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MSc/Diploma in Social Science Research Methods

Information for Students

Postgraduates in group work in our Graduate Centre

Attendance and Time Commitment

Full attendance is expected during parts one (taught) and two (dissertation) of your scheme of study. Candidates must be resident in the Cardiff area and attend face-to-face supervisions while undertaking the dissertation.  Fieldwork outside of the Cardiff area is permitted and must be agreed by your supervisor.  Appropriate documents from your doctor or place of work should be provided for non-attendance.

In accordance with the University’s specifications, each 10-credit module at M level corresponds to a minimum of 100 study hours, including associated assessment.  This usually comprises of one hour lecture plus one hour seminar per week.

Detailed information and all teaching materials relating to Modules are available through Learning Central, which is a web-based virtual learning environment.  Accessing Learning  Central will be explained at the beginning of the Autumn Semester. Students will be required to check Learning Central regularly. Modules are taught during two Semesters (Autumn and Spring) between October and June.

Module Choices

Some modules, known as core modules, are designed to equip students with generic research skills and are followed by all students.  Others are specific to particular pathways through the MSc/Diploma programme. These modules are sometimes core but the majority are optional modules. Students are also permitted to choose their optional modules from the list of weekend modules. Accordingly, the combination of modules taken by each student must accord with requirements of his/her chosen pathway.  It is essential that every student discusses his/her route through the MSc/Diploma programme with the Pathway Convenor and his/her supervisor.

An individual module can be taught by several members of staff.  Each module has a convenor, who is responsible for the management of the module.  Academic problems relating to specific modules should be taken up with the relevant convenor.

Care is taken to provide students with a range of module options at the beginning of each academic year. However, the University reserves the right to vary the number, type and frequency of study modules.  Students are advised that the availability of the modules listed in the Module Catalogue may vary in subsequent years.

Part-time students: When arranging study leave from employment and in order to balance work and study commitments, part-time students will need to consider whether the modules offered on the respective degree schemes are (i) intensive 'weekend modules' (typically, Thursday evening - Saturday afternoon), or (ii) a weekly lecture course running throughout a semester. Part-time students will also need to factor into their plans the seminars associated with each module.

Email Address

You will be issued with a Cardiff University email address. This will be the address we will use to contact you. Please make sure you remember it and check your inbox regularly.

Programme Evaluation

As outlined above, the Student voice is very important to the SSRM and the Board of Studies is responsible for the management and review of the MSc/Diploma Social Science Research Methods course. In order to ensure the course is maintaining its high standards, students are given opportunities to provide feedback during the academic year. The feedback is collated and fed back to the Board of Studies. Please note that all student feedback is anonymous.

Module Feedback

At the end of each semester, students are asked to complete an evaluation form for each module. This contains detailed questions relating to the clarity of lecturers' delivery, quality of materials used and distributed, the ability of the lecturer to gain student involvement, and the overall learning and experienced received. At the same time students are asked to evaluate the module as a whole. The form is completed anonymously by students, providing them with an opportunity to report on their experience of the quality of teaching offered in the school. The form will be available in the Assignment section of Learning Central and needs to be attached to the front of the coursework when it is submitted for marking so that SSRM administrative staff can see it and detach it easily. This feedback will remain anonymous and will be treated with confidentiality.

General Course Feedback

In addition to the module feedback, students are given an opportunity to complete an end of year evaluation reflecting on the course as a whole. This proforma contains questions relating to the administration of the course as well as the academic content. The SSRM welcomes suggestions and ideas for improvement and enhancement. Students are reminded that the SSRM welcomes both positive and negative feedback.

Once the data is processed and analysed, the results are examined by the Director of the SSRM, each individual Module Leader and the Course Team. Any problems/suggestions that have been raised by students on particular modules and in general, are discussed and where possible implemented so that improvements can be made to both the teaching quality and the structure of the programme for the benefit of future students. Students may also be asked to participate in focus groups as part of the feedback and course evaluation exercise.

Key facts

Programme Director:
Dr Amanda Robinson

Length of course:
Full-time 12 months
Part-time 27 months

The MSc/Diploma in Social Science Research Methods is managed by the SSRM Office in the School of Social Sciences (SOCSI).


"The practical research skills that I have developed feed directly into my current employment, improving my efficiency of data collection and the rigour of my research practices."

Researcher at the National Assembly for Wales, more student views

Programme Links

Cardiff University and ESRC logo

MSc/Diploma in Social Science Research Methods (SSRM)

Contact the SSRM Office

  • SSRM Office
     Room 0.16
     Glamorgan Building
     King Edward VII Avenue
     Cardiff CF10 3WT
  • The SSRM Office is open 9am - 4:30pm
  • Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 5178
  • Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 0284