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Social Science Research Methods (Psychology) (PgDip)

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Mode: Part time

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

Why study this course

This programme provides advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences and meets the training requirements for ESRC PhD funding. It provides students with a thorough knowledge of research design, data collection, and the principal methods of analysing quantitative and qualitative social science data.

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.

Psychology pathway

Well-resourced and with an excellent international reputation, the School of Psychology is one of the UK’s largest centres of psychology. In the latest Research Excellence Framework, it ranked 2nd in the UK for research quality in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

The Psychology pathway will provide you with an advanced knowledge of the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of empirical studies within the discipline of psychology. Students on this pathway engage in School-based research activity in two areas within the School, from neuroscience, cognitive science, development and health, and social and environmental psychology.

Distinctive features

The formal research training programme in Psychology draws on the internationally recognised research conducted at Cardiff University.

We are one of the largest psychology departments in Britain, allowing us to offer well-resourced teaching and research opportunities in all areas of psychology, from neuroscience and brain imaging to environmental risk, social and developmental psychology, encompassing both basic science and applied aspects. Our teaching was judged to be 'Excellent' in the Teaching Quality Assessment.

We take pride that Cardiff educates UK and International students from all backgrounds. We offer a rounded academic student experience both socially and academically, with the opportunity to pursue a wide range of activities. The overarching objective of postgraduate 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.

Where you'll study

School of Psychology

Study in a dynamic and stimulating learning environment, informed by our leading research in psychology and neuroscience.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4007
  • Marker70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Admissions criteria

2:1 or equivalent undergraduate degree in Psychology or Social Sciences. Alternatively, you may be considered for admission if you are able to demonstrate that you have held, for a minimum period of two years, a position of responsibility relevant to the programme, or, in exceptional circumstances, be able to demonstrate equivalent skills that are sufficient to meet the demands of the programme.

Where English is not your first language, we require a minimum IELTS score of 6:5 overall,(to include 6.5 in writing and 5.5 in all other sub-scores) or an equivalent English qualification.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if you intend to study at the University in person.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis throughout the academic year but due to the popularity of the course, places fill up quickly. Prospective students are advised to submit their application in the spring.

The deadline for applications from international students for this course is 1st August.

The deadline for applications from home students for this course is 1st September.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 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

You will undertake 6 20-credit modules. Five of the six modules are known as core modules, because they are designed to equip you with research skills and are followed by all students. The sixth module is specific to the particular pathway. For the psychology pathway this consists of research placements within the School, designed to provide more in-depth understanding of empirical research within the discipline of psychology.

In all modules you have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to your Pathway (Psychology).

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.

Year one

Year two

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 course is made up of scheduled learning activities (including lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions) and guided independent study. You are 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?

All modules are assessed through the submission of coursework during the academic year. This takes the form of research reports, essays, portfolios or other activities covered in the modules.

How will I be supported?

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. You will also be allocated a personal tutor.

Feedback

You will receive feedback throughout the year and for each module in a number of ways. Written feedback is provided on all submitted coursework and designed to help you improve the next piece of coursework, where applicable.

What skills will I practise and develop?

 By fully engaging with this course, you should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate existing knowledge, scholarship and research, and appreciate competing claims and theoretical perspectives;
  • Apply your knowledge and skills and show originality in your thinking by tackling both familiar and unfamiliar problems;
  • As appropriate, evaluate, synthesise and interpret data, and be able to collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret data in the form of a project or dissertation;
  • Demonstrate high-level academic and personal skills applicable to your own research or scholarship, such as writing, oral presentations, problem solving and group work, and the use and application of information technologies in, for example, literature searches, research methods, and data analysis and presentation.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2021/22)

Fees for entry 2021/22 are not yet available.

Students from outside the EU (2021/22)

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year.

Additional costs

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No specific equipment required.

Career prospects

The course aims to provide 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.

Funding

Postgraduate Master’s Finance

If you’re starting your master’s degree in September 2020 or later, you may be able to apply for postgraduate student finance to support your study at Cardiff University.

Next steps

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