Postgraduate Course

MSc Health Research

MSc Health Research

Overview

The details
Health Research
October 2022
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

Join us online on 17 August to hear more from our programme lead about this course, and to have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. You may also enjoy watching a recording of a webinar that took place earlier this year where the course leads of MSc Global Public Health and MSc Health Research discussed the value of these courses against the backdrop of the pandemic.

Do you want pursue a career in sociological or health research? Thinking of embarking on a PhD and you want to develop your existing research skills? Or do you want to diversify your career in practice to include research? If so, this could be the course for you.

Throughout this course, you will advance your knowledge of how to design and execute health-related research from a social science perspective through a blend of theory and practise. You’ll explore some of the philosophical foundations of health-related social research, and how this lens influences the researcher’s approach to theory development and strategy. You’ll consolidate your research skills so you are adept at searching for and analysing current materials to formulate a well-rounded literature review.

You will also examine commonplace research designs, including both qualitative and quantitative methods, using examples from published health-related literature. Modules on statistical analysis and survey design will develop your quantitative research and analysis skills, including training with statistical analysis packages e.g. STATA. You will also have the option of gaining practical experience through a short work placement at the Institute of Social and Economic Research or another recognized survey organization where you will have the chance to engage in various activities in the running of a large-scale survey research project.

In your final module, you will complete a dissertation relevant to your field of practice. As this course is jointly delivered by the School of Health and Social Care and the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), you’ll benefit from a range of experienced staff who will be able to supervise you.

Overall you will leave the course with a combination of practical research skills, the ability to collect, analyse and interpret data, along with a theoretical understanding of health research that will enable you to ask and explore important sociological and health related questions.

Due to the advanced nature of the training on research methods, applicants will be required to evidence having received training in research methods at undergraduate level and completion of a dissertation at 2.1 level or equivalent. In some cases evidence of research experience in the workplace which includes data analysis will be considered.

This course can be studied either on a full-time basis over 1 year, or via modular, credit accumulation which would take between 2 and 5 years allowing you to remain in full-time work. This flexibility means that the programme is a great option for the continuing professional development of health and social care professionals who are interested in making research part of their future career.

Why we're great.
  • Expand your knowledge in health research on our course that is consistently highly ranked
  • Join a School that has multi-professional staff, including clinically qualified lecturers, sociologists, and social policy and management specialists
  • Enhance your future with a highly valued postgraduate qualification

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.

We are delighted to be the first department in the University to have obtained the Athena Swan Silver Award for gender equality. This award recognises initiatives we have in place such as our mentorship system, our additional promotion of flexible work and study options, and our work to recognise the barriers to opportunity for BAME and LGBT members of our community.

Your future

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 programmes.

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.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A degree with an overall grade of 2.1, including research training and a dissertation. We are also happy to consider applicants who have a 2.1 degree whose professional experience includes research, including data analysis etc.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language 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.

Structure

Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Introduction to Survey Design and Management
(20 CREDITS)

What are the principles of modern survey design? And what is best practice? Explore the fundamentals of survey design and the concept of survey error. Analyse different types of design and modes of data collection, drawing on real-life examples. Build the transferable study skills required to conduct professional surveys. As part of this module, you're required to undertake a 10-day work placement. If you're placement is in London, your travel costs will be paid for by the company. Outside of London, you may incur associated travel costs.

View Introduction to Survey Design and Management on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
(20 CREDITS)

How do you critically analyse quantitative data? What are the appropriate statistical techniques for your research questions? And how do you interpret your results? Learn to conduct investigations relevant to your own research, as well as be a critical user of other research.

View Introduction to Quantitative Analysis on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Theory and Method in Health Research
(15 CREDITS)

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.

View Theory and Method in Health Research on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: CORE

Advanced Quantitative Analysis: Models for Cause and Effect
(20 CREDITS)

How do you interpret studies using panel data? What are the various approaches to panel data analysis? And can you analyse the same data using different methods? Gain the knowledge and confidence to manipulate panel data sets, while developing practical skills in selecting and conducting panel data analysis.

View Advanced Quantitative Analysis: Models for Cause and Effect on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: CORE

Qualitative Health Research
(15 CREDITS)

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.

View Qualitative Health Research on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: CORE WITH OPTIONS

Option(s) from list
(35 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 07: CORE WITH OPTIONS

HS982-7-FY or HS982-7-SP
(60 CREDITS)

Teaching

  • 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

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,200

International fee

£19,740

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold 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 tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

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.

Exhibitions

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.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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