Back
Two students looking at mobile device

Overview

The MSc Applied Social Science will enable students to develop an understanding and applied experience of researching a number of contemporary and international issues across the areas of international politics, criminal justice, social policy, public governance and administration. It is delivered by an international team of leading experts.

This programme introduces students to the social and political contexts within which social science research is currently being undertaken and the uses to which social research might be put across the areas of international politics, criminal justice, social policy, public governance and administration.

LEARN FROM THE BEST

Programmes underpinned by internationally excellent/world-class research - Research Excellence Framework 2014

Prospective Student Researching UWS CPD Short Courses & Modules | University of the West of Scotland

Don't take our word for it

Completing the MSc in Applied Social Science (Criminal Justice) at UWS has given me the skills and experience to develop, immensely, both academically and personally, and to pursue a career in research. In particular, being given the opportunity to complete a practice-based dissertation in collaboration with Police Scotland was a fantastic and unique opportunity to conduct meaningful ‘real-world’ research and has helped transform me into a more confident researcher. The course offered me the flexibility to pursue my own academic interests in greater depth alongside expert, helpful staff. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the course to anyone looking to further explore their interests within the social sciences, or to those building a career in policy, practice or research.


Conor Wilson, 2018 graduate

Entry Requirements

What qualifications do you need?

We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience

If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.

Academic Requirements

You should normally hold a relevant Honours degree at 2:2 or above in any of the subjects below: 

  • Any social science 
  • Medicine 
  • Health 
  • Law
  • Social work

You will also be considered if you have a degree in another discipline or other professional training or experience relevant to course specialisms. In order to demonstrate your academic ability you will be required to complete written work and may be invited to attend an interview prior to acceptance.

If you are an overseas student then you must also meet UWS English language requirements (see below).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for most courses

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.0
  • no sub-test less than 5.5

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
  • PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)

 

IELTS Score Exceptions (Research degrees, Nursing & Midwifery degrees with NMC registration, Certificate of Higher Education, etc.)

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0

For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS or Occupational English Test (OET)*.

For such courses, the IELTS score is as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • score of at least 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking and no less than 6.5 in writing

* Note that the Occupational English Test (OET) will now be accepted in addition to IELTS as proof of a Nurse's English Language Competence (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2019). 

For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 5.0
  • no sub-test less than 4.5

 

TOEFL IBT

TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:

  • Reading: 17;
  • Listening: 17;
  • Speaking: 17;
  • Writing: 17

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

 

West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)

West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*

  • C6 or above in English

*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.

 

Pre-sessional courses

Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:

    • 10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
    • 5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
    • English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).

Find out more about our English lanaguage Courses.

Course details

The MSc Applied Social Science degree has been designed to be flexible and allows for part-time and full-time study, while also blending on-campus, and online delivery techniques.

The MSc comprises three core and three optional taught, 20-credit modules followed by a 60-credit research dissertation.

If you chose to exit the course before undertaking the research dissertation, you can exit with the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip).

For the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) stage, you will study the following modules:

  • Policy Analysis and Practice (core, 20 credits)
  • Applied Research Methods in Social Sciences (core, 20 credits) 
  • Contemporary Social Issues (core, 20 credits)

To complete the PgDip stage, you will select three optional 20-credit modules. The selection of the optional taught 20-credit modules is based both on your interests and on their availability (which can change from year-to-year). Currently, options include, but are not restricted to:

  • Global Crisis Management (20 credits, optional)
  • Comparative Penology (20 credits, optional)
  • Power, Politics and Civil Society (20 credits, optional)
  • International Relations (20 credits, optional)
  • Social Policy and Globalisation (optional, 20 credits)
  • Social Research Today (optional, 20 credits)
  • Applied Criminal Justice (optional, 20 credits)
  • State in a Global Order (optional, 20 credits)

Successful completion of the PgDip allows you to proceed to the master's module:

  • MSc Social Sciences Dissertation

Teaching & Assessment

The statistical breakdown details below describe the core modules:

LEARNING AND TEACHING

  • Scheduled learning: 19%
  • Independent study: 81%

Learning is within an international context and research underpins all modules across the course. You have the opportunity to work with academics and external partners on research projects.

ASSESSMENT

  • Coursework: 100%

Your skills development and employability are embedded throughout assessments. Academics who teach on the course draw on their research networks for the benefit of your experience through a combination of field trips to external organisations and the use of guest speakers from external bodies.

Content Structure

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

MSc Applied Social Science Course Structure

UWS Postgraduate Student

Career Prospects

JOBS

Graduates find careers in various specialist roles particularly related to research, campaigning and advocacy across public, private, voluntary and charity sectors. This programme is also suitable for those considering a career in teaching. 

FURTHER STUDY

Part-time students may already be working in roles related to the specialist study areas and use the MSc for career advancement.

Many graduates also use the MSc Applied Social Science as an opportunity to commence doctoral-level research studies (MPhil/PhD) or a research career.

Postgraduate Tuition Fees

Postgraduate fees for this course 2020/21

Scottish & EU

£6,500 cost of study

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£6,500 cost of study

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£6,500 cost of study

International (Non-EU)

£13,000 cost of study

More on current & future tuition fees

Module Fee: 2020/21

Scottish & EU

£930 per module (20 credits)

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£930 per module (20 credits)

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£930 per module (20 credits)

International

£1,855 per module (20 credits)

More on current & future tuition fees

Academic Session 2021/22 Postgraduate Tuition Fees - Full-time

Scottish

£6,500 Cost of study

Rest of UK (English, Northern Irish, Welsh)

£10,765 Cost of study

Republic of Ireland

£10,765 Cost of study

International (including EU)

£13,325 Cost of study

Check Your Tuition Fee Status

2021/22 Tuition Fees for 20-credit Modules (face-to-face)

Scottish

£930 Cost per 20-credit module of study

Check Your Tuition Fee Status

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) postgraduate tuition fee and living cost loans may be available for eligible (Scottish/EU) students. Check SAAS website for more information.

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:

  • statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees
  • scholarships for Scottish, EU and International (non-EU) students
  • bursaries to help towards living expenses

The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.

You can also find additional information in our Postgraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.

Additional Costs

Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.

For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

Tuition Fees & Living Cost Support

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs

Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as a postgraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Norther Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at postgraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at postgraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find out more.

Other Financial Support

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.

Find out more.

How to apply

Postgraduate courses (MA, MSc, MEd, MBA, DBA, PG Cert, PG Dip, etc.) & some Post-experience courses (CertHE, BA, Grad Cert, Grad Dip, etc.)

All students should apply directly to the University through our online application system. Before you apply, you should check that you meet our entry requirements and you should have all your supporting documents ready.

The first stage of the process is to create a profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving each section and return to complete it at a later date.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

Before you begin your application, it is important to read the Postgraduate & Post-Experience application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.

 

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Get in touch

Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!

UWS Research Students | Researcher Development & Concordat | University of the West of Scotland

Research at UWS

With cutting edge facilities, specialist knowledge and world-leading and internationally excellent expertise, we aim to develop research outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.

Discover

We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.