Public sociology is a distinctive approach to the discipline, in which sociological knowledge theory, analysis and social practice is directly connected to the experiences of particular ‘publics’, normally understood as community groups, interest groups, campaigns or other civil society organisations. The essence of public sociology is that it is a discipline that speaks to, and for, audiences and communities beyond the parameters of the academic discipline and makes meaningful contributions to ongoing debates around public issues and concerns.
This new MSc Public Sociology has been developed to address the current lack of post-graduate Public Sociology programmes in the UK and to deliver expert training in the theories, research methods and practices of this developing field. It provides the opportunity to engage with diverse public groups and to reflect critically on how sociology can contribute to their work for social justice and change.
This challenging programme is aimed at sociology graduates who are looking to specialise in public sociology as well as people engaged in community work, social welfare, public engagement or campaigns, who wish to learn how sociological theory and research can meaningfully contribute to their work. You will study what is distinctive about public sociology and the methods of engagement and research of the discipline.
You will attend lectures and seminars, work in groups as well as carry out independent learning. You will be expected to participate in discussions, collaboratively develop ideas and engage with experiential learning. It is particularly expected that you will be engaged with a ‘public’, either through personal experience, employment or voluntary commitment, in order to reflect on the sociological contribution to that work. We offer a range of stimulating assessment methods, including blogs, reflections on practice, live debates, group work with presentations as well as essays and field reports. A project or dissertation in collaboration with a community group will be a significant component of the work for this MSc. A central part of the course experience is the regular engagement with publics and sharing the insights of others on the course, as well as the experiences of public sociologists with diverse community and campaigning experience. Public sociology is a contextual discipline responding to a globalisation, thus the programme draws on the experiences of public sociologists throughout the world and involves teaching by academics from a range of disciplines in which public sociology is relevant.
Each module will require you to attend classes and carry out independent work. Most modules consist of two to three hours of class time each week of the semester and will involve input, critical reading, debate and reflection on experience. Where possible, all teaching takes place over two days per week. Your specific timetable will depend on whether you study full or part-time.
In addition you will be required to complete at least 20 credits as an elective from a range of options or by self-study.
Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Graduates in public sociology will be suitably qualified for a range of careers involving public engagement in the public or third sector or non-governmental organisations.
*Subject to validation
You study people and societies with emphasis on modern urban settings in a multidisciplinary area which overlaps with politics, international relations, anthropology, economics, history, human geography and psychology. You can study this postgraduate degree from any degree discipline and it offers you a wide range of career options in charities, private and public sector organisations, research academia and the newer needs without industries for sociology trained professionals to understand people issues.
This degree provides students with grounding in the key theoretical and methodological debates in contemporary sociology, allowing them the opportunity to take full advantage of the department’s internationally recognized research expertise . It is designed for those with a background in Sociology who wish to further their studies at postgraduate level, but is also ideal as a conversion degree for those with little or no previous experience of Sociology who are considering undertaking a PhD. The degree combines development of key skills in critical thinking, theory and methods with maximum versatility in choice of elective courses and research area.
Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods
Advanced Social Theory
Dimensions of Globalisation
Religious Belief and Practice in the Modern World
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
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*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page
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This programme provides core teaching in the ideas and approaches of sociology as applied to understanding social order and social change globally and internationally. It explores the local impacts of global processes, and global impacts of local processes.
This programme will give you a better understanding of global processes of social change, and allow you to explore topics of personal interest in depth, both in coursework and in a supervised dissertation project.
It will appeal to those concerned about some of the key social problems and dynamics of our day, providing a thorough grounding in approaches to social research on global issues.
It presents sociology as the study of a dynamic and globalising world, around such issues as:
You will become part of a community led by international experts working on globally involved topics, in one of the UK’s best departments for research and teaching.
You will take compulsory courses that give you a sociological perspective and prepare you for independent dissertation research.
Your four further option courses can address global topics, social theory and research training, as you prefer.
The dissertation, a piece of self-designed research with supervisory support, allows you to put your personal stamp on your studies.
When you complete the degree you will:
This programme is extremely relevant if you are seeking employment in consultancy, the public sector, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, the private sector or think-tanks, or as an academic, practitioner or policy maker.
Past students have gone on to undertake roles in development and international aid, the public sector, academia/think-tanks, migration NGOs, environment and conservation, law and journalism.