MRes Critical Social Science

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Start date(s)

September 2019

Tuition fees 19/20
Home (full-time, per year): £5,100
International (full-time, per year): £13,950

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175

International admissions

+44(0)151 904 6499

Got a question? Fill out our form

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About this course

LJMU's MRes in Critical Social Science explores research in social sciences that informs society, organisations and institutions.

  • Pursue your own research interest under the guidance of specialist supervisors 
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of Critical Social Science research methods 
  • Develop your skills as an academic researcher, and gain the foundation for progression to PhD 
  • Enjoy a vibrant and innovative postgraduate culture

This Masters programme provides you with the opportunity to think beyond traditional subject boundaries and undertake a postgraduate level research project in your chosen area of specialist interest.

The MRes in Critical Social Science seeks to develop and extend your skills and knowledge in the practice and theory of research. The course is organised around both sociology and criminology specific content but also joining others across the school for an interdisciplinary approach designed to cultivate your understanding of research as an activity. 

This is a course which fosters a creative and innovative research culture, to encourage you to think broadly and creatively about different approaches to research.


The course will enhance your understanding of research in the social sciences and enable you to develop your own research interest in criminology and sociology, for example, crime, criminalisation and social harm, ecology, environment and activism, disease and social wellbeing, power inequality and the state, religion,  gender and sexuality and globalisation.

You will gain the knowledge and skills required to complete an independent research project, and have the opportunity to become part of a network of criminological and sociological researchers and to enrich your academic and personal career development.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to use your own)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)

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  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Postgraduate study in Critical Social Science enables you to progress to the next level in social analysis and influence in a range of rewarding roles for social change. On successful completion of the programme you can progress to doctoral research in the social sciences or bring your new found skills in argument, presentation, organisation and research to a range of academic, professional and commercial occupations.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme.

For further information on what you will study, please see the guidance below on the programme's core modules.

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Core modules

Critical Social Science Project Development
30 credits

The aim of this module is to undertake a research project which is determined by your own research interests. Regular workshop sessions will help you to  compile a literature review and develop a structure for the writing stage of the project.

Critical Social Science Research Project
60 credits

This module prepares you to present a 18000 word dissertation or research project of equivalent size on an area of study normally related to the themes and concerns of Critical Social Science. It assesses your ability to provide, in scholarly form, a sustained piece of research which: demonstrates knowledge and understanding of a relevant field, methodologies and critical context; organises material into a clear and relevant argument and demonstrates the ability to work independently.

Professional Development for Researchers in Arts, Professional and Social Studies
30 credits

This module provides a context to identify and explore opportunities for professional training and development. Through the examination of relevant professional bodies and systems, the module enhances professional knowledge, skills and understanding, and prepares you for further doctoral study.

Research Methods for Arts, Professional and Social Studies
30 credits

This module introduces and develops generic research skills in arts, humanities and social science. It:

  • introduces you to library, bibliographic, online and other facilities necessary for postgraduate research
  • assists you in recognising and applying appropriate strategies for developing a research project – identifying research questions, theoretical problems, material for analysis and critical position
  • develops your capacities for evaluating strengths and weaknesses in the methodologies of researchers in your field
  • helps you to gain confidence in communicating your ideas verbally to your peers, and conform to postgraduate-level standards for the presentation of written work

Critical Social Research
30 credits

The aim of this module is to address the range of research skills, theories and methodologies necessary to the successful development of postgraduate level research projects in Critical Social Sciences. It helps you in identifying research questions and ethical implications, evaluating work in a specific area; and developing learning processes.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Students attend university for teaching Tuesday mornings (completing modules 7103; 7104), and afternoons (7101; 7102).

Teaching methods

The course offers a range of approaches to learning, with peer and tutor feedback greatly encouraged. Workshop activities and tutor support facilitate formative feedback to enable you to work on your weaknesses and build on your strengths.

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Person sat using laptop


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

Assessment on this programme is based on a range of research tasks and projects reflecting the skills developed by the various modules. As such, you will be assessed through academic essays, annotated bibliographies, reflected research exercises, position papers, oral presentations and a dissertation/research project.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Kay Standing

Kay Standing

Programme Leader

I am currently working on a British Academy funded project on re-usable menstrual products in Nepal, and a HEFCE funded project looking at sexual violence in universities. I am project manager for the Tender Acting to End Abuse project, which works with schools using art and drama to explore issues of equality, respect and the healthy and unhealthy behaviours present within relationships, including violence and abuse, and provides INSET training on recognising early warning signs of abuse.

My research interests are in gender and education in the UK and Nepal.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Based within the John Foster Building, part of the Mount Pleasant Campus, the School of Humanities and Social Science has many outstanding facilities, including well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated postgraduate study areas. At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives access to an exceptional range of materials to support the study of humanities and social science.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2:1 in a relevant discipline


  • equivalent professional qualifications and experience

Additional information: 

  • IELTS English language requirement: 6.0-6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)

  • Pearson requirements: 58-64 (minimum 51 in each component for UKVI purposes)

  • RPL is accepted on this programme

If you have any specific queries, please contact

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

Applications are also welcomed from highly motivated non-standard entry students with relevant experience, but without the necessary formal qualifications. The decision to admit a candidate to the programme will depend upon: 

  • a sufficient level of knowledge to embark upon the programme the potential to develop research skills to an appropriate level
  • identification of a research area commensurate with appropriate staff resources for supervision and relevant to the research directions of the programme (research proposals should typically fall within the research interests of staff. However alternative topics outside these areas will be considered on a case-by-case basis) 
  • evidence of the learning capability and commitment at postgraduate level

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.