral panics, media power, media effects.
Media and Globalisation
Main topics of study: theorists of globalisation; globalisation and media; critics of globalisation; intellectual property and global media/culture industries; global Internet regulation; globalisation and media culture.
Main topics of study: the rise of the creative class, the symbolic economy, immaterial labour, gentrification of cities, and advertising and branding.
Making Web Cultures
Main topics of study: The politics and social characteristics of online social networks; analysis of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and blogging culture; impact and use of web technologies for collaboration, e.g. wikis; problems of surveillance and privacy in the internet age.
Main topics of study: television audiences and contemporary public issues (news and political communication, health and illness, sexual violence); youth audiences and politics; audiences as citizens, consumers, producers. These case studies are explored in the context of wider debates concerning media effects/ influences; active audience theory.
Principles of Media Research
Main topics of study: key principles and ethics of media and communications research; focus groups in research practice; design and conduct of semi-structured interviews; analysing media content; analysing media discourses, audience surveys.
Main topics of study: distributed power, global networks and cultural resistance; global internet culture critical; celebrity culture; psychological and social consequences of celebrity; mediation and social memory.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.