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Research Methods for Social Science & Health PG Cert

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The PGCert in Research Methods for Social Science & Health is a unique study pathway that provides professionals, practitioners and researchers with advanced understanding and skills for the practical application of quantitative and qualitative research methods. It provides an excellent foundation for understanding, conducting and using social science research in policy, medicine and healthcare. In addition, it enables students to develop a critical understanding of research methods, supplying them with the skills to commission or undertake their own original research.

Key benefits:

  • Taught by an internationally recognised Faculty, providing students with first hand exposure to advanced research methods across a wide range of disciplines in health and the social sciences, covering epidemiology, sociology, demography, anthropology and gerontology.
  • Interdisciplinary approach covering compulsory and optional modules on applied quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Integrates social science with King’s leadingn health schools and their internationally recognised excellence in biomedical and health research and training.
  • 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 learning and research.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration Six months FT, 18 months PT, January to July.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 60/ ECTS 30

Course intake There is no set number.

Course leaders Dr Mauricio Avendano & Dr Giorgio Di Gessa

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

Department Department of Global Health & Social Medicine



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Course detail


The PGCert in Research Methods for Social Science & Health offers you flexibility with the choice to study either full- or part-time. Taught by an internationally recognised Faculty, it will provide you with in-depth training in interdisciplinary research methods. You will gain advanced knowledge and skills in research design, as well as quantitative and qualitative methods for research in health, public services and the social sciences.

This course is ideal for health professionals, graduates in relevant disciplines, policy makers, those who work in governmental and non-governmental organisations, and anyone wishing to develop advanced, interdisciplinary understanding of research methods in the social and health sciences. Teaching focuses on cutting-edge research methods in the social sciences applied to health, medicine and public policy. It equips students with the analytical skills they require to carry out their own research, or to commission research in the fields of health and medicine from a social science perspective. Graduates from this course will be able to work on areas that require knowledge of research methods, including many areas of health policy, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and academic and applied research at universities and research institutions.

 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 course can be studied over six months on a full-time basis, or over 18 months part-time.


Further literature

Course format and assessment


Per 15 credit module you can typically expect to have 15 hours worth of lectures, seminars and feedback, and 135 hours worth of self-study. 

Typically, 1 credit equates to 10 hours of work.


The department assesses students on a combination of reports, workbooks and problem set. The nature of assessment varies by module.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course modules change.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 60 credits.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-todate innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on this course page for updates.

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:


Optional Modules

You are required to take 15 credits from the following optional modules:

Part-time students are expected to take Designing Quantitative Research for Social Science & Health and Quantitative Data Analysis in Year 1 with the remainder of modules in Year 2.


Entry requirements & how to apply

Research Methods Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements 2:1

Candidates should have a 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.

International requirements    Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £60 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

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Document checklist
Personal Statement Yes 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.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline is the 29 March 2019.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.  

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 Home/EU fees: £3,330 per year (PGCert, 2019/20)
  • Full time overseas fees: £7,100 per year (PGCert, 2019/20)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £1,665 per year (PGCert, 2019/20)
  • Part time overseas fees: £3,550 per year (PGCert, 2019/20)

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

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 2019, payment is due by 27th April 2019.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2019 and 30th June 2019, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2019 and 31st July 2019, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2019, 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 information about our 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.

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