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MSc/Diploma in Social Science Research Methods

Student views

I am really enjoying the Social Science Research Masters. It is providing me with a range of skills to both better understand and carry out social research. It is really relevant to my work in the children’s voluntary sector, and of great benefit to both me personally and the organisation as a whole.

SSRM graduate

Business and Management Studies pathway

The SSRM gave me a great foundation for my doctoral research. It provided me with the skills and confidence to do my own fieldwork in a demanding institutional setting and to produce original research.

SSRM graduate (Business and Management Studies: Human Resource Management pathway)

Looking back I really value the foundations the SSRM gave me across a range of social science methods. This is something that informed not only my doctoral research but also my current academic research.

SSRM graduate (Business and Management Studies: Logistics and Operations Management pathway)

Criminology pathway

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)

The MSc enabled me to broaden my knowledge of the theoretical and methodological aspects of criminology. The dissertation provided me with the opportunity to apply the knowledge I had gained in the taught aspect of the courses. Overall the MSC proved to be invaluable and gave me confidence to pursue my PhD.

SSRM graduate (Criminology pathway)

Education pathway

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)

Environmental Planning pathway

The SSRM environmental pathway allowed me to reflect on the ideas I had for my PhD project – to closely look at the literature and research as craft. It provided me with useful tools for the research I am conducting now and made the PhD experience less stressful. The programme offered space for discussing both the subject of my proposal and methods that could be employed in further investigations. Finally, it helped me to meet many new people at a new university.

SSRM graduate (Environmental Planning pathway)

The SSRM environmental pathway is a flexible, modular pathway enabling students to understand the multi-variate methods of social science research. It provides a grounding in both qualitative and quantitative methods along with in depth learning on specific methods, such as interviews and interviewing. The cross-disciplinary structure with SOCSI colleagues provides many opportunities for cross-fertilisation of ideas. Overall I had the feeling that the course was extremely useful. I will yet to realise how important the year was.

SSRM graduate (Environmental Planning pathway)

European Governance and Public Policy pathway

As a former politics student, I decided to take the SSRM mostly due to my desire to become a social researcher outside of academia but still within the political sphere. I felt that it offered me the chance to develop the necessary technical skills needed to enter the profession. This course has certainly taught me a great deal about research and the requisite skills that are also applicable outside of the academic sphere. It is invigorating, mentally challenging and technically rigorous. I now feel equipped to pursue my career with what I have learned from the SSRM.

SSRM graduate (European Governance and Public Policy pathway)

Psychology pathway

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)

Science and Technology Studies pathway

The knowledge and skills that I have developed as part of the MSc are essential in pursuing my goal of a career in the Social Sciences. The training in cutting edge research methodologies is world class and has introduced me to new innovative research agendas, as well as honing existing skills. The teaching on the Science and Technology Studies (STS) pathway is particularly worth mentioning. I have been privileged to have been taught by many of the leading authorities in the field in an engaging, research oriented environment. All of this has ultimately led to the successful application to study for a PhD within the same institution, of which I now feel confident in my ability to successfully undertake.

SSRM graduate (Science and Technology Studies pathway)

Social Policy pathway

The SSRM at Cardiff is a comprehensive course designed to support students into the next stage of their research career. As a student going on to do my PhD I found it offered a balanced approach to research in the social sciences with emphasis on the importance of both qualitative and quantitative methods. The academic staff here are approachable, supportive and responsive to student concerns and the resources available to post graduate students at Cardiff are excellent.

SSRM graduate (Social Policy pathway)

I have just completed the first year of my part-time SSRM course and have found the experience invaluable to my academic understanding of social policy research, and also to my participation in the workplace. The course offers the opportunity for practical application, alongside critical study and philosophical reflection, of research methods. The practical research skills that I have developed feed directly into my current employment, improving my efficiency of data collection and the rigour of my research practices.

The SSRM course employs a very high calibre of academic staff, all of whom I have found approachable and happy to help. The course- as well as the wider social sciences department- has many leading academics, and I feel extremely privileged to be able to access advice and assistance from these internationally renowned experts. Through undertaking this course, I have really felt that this is an institution at the forefront of academic research.

Researcher at the National Assembly for Wales (Social Policy pathway)

Social Work pathway

The social work SSRM modules provided a valuable blend of theory and practice, which was essential not only for my PhD, but my subsequent employment in policy evaluation. Coming from a sociological background, it was great for me to gain expertise in the more applied aspects of social science as well as establishing a grounding in a variety of research methods. This equipped me with the skills to undertake and engage with a range of research designs.

SSRM graduate (Social Work pathway), intern at the Welsh Government at the time

I returned to education to do a 1+3 PhD after over a decade of working as a social worker. The MScSSRM has provided an essential foundation to my PhD. Although I had vast experience writing assessments and court reports, writing academic essays required a very different approach and the MScSSRM gave me the support and opportunities I needed to develop my academic writing skills. Undertaking the research project in the final semester was a great chance to pilot methods and approaches before embarking on my actual PhD research. Both the academic and support staff were really approachable and helpful, offering essential support which eased my transition from the professional field to academia.

SSRM graduate (Social Work pathway)

Sociology pathway

The SSRM MSc has been an immensely challenging but fascinating year. The teaching has been so excellent that not only do I feel well versed in a multitude of methodologies and research design and practice issues but I have learned much sociological and wider social science content too. The interdisciplinary nature of the course has been refreshing and listening to disciplines far removed from my own has often resulted in critical learning opportunities. For me, the SSRM has been the start of my journey to demonstrate a capability to convert from health to social sciences. Success in this year has now opened the door to continue on to PhD study. Whilst I undertook this course in order to pursue doctoral study, I feel the SSRM is also a fantastic course for health care professionals interested in social science wanting to undertake research projects or improve their practice.

SSRM graduate (Sociology pathway)

Sociology - Global Political Economy pathway

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)

Socio-Legal Studies pathway

The socio-legal 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)

The Social Science Research Methods MSc was a thorough grounding in academic and research skills needed for further study at PhD level. As a previous criminology graduate with experience in social science, law and criminology, I took the Socio-Legal Pathway on the SSRM and received a breadth of information about both research methods and criminology as a discipline. In addition to the core courses, I was able to select additional modules that related to my subject area and my preferred research methods making it a highly practical experience. Now in the writing-up stages of my PhD, I regularly draw on the material from the SSRM. I found the teaching staff incredibly supportive of both my unique research area of interest and in my training in research methods and would recommend the course to anyone interested in a future career in research, policy or academia.

SSRM graduate (Socio-Legal Studies pathway)

MSc/Diploma in Social Science Research Methods (SSRM)

Contact the SSRM Office

  • SSRM Office
     Room 0.16
     Glamorgan Building
     King Edward VII Avenue
     Cardiff CF10 3WT
  • The SSRM Office is open 9am - 4:30pm
  • Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 5178
  • Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 0284