FAQs, My postgraduate experience, Social Sciences

Chris, MSc Social Science Methodologies (Socio-Legal Pathway)

Why did you choose to study a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University?

I chose Cardiff University because of its excellent reputation, especially its high ranking in terms of research – it being one of the Russell Group elite universities. In terms of my subjects – which are law and social sciences (socio-legal) it has a radical, innovative reputation for its teaching of law, and is especially known for methodological innovation within the social sciences.

How was your experience as a postgraduate at Cardiff University in terms of the programme?

The programme provides rich and knowledgeable teaching. Subsequently, the level of demonstrable learning expected is high. The learning involves practical applications of the skills learnt, as well as a thorough grounding in contemporary theory. If you are a part-time student as I am, you can pick and choose the order in which you complete the modules. The teaching all takes place over two weekdays, so work or childcare commitments can be more easily managed.

How was your experience of living in Cardiff, in terms of the city, social life and accommodation, again specifically as a postgraduate student?

Cardiff is a very friendly city. I am a parent of a toddler, so I can therefore confidently introduce Cardiff as an especially child friendly city with excellent and freely available childcare (not the case everywhere!). There are plenty of places to entertain your child, such as a science education centre, the Central Library, Central Youth Club and not forgetting the beautiful parks, the biggest of which (Bute) is a next to the Cathays campus. Accommodation is varied, and reasonably priced compared to most university cities. The city is full of lovely old Victorian houses, with big gardens as our flat does.

What was different about your postgraduate experience at Cardiff University compared to your previous degree?

As a postgraduate student at Cardiff you must do a lot of thinking for yourself. My previous degree was at an isolated campus-based university, whereas at Cardiff I feel much more part of city life. As my course is taught across two schools, I feel that I am gaining much more breadth than I did in my single honours degree, which allows me a more nuanced perspective.

How did you fund your postgraduate degree?

I won a Masters Excellence Scholarship, which covered 50% of the course fees. If I was applying today, I would also be able to get a student loan, but unfortunately, they were not available when I applied!

How do you think your postgraduate degree is helping you prepare for the future -job aspirations, career developments, future study etc?

The MSc social science content is a fantastic higher level preparation for anyone (like me) who wishes to pursue PhD level research but does not necessarily have a social science background. This, alongside the innovative socio-legal element makes it the best possible preparation for me as a trainee researcher.