Taught course

Social Science Research Methods

Cardiff University · Cardiff School of Social Sciences

Entry requirements

A good first degree or a recognised equivalent qualification. Non-graduates will be considered if they can demonstrate, through some recent and relevant professional experience, that they have the ability to undertake the course. Suitable for graduates in Sociology, Politics, Critical Psychology, Education, Social Policy and Social Work, Management and Business Studies, History, Area Studies, Geography, Pedagogy, Public Administration, Industrial and Employee Relations, and Law, and other cognate disciplines.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc/PgDip in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences. Students are 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. They are also 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 Masters level. The programmes also 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.

This programme offers an opportunity to develop analytical skills, an interdisciplinary knowledge base, and a practical understanding of research fields.

Students may apply for one of the pathways through the MSc/PgDip in Social Science Research Methods.

Taught modules are divided into five core modules (Research Design; Quantitative and Qualitative Methods; Contemporary Social Theory; Study Skills), and one Specialist Modules (depending on the pathway. On successful completion of the coursework component, students prepare a dissertation (of a maximum 20,000 words) to be submitted by mid-September. Further details are available on the individual pathway pages.

Information for international students

A score of 575 on TOEFL (232 on computer-based marking) or band 6.5 on IELTS is required where English is not a first language, or for those who have not had a substantial part of their education taught in the English language.

Fees and funding

Cardiff University is committed to invest up to £500,000 in a Taught Master’s Scholarship scheme for students classed as home for tuition fee paying purposes (UK/EU). Each individual scholarship worth a minimum of £3,000 (pro rata) in the form of a tuition fee discount. The scholarships are available across all subject areas and awarded based on academic excellence. Further information detailing the application process, which programmes and precise eligibility criteria are available on our website:


We also have a range of scholarships available for international applicants (see the ‘other funding opportunities’ tab on the above web page).

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24-36 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Master's Postgraduate Office
+44 (0)29 2087 5178