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Course content

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.

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 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.

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.

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




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