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Social Science Research Methods (Psychology) - MSc/PGDip

Course content

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.

Overview

The MSc in Social Science Research Methods (Psychology) aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the social sciences and particularly Psychology.

You will be offered 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.

This is a one-year, full-time course, leading to the award of MSc. It draws on the internationally recognised research conducted in the School of Psychology.

The course pathways have Economic and Social Research Council recognition and they each provide the appropriate training basis for proceeding to a PhD. The course provides extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, the application of social research expertise for occupational career development, and the pursuit of substantive areas of interest at Master’s level.

The philosophical foundations of research training that are reflected on this course are broad based in that you will be expected to not only acquire an understanding of the basic theoretical and methodological applications within your individual domain of research, but to attain a depth and breadth of knowledge that facilitates future publication and dissemination of your own research findings and an ability to interpret and critically evaluate research findings derived across disciplinary boundaries.

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.

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.

For those continuing beyond the diploma to the MSc, the final part of the course comprises a dissertation (60 credits) for which students are allocated a tutor with whom they meet on a regular basis. A research design and methods module is a compulsory module which contributes to preparation for the dissertation. Dissertation topics are chosen by you in agreement with your supervisor.

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 be allocated a personal tutor and a dissertation supervisor when undertaking your dissertation, who will schedule regular meetings to discuss progress, provide advice and guidance, and give feedback on drafts.

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.


Visit the Social Science Research Methods (Psychology) - MSc/PGDip page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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