The Welsh Graduate School for the Social Sciences (WGSSS) trains top-level social scientists across Wales on a range of issues affecting society today.

WGSSS is a collaboration between Cardiff University, and Aberystwyth University, Bangor University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, the University of South Wales, the University of Gloucestershire, and Swansea University. As an associate member of WGSSS, the University of Wales, Trinity St David participates in our shared training and researcher development.   

WGSSS benefits from strategic partnerships with Welsh Government, Office for National Statistics, Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, Office of the Commissioner for the Well-Being of Future Generations, Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Council for Voluntary Action. We work in close collaboration with the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Learned Society of Wales. 

We are building on and developing a track record of successful social science doctoral training collaboration in Wales – the WGSSS offers around 70 new postgraduate studentships every year. We prepare doctoral students for their future careers through the generation of knowledge and building of intellectual capacities and research skills that allow outstanding contributions to be made to environmental, political, economic and social development.

WGSSS is part of a national network of 14 ESRC accredited Doctoral Training Partnerships across the UK providing PhD students with access to quality research training in the social and economic sciences.

Strategic Objectives

WGSSS has five principal strategic objectives:

  1. To maximize the numbers of funded studentships in the social sciences;
  2. To continue to maximise the range, volume and vibrancy of opportunities for postgraduate social science researchers to work with non-academic organisations;
  3. To enable and encourage the realisation of interdisciplinarity, within and beyond the social sciences, at the levels of student project, WGSSS pathway and through general participation in the training environment;
  4. To provide research training that continues to build capacity for research, knowledge production and knowledge exchange in and for Wales and the UK;
  5. To continue to develop and enhance an excellent research environment for doctoral training.

General Objectives

WGSSS also has the following general objectives:

  • To identify and promote the highest quality research training within and beyond Wales;
  • To enrich and extend this research training in terms of mode and reach;
  • To ensure the research training is in keeping with ESRC guidance and that it incorporates a breadth of skills and experiences and the development of an understanding of a wide range of methods and approaches;
  • To build links with organisations in the public, private and third sector which support doctoral studentships, financially and/or in kind;
  • To build a community of practice amongst Doctoral students so that in addition to their disciplinary and institutional identities they become members of a Wales-wide social science structure that supports them and to which they contribute.