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Social Science Research Methods (Social Work) (PgDip)

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Mode: Part 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

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.

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Specialised pathways

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

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Theory and practice

Explore the relationship between research and evidence-based social work practice.

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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.

Social Work pathway

The School of Social Sciences has a strong track record of undertaking high quality national and international research. Through the Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE) and the centre for the Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer) we have strong expertise on a range of social care topics.

This expertise has helped us to develop specialist teaching that enable students to gain a greater understanding and capability in researching social care.

Where you'll study

School of Social Sciences

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

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 5179
  • MarkerKing Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA

Admissions criteria

Applicants should normally hold a first or upper second-class undergraduate degree in a humanities or social sciences subject. However, other applicants will be considered if they can demonstrate, through recent and relevant experience, that they have the ability to undertake the course.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to obtain a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 with at least 6.5 in writing, and at least 5.5 in all other sub-sections. An equivalency in another English Language qualification may be accepted. 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.

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.

Note: International students should contact the university to establish what (if any) entitlements exist for visas, or other rights to remain, whilst on this programme of study.

The deadline for applications is September.

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

The programme of study consists of a taught component consisting of six 20-credit modules.

Taught component - For the taught component, you will be required to complete six 20-credit modules (5 core research modules and 1 pathway module). In all modules you will have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to your Pathway (Social Work/Care).

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 programme will be 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?

Through the modules you will experience a range of different forms of assessment including (some variation in assessment exists, the following is an indicative list only): presentations, essays, portfolio work and reflective journals.

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.

Wider support is also available from Cardiff University Student Support Services and our Student Hub.

Feedback

Written feedback is provided via GradeMark/Turnitin software. This allows tutors to make comments and edits directly on papers, helping guide you and enhance your skills. Tutors will be available to meet with you to discuss your work and provide guidance. Additional feedback is provided through informal opportunities in teaching settings.

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.

Graduates from this programme will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate existing knowledge, scholarship and research, and appreciate competing claims and theoretical perspectives.
  • Apply their knowledge and skills and show originality in their 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 their 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.
  • Engage with information technologies to collect and analyse data.

Tuition fees for 2021 entry

Students from the UK

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £3,850 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals starting in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course.

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 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 £8,725 £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

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

No specific equipment is required for this course.

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.

Previous students from this course have gone on to a variety of roles including:

  • Researchers/policy advisors for third sector organisations
  • Local and national government researcher posts
  • Researcher roles in Higher Educational Institutions
  • Further studies at doctoral level.

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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Register for information about our 2021 dates.
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International

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