Social Research


  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Full time 12 Months, Part time 24 Months


Why Lancaster?

  • Study in our well-respected department with its excellent research ratings and supportive culture
  • Benefit from rigorous training in analysing evidence – useful preparation for further research or a range of exciting careers
  • Pick from a wide range of optional modules within our five specialist pathways
  • Be inspired by our widely published academics who’ve also produced podcast series, videos and even board games
  • Be part of our vibrant social community – try one of our Feminist Movie Mondays or our ‘intellectual party’ student conference

Our MA Social Research is a fantastic stepping-stone if you’re thinking of going on to do a PhD or further research. Or you may already be in employment and want to top up your research skills to make you more effective in your role.

Flexible and forward-thinking

Our programme is made up of four core modules, two optional modules and a dissertation. You’ll have the flexibility to tailor your research by choosing one of our five specialist pathways:

  • Sociology
  • Gender Studies
  • Media and Cultural Studies
  • Environment. Culture and Society
  • Science, Technology, Innovation and Social Practices

We believe you need to be part of a strong community to produce high quality research. And so, at Lancaster, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a thriving, intellectual and social community, with international conferences, public debates, film screenings and networking opportunities.

Exploring new approaches

Our tutors regularly publish influential research on key issues such as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on families and changes in citizenship. But they’re well known for how they engage with the public too.

Inspired by their enthusiasm, you’ll develop your own passion and make a valued contribution to our research culture. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with real data and learn to defend your findings. All good practice for the outside world.


As well as preparing you for specific jobs, our MA will equip you with an enviable skill set much in demand by today’s employers.

The experience you’ll gain analysing quantitative or qualitative data and producing research-based evidence will be welcomed by commercial teams, pitching to clients to win contracts.

You may find yourself working in policy development or a research and development role. However, our graduates also continue their research in academia, find opportunities with charities, and secure places on schemes like The Civil Service Fast Stream.

Whether you opt for employment or further research, your skills will offer you a broad range of opportunities.

Our programme is recognised by the Northwest Doctoral Training Partnership (Economic and Social Research Council), so you may be eligible to apply for funding through the MA or MA+ PhD studentships.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in a relevant social science.

We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 7.0, and a minimum of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.

If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email

Course structure

This MA has five different pathways available which allow students to tailor the programme to their own interests without losing the focus on research training. Below is a sample of modules which are available to students on this programme - for full details please read more about our pathways.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.



Fees and funding

Location Full Time (per year) Part Time (per year)
Home £11,500 £5,750
International £23,875 £11,935

General fees and funding information

Scholarships and bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course. You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities.

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We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries.

Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.

The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.

More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.