Social Science Research Methods (Sociology) (MSc)

Students will study sociological theory and methodology, with the opportunity to develop sociological research skills and explore a variety of themes in socio-legal studies.

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. 

Sociology pathway

Cardiff is a centre of research excellence in Sociology. This research power in Sociology is reflected in the volume and distribution of sociological expertise here and through a number of well-established research centres. We are recognised for our methodological innovation, application and training in both quantitative and qualitative methods. All this takes place in a structured and supportive research environment.

One of the distinctive features of Sociology at Cardiff is the opportunity for postgraduate students to work with a wide range of leading researchers, on a range of themes and drawing on varied approaches and theories. You will have opportunities to attend seminars and data analysis workshops organised by our interdisciplinary research groups, including:

  • Children and childhood
  • Gender and sexualities
  • Health and society
  • Culture, imagination and practice
  • Global political economy
  • Education, culture and society
  • Ethnography
  • Culture and interpretive analysis
  • Our social theory forum.

Colloquia for postgraduate students from across Wales also provide opportunities for you to present your work in a supportive environment and benefit from the input of academic colleagues from partner institutions.

Postgraduate students also have the opportunity to attend events organised by major research centres, including:

  • WISERD - the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods
  • SKOPE - Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance
  • SIRC - Seafarers International Research Centre
  • CESAgen - Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics
  • DECIPHER - Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement
  • CISHE - Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Ethics
  • KES - Centre for the Study of Knowledge, Expertise and Science.

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 2018
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.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

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.

Master's Excellence Scholarships

Scholarships available worth £3,000 each for UK/EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2018.

Find out more

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

EU students entering in 2018/19 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2019/20 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£6,950None

More information about tuition fees, including for part-time and continuing students.

Students from outside the EU (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£15,950£1,000