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Social Science Research Methods (Psychology) (MSc/PgDip)

1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

The information below relates to the Psychology pathway of the MSc/PgDip Social Science Research Methods programme.

Special Features of the Psychology pathway

The formal research training programme in Psychology draws on the internationally recognised research conducted in the School of Psychology 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.

Testimonial of a Psychology pathway graduate

"The Masters introduced me to the rationale and application of a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Discussions in the lectures and seminars have enhanced my awareness of the variety of existing research techniques and how these have been applied to research questions in academia, policy and practice. The dissertation was a very positive experience that allowed me to work independently, apply new research skills and increase my knowledge of the subject area."

SSRM graduate (Psychology pathway) more student views

Description of the Psychology pathway

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

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 (Psychology).

Psychology Module PST016 Research Skills in Practice
Autumn & Spring: The purpose of this module is to provide students with an advanced knowledge of the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of empirical studies conducted within the discipline of psychology.
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.

Timetables for the 2013/14 session are available to download:

The dissertation in the Sociology (GPE) 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 Psychology thesis titles include:

Entry Requirements for the Psycholgy 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.

Tuition Fees:

  • UK & EU Full Time Fees: (Payable annually and those stated are for 2015/16 unless otherwise stated below).
  • UK & EU Part Time Fees: (Payable annually and those stated are for 2015/16 unless otherwise stated below).
  • International Full Time Fees: (Payable annually and those stated are for 2015/16 unless otherwise stated below).
  • International Part Time Fees: (Payable annually and those stated are for 2015/16 unless otherwise stated below).

Next intake: October each year

School Contact

Name: SSRM Administrator Contact  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0284 / +44 (0)29 2087 5178  



School Contact

Name: Dr Christina Demski  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6020 



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