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Social Science Research Methods (Sociology - Global Political Economy) (MSc/PgDip)

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

The information below relates to the Sociology - Global Political Economy (GPE) pathway of the MSc/PgDip Social Science Research Methods programme.

Special Features of the Sociology (GPE) pathway

Cardiff is one of the premier academic institutions in Britain and Europe for the study of comparative political economy. Our staff are at the forefront of comparative political economy research. The degree programme is supported by small group seminars and supervision by academic staff.

This degree programme is aimed at students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Degree candidates typically come from a wide range of countries, with very different experiences, and from a range of academic disciplines. This mix makes for an exciting and rich exchange of views, experiences and understandings. Graduates of the Cardiff programme go on to a variety of successful careers in academia, business, government, international agencies, and non-governmental organisations.

The Global Political Economy specialism is offered within this MSc in Social Science Research Methods. This MSc provides an excellent preparation for research-based careers in the field of Global Political Economy Studies.

Testimonials of Environmental Planning pathway graduates

"This programme helped me to understand different methods and theories in social sciences from various perspectives, and enabled theoretical as well as practical implementations of these methods. The lecturers and administrative staff were extremely helpful in making this experience as positive and easy-going as possible, and they were available for any inquiry or request I had during the courses. Additionally, the opportunity to meet and interact with well-known researchers in the Social Sciences as part of the teaching staff facilitated a richer involvement in the process of learning and discussing social issues, and made this experience extraordinary."

SSRM graduate (Sociology (GPE) pathway) more student views

Description of the Sociology (GPE) pathway

Questions related to globalisation in the current political economy are widely debated. We need to understand how and in what ways globalisation raises questions for our understanding of contemporary society. How is globalisation impacting on localities, regions and sectors? What are the key agents and agencies in this process of change? What are the implications of globalisation for the environment? How has the environmental and social justice become a political issue? How are global processes reconfiguring production, work, employment and consumption? What is the connection between work, education and employability in this changing world?

The Global Political Economy programme within the MSc in Social Science Research methods offers you a distinctive opportunity to explore and study these questions. Themes that are covered include the architecture of the global world, the condition of labour, labour markets, social stratification, governance, and forms of collective organisation and mobilisation.

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 (Sociology - GPE).

Sociology (GPE) module Labour and Capital in the Current Political Economy - Autumn & Spring: The aim of the module is to develop an understanding of the organisation of employment and work in different places, different capitalist societies and different industries. It examines similarities and considers the extent to which contemporary processes of “globalisation” are making places more the same or exacerbating difference.
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.

Entry Requirements for the Sociology (GPE) 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
  • UK & EU Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
  • International Full Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
  • International Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Surhan Cam (SSRM - Sociology (GPE) Pathway Enquiries)  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 70265 

Fax: +44 (0)29 208 70265  


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  


School Website:

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