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Course content

The MSc Sociology programme provides a broad range of cutting-edge analytical and research skills to better understand significant social issues and problems in contemporary society, and how to act to change them. 

The MSc in Sociology offers students unique theoretical training and methodological expertise to understand our social world. The MSc provides a complete methodological toolkit with every graduate trained in both qualitative and quantitative approaches to sociological inquiry. Students can enrol as either full-time (one-year) or part-time (two-year). As a member of a tight-knit community in the School of sociology, students benefit from a wide variety of optional modules availing of the unique substantive and methodological faculty expertise. Covering topics ranging from nationalism to migration to violence to social networks, the MSc in Sociology culminates with the completion of a comprehensive research project benefiting from individual supervision and the time/space to apply a year’s worth of training. Professionally or as part of a longer academic pathway, students in the MSc graduate with unique methodological competency offering the advantage of being able to engage with any substantive domain in social science. 

The School of Sociology offers both a MA and MSc in Sociology. Both programmes share many modules and are equal contributors to the close-knit community of scholars in the School of Sociology. The core difference is the additional methodological breadth of the MSc in that students graduate trained in both quantitative and qualitative approaches to sociological inquiry. The MA offers qualitative training and an additional optional module in place of the quantitative requirement found in the MSc.

Vision and Values Statement

This academic programme is suitable for full or part-time students who want to pursue a social scientific academic or research career, for professionals or practitioners in the social sciences in the public and private sectors and civil society organisations, and for those who want to develop a broader understanding of everyday life in society, and their place within it. The values underlying the programme are intended to encourage students to be active, independent learners who are critical and reflective about society, and who ideally seek to engage in social change to improve society for all. The learning environment is based on modules in small-group settings designed to encourage and facilitate in-depth discussion about current debates, problems and issues in the field of sociology and related social sciences, and provides students with a range of options to suit their individual interests, training needs and career goals. Teaching, learning and assessment are structured around critical engagement with the material in which students are encouraged to be active participants in seminar discussions and presentations, to enhance their critical reading, thinking and writing skills in written assessments, and to develop their independent research skills through an individually supervised thesis based on a substantive topic aligned to their interests, needs and goals.

What modules can I take?

 View All Modules Here

90 credits taught masters - 60 credits taught modules and 30 credit Dissertation 

Core Modules

  • Social Theories & Applications
  • Sociological Research: Theoretical and Applied Issues
  • Dissertation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quantitative Data Analytics & Applications

Option Modules

  • Economic Globalisation & Social Change
  • Global Migration
  • Organised Violence and Society
  • Dynamic Social Networks
  • Critical Race & Decolonial Theory
  • Art, Knowledge & Social Change
  • Nationalism & Social Change
  • Social Simulation: Methods and Models
  • Policing & Social Conflict

Please note the modules offered may be subject to change

Careers & Employability

The UCD School of Sociology Masters programmes are highly regarded by a range of public and private sector employers, national, EU and international institutions and civil society organisations.

The cross-disciplinary content of these programme means there are exciting opportunities for students in a wide and dynamic range of professions including careers in: Media and Public Relations; Policy Analysis and Service Provision; Social, Community and Youth Development; Politics and Civil Society; and in Cultural and Creative Industries.

Past Graduates have taken the following career and development destinations:

  • Radio Presenter, Dublin
  • English Language Teacher, Japan
  • Senior Officer, Public Sector, Dublin
  • University Lecturers, Dublin, Belfast, United States
  • Community Workers, Belfast, Dublin
  • Writer & Editor, Humanitarian Organisation, Wicklow
  • International Writer, Producer and Film Maker, Dublin
  • Research Analyst, ESRI, Dublin
  • Researcher, Royal College of Surgeons
  • Founder, Independent Community-Based Research Company, Ireland

A large number of our Graduates continue through to PhD level. Some professions require further training, qualifications or certification


Visit the MSc Sociology page on the University College Dublin website for more details!

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