Social Science Research Methods (Social-Legal) (Law) (MSc)

We offer a pathway in Socio-Legal Studies on this programme. Cardiff Law School is a leading centre for research in Law and this pathway builds on our strong and long-standing strength in socio-legal scholarship.

Our MSc in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences.

You will be provided with a thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies, of the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist and of the principal methods of analysing social scientific data. You will also be introduced to the political and ethical frameworks within which social science research is conducted, and to some of the ways in which the results of social science research are disseminated.

The course pathways have ESRC recognition and they each provide the appropriate training basis for proceeding to a PhD. These programmes provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, the application of social research expertise for occupational career development, and the pursuit of substantive areas of interest at postgraduate level. 

Socio-legal studies pathway

The School of Law and Politics has a well established reputation for outstanding research across the range of legal studies which makes a vital contribution to scholarship and the development of the law. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework recognised the School as a leading legal research institution, with most activity classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

This pathway builds on our long established reputation for scholarship in the area of socio-legal studies is focused on the newly established Centre for Law and Society and the Journal of Law and Society which the School founded and has hosted for almost 40 years. It is enriched by extensive collaboration with the Department of Politics and International Relations, as well as other Schools in the University and beyond.  

Distinctive features

You will be supervised by academic staff with considerable expertise in their chosen fields. These staff members are actively involved in disseminating research via publications in academic and practitioner journals, books and presentations to conferences. Many staff members are involved in editing or reviewing for scholarly management journals.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration1 year
QualificationMSc
ModeFull-time
Other ways to study this course
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

A good first degree or a recognised equivalent qualification. Non-graduates will be considered if they can demonstrate, through some recent and relevant professional experience, that they have the ability to undertake the course.

This course is suitable for graduates in social science and cognate disciplines including sociology, politics, critical psychology, education, social policy and social work, criminology, management and business studies, history, area studies, geography, pedagogy, public administration, industrial and employee relations, and law.

Application deadline: 31 August

This is a one-year full-time programme.

You will be required to complete six 20-credit modules - five core research modules and one specialist pathway module. In all modules you will have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to your pathway.

On successful completion of the taught component, you will prepare a dissertation of a maximum 20,000 words. The 60-credit dissertation component requires independent study. You will choose your dissertation topic in agreement with your supervisor.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Developing Core Research SkillsBST70320 credits
Themes in Socio-Legal Studies [20]CLT66020 credits
Foundations of Social Science ResearchCPT89820 credits
Qualitative Research MethodsSIT70020 credits
Quantitative Research MethodsSIT70120 credits
Research ApplicationsSIT70320 credits
DissertationCLT60060 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Your programme will be made up of scheduled learning activities (including lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions) and guided independent study.

You will be expected to actively engage in all the educational activities on your programme of study, to prepare for and attend all scheduled teaching activities, and continue your development as an independent and self-directed learner.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor.

All modules within the programme make use of our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learning Central, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and information on assessment. 

Feedback 

Feedback will be available to you throughout the programme and you will be able to discuss your performance with your personal tutor. 

How will I be assessed?

You will have to successfully complete the taught component which comprises of 120 credits.

On successful completion of the taught component, you will prepare a dissertation of a maximum 20,000 words.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills which are discipline specific and more general ‘employability’ skills.

Skills will include:

  • the ability to collect, analyse and interpret a range of complex data
  • a range of appropriate qualitative and quantitative research skills
  • the use and application of information technologies
  • the ability to communicate and present ideas and findings in a variety of ways, for example, in writing, and orally
  • the ability to problem solve, and work individually and in groups.

This programme provides knowledge and expertise suitable for careers in research and development, business, market studies, public agencies at international, national and local levels, education, teaching and other public services work, and voluntary organisations.

It also provides appropriate training for proceeding to a PhD.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.