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Research Methods for Social Science & Health MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert

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The MSc in Research Methods for Social Science & Health provides in depth knowledge and critical understanding of: (1) epistemology, methodology and ethics in the social sciences; (2) principles of research design and methodology commonly used in health and social science research; (3) research governance and the management of risk; (4) quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection, analysis and reporting.

Key benefits

  • Integrates social science with King’s leading health schools and their internationally recognized excellence in biomedical and health research and training.

  • Taught by a dynamic and research-led team of academics with a wide range of disciplinary and methodological expertise, providing students with first hand exposure to advanced academic research.

  • Situated in the heart of London, providing unrivalled opportunities to engage with the worlds of policymaking, non-governmental agencies and biomedical research.

  • Provides an open and supportive learning environment, fostering independent and critical learners and researchers.

Key information

Application status Closed

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180-200/ECTS 90-100

Course intake There is no set number.

Course leaders Dr Filippa Lentzos

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2979 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

DepartmentDepartment of Global Health & Social Medicine



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Course detail


Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s is a unique interdisciplinary department founded in 2012 with a mission to address the changing landscape of health and medicine from a social science perspective. Working closely with colleagues in biomedicine and the life sciences, it explores the complex social determinants of health, illness and ageing, and the ways in which advances in biomedicine and biotechnology are changing expectations about life and health, and the social and ethical challenges of global inequalities in health, illness and medical care.

The Department has been recognised by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 for the quality of its interdisciplinary research in sociology, anthropology, gerontology and ethics. It achieved the highest proportion of 4* research outputs of any sociology submission to the 2014 REF, where 4* represents world-leading research in terms of originality, significance and rigour. In addition, 100% of its research impact was awarded a 4* or 3* rating.

The MSc in Research Methods for Social Science and Health draws on departmental research first hand, and benefits from close connections with King’s internationally renowned health schools. Taught by a dedicated team of experienced academics, the programme introduces students to epistemology and ethics in the social sciences, and provides foundational training in research design and governance, and in quantitative and qualitative methodology. It offers a variety of options for advanced and more specialized training. The dissertation forms an integral part of the programme, enabling students to put the knowledge and research skills they’ve gained into practice on a topic of their own choosing. Through the programme students develop a critical understanding of research, a variety of methods and their practical application in health and social sciences.

A rich departmental programme of guest speakers, research seminars, workshops, reading groups and visiting researchers enhances students’ learning experience. Alumni consistently comment on how the department has prepared them to embark on new careers or advance their existing positions by providing them with the skills and expertise to evaluate, conduct and commission research.

Prior training in quantitative or qualitative methods is not required. The programme can be studied over one year on a full time basis, or over two years part time. Students can also opt for an abbreviated Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.

Course purpose

The postgraduate programme provides an excellent foundation for understanding, conducting and using social science research in policy, medicine and healthcare. It is designed for researchers, professionals and practitioners seeking to develop their understanding and practical application of research methodologies, especially those from health, policy, NGO and government sectors, and those who manage and/or commission research.

Further literature

Course format and assessment

Combination of lectures, tutorial classes, independent study, optional modules, attendance at regular seminars and colloquium, and an extended research project.

Assessment encompasses a mix of both formal and informal assessment methods, including oral presentation, extended essays both formative and summative, unseen examination, and a dissertation.


Year 1

Required Modules


Programme Core Module

  • Epistemology, Methodology & Ethics in the Social Sciences (Details TBA)


Programme Compulsory Modules:


One Compulsory Foundation Subject Area Module:


Plus one of the following:


Optional Modules

 Students can select 15-35 credits of optional modules from within the department or from other departments within King's College. Listed below are some of the modules offered within the department, a full list can be found here.

*Please note that not all modules may be running in a given year, please refer to the Department Module List for further information.


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

General entry advice

Candidates should have a 1st class  or 2:1 undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). 

We may consider candidates with a lower second class degree or with professional qualifications from a recognised institution if they can:

  • show relevant work experience and/or relevant professional qualifications

  • demonstrate that they are highly motivated

  • provide referees from their university or employment strongly supporting their admission onto a master's level programme.

In these circumstances we will usually admit a student to our certificate or diploma programmes, possibly with a view to the student transferring to the master's programme if they successfully pass their first two examined subjects. Relevant professional qualifications will be taken into account.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £50 applies.

Your application will be assessed by the Admissions Tutor. You may be invited to be interviewed. We may interview non-UK candidates by telephone and may ask applicants to write an essay. We will only assess complete applications with supporting uploaded documents. Please see our website for more details. We aim to process applications within three weeks; during holiday periods applications may take longer to process.

Personal statement and supporting information

The personal statement should be approximately three to four paragraphs, and no more than one page. This should explain why you are interested in the programme applied for, and could include, for example, details of your motivation and aptitude, your relevant experience and skills, and any other information that would be useful for us in assessing your application. In general terms, we look for candidates who demonstrate a strong interest in the programme, are committed to academic study at postgraduate level, and demonstrate the potential to do well in an academic environment.

Application closing date

Master of Science in Research Methods for Social Science and Health MSc - We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline was the 31st March 2017.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.  For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 30th July 2017 or from UK/ EU nationals after 3rd September 2017.

Master of Science in Research Methods for Social Science and Health PG Dip - the deadlines for applications for January 2018 entry is 29th October 2017 (overseas) and 3rd December 2016 for UK/EU

Master of Science in Research Methods for Social Science and Health PG Cert is still open to applications.


Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time UK fees: £3,150 p.a. (PGCert, 2017/18)*; £9,450 p.a. (MSc, 2017/18)*; N/A (PGDip, 2017/18)*
  • Full time overseas fees: £6,140 p.a. (PGCert, 2017/18)*; £18,420 p.a. (MSc, 2017/18)*; N/A (PGDip, 2017/18)*
  • Part time UK fees: £1,575 p.a. (PGCert, 2017/18)*; £4,725 p.a. (MSc, 2017/18)*; N/A (PGDip, 2017/18)*
  • Part time overseas fees: £3,070 p.a. (PGCert, 2017/18)*; £9,210 p.a. (MSc, 2017/18)*; N/A (PGDip, 2017/18)*

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2017, payment is due by 30th April 2017.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2017 and 30th June 2017, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2017 and 31st July 2017, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2017, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions
  • Library fees and fines
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing course handouts
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Our postgraduate students have gone on to pursue a range of careers including consultant positions in medicine and psychiatry, work as specialist health care practitioners, positions in Government and the public sector, policy positions in public and voluntary organisations, analytical posts, and research and academic posts in universities around the world. Many of our past graduates now work in strategic positions in medicine, social care and policy, or within central or local government, voluntary organisations, or non-governmental organisations.

We collaborate closely with the Careers & Employability Office at King's to enhance the employability of our students, and we organise targeted Careers sessions with guest-speakers from relevant fields.

For more on programme career paths, see our dedicated page “What our students do after the graduate”.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

View online

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Page last modified on 17 May 2017.