Health and Social Science Research Methods - MRes/PgD/PgC


Course Overview

This course covers research methods, statistics and broader research skills and will enable students to design, conduct and write up robust research studies. Students will conduct two substantial research studies in a topic of their choice, supervised by experienced members of academic staff. 

The course is suitable for students with a varied background in research methods. There is a choice of two research methods modules, one for those with little or no background experience of research and one for people who already have some experience of research, perhaps at undergraduate level​.

Course Content

Depending on your previous research methods experience you will complete the following taught modules:

Research Methods and Design

The qualitative and quantitative research skills necessary to undertake Masters level research will be taught. A wide range of research methodologies will be covered, such as randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, interview and focus group designs. Students will learn about complex statistical analysis as well as a range of advanced qualitative analyses, such as discourse analysis and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Other areas covered will include: philosophical underpinnings of research methodologies, research ethics and systematic literature reviews.

Research Skills

This module will provide experience and under​standing of the broader issues associated with the research process such as planning a research project, presenting results, publishing papers and applying for funding. A series of workshops have been designed to meet the criteria specified by the UK Grad Programme Joint Statement of Requirements for Research Students, to ensure graduates have a thorough grounding in all aspects of the research process.

Critical Appraisal

Skills in reviewing research literature will be developed, such as: synthesising information, summarising key findings, evaluating methods, identifying gaps and evaluating the limitations in the evidence.​

Students will also select 20 credits worth of optional modules from a range of health psychology, public health and forensic psychology masters modules. In this way you are able to focus on areas that are of particular interest to you and that best complement your dissertation topic.

Finally, you will complete a dissertation proposal and associated ethics application. This will culminate in you completing two independent research studies that are written up for your 100 credit dissertation module. You will be supervised by two members of staff to complete your dissertation. You will be matched with appropriate staff members who have expertise in your chosen topic and/or methodology.

Learning & Teaching

As the dissertation element constitutes 100 out of the total 180 credits for the MRes Programme, much of the learning will be conducting independent research under the supervision of an experienced member of staff. The taught based modules will involve a variety of different learning and teaching methods including: lectures, seminars, small group work, workshops, online learning, tutorials, work-based learning and self-directed learning.

Each student will be allocated two members of staff to supervise their dissertation and a separate personal tutor. Your personal tutor will support you with pastoral care and advice for career planning, e.g. supporting you to complete a personal development plan.


Each module has its own form of assessment. The majority of modules are assessed via coursework, including research reviews, reports, essays and presentations. The dissertation will be written up in the format of two journal articles.

Employability & Careers

A postgraduate qualification in health or social science research provides an excellent foundation for a career in research, as a health professional who carries out and publishes research in their field, or for anyone planning to go on to complete a PhD.

Evidence based practice means that a knowledge and understanding of research is essential in all health related domains so that health care providers are able to interpret previous research findings, as well as contributing to the process of designing and carrying out research projects.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

A good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) in a health or social science subject is normally required. However, applicants with relevant professional experience or qualifications are welcomed and will be considered individually.

Selection Procedure:
Once your application has been received you will be invited for a short meeting with the Programme Director to discuss the course in more detail and consider which is the most appropriate programme route to suit your background and future needs.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Key Facts

Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Health Sciences
Llandaff Campus

Course Length:
One year full-time or two years part-time.

International Applicants:
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fe​es and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Postgraduate Scholarships:
The university also offers a postgraduate scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit​

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leader, Dr Debbie Clayton:
Tel: 029 2041 7057

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting