The MSc Applied Social Research responds to an identified need for graduates with an in-depth academic understanding, and applied skills in all aspects of social research. Everything about our MSc Applied Social Research is geared towards helping you grow as a professional researcher, ready for an independent career in business, the charity sector, public administration, academia, or creative industries and media (among others).
The programme has been developed, and will continue, with an Advisory Board of external stakeholders from employers and users of social research. This enables our MSc to develop graduates with the professional skills and attitudes, fit for the contemporary business and academic market needs. It also provides you with access to key stakeholders, to be capitalised on for your professional development.
Committed to Building Professional Identities
Good social researchers stay on top of global current affairs, monitor fast-changing social policy landscapes, keep in touch with professional bodies, and keep abreast of developments in academic debates.
To achieve this, we will expect you to participate in Social Sciences Seminars run in our subject group, whereby staff, PhD students, and external guests present and discuss their research and work. This will further enhance your experience, support your advanced learning and strengthen mentoring relationships developed with Napier academics.
We will also have our annual MSc Research Awayday, where you can showcase your Dissertation Project to staff, the student community, and external stakeholders.
Learn Research from the Scotland’s Leading Researchers
We are a group of excellent researchers who do work that matters. Understanding and counteracting social (in)equalities is at the heart of our Social Sciences group and building and advancing more socially just and equitable societies is paramount to our work.
As a group we have a creditable track record of applied and impactful research, as our outstanding Research Excellence Framework 2022 outcome testifies.
We have achieved the following, impressive results in the latest REF2022 submission (UoA20 Social Work and Social Policy):
• The top Scottish modern university.
• 100% of impact case studies scoring 3* or 4* stars.
• Top of all Scottish universities by this above measurement.
• 81% of research outputs rated 3* or 4* stars (sector average: 75%).
We have also teamed up with social research businesses, researchers from public administration departments, and research teams from charities across Edinburgh to help us shape and deliver our programme. This creates opportunities to explore potential work experience or volunteering opportunities that might arise during your studies, and can help you spread your wings in a professional setting. You will meet quite a few of these professionals in the classroom, as some of them will also deliver guest Employer-Led teaching sessions.
This vibrant research context makes us ideally placed to guide you through your own research development journey. So come and join us!
The Dissertation Project
This is where your knowledge, skills, and capabilities will shine! Your individual DP is a piece of advanced scholarship & research that you will carry out under the individual mentorship of an academic colleague. You will be matched with a Dissertation Mentor best placed to guide you through the project. We have a wealth of expertise in the social sciences but where appropriate, may offer supervision from colleagues in other subject groups across university.
The dissertation project will be designed according to your interests and future career plans. For example:
• You may opt to design and execute a new research project and seek to disseminate the findings to the relevant audiences.
• If you have (or will undertake) work experience that is relevant to the programme, you may opt to do a practice-based project.
If you are interested in pursuing academic research further into doctoral studies, we will also support you by e.g., offering (where possible) shadowing opportunities, developing PhD proposals, and bespoke sessions on academic research careers.
Our MSc Applied Social Research is built on feminist ethos of cooperation and help. Therefore, instead of vertical, hierarchical divisions of responsibility, we prefer horizontal collaborations. Thus, Dr Mandy Winterton and Dr Roberto Kulpa share the Programme Leader duties, responsibilities, and perks of joy that come with overseeing, each year, a group of fantastic and motivated junior researchers growing and maturing through our programme.
Dr Mandy Winterton:
I am now a Reader in Sociology, having started my Higher Education journey as a mature working-class student at my local college in one of the most deprived areas of the UK. It is perhaps not surprising that my research interests then are founded on intersections of class and gender, (although not limited to this.) Over the years my academic and commissioned research has enabled me to apply that focus on many different contexts, from schools, colleges and elite universities to the civil service, prisons and the Ministry of Defence. I am passionate about principled, robust social research, and the lives and nuances of inequality that it is able to bring into view and fight for.
Dr Roberto Kulpa:
I have been moving all my life, and this diasporic experience has deeply influenced my way of thinking about the world we live in, and about global social inequalities I have witnessed. That is why I have always felt at home with feminist and queer movements in their fight against injustice and pursued academic research that brings these approaches into play in academia, and in my pedagogy. Apart of studying ‘West and the Rest’ (as Stuart Hall has once aptly described global political inequalities), gender/sexuality and nationalisms, I have also been reading into friendship and developing questions concerning well-being, resilience, and resistance as modi operandi of marginalised groups during precarious times.
Dr Marina Yusupova:
I grew up in Russia, a country where masculine domination has been a defining feature of social, political, and cultural life. I have always felt exasperation at the invisibility and systemic devaluing of women, their experiences, and their work. Feminist theories and critique have been absolutely crucial in shaping my academic journey. Over the past 10 years, I have applied my passion for promoting gender equality and integrating gender sensitive perspectives in organisational cultures. In my research on gender and sexuality I use postcolonial and decolonial perspectives to challenge the western-centric hierarchies in knowledge production. As an educator, I see the task of decolonising the curriculum, fostering inclusive academic cultures, and undermining various inequalities within the classroom as central for educational institutions of all levels.
Dr Guanyu Jason Ran:
Born and raised in Mainland China on the banks of the Yangtze river, my childhood witnessed one of the largest human migrations in contemporary China, led by the construction of the world’s largest hydropower station - the Three Gorges Dam. While this life experience of course became the genesis of my personal travel and migration inspirations, wherein so far I have travelled to more than 30 countries around the world, as well as lived in countries across East and Southeast Asia (China and Thailand), Australasia (New Zealand), North America (United States), and Europe (United Kingdom, France, Portugal, and Denmark); it also inevitably paved my later academic interest and pathway into inquiring how migration impacts our everyday life, especially family dynamics, intergenerational/multigenerational, and broad ethnoracial relationships.