Critical Social Science

Critical Social Science MRes

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: £4,625
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: N/A
International full time annual tuition fee: £13,250

Course type



Humanities and Social Science

Study mode

Full Time (1 year)

About your course

The MRes in Critical Social Science at Liverpool John Moores University critically combines the disciplines that inform society, organisations and institutions relevant to criminology, geography, media, culture, communication, politics and sociology.

  • Complete this masters degree full time (one year)
  • An interdisciplinary MRes bringing together staff from Criminology, Geography, Sociology and Media, Culture, Communication
  • Fosters a creative and innovative postgraduate culture
  • Critical approach with a research focus
  • Can lead to doctorate study in social sciences
  • Secure the research training demanded by the ESRC/AHRC for postgraduate funding

Coming back to full-time education, I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of the MRes. I have gained experience and new skills in research, which I hope to use in further study or employment.

Mark Rowley, graduate

The MRes has undeniably provided a firm foundation for the PhD I am currently studying. My MRes research has been expanded for this new course and the research skills I developed during the MRes will definitely assist me throughout the doctorate.

Carly Speed, graduate

Introduction to the School

The School of Humanities and Social Science provides an ideal environment in which to expand your knowledge and horizons at postgraduate level, leading you to a broad range of career opportunities.

Our dynamic, professional and experienced staff excel in innovative and exciting research which contributes to the teaching and learning methods you will experience here. You will join a warm and friendly learning community, offering excellent learning resources and first class student support.

Our working relationships with Merseyside employers and organisations may benefit you in both academic and personal career development. We are situated in an historic part of Liverpool, close to the Anglican Cathedral and a short walk from cafes, bars and the cultural quarter.

You will be taught, mentored and supervised by academic staff who are passionate, experienced and active in respect of critical social scientific research and the knowledge and skills you acquire will allow you to progress to doctoral research in the social sciences or are transferable to a range of academic, professional and commercial occupations.

Research excellence

In the 2014 REF, 81% of research submitted by Communication, Cultural and Media Studies at LJMU was either recognised internationally, or considered as internationally excellent. This research helps ensure that our postgraduate courses are positioned at the vanguard of developments in the field and that you have an opportunity to study alongside leading experts.

Why study this course at LJMU?

This Masters programme provides you with the opportunity to think beyond traditional subject boundaries and construct a postgraduate level research project that showcases your interdisciplinary application of theory in your chosen area of specialist research.

This postgraduate programme gives you the breadth of knowledge necessary to make informed decisions, and to imagine positive new ways in which to direct social experience. You will consider the consequence of strategy within a number of different contexts and understand how your ability to analyse at this level can make a valuable contribution to the experience of future generations.

Programme outline and structure

This Critical Social Science MRes programme will equip you with a range of knowledge and skills, allowing you to complete an independent research project, and become an expert in social analysis through the interdisciplinary application of critical theory.

The programme's structure, content and approach emerge from the expertise on offer in the School of Humanities and Social Science and LJMU's commitment to the interdisciplinary study of Critical Social Science.

Specifically, the MRes represents a bespoke collaboration between the disciplines of Criminology, Geography, Media, Culture and Communication and Sociology. It fosters a creative and innovative research culture, which crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries and builds on the distinctive, critical approaches of each of the disciplines.

You will prepare for and conduct a piece of independent research, interrogating a particular area of theory, policy and/or practice, within one of five interdisciplinary pathways:

  • crime, criminalisation and social harm
  • ecology, environment and activism
  • consumption, identity and mass media
  • health, disease and social wellbeing
  • power inequality and the state

Our dynamic, professional and experienced staff excel in innovative and exciting research which contributes to the teaching and learning methods you will experience. Good working relationships with Merseyside employers and organisations also frequently benefit the academic and personal career development of our students.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

  • Critical social science research proposition and development

Engages you in independent and critical thinking, and develops and applies theoretical concepts in critical social sciences

  • Research Project in critical social science

Assesses your ability to present, in scholarly form, a sustained piece of research which demonstrates knowledge and understanding of a relevant field and appropriate methodologies to organise material into a clear and relevant argument

  • Professional development for researchers in arts, professional and social studies

Provides you with professional guidance geared to the conduct and dissemination of research

  • Research methods for arts, professional and social studies

Introduces you to library, bibliographic, online and other facilities necessary for postgraduate research; assisting you in recognising and applying appropriate strategies for developing a research project

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is based on a range of research tasks and projects reflecting the skills developed by the various modules.

Assessment will include: 

  • academic essays
  • annotated bibliographies
  • reflective research exercises
  • position papers
  • oral presentations
  • dissertation/research project 

Staff research interests

Staff within the School of Humanities and Social Science conduct a wide range of research. 

Our staff conduct reseach in areas including:

  • Representation and identity (particularly representations of gender) and cultural politics
  • 17th, 19th and 20th Century British Literature and Cultural History
  • Women’s writing
  • Critical and feminist theory
  • History, including British decolonisation, the British empire, Nazi Germany, labour history
  • Criminology, including policy responses to young people in trouble
  • Child welfare
  • Penal systems
  • Illegal and problematic drug use
  • Corporate crime
  • Night-time economies in the city

The Centre for Crime, Criminalisation and Social Exclusion (CCSE) conducts research and hosts widely attended events in the field of crime, criminalisation, social policy and social exclusion. Research areas include:

  • Children, young people and youth justice
  • Policy responses to children in trouble
  • Criminological theory
  • Sociology including: 'Race and political theory; Racism and relations between states and ethnicised and racialised minorities
  • Wales and postcoloniality
  • Work-life balance
  • Women’s health

Entry requirements (Home)

Applicants for MRes graduate study in Critical Social Science will normally be expected to have a good first degree (a 2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. 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

International students

Applicants should have acquired passes in appropriate examinations in their country of origin and provide evidence of English language ability. Where English is not a first language, an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 7.0 in Academic Writing must be achieved.

Entry requirements (International)

LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.

Application and selection



Will I be interviewed?

No - Research Proposal required to be submitted with application


6.5 (Min. 5.5 (7 in writing) in each component)


58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


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

Financial support

Tuition fees

All students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.

Funding sources

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

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.

The programme offers the full range of research training demanded by the ESRC/AHRC for postgraduate funding.

International Study

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

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.

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