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MSc/ Diploma in Social Science Research Methods (Psychology)


The formal research training programme in psychology draws on the internationally recognised research conducted in the School of Psychology at Cardiff University (RAE 2001 rating 5*).  It is provided in the context of the interdisciplinary Research and Graduate School in the Social Sciences (RGS), which brings together students and staff from the social science Schools across the University.  In addition to the School of Psychology, these include: Cardiff Business School (RAE 2001 rating 5); City and Regional Planning (RAE 2001 rating 5*); European Studies (RAE 2001 rating 5); and Social Sciences (RAE 2001 rating Education 5* and Sociology 5).

The overarching objective of the ‘1+3’ and ‘+3’ models of research training employed within the School is to equip students with a level of competence, comprehension and understanding of the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of their research so as to allow them to compete as international calibre researchers in the future.  The philosophical foundations of research training within the School are broad based in that students are expected to not only acquire an understanding of the basic theoretical and methodological applications within their individual domains of research, but to attain a depth and breadth of knowledge that not only facilitates future publication and dissemination of their own research findings, but an ability to interpret and critically evaluate research findings derived across disciplinary boundaries. 

The MSc. in Social Science Research Methods Programme


The MSc. in Social Science Research Methods provides students with the opportunity to acquire the generic research skills required by all social science researchers; as well as the subject-specific requirements of the Psychology Subject Area Panel.  It develops the capacity of students to engage with methodological approaches across the range of social science literatures and equips them to conduct theoretically-informed and empirically robust research within their own area of expertise.  The MSc. programme is organised to maximise the opportunities for learning across disciplinary boundaries, whilst maintaining the strengths of disciplinary focus in specialist psychological research.

Programme Structure

Seven of the modules are designed to equip students with generic research skills: in Semester 1 - Research and Study Skills; Research Design and Statistics I; Quantitative Research I; Qualitative Research I; in Semester 2 - Research Design and Statistics II; Quantitative Research II; Qualitative Research II.  All students in the social sciences are required to complete these modules.  The remaining 5 modules are designed to address the research skills and knowledge specifically designated for researchers in psychology. These subject-specific modules may address specialist research methods or the application of research methods in particular substantive areas. The programme culminates in the Dissertation, which is completed by the September following enrolment, completing a full, 12-month programme. 

For further information please contact: Dr Katherine Shelton: