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

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

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

Special Features of the Education pathway

Research training in Education builds on the internationally recognised research carried out by academic staff within the Cardiff School of Social Sciences. Students benefit from the specialist expertise in education research was well as from the interdisciplinary profile of the School and the wider Cardiff University Research and Graduate School (RGS) in the Social Sciences, which acts as a focal point for students from social science departments throughout the University.

In addition to the taught elements of the MSc and the +3 Training Programme, students are also encouraged to attend and participate in the activities of the School’s many research groups. Education students are formally located into at least one of the following research groups:

These groups hold regular programme of meetings which provide opportunities for researchers to share ideas and discuss issues in the policy and practice of education-related research.

Testimonial of an Education pathway graduate

"The Education pathway provides a comprehensive amalgamation of qualitative and quantitative courses focused in theory, methods, analysis and application which have equipped me with skills to engage in a variety of research fields. As mature student, who was changing career paths and had not been in formal higher education for over a decade, I was particularly apprehensive about taking on the SSRM at Cardiff University; however, I found the faculty to be accessible, helpful and supportive in helping me to find my own pathway to success. I gained a firm foundation from which to springboard my PhD research, where I can explore the possible impact and policy implications of my research."

SSRM graduate (Education pathway) more student views

Description of the Education pathway

This research training programme is now well-established and has been recognised by the ESRC for a number of years. Students undertaking the MSc in Social Science Research Methods take both generic research methods training and the subject specific content required for becoming competent educational researchers.

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 (Education).

Education Module Debates in Educational Research - Autumn Term: This module aims to familiarise students with the underlying principles and philosophical assumptions of educational research. It explores shifting trends in educational research and how these are related to enduring debates around the nature of evidence and the relationship to professional practice and policy formation. These debates themselves reflect competing definitions of the nature and purpose of education
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 Education 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 Education pathway thesis titles include:

Entry Requirements for the Education 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 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: Dr Dean Stroud (SSRM - Education Pathway Enquiries)  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 74000 



School Contact

Name: SSRM Administrator Contact  




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