About the course
Applications have closed to start the MPhil in Sociology and Demography in 2017-18. Applications to start in October 2018 will open in September.
The MPhil introduces students to contemporary theories and research methods on the intersection of sociology and demography. This 21-month programme takes a life-course and multilevel approach, aiming to integrate micro and macro issues in analysing social problems and the causes and consequences of population change.
The MPhil Sociology and Demography will prepare you for doctoral work in sociology and demography and research-intense jobs.
The curriculum emphasises:
• population-level analysis and demographic measures
• a life course approach
• sociological analysis as the key approach to explanation
• advanced quantitative methods.
This emphasis is reflected in the compulsory papers. Optional papers and the thesis will reflect either a more specialised topical study (eg gender, family and fertility, migration and integration of migrants, health and mortality, intergenerational relationships) or methodological work.
The MPhil programme has the following components:
• Sociological Analysis paper taught in the first year through lectures and seminars, assessed by an unseen examination
• Demographic Analysis paper taught in the first year through lectures, seminars and computer labs, assessed through a combination of examination and assignments
• Life Course Research paper taught in the first year through lectures, seminars and computer labs, assessed through a combination of methods
• Statistical Methods paper taught in the first year through lectures and computer labs, assessed through a combination of a test and assignments
• Research Design paper taught in the first year through lectures, assessed via a combination of methods
• Two optional papers over both years of the MPhil, normally taught through eight weekly classes/seminars for each paper and assessed by unseen examination or appropriate coursework
• Replication project in the second year, comprising a combination of individual and group work and assessed via assignments
• MPhil thesis, a substantial piece of original research (of up to 30,000 words) to be submitted by the end of the second year
Please note that the optional papers available may vary from year to year. For information about the optional papers available in 2016-17 please see http://www.sociology.ox.ac.uk/course-list?search=course_list&task=search
Graduates often continue with a PhD at Oxford or doctoral studies at highly-ranked US and continental programmes. Others find placement in research-intensive occupations in the public sector (eg national statistical offices, government departments and regional/local authorities), in international organisations, think tanks, and in private sector occupations in which quantitative skills are highly valued (consulting, market research, health research, social research, and insurance companies).
Entry requirements for entry in 2017-18
Academic ability -
Proven and potential academic excellence:
Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in a social science subject.
The department will only consider applicants who have an undergraduate degree in arts, humanities or science subjects if they can demonstrate a strong interest in sociology, as taught at Oxford.
For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.7 out of 4.0.
Other appropriate indicators will include:
- References/letters of recommendation
Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation, a demonstrable interest in sociology as it is taught at Oxford.
Academic references are preferred, though professional references are acceptable if you have spent a significant amount of time in work.
- Written work produced by the student
Two pieces of written work of no more than 2,000 words are required. The written work must be in English and preferably about a sociological subject. Extracts from longer pieces should be prefaced by a short note which puts them in context.
This will be assessed for comprehensive understanding of the subject area; understanding of problems in the area; ability to construct and defend an argument; powers of analysis; powers of expression.
The work need not be closely related but it should have some sociological content.
- Statement of purpose/personal statement
The personal statement must be in English and should be approximately 750 words in length.
This will be assessed for:
• your reasons for applying
• evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study
• the ability to present a reasoned case in English
• commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course
• preliminary knowledge of research techniques; capacity for sustained and intense work
• reasoning ability
• ability to absorb new ideas, often presented abstractly, at a rapid pace.
Your statement should focus on your academic record and interests rather than personal achievements, interests and aspirations.
English language requirement:
Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University - https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/applying-to-oxford/application-guide?wssl=1#content-tab--3
There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available for courses starting in 2016-17. Full scholarships will cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs. Information about the full range of funding available can be found in the Fees and funding section - http://www.ox.ac.uk/node/17098/
For over 70% of Oxford scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria and apply by the relevant January deadline, you will be automatically considered. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out whether you are eligible for scholarships which require an additional application. If you are, the tool will include links to full details of how to apply - http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/fees-and-funding/fees-funding-and-scholarship-search
Divisional funding opportunities:
Oxford hosts one of 21 Doctoral Training Centres accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). In 2016 approximately 65 ESRC studentships are available across the Social Sciences. See the Social Sciences Doctoral Training Centre website for details - http://researchtraining.socsci.ox.ac.uk/home-dtc
Annual fees for entry in 2017-18 - https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/fees-and-funding/tuition-and-college-fees/fee-status?wssl=1
Home/EU (including Islands) - Tuition fee: £8,715; College fee: £3,021; Total annual fees: £11,736
Overseas - Tuition fee: £16,770; College fee: 3,021; Total annual fees: £19,791