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Course content

You will undertake advanced studies in political sociological analysis and this programme is ideal preparation for a research degree. It assumes an undergraduate training in sociology and/or political science, or a cognate discipline, or relevant professional experience such as journalism.

Course detail

The programme is distinctive in its focus upon social and political movements, protest, and the less conventional and institutionalised forms of political action and participation, environmental politics and globalisation, but students with interests in other areas of more conventional and institutionalised politics are well catered for.

You will gain an understanding of the interaction and interdependence among social and political institutions, processes and action, especially collective action. The programme begins with a focus upon protest and social movements, and in the second term you may choose to focus upon either or both of environmental politics and / or processes of global social change and questions of political order. There is a wide range of optional modules from which to choose, and at the end of the programme, you should have a much enhanced understanding of processes of social and political change and the theoretical and methodological approaches to their interpretation and study.


Depending upon your choice of option modules, the programme will also give you:

  • An understanding of the theoretical problems of political sociological inquiry and their relationship to research practices
  • Knowledge of the methodological procedures used to investigate a wide range of practical and substantive issues
  • Skills in practical research-related tasks
  • Awareness of the range of secondary data available and the ability to evaluate its utility for your research
  • The opportunity to develop transferable employment-related skills through group work, presentations and the use of information technologies
  • An enhanced capacity to undertake independent research.

The programme is also designed to enhance your professional development. We place considerable emphasis on the socialisation of graduate students into a research community. This is reflected in our pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. There is less didactic teaching and more emphasis on structured seminars with greater participation from students. Class sizes are generally much smaller than at undergraduate level and you will be taught by established members of the academic staff, many of whom are internationally recognized leaders in their particular fields of inquiry. This facilitates close working relationships between staff and students. You will also be encouraged to participate in the staff/graduate seminar which allows MA and research students the opportunity to become more fully involved in a professional research culture, and to meet visiting speakers from many universities in Britain and beyond.


You take compulsory modules alongside optional modules of your choice. Modules may include:

  • Social and political movements
  • Environmental politics 
  • Social and political change / globalisation
  • Research design and data collection
  • Using secondary and qualitative data

Career options

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills. We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation, as well as time management and leadership skills. You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of social and public policy is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.

Our graduates obtain a range of transferable skills and report high levels of being in employment or further study within six months of graduation across all of our degree programmes.

Over 98% of Kent's postgraduate students who graduated in 2016 were in work or further study within six months. Recent graduates from our School have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs.

How to apply:

Why study at the University of Kent

We offer inspirational teaching and supervision alongside first-class library and IT facilities. You also benefit from our high-impact research in all subjects. Whatever you are looking to study, Kent provides a dynamic and challenging environment for your postgraduate studies.

  • Kent was awarded gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework
  • Kent is ranked 21st in the Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Table of Tables’ 2017
  • Kent is ranked 25th in the Complete University Guide 2018
  • Kent is ranked 22nd in the Guardian University Guide 2018
  • 42% of our academics are from overseas and we have students representing 158 nationalities
  • In the most recent research rankings, 97% of research at Kent was found to be of international quality (REF 2014)
  • Kent is ranked 17th in the UK* for research intensity and research output (REF 2014)
  • Find out more:

* of 122 universities, not including specialist institutions

Visit the Political Sociology page on the University of Kent website for more details!






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Recipient: University of Kent

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