About the course
Our MA Health and Organisational Research is one of two programmes we offer that can either be taken simply as Masters-level programmes, or alternatively can be used as the Masters element of our ESRC-accredited pathways for our Doctoral Training Centre.
As part of our ESRC-funded doctoral training pathway, your course content, aims and outcomes are closely allied to the ESRC ‘7 Global Research Challenges’ criteria. This means that our course is focussed on developing areas of scholarship in issues of Health, Well-being and Psychosocial Issues, Understanding Individual Behaviour and Global Economic Performance, Policy and Management.
Our course should be of interest if you wish to pursue a career in health services and health research. It is taught across our School and Essex Business School, drawing upon both substantive and methodological expertise from within these schools.
On our course, you gain:
- Knowledge of the core areas of social science, organisational studies and health, including health policy, public health, epidemiology and medical sociology
- An understanding of the debates surrounding research in the organisation and provision of healthcare
- Advanced training in researching psychosocial aspects of health and wellbeing
This is a unique opportunity for you to study within an interdisciplinary environment.
Please note that this course can also be studied via modular, credit accumulation.
Our expert staff
Our staff are multi-professional, including clinically-qualified lecturers, sociologists and social policy and management specialists, so they have clinical and academic credibility.
As a student on this course you will not only have access to Health and Human Sciences but also have access to our business school. Our landmark new Essex Business School building is the first zero-carbon business school in the UK. Set around a lush winter garden, the Eden-style dome will give the building its own micro-climate.
Our new building is a beautifully crafted environment for students, offering:
- Study pods and innovation booths for group-working
- A light and spacious lecture theatre, with seating for 250 students
- A café with adjacent sun terrace
- A virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Terminals offering direct use of Bloomberg data, information and analytics
- A rainwater pond that recycles water to cool the building
We currently have graduates working in both clinical and management positions in local trusts, hospitals and care organisations, as well as in local and county councils.
This course also lends itself to progression onto our PhD Health Research, or our PhD Health and Organisational Research.
A postgraduate qualification is a major achievement and greatly valued by employers. For some jobs a postgraduate qualification may be essential, for others it offers a competitive edge. Our graduates go into a variety of jobs, where the key employability skills and knowledge they have gained through postgraduate study are put to good use.
Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.
Suitable for Masters and Doctoral students undertaking research methods training, this is a general introduction to process of qualitative research as applied to the study of issues of health and illness. The course places a central focus on processes and practices of qualitative research. At the end of this course you will be aware of central issues in the conduct of qualitative research.
Explore a range of theoretical, philosophical and methodological approaches to the conduct of doctoral research with a focus on the literature phase of a research project. You scrutinise the process of writing an academic literature review, develop a literature-based research plan for your dissertation, integrating subject-specific learning with insights on research methodology and epistemology.
This module is ideal if you have no previous experience of quantitative methods. It introduces you to basic and intermediate statistical concepts and procedures, emphasising practical applications rather than mathematics; although a small amount of elementary mathematics is inevitably required.
This module examines major perspectives in social science disciplines as they are applied to health and clinical research. Research in health and healthcare needs to evaluate and account for scientific and social scientific information produced by a wide range of methods. In this module, an in-depth understanding of research methodology is facilitated through studying the philosophical foundations of methods. Furthermore, an understanding of the links between theory and method, at different levels, is also necessary for research at postgraduate level. This module therefore additionally examines some of the philosophical foundations of health-related social research and (to a lesser extent) places the origins and development of these philosophical foundations in their historical and socio-political contexts. A range of philosophical, theoretical and applied texts are examined during the course of the module.
Your dissertation is the pinnacle of your masters degree. We offer dissertation workshops held throughout the academic year which help you select a topic and provide guidance on writing up your research. You are allocated a dissertation supervisor appropriate for your topic and/or selected methods.
Your dissertation is the culmination of your Masters programme, where you apply the knowledge gained on your course to produce an extended independent piece of work. You generate an original idea, analyse literature and current knowledge and produce a coherent argument that shows your ability to relate theory to practice. Your dissertation will help you develop vital skills for the workplace, as well as the ability to analyse real problems through an academic lens. You are assigned a supervisor for the duration of your project.
Evaluate the various approaches to understanding organisational phenomena and the complexities of the organisational and social world. You are introduced to alternative perspectives on various dynamics found in and around organisations, such as structure, culture, power and politics, and ethical issues. You question what management is about, what it is for and what it seeks to do, challenging many of the taken-for-granted assumptions of the conventional undergraduate management text book.
The aim of this module is to provide you with the theoretical basis of leadership as applied to practice, which supports health and social care organisations in meeting the needs of patients and service users. This course is suitable for health and social care practitioners including nurses, allied health professionals, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and, speech and language therapists and other health professions, as well as social care staff working in relevant roles.
Society in general is becoming increasingly litigious. In the context of health care, law and health care law in particular has had a profound influence on practice. Managers and clinicians are called to account for their actions, justifying resource decisions as well as clinical judgements.An understanding of the law and moral reasoning is thus an important knowledge base for health care staff. This course aims to provide an overview of the legal and ethical frameworks which underpin and govern the practice of health care and research.
Discover how people construct and account for themselves in relation to organisations. You explore the implications of technology and bureaucracy in the formation of consciousness, challenging taken-for-granted assumptions about organisations and offers insights into the meaning of work. The course uses a variety of media including film and video and the use of novels, art and theatre in order to illustrate the various concepts used.
Explore issues ranging from environmental disasters to corporate greed and from executive pay to ethical bottled water. You discover the relationship between management and corporations on the one hand, and society and nature on the other, engaging in debates around ecological sustainability, governance and corporate ethics and responsibility.
This module examines how social scientific knowledge is created and how our understanding of business and cultural phenomena can be shaped by differences in perspective and interpretation. We explore how knowledge is acquired and evaluated and address topics you will encounter as part of your academic research.
- Teaching staff include clinically qualified lecturers in adult and mental health nursing, physiotherapy and pharmacy, as well as health psychologists, medical sociologists, social policy, informatics and management specialists
- The multidisciplinary nature of our School and its rapid growth has fostered a dynamic and innovative learning environment
UK entry requirements
A degree with an overall grade of 2.1.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
IELTS entry requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates.
Your application cannot be processed without these documents, so please ensure you read the guidance notes you will find in Help with your application in the drop down list next to the online application form.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.