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Course content

This programme gives you the opportunity to extend your core sociological knowledge and understanding. It will also consolidate familiarity with the discipline for those with a background in a related subject, but without specialised knowledge of sociology.

The key learning goals are to develop critical use and comprehension of social theory, gain a grounding in methodologies and techniques of enquiry, and focus on distinctive, substantive sociological topics, such as ethnicity, multiculturalism, gender, sexuality, religion and culture.

The dissertation gives you the opportunity to pursue a sociological project of your choice in greater depth, while still providing close academic supervision.

Programme structure

The MSc programme comprises six 12-week taught units and six assessed essays, followed by a dissertation.

Core units
-Contemporary Sociological Theory

And either:
-Qualitative Social Research
-Quantitative Social Research

Optional units - You may choose four units from the list of sociology options. Options vary each year but may include:
-Contemporary Sociological Theory
-Theories of Ethnicity and Racism
-Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
-Philosophy and Research Design
-Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
-Understanding Culture
-Narrating the Self
-The Theory and Politics of Multiculturalism
-Interpreting Gender
-Advanced Qualitative Research
-Advanced Quantitative Research
-Popular Music and Society
-Nations and Nationalism
-Care, Labour and Gender
-Religion and Politics in the West
-Understanding Risk

You will also study a maximum of one unit from the remaining optional units that are offered by the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies in the academic year.

Third term
Independent study for dissertation.


Bristol graduates are in high demand and have an excellent record of employment following graduation. Students of our MSc programmes go on to pursue varied and interesting careers.

Many sectors - such as the civil service, NGOs and charity work - require an MSc and some volunteer/internship experience. Graduates from our programmes have gone on to work for Refugee UK, Shelter, Barnardos, Oxfam, Amnesty International, government departments and the European Parliament, among others. For further information, see our careers and alumni website: http://www.bris.ac.uk/spais/prospective/prospectivepgt/ppgtcareersandalumni/

Visit the Sociology Msc page on the University of Bristol website for more details!




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