Masters degrees in Social Theory examine the ways in which sociological thought can be used to explain human behaviour and relationships. Unsurprisingly, these courses have a particularly theoretical focus compared to other kind of Sociology Masters, concentrating on the work of certain thinkers and schools of thought.
Similar postgraduate specialisms include Social & Cultural Theory, Social & Political Theory, Social Policy and Social Research Methods.
Social Theory is a broad and complex field, and a Masters in this area will allow you to address a range of different theoretical frameworks and methodologies. Typical subjects include postmodernism, poststructuralism, feminism, Marxism and postcolonialism. You might look at the history and development of these movements, or explore how they relate to the events and issues that shape contemporary society.
These usually culminate in a piece of independent research, consisting of a lengthy dissertation on a subject of your choice. The skills you gain through this project will be applicable in a range of careers, and employment destinations typically include the government, publishing and journalism. Alternatively, a Masters in Social Theory provides a great foundation for further study of the subject through a PhD.
The MA in Social Policy and Social Development Programme aims to prepare students to develop the necessary core professional and personal competence required to work in the field of social policy and to engage in professional practices in social development. This involves gaining critical knowledge and skills in analysing and appreciating local and global policy issues and the ability to formulate and assess policy options that ensure effective, appropriate and sustainable outcomes, uphold social justice and improve social well-being. To these ends, the programme is designed to bring together theory and practice that enables participants in the programme to meet challenges in social development ethically and imaginatively.
Unlike most other postgraduate programmes in social policy, this MASPSD is designed for those who are either to embark on a career in Social Policy and Social Development or those who are already mid-career practitioners seeking to improve their knowledge about public and non-government sectors specialising in social policy and planning for social development. It is structured to offer rigorous, interdisciplinary and hands-on training across a number of academic, managerial and professional disciplines that prepare participants to transfer knowledge into action to bring about social development, especially through responsible policy analysis, formulation, impact assessment and evaluation.
The programme provides students with a solid foundation in social policy analysis that can be adapted and applied in many fields of human service provision and practice in social development. Graduates are expected to gain the competence necessary to participate effectively in social policy processes, conduct needs assessments, evaluate policy impacts and develop appropriate and relevant policy options that respond responsibly to new challenges in social development.
MA : to be eligible for the award, students are required to take 30 credits (6 Required Subjects including the Integrative Project and 4 Elective Subjects).
PgD : Students who have successfully completed 21 credits (5 Required Subjects and 2 Elective Subjects) can exit that programme with a Postgraduate Diploma.
PgC : Students who have successfully completed 12 credits (2 Required Subjects and 2 Elective Subjects) can exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate.
Graduates of this programme may apply for membership of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA).
How we live with difference is the key issue of our time. Issues relating to race and ethnicity, whether immigration, Islamophobia, #blacklivesmatter, or media diversity, are at the forefront of public debate. The MA in Race, Media and Social Justice will equip you with critical and theoretical tools to unpack and deepen your understanding of contemporary debates on race, ethnicity and racism.
Goldsmiths is a centre of pioneering critical race scholarship and you will be taught by leading figures in the field. This interdisciplinary degree will introduce you to a range of different theoretical and philosophical approaches to race and ethnicity, including postcolonial and critical race theories, poststructuralist approaches, and theories of intersectionality.
The focus on the cultural industries which underpins the degree enables you to apply these theories to understand why representations of race and ethnicity take the shape that they do in news, film and social media. A series of industry talks from BAME practitioners working in the industry is designed to expand your practical as well as academic insight into issues of diversity in the media and other sectors.
This MA is taught across two departments - Media and Communications and Sociology – that are recognised as world-leading in their respective disciplines. As a postgraduate student you will join the active intellectual community at Goldsmiths, while learning the skills that you will be able to apply to a range of careers, from media, to policy, to charity/NGOs and other forms of social enterprise.
You will study these core modules:
You also take 60 credits of option modules from within the Departments of Media and Communications and Sociology, or relevant modules from other departments at Goldsmiths such as Theatre and Performance, Politics and International Relations, English and Comparative Literature, Centre for Cultural Studies and Anthropology.
Examples of modules that may be of particular interest to students on this course include:
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
This degree will equip you with the ability to recognise and negotiate sensitive ethical issues in research and representation. You will also hone your ability to listen and speak to diverse audiences.
As a graduate from this degree you will develop excellent critical thinking and teamwork skills. The practical and research elements of the course will also equip you with the skills to design and implement projects. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers across many sectors.
The knowledge and skills you will graduate with from this degree will mean you are well-equipped to enter a diverse range of roles, particularly in relation to issues of equality, diversity and social justice. This could include governmental and public administration roles, NGO and charity work, policy work, and business and communications. Moreover, the emphasis on media will suit graduates interested in careers in creative and cultural industries.
This wide-ranging programme explores key concepts, methods, debates and applications in social and political theory.
Core modules will introduce you to social and political thought and its relation to economic, social, political and cultural problems in a fast-changing, globalised world. From the seminal works of Karl Marx to contemporary thinkers such as Judith Butler and Slavoj Zizek, you’ll think about how these approaches can help us understand social change on the global stage.
Beyond this, you’ll choose modules that suit your own interests – you could specialise in gender, racism and ethnicity studies, social policy, globalisation, care, health or disability among others. You can also pursue research training to prepare for further study.
Research insight - the Bauman Institute
You’ll become part of the Bauman Institute, launched in honour of Emeritus Professor Zygmunt Bauman to analyse social change around the world. It’s an exciting and stimulating research environment where you’ll learn from experts in their fields.
The Bauman Institute is inspired by Bauman’s sociological imagination, and has earned an international reputation for teaching and research. Bringing together researchers from diverse disciplines, it investigates the ways in which societies continue to evolve in areas such as power and resistance and the sociology of capitalism.
You’ll take core modules during the year that introduce you to different areas of social, sociological and political thought, from Marx and Weber to the Frankfurt School and recent feminist and psychoanalytic thinkers. You’ll consider the positioning and relevance of critical theory in relation to contemporary social phenomena.
These modules lay the foundations of the programme; you’ll build on them through your choice of optional modules which give you the chance to specialise. You could focus on areas such as research methods and design, healthcare, disability theory, globalisation, gender, racism and ethnicity studies or policy analysis and evaluation. If you’re planning to progress to PhD study, we’ll recommend you take modules focusing on research and data analysis.
At the end of the programme, you’ll submit your dissertation – an independent piece of research on a related topic of your choice, which allows you to demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired during the year.
Most of our modules are taught using lectures, seminars and tutorials. Optional modules may also include workshops, online learning or other methods. However, independent study is still a crucial element of this programme, allowing you to develop your skills, pursue specific research interests and form your own ideas.
Core modules are assessed using essays, as well as your final dissertation. Depending on the optional modules you choose, you may also be assessed using research reports, project work, presentations, literature and book reviews among other methods. If you select research methods modules, you’ll also be expected to engage with some data analysis in your essays.
This programme will enable you to think critically with an ethical awareness and to understand how a consumer society has transformed social and political realities.
These qualities are crucially important for a wide range of potential careers from policy research to local authority and government roles, campaigning and political lobbying, work with development agencies and NGOs, and even entry to the academic profession and research-based employment.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
The MA Methods of Social Research provides essential training for employment where an understanding of social research is important, as well as for further academic research in a social science discipline.
This MA programme at Kent exposes students to a wide range of thinking and approaches in social science research presented in a multi-disciplinary context and at an advanced level.
Through this programme you develop practical skills in data collection, in data analysis and interpretation, and in the presentation of research findings so that students gain insight into the research process from design to the production of new knowledge. You will also broaden your understanding of the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues that matter in research, and will become aware of debates about the relationship between theory and research and between research, policy and practice.
You take compulsory modules alongside optional modules of your choice. Modules may include:
Through this programme you will:
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: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/
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.
* of 122 universities, not including specialist institutions