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.
This programme allows you to combine advanced-level training in sociology and social policy. The combination allows you to acquire substantive knowledge about the nature of social needs, the emergence and reactions to social problems, and the contested, political boundaries between the individual and the state, across two complementary disciplines. Choose from the quantitative, the qualitative or the substantive pathway: this means you have a broad choice of modules.
Modules from (depending on pathway): Understanding Modernity; International Social Policy; Understanding Social Change; International Social Welfare; Philosophy of Social Science Research; Research Design and Practice; Quantitative Methods; Qualitative Methods; Project Modules 1 and 2 (from a range of specialist options) Plus dissertation.
Social researchers employ a constantly evolving range of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore attitudes and experiences, and to understand patterns of social behaviour.
This programme won't just train you in the application of specific research techniques: it will illuminate the connections between sociological theory and empirical research, and relate research to the development of public policy and the analysis of substantive social issues.
Wider issues of the social research process are also covered and include: the planning and management of research projects; the methodological, theoretical, philosophical and ethical aspects of research; and the presentation and publication of research findings.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
On the MSc Social Research Methods, we offer the opportunity to take four weeks of work experience during the Easter vacation. This will provide you with first-hand experience of large-scale and real-life research in action.
Where the full period is not practical, as may be the case for part-time students, it is also possible to take up the opportunity of a shorter period of two to four weeks, usually during the summer. Work experience is arranged with the help of the Department’s placement tutor.
Please note that while we try to meet all requests for work experience, in some cases it may not be possible.
Thomas Asdell Bursary
Thanks to the generosity of the family of former student Thomas Asdell the department can offer a bursary of £1000 to one new MSc student for 2017/18- please email the course director for details.
Two scholarships of up to £3,000 will be available across all Sociology MSc programmes, to be awarded on a competitive basis to self-funding students accepting an offer of a place on the MSc for the academic year 2017/18.
Both types of scholarship will be paid in the form of a fee remission of the appropriate amount, and will be open to both home and overseas students. Part-time students will be eligible to apply and, if successful, will receive a scholarship which is reduced pro rata but may be continued for a second year of study subject to successful completion of the first year.
The MSc Social Research Methods includes a residential conference, usually in November.
The conference provides an opportunity for discussion in an informal atmosphere, around current research issues and debates, technologies and methods at the forefront of social research; it includes lectures from eminent guest speakers and members of staff, seminars and small group discussions.
The Department also organises a day conference for MSc students at the University, with student presentations and guest speakers.
The Department of Sociology is internationally recognised as a centre of research excellence. A particular area of strength is research methodology and research training.
Members of staff undertake a wide variety of internationally renowned individual scholarship including work on gender, employment, organisations, cross-national survey, culture, ethnicity, sociological theory, environment, youth and identities, sociology of sleep and the sociology of social policy.
The Department’s commitment to developing technical competence in research methods, and encouraging the use of appropriate information and communication technologies in social research, is reflected in the fact that it houses the UK national centre for software for qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS).
The Department runs a successful international fellowship scheme which enables international researchers to visit Surrey each year. These strengths in research, and in innovative research methods in particular, feed into our master’s-level teaching and inform the continued updating of content within modules.
The main aims of the programme are to:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.