Birkbeck, University of London
Social Research PgDip
Birkbeck, University of London

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts

Course Description

Our MSc/PgDip/PgCert Social Research is an interdisciplinary social science training programme designed to prepare you for further research in the workplace (or for MPhil/PhD study if you take the MSc).

The course covers ontology, epistemology, quantitative and qualitative techniques, and advanced methods masterclasses. You also carry out an independent dissertation, putting into practice the methods and theoretical concepts you have been taught.

The MSc provides a particularly strong environment for theoretically informed, interdisciplinary and socially engaged research.


  • Rigorous training in a range of contemporary social research methods.

  • Excellent foundation for doctoral social research (MSc only).

  • Interdisciplinary, theoretically informed and creative approach to research.

  • In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), Politics at Birkbeck was ranked 17th in the UK.

Assessment is through a range of methods, including examinations, long essays, independent project work and a 15,000-word dissertation. The assessment methods have been designed to allow you to demonstrate practical skills, critical thinking and the ability to work independently on a piece of research.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Mphil / PhD

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-

Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still study Social Research, PgDip, if you do not meet the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements.

At least a second-class honours degree (2:2) in a relevant social science subject and/or relevant work or other (for example, voluntary) experience. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.


Tuition Fees Social Research PgDip

England UK £4515 year 1
Northern Ireland £4515 year 1
Scotland £4515 year 1
Wales £4515 year 1
International £8190 year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.

Average student cost of living in London

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

University Rankings

Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.

See all 17 university rankings of Birkbeck, University of London

About Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London (BBK) was established in 1823, and takes a different stance towards admissions than many other universities. Applicants are encouraged by BKK to apply even if they don’t possess the traditional qualifications normally required, as applications here are also considered based on an assessment of your knowledge on the subject, and any work experience you might have. Being located in the very centre of London, students will have all the advantages of the city’s public transport connections, as well as the chance to live in such a diverse and vibrant city with all that it offers.

List of 351 Bachelor and Master Courses from Birkbeck, University of London - Course Catalogue

Student composition of Birkbeck, University of London

  • Stella’s Starting Study Vlog
  • Top reasons why students choose Birkbeck, University of London
  • “How has the Birkbeck experience been for you?”
  • Birkbeck's Student Experience
  • Studying for a PhD at Birkbeck - Veronika Akhmadieva

Where is this programme taught

Main Site - Malet Street
map marker Show on map

Similar courses

Program University Student satis­faction Unem­ployed Drop­out Tuition (UK) Tuition (Inter­national) UCAS Tariff City
Social Studies CertHE University of Wales 76% 5% 3% £9000 £13500 101 Cardiff On campus Full-time
Health and Psychosocial Studies CertHE Colchester Institute 76% 5% 3% £8250 £8250 101 Colchester On campus Full-time
Methods of Social Research PgCert University of Kent 76% 5% 3% £3080 £6900 101 Canterbury On campus Full-time
Social Research PgDip Birkbeck, University of London 76% 5% 3% £6020 £10920 101 London On campus Full-time
Social Research Methods and Statistics PgDip The University of Manchester 76% 5% 3% £4334 £8000 101 Manchester On campus Part-time
Secondary Teaching leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) PGCE: Citizenship with Social Science PGCE Kingston University 76% 5% 3% £9250 - 101 Kingston upon Thames On campus Full-time
Foundation Year in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences CertHE University of Cambridge 76% 5% 3% - - 101 Cambridge On campus Full-time
Social Research (Social Policy) PgDip University of Birmingham 76% 5% 3% - - 101 Birmingham On campus Full-time
Social Research (Local Government and Public Policy) PgDip University of Birmingham 76% 5% 3% - - 101 Birmingham On campus Part-time
Social Research MSc The University of Edinburgh 76% 5% 3% - - 101 Edinburgh On campus Full-time