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

1 year (Full-time) / 2 years (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)


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


Special Features of the Criminology pathway

Postgraduate criminology at Cardiff has been taught since 1976. The programme has a long-established international reputation and stature, and a significant number of students have come from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The staff are nationally and internationally renowned for cutting-edge research and writing on both specialist and general topics. Both staff and students bring to the programme a wide variety of histories and academic backgrounds, which provides exciting exposure to a diversity of practical experiences as well as in-depth academic knowledge.

The Cardiff Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (CCLJ) has a thriving research culture supporting the work of over 30 doctoral students. Students are actively encouraged to take part in the Centre’s activities and regularly present work in progress with academic staff at tri-weekly meetings.


Testimonials of Criminology pathway graduates

"The SSRM Criminology pathway has been extremely enjoyable, academically stimulating, and has ultimately provided the best preparation for doctoral research. Not only was I able to broaden my criminological knowledge with guidance from experienced, successful and supportive experts in the field, I could also enhance my personal academic and research skills during the varied modules offered. I now have a solid grounding in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and have also been able to enhance my CV via the other opportunities available within [the School of Social Sciences], such as being an academic rep. I would recommend the course to anybody that is passionate about criminology and interested in social science research more generally, whether preparing for work or further study."

SSRM graduate (Criminology pathway) more student views


Description of the Criminology pathway

The Criminology pathway provides students with analytic and research skills, an interdisciplinary knowledge base (as criminology draws upon the perspectives of sociology, social policy, law, psychology, and political science), and practical understanding of the production of criminological research.

Upon completion of the course, students will be equipped with an understanding of:

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 (Criminology).

Criminology Module SIT308 Contemporary Criminological Practice - Autumn term: The module considers the relationships between research strategy, design, methods and the writing-up or ‘narration’ of findings in contemporary criminology. It is argued that these relationships constitute the practice of criminology. Criminological practice is examined in relation to examples of particular research projects.
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 Criminology 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 Criminology pathway thesis titles include:


Entry Requirements for the Criminology 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 for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
    £5,730.00
  • UK & EU Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
    £2,865.00
  • International Full Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
    £13,500.00
  • International Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
    £6,750.00

Next intake: October each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Amanda Robinson (SSRM Programme Director); Ms Gemma Robinson (SSRM Programme Administrator)  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0284  

Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4175  

Email: SSRM@cardiff.ac.uk  

School Website: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/for/prospective/postgraduate/social-science-research-methods.html

More information

Postgraduate