MRes Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences


We are no longer accepting applications from international students. This is due to high demand. Places are still available for UK and EU students.

If you are an international applicant and you would like to apply to study in 2018/19, you will be able to from September 2017. We recommend that you apply early because of the high level of competition for places.


Qualifications and durations

  • Full-time (1 year)
  • Part-time (2 years)


This course will train you to be a highly-skilled social science researcher able to understand and use appropriate research techniques and become familiar with approaches used by other social scientists. You will develop a systematic understanding and critical appreciation of alternative approaches, methodologies and paradigms of research in social science.

The course has been designed to include a substantial theoretical and quantitative core. Combined with complementary qualitative training the programme provides the essential skills for any working researcher.

During the course, you will be trained in state of the art techniques used in the analysis of social science quantitative data. The training will enable you to think through how you can use your knowledge and advanced quantitative skills in different contexts, applying them to a variety of problems and specifically in the area of social, educational or political enquiry you are most interested in.

The vibrant environment for training in quantitative social science methods will equip you with the skills to become a transdisciplinary future leader in innovative social science research.

This course is designed to enable you to carry out high quality doctoral research or pursue other professional research activities. By the end of your studies you will be able to identify and investigate your own original research questions using advanced quantitative methods.

Course structure

This course is delivered collaboratively with the universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter as part of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP).

In each semester, one core unit is taught intensively over three full-days, with time spent at each partner university campus.

Semester one units

  • Research Design Methods & Skills for AQM (collaboratively delivered unit)
  • AQM1 Experimental and Quasi-experimental Quantitative Methods for Social Science
  • Qualitative Methods 1
  • Short Research Apprenticeship
  • One optional unit

Semester two units

  • Mathematics and Programming Skills for Social Scientists (collaboratively delivered unit)
  • AQM2 Advanced Modelling Techniques for Social Science
  • Long Research Apprenticeship
  • One optional unit

The final third of the course includes a compulsory dissertation.

Optional units (for semester one or two)

Optional units from the universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter are be available (subject to timetable compliance).

  • Research Methods in Economics and Finance (University of Bath)
  • Multivariate statistics for use in health contexts (University of Bath)
  • Policy evaluation: methods and techniques (University of Bath)
  • Advanced statistics for use in health contexts (University of Bath)
  • Business analytics (University of Bath)
  • Explaining Causation (University of Bristol)
  • Spatial Data Analysis (University of Bristol)
  • Big Data in Society (University of Bristol)
  • Bayesian Analysis (University of Exeter)
  • Text as Data (University of Exeter)
  • Social Network Analysis (University of Exeter)

Further information about units for this course will be available on the Programme & Unit Catalogue from July 2017.

South West Doctoral Training Partnership

This course is accredited by the Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the larger South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP).

The MRes can be taken as a course in its own right, or as part of the 1 + 3 (MRes + PhD) pathway.

If you wish to study for both the MRes and the PhD (the 1 + 3) you should apply for the PhD but indicate on the Application Form, that you also wish to study for the MRes.

Progression from the MRes to the PhD stage is dependent on achieving an acceptable level of achievement (typically an overall average of 60% on at least the taught component of the MRes).

Learning and teaching

The collaboratively delivered unit days will involve lectures but also lab training, working with software to implement advanced quantitative methods. Some pre-course material will be made available in advance of the intensive full-day delivery of these units.

Other units will be taught by combinations of lectures, seminars and computer lab sessions.

Methods of assessment

Units are assessed by a combination of exams and coursework.

Collaboratively delivered units are assessed by individual projects (coursework), as are the Short and Long Research Apprenticeship units.


There is increasing demand for high-level quantitative skills in a wide range of private and public sector recruiters. Many firms and government departments are now committed to data-driven decision-making, making use of the increased availability of Big Data.

This course will equip you with a hybrid skill set that combines quantitative, computing and analytical skills with an understanding of social science research and enquiry.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Typically a 1st or 2.1 Honours degree with substantive quantitative elements (this could include degrees in economics, psychology, social policy, sociology, geography, politics, management or a Q-Step programme). Substantive is normally considered as at least 30 European Credit Transfers (ECT) plus a quantitative dissertation.

A strong personal statement (typically 500-1,000 words) that provides evidence of:

  • how your academic, professional and personal experiences equip you to meet the demands of the course
  • your reasons for wanting to study on the course at University of Bath
  • how your studies may fit with your subsequent professional/academic intentions 

English Language requirements

  • IELTS 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components)
  • PTE Academic of 69 with no less than 62 in any component

Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the course of study.

There is further information about meeting the English requirements.

If you wish to improve your English proficiency before commencing your studies, pre-sessional language training can be arranged through the Academic Skills Centre.

You may be eligible for a combined offer to include both pre-sessional English 5 (PS5) and the master’s degree.

Tier 4 visa pilot

Find out how you can benefit from a streamlined visa application process.


Two academic references are required.

How to apply

You must apply to study through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.

Financial information


Potential sources of funding


We suggest you apply before these dates:


Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 6634

Related links


Main areas of research

We are an internationally-recognised research-intensive department with a strong focus on policy and practice and a commitment to contribute to social wellbeing and social justice.

We draw together academic staff with backgrounds in Social Policy, Sociology, Social Work and International Development and work closely with colleagues in Psychology, Economics, and Health.

We also have an active and vibrant community of research students undertaking their own research alongside our academic staff.

Research Centres

Research themes

Our five research themes are:

Departmental Staff

Find out more about our staff and their research interests.


The Department of Social & Policy Sciences includes academics from social policy, sociology, social work and international development.

The international excellence of our research was recognised by the award of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2011.

We are committed to advancing learning and knowledge through teaching and research. Our Department collaborates with a wide range of users at the local, national, European and global levels.

Postgraduate programmes

We offer a wide range of postgraduate programmes. Our postgraduate teaching strongly reflects our research and our links to policy-makers and development institutions at the national, European and global level.

Our Department also has an active MPhil/PhD research programme. We take great pride in fostering a friendly and supportive learning environment.

Seminar series

We run a lively and well attended postgraduate research seminar series. Each of the Research Centres run seminar series and conferences associated with their research activities. The University of Bath also has a Research in the World public lecture series where key national and international academics are invited to speak.

Careers information

We are committed to ensuring that postgraduate students acquire a range of subject-specific and generic skills during their training. Our graduates generally go on to work in a wide variety of organisations, for example:

  • social research in universities and research institutes, government, business, voluntary organisations and international organisations
  • public policy analysis at local, national and international levels
  • public information and campaigning within organisations concerned with wellbeing, sustainability and social justice.