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Social Science Research Methods (International Relations) (PgDip)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

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Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Advanced training in research methods preparing you for PhD study.

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Specialised pathways

Choose a pathway that is suited to your key area of interest.

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Engage with new research

Participate in the activities of the School's many research groups.

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Informed by experts

The programme is influenced by internationally recognised research carried out by our academic staff.

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Independent research

Engage in independent research underpinned by first-class methods training as part of your final dissertation.

The PgDip Social Science Research Methods will provide you with advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences. All course pathways have ESRC recognition and meet the training requirements for ESRC PhD funding.

This programme offers extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, the application of social research expertise for occupational career development, and the pursuit of substantive area of interest at postgraduate level.

You’ll 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’ll 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.

International Relations pathway

The International Relations pathway is closely associated with the research activities of the International Studies Research Unit (ISRU), which encompasses a wide range of areas. You’ll be taught by experts in the field, and can take advantage of the close links the Department of Politics and International Relations enjoys with the Welsh Centre for International Affairs and the United Nations Association (Wales).

Where you'll study

School of Law and Politics

Our vibrant student body combined with highly qualified academic staff provides the perfect environment to explore the dynamic and fast-paced fields of law, politics and international relations.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 6102
  • MarkerMuseum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX

School of Social Sciences

Our degrees are delivered by internationally recognised experts with a track record of influencing policy and practice around the world.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 5179
  • MarkerKing Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA

Admissions criteria

Academic requirements: 

Typically, you will need to have either: 

  • a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as 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 or an equivalent international degree 
  • a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification
  • or relevant professional experience evidenced by a reference. You will need to provide a reference from your employer to evidence that you currently work in an area relevant to the programme. This should be signed, dated and less than six months old at the time you submit your application.  

English Language requirements:

IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with at least 6.5 in writing and 5.5 in all other subskills, or an accepted equivalent.

Application deadline:

The application deadline is 31 August. If you submit an application after this date, we will only consider it if places are still available. 

Selection process: 

We will review your application and if you meet the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

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.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

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.

Learning and assessment

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 assessed?

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

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.

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.

Tuition fees for 2022 entry

Students from the UK

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £8,200 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £18,700 £1,000

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

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Career prospects

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.

Funding

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2021 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Next steps

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HESA data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2020. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18, published by HESA in June 2020.