Sociology is a core social science. It is essential to the understanding of human behaviour and the wellbeing of citizens, generating useful knowledge and a diagnosis of our condition that informs policy and public understanding. Doctoral students on the sociology pathway will benefit from a distinctive combination of leading-edge theoretical work, empirical study, policy context, and methodological innovation and expertise.
The Sociology pathway sits within the interdisciplinary School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Sociological research here achieved a position in the top three in the UK 2014 Research Excellence Framework. The pathway offers significant research expertise in a range of fields including:
- culture, identity and transformation;
- place, space and mobilities;
- work and labour markets;
- biographical and narrative analysis;
- the sociology of knowledge and expertise;
- studies of health,
- illness and wellbeing;
- big data sociology and social media analysis; and
- aspects of sociological theory.
Cardiff University is also a recognised centre of excellence in the development of quantitative, qualitative and mixed sociological research methods.
The School of Social Science 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. Students on the sociology pathway 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 follow the interdisciplinary Masters in Social Science Research Methods, and are provided with a thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies, of the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist, and of the principal methods of analysing social scientific data. Students on the sociology pathway also take the subject-specific, compulsory module Advanced Concepts in Contemporary Sociology. 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.