MSc Social Science Research Methods (Socio-Legal Pathway)
The MSc Social Science Research Methods (Socio-Legal Pathway) provides students with an opportunity to study contemporary issues in theoretical and applied criminology within a research training context. The MSc is taught by internationally renowned scholars in one of the foremost criminology research groups in the UK. The programme is inter-disciplinary in nature and draws upon the perspectives of law, sociology, social policy, psychology, political science, and economics. Criminology modules include Theories of Crime and Criminal Behaviour, Contemporary Criminological Research, Police and Policing, Sentencing and Penal Theory and Community Safety and Youth Justice. Over 300 students have studied criminology and masters level at Cardiff and many alumni are in careers closely connected to criminology and criminal justice. They include successful university and government researchers and lecturers, police, probation and prison officers, anti-corruption and financial crime investigators, community safety officials, psychologists and barristers. Some, indeed, have risen to the pinnacle of their professions.
Teaching and Training
Our teaching in postgraduate criminology has a long-established international reputation, and a significant number of students have come from Europe, Africa, Asia, North Central and South America. Both staff and students bring to the programme a wide variety of histories and academic backgrounds, which provides exciting exposure to a diversity of practical experiences as well as in-depth academic knowledge.
The MSc is recognised by the ESRC as providing post-graduate research methods training qualifying students in the foundation for doctoral research (1 of the 1+3). This training provides a generic introduction to quantitative and qualitative methods of social research, and the wider issues of research design. The dissertation provides an opportunity for students to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained from the taught modules in the form of an applied piece of criminological research, supervised by an experienced academic researcher.
The MSc provides a distinctive combination of cutting edge criminological and research methods instruction providing an excellent foundation for future employment in criminology-linked jobs and research posts. In particular the MSc would be highly beneficial for positions in national and local government, the police and other criminal justice agencies, and commercial and market research companies. The course is also a valuable qualification for professionals and volunteer workers involved in research in criminal justice, crime prevention and security.
In addition to formal classroom training, there are many opportunities for intellectual development within the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice and the Welsh Centre for Crime, Justice and Safety Research. Postgraduate criminology students regularly meet, present work in progress and exchange ideas.
For detailed information about the Programme Elements, please visit the Degree Structure page.
Period of Study
The period of study is twelve months (October - September). The taught coursework takes place over two semesters (October - June). The dissertation is begun in the second semester but is completed during the summer months. The summer is a period of independent research with one to one supervision.
For further information about the Degree Structure, please visit the Degree Structure page.
Applications for study are invited in any area that falls within the School’s broad remit. Before applying, it is advisable for potential applications to use the School's website to familiarise themselves with the expertise of its staff. For further information about applications and admission requirements, please visit the How to Apply page.
- Prof Mike Levi: Regulation; fraud; organised crime; white-collar crime; media and crime; globalisation and crime
- Prof Gordon Hughes: Criminology and sociological theory; comparative trends in crime control; crime prevention and community safety; crime and social policy; professional expertise, political agency and new community governance; communitarianism and law and order
- Prof Martin Innes: Signal Crimes Perspective; counter-terrorism; reassurance and neighbourhood policing; investigation and detection of crime
- Mr Trevor Jones: Police accountability; private policing; penal policy making; ethnicity and policing
- Mr Adam Edwards: Comparative criminology; crime prevention; organised crime; governance, policy transfer and evaluation of crime control
- Dr Matthew Williams: Cybercrime; policing, equal opportunities and diversity; sexuality; hate crime; dangerousness
- Dr Amanda Robinson: Policing; prosecution and sentencing; domestic violence; sexual assault; hate crime
- Dr Kirsty Hudson: Sex offenders; resettlement of prisoners; regional resettlement strategies
Research Groups in the School
The above staff are members of one of more of the School’s numerous research groups. Students are encouraged to learn about and become members of these groups themselves and to attend research events in the School throughout their course, including the School Seminar Series.