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Social Science Research Methods (Socio-Legal Studies) (MSc/PgDip)

1 year (full-time) / 3 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

The information below relates to the Socio-Legal Studies pathway of the MSc/PgDip Social Science Research Methods programme.

Special Features of the Socio-Legal Studies pathway

Cardiff Law School (CLAWS) is a leading centre for research in Law. This pathway builds on our strong and long-standing strength in socio-legal scholarship, reflected in the fact that a leading publication in this field - the Journal of Law and Society - was founded at Cardiff almost 40 years ago since when it has been continuously edited from CLAWS.

Our socio-legal orientation is further reflected in the School’s engagement with interdisciplinary research centres including ESRC funded units such as the Centre for Social and Economic Aspects of Genomics, and WISERD (Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods). CLAWS jointly leads the WGC (Wales Governance Centre), and leads the Cardiff Centre for Ethics, Law and Society (a virtual centre funded via the Framework 7 Ethicsweb network), the Centre for European Law and Governance (EU funded) and the Centre for Health and Social Care Law.

"The Socio-Legal Studies pathway is an excellent starting point for any legal researcher embarking on an academic or research career. Interactive seminars held during the first semester provide the perfect opportunity to explore and discuss an array of legal methodologies and their potential applicability to each researcher’s specific interests. These are complemented by a range of methodologically-orientated social science modules which help to prepare researchers for their dissertations."

SSRM graduate (Socio-Legal Studies pathway) more student views

Description of the Socio-Legal Studies pathway

The MSc in Social Science Research Methods provides students with the opportunity to acquire generic social science research skills, as well as the subject specific skills in Socio-Legal Studies. Students on this pathway will participate fully in the activities of the Law School research community, including conferences, seminars, workshops and discussion groups. In addition, students will participate in the activities of specific research clusters or centres relevant to their particular research interests.

For the taught component, students will be required to complete six 20-credit modules (5 core research modules and 1 pathway module).

In all modules students have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to their Pathway (Socio-Legal).

Socio-Legal Studies Module Theoretical Themes for Empirical Analysis in Law
Spring term: The module aims to provide students with key conceptual tools for the design of empirical legal research, and to begin to develop their reflective practice in empirical legal analysis.
Foundations in Social Research Autumn term: The module introduces philosophical/theoretical concepts alongside practical issues of research method choice and design.
Qualitative Research Methods Autumn & Spring: This main aim of the module is to provide knowledge, training and practice in the collection, analysis and representation of qualitative data.
Quantitative Research Methods Autumn & Spring: This module introduces students to the systematic collection and analysis of quantitative data, including a broad range of commonly used statistical techniques.
Research Applications Spring term: This module critically explores the various applications of research to different settings. Students tailor their learning by selecting from a menu of options.
Core Competencies for Postgraduate Social Scientists Autumn & Spring: This module introduces students to essential postgraduate social science survival skills. The module ends with an end-of-year Student Conference.

The dissertation in the Socio-Legal Studies pathway

On successful completion of the taught component, students prepare a dissertation (of a maximum 20,000 words) to be submitted by mid-September. The 60-credit dissertation component requires independent study. Dissertation topics are chosen by the students in agreement with their supervisors.

Recent SSRM Socio-Legal Studies thesis titles include:

Entry Requirements for the Socio-Legal Studies pathway

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.

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 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 they intend to study at the University in person.

Application Deadlines

The deadline for applications from international students for this course is 1st August 2015.

The deadline for applications from home students for this course is 1st September 2015.

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time PgDip: £6,000
MSc: £6,000
PgDip: £14,500
MSc: £14,500
Part-time PgDip: £3,000
MSc: £3,000*
PgDip: £7,250
MSc: £7,250*
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.
Notes * Fees payable in years 1 and 2 only

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: SSRM Administrator Contact  




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