Social policy makes important contributions to contemporary debate and understanding by applying scientific knowledge, rigorous analysis and critical reflection to a broad range of issues of social concern. Doctoral students on this pathway benefit from a distinctive combination of leading edge theoretical work, empirical study, policy context, and methodological innovation and expertise. At Cardiff University we have significant research expertise in a range of substantive fields including: civil society and governance; work, poverty and inequality; labour markets; sustainability and the environment.
The School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University has a vibrant research culture, and research students are a vital part of it. The School has a strong track record of international, peer-reviewed publication; it hosts several major disciplinary and methods-focused social science journals. Social policy students attend the Policy, Poverty and Living Standards research group meetings, which provide an important space for social policy staff and students to meet and discuss shared interests and work- in-progress. Students on the social policy pathway also routinely engage with staff and students from other disciplines and engage with the wide range of research centres, research groups and other forums hosted by the School. The School supports and organises a series of doctoral cohort events including an annual PGR dinner (a social event and celebration of doctoral accomplishment); an annual doctoral student conference (including paper sessions and poster competition); the student-run Postgraduate Café, and various reading groups which meet once a month to discuss a range of topics related to social research, politics and culture.
Students on the ‘1+3’ route complete the specialist module Citizenship and Social Policy as part of the Social Science Research Methods programme, whilst developing a breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills on this inter-disciplinary Masters. Subject-specific training and student development continues throughout the doctorate with a wide range of reading and discussion groups, roundtable sessions, seminar series, and data analysis workshops.