Award Type and NFQ level : TAUGHT MASTERS (9)

CAO/PAC code : MHY44

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 30 June 2024

View FETAC details

The M.Sc. in Social Research is a taught Master's programme that can be completed in one year, full-time or in two years on a part-time basis. It is aimed at:

  • Graduates in the social sciences or related fields who want to develop their research skills and seek research-based employment;
  • People currently in employment who want to upskill their research capabilities;
  • People who want to proceed to further postgraduate study such as M.Litt or PhD.

Through a range of compulsory and elective modules, practical assignments and a research thesis, the M.Sc. provides students with:

  • KNOWLEDGE to understand how theory and data helps us to understand the major social issues of our time;
  • SKILLS to design and execute research projects, to analyse data, and communicate findings;
  • CAPACITY to develop and manage research relationships and partnerships. 

It will teach you how to:

  • Manage a research project;
  • Use quantitative, qualitative and digital methods to design and conduct social research;
  • Analyse primary and secondary data collected using a range of techniques and data analysis programmes;
  • Formulate and present results and findings to a wide range of audiences.

The MSc in Social Research at MU Sociology provides hands-on training in research skills with real-world data, and instruction from staff with a passion for evidence-based research. You will work with real-world data, gaining familiarity with the toolkit of modern data-driven social research. The M.Sc. programme consists of 4 compulsory modules (Working With and Sourcing Data, Principles of Social Science Research, Quantitative and Qualitative Methods and Digital Methods) and one elective module (Theorizing Transition/Political Economy, Digital Societies, Nature and Society, Families and Generations, Working Lives Transition, or Intimate Lives Transition). Students also complete a major thesis or work-based research under the supervision of our expert staff from MU Sociology, where they put to practice the research design and management skills they learned. Students who are currently in employment, completing the programme part-time, can complete their project in the second year of study.

Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.   The entry requirement is an honours degree of at least a 2:2 in Social Science or a cognate discipline or international equivalent is required.

Minimum English language requirements:

Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. For information about English language tests accepted and required scores, please see here. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and International applicants.

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850


Department of Sociology

Department of Faculty of Social Sciences

Department of ALL Institute

Jane Gray


Department of Sociology

Department of Social Sciences Institute (MUSSI)

Department of IQDA

Paul Ryan photo


Department of Sociology

The course involves 6 x 10 credit modules over two semesters and the completion of a thesis (30 credits). Classes are timetabled on a Thursday and Friday and through two intensive ‘burst’ modules.  See our website for our MA handbook.

Course Duration: 1 year full-time

This MSc equips you to work as a quali¿ed, independent social researcher within the private, public and social sectors. Graduates will have a fluency in a range of methods data formats, and research designs. These skills allow many graduates to find employment in a range of government, semi-state departments, or in the private sector. There are many areas with demand for research skills, these include: policy organisations and institutes, charities, community and voluntary organisations, human resource management, companies with internal research departments, think-tanks, IT companies, private consultancy, education, social protection, health, and social care. The MSc also provides strong foundations to pursue further postgraduate training at M.Litt or PhD level, and the sociology department currently hosts researchers active in the areas of climate change and climate justice, income inequality, family, gender and sexuality, migration, education, social welfare and social protection, social movements and social change, crime and justice.

Online application only

PAC Code


The following documents should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:

Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of their birth certificate or valid passport.

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