Educational and Social Research (MRes, Postgraduate Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate)
Is this course for me?
You are likely to be, or aspire to be, involved in either educational or social research. Maybe you would like to learn research skills or you need a qualification to prove what you know. Tutors from the Institute of Education will work with you and help you to develop your own research agendas.
The course has been recognised by the ESRC as a comprehensive programme of research training which will:
- provide the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to interpret, evaluate and carry out research in any education-related setting;
- enable you to effectively work with, and perform research in a variety of sectors, including industry, the public sector, and the academic community;
- explore a wide range of disciplinary approaches to educational research and the relevance of disciplines such as Sociology, Psychology, History and Philosophy for undertaking research in educational settings;
- allow you to gain expertise in research procedures such as interviewing, literature reviewing, data analysis, and writing
- act as valuable preparation if you wish to undertake doctoral studies.
|Programme||You study||Study period||Cost (2013-2014)|
|MRes||6 modules plus dissertation (equivalent to 180 credits)||2-5 years||£8,295|
|Postgraduate Diploma||5 modules (equivalent to 120 credits)||2-5 years||£5,835|
|Postgraduate Certificate||3-5 modules (equivalent to 60 credits)||1-5 years||£3,375|
|Individual modules||10 credit modules||1-5 years||£670|
|Individual modules||20 credit modules||1-5 years||£1,180|
|Individual modules||30 credit modules||1-5 years||£1,700|
Your time commitment
We estimate that you will need to study for 10-15 hours a week.
The course has been developed by the Institute of Education, the largest institution in the UK devoted to the study of education and related areas. Founded in 1902, the Institute is a world-class centre of excellence for teacher training, higher degrees, research and consultancy in education and related areas of professional practice and the social sciences.
A rich virtual learning environment
This course is available via distance learning, allowing you to study flexibly and balance work and personal commitments.
On this course your learning will be collaborative in that you share your skills and experience with other students. You are supported by an online learning environment which incorporates focused conferencing and work spaces linked to specific activities for each module. There are also informal discussion areas and links to online resources including library support. Study materials and course readings are provided. Find out more about study support.
|Application deadline||30 June||31 October|
|Registration deadline||31 August||30 November|
|Online induction module starts||September||December|
|You start studying||September||January|
|Examinations take place||May / June||May / June|
What our students say
"The reason I choose this qualification is that, as an academic, research is an integral part of my job. This qualification equips a researcher in academia with the necessary technical skills, confidence and knowledge and enables one to produce high-quality and meaningful research."
Senior Lecturer in Business Management, South Africa
About the structure
This structure is subject to confirmation in the Programme Regulations.
The MRes consists of six modules and a dissertation (180 credits).
The Postgraduate Diploma consists of up to five modules selected from the above list (excluding the dissertation) and must total a minimum of 120 credits.
The Postgraduate Certificate consists of up to three modules selected from the above list (excluding the dissertation) and must total a minimum of 60 credits.
Module dates for 2013-14
- Approaches to Educational Research: 16 September 2013 - 8 December 2013
- Research and the Theoretical Field: 16 September 2013 - 8 December 2013
- Dissertation (September): 16 September 2013 - 31 August 2014
- Research Methods: 6 January 2014 -30 March 2014
- Writing and Presenting Educational Research: 14 April 2014 - 17 April 2014 and 28 April 2014 - 13 May 2014
- Qualitative Data Analysis: 6 January 2014 - 2 March 2014
- Quantitative Data Analysis: 20 January 2014 - 25 May 2014
- Dissertation (March): 1 March 2014 - 28 February 2015
- The Spring Break runs from 18 April 2014 - 27 April 2014
30 credit modules
- Approaches to educational research
This module provides an overview of the different approaches to educational and social research. The module looks at a range of designs that are often used in social research, including surveys, ethnography, case studies, and experiments, and contrasts some of the ways in which researchers conceptualise the outcomes of research. The module will also explore some of the fundamental methodological issues underpinning social research, particularly epistemological debates about the nature of research knowledge. The module provides training in how to formulate research questions, design research strategies, and to carry out literature searches. Through this training, students will begin to develop a portfolio of research ideas to be developed throughout the course, and will be able to review and interpret research according to the debates discussed in the module.
- Research methods
Research methods involves looking at a broad range of methods of data collection, including questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observations, and document analysis. The module provides a detailed consideration of the procedures involved in using these various research strategies, and looks at how to use methods in order to address particular research questions.
- Research and the theoretical field
This module focuses on the ‘theoretical space’ of research, and explores the relationship between theoretical and epistemological claims/assumptions/debates and research practices. This will entail a close interrogation of both published research and students’ own research ideas.
20 credit modules
- Qualitative data analysis
Qualitative data analysis considers the process of analytically orientating to qualitative data. The
module looks at a range of analytic approaches, including Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis,
Conversation Analysis, as well as a broad variety of data formats such as video, audio, written
transcripts and historical documents.
- Quantitative data analysis
This module covers a wide range of methods of quantitative data analysis and deals with both
conceptual and practical aspects. The module introduces exploratory analysis, including
descriptive statistics for summarising univariate data and measures of association for bivariate
data, hypothesis testing, and modelling data by regression analysis.
10 credit modules
- Writing and presenting educational research
This module provides students with a detailed understanding of the different ways in which educational research can be communicated. By focussing on a variety of presentation forums, such as peer reviewed journals, conferences and project reports, the module enables students to develop an awareness of the importance of audience for the effective communication of ideas.
40 credit modules (MRes only)
- Dissertation MRes
In the dissertation module students will have the opportunity to undertake an empirical piece of research using the analytic skills and knowledge they have gained in subsequent modules. Students will work with an assigned dissertation tutor to define an area of interest to them, and then create and implement an appropriate research strategy to investigate that area. Students will be expected to review relevant literature in their chosen area, to review methodological issues involved in their chosen design, to analyse data, and to relate their analysis to the wider theoretical field in which their research is situated.
Comment from student
"The Online MRes course in Educational and Social Research offers a synergy of theory and practice. It has greatly contributed to my performance at work and areas of expertise."
Svetlana Belic Malinic
EFL teacher, Serbia
How you study
We’ve designed the course to exploit the communicative nature of web-based learning to the fullest. When you register you will be given access to the Online Learning Environment. As well as this being a vibrant community of researchers, it is where you can access:
- the study materials
- multimedia presentations
- library resources
- conferencing facilities
- discussion areas
For each module, you will access the learning materials online and work through them either alone or in groups. You will work closely with experienced, highly trained tutors from the Institute of Education in all of your modules. If you undertake a dissertation you will also be assigned a personal tutor to support you in working through your research.
The learning materials were written specially for this programme by our team of academic experts at the Institute of Education. The materials support your interactive learning experience, where you actively participate in an international group learning environment.
You can fit your study around your lifestyle. You don't have to give up your job whilst you study. The course will be directly relevant to your work.
What our students say
"As a busy professional, I greatly appreciate the benefits of distance learning. It allows me to organise myself better and have more time for my family."
Svetlana Belic Malinic, EFL teacher, Serbia
The fees below refer to the 2013-2014 academic year only and are effective from 1 March 2013 until 30 November 2013. Fees are subject to annual review.
|Registration fee||£ 915|
|Fee per 10 credit module||£ 410|
|Fee per 20 credit module||£ 820|
|Fee per 30 credit module||£ 1,230|
|Dissertation fee (MRes only)||£ 1,640|
|Total MRes degree||£ 8,295|
|Total PG Dip||£ 5,835|
|Total PG Cert||£ 3,375|
|Total per Individual module (10 credit, taken on a stand-alone basis)||£ 670|
|Total per Individual module (20 credit, taken on a stand-alone basis)||£ 1,180|
|Total per Individual module (30 credit, taken on a stand-alone basis)||£ 1,700|
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When to pay
Fees may be paid in one of two ways:
How to pay
All University fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP). The University accepts:
· Western Union - Quick Pay
· Credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Electron, JCB)
· Sterling banker's draft/cheque
· International money/postal order
Further details are given in payment methods.
In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for the fee charged by your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary.
The University reserves the right to amend previously announced fees, if necessary. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.
Most of the modules will be examined by a combination of a two-hour unseen written paper and coursework.
Examinations take place once a year in May/June. If you fail an examination at the first sitting you will be allowed one further attempt. Examinations are normally held in a student's country of residence in one our examination centres worldwide. For further details please see the Assessment and examinations section of our website.
You must be able to demonstrate your interest and experience in the field of educational research or social research and meet the following academic entrance requirements.
A second class honours degree or the equivalent from an institution acceptable to the University of London.
For awards at FHEQ level 7, students must provide satisfactory evidence showing that they have passed the TOEFL IBT (awarded within the past 3 years); with a minimum total score of 92 with at least 22 in both Reading and Writing and at least 20 in Speaking and Listening.
In addition, students applying for the Educational and Social Research programme must provide satisfactory evidence showing that they have passed within the previous three years a test of proficiency in English at the following minimum level:
- IELTS with an overall grade of at least 7.0 with a minimum of 7.0 in each sub test; or
- For the TOEFL iBT (internet-based Test), a total score of 100 is required
- A test of proficiency in English language from the prescribed list published by the University.
Where an applicant does not meet the prescribed English language proficiency requirements but believes that they can demonstrate the requisite proficiency for admission the University may, at its discretion, consider the application.
Word-processing, Internet and email skills are all basic requirements of this programme. No previous experience of computer conferencing is required as these skills will be developed during the programme.
* Please ensure that the computer you intend to use when accessing the online learning environment can accept cookies (students using a corporate or other network should check with their network administrator).
Note: if you do not meet the entrance requirements you may still apply. Each application will be considered on an individual basis and the decision taken at the discretion of the University.
Online access and general computer requirements
Supported Browsers include:
Internet Explorer 7+
Screen resolution (recommended)
1024 x 768 or greater
Certain programmes may have their own specific requirements, please refer to the relevant Regulations.
Academic leadership: Institute of Education
A postgraduate College of the University of London, the Institute of Education is the largest institution in the UK devoted to the study of education and related areas. Founded in 1902, the Institute is a world-class centre of excellence for teacher training, higher degrees, research and consultancy in education and related areas of professional practice and the social sciences.