Masters Degrees in Sociology examine the organisation and development of human societies and effects they have on the experiences and behaviour of groups and individuals within them.
These are advanced postgraduate degrees, building on undergraduate training in sociology or a related discipline. They develop skills in both quantitative and qualitative analysis, including the ability to apply theories to real-world scenarios and to collect and analyse potentially sensitive data.
Programmes may be taught or research-based (with the opportunity to carry out interesting independent fieldwork and other projects). MA, MSc MRes and MPhil degrees are available, depending on the content and focus of a given course.
Sociology has a broad range of applications for practical and vocational work, or for further academic research and training.
Skilled postgraduates can go on to roles in fields ranging from politics to economics, drawing on their ability to appreciate and analyse the interactions between organisational systems and the needs of individuals within them.
Research roles can follow similar paths, with opportunities to provide expertise to think-tanks or policy units. Needless to say, a Masters in sociology is also an excellent preparation for a PhD in a range of related fields.
Whatever your eventual career choice, the skills you’ve gained on a postgraduate sociology degree will prove surprisingly versatile. You’ll be able to deal effectively with different forms of data and information and to communicate your findings effectively using appropriate media. You’ll also have experience of independent research and project management – particularly if your Masters includes a dissertation.
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
This programme invites you to think systematically about the social world, how it is changing, the challenges and how we as individuals and groups organise, rationalise and assimilate our response
The programme provides a comprehensive overview of the foundational concerns and current debates in sociology and offers a range of options for exploring applications in specific areas of research. You learn about current theoretical tools and develop skills in research and data analysis, which can be used in a range of professional fields. The programme is also an excellent basis for pursuing further research in sociology or more specialised or applied subjects.
The programme aims to provide you with:
The programme is also designed to enhance your professional development. We place considerable emphasis on the socialisation of graduate students into a research community. This is reflected in our pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. There is less didactic teaching and more emphasis on structured seminars with greater participation from students. Class sizes are generally much smaller than at undergraduate level and you will be taught by established members of the academic staff.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation:
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
We have a scholarship fund of over £9 million to support our taught and research students with their tuition fees and living costs. Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/scholarships/postgraduate/
Why are ‘private troubles’ also ‘public issues’? You’ll explore and answer questions just like this on our MA Sociology programme. MA Sociology is a lively and engaging programme for students interested in how social life shapes individuals’ experiences of the world around us.
Focusing on cutting-edge areas of the discipline, our teaching is carried out by leading, research active sociologists. From across sociology and allied social sciences, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of theories and methodologies. Then, by choosing from our wide range of specialist modules, you’ll tailor your
programme dependent on your own specific interests.
The work you will do during your Masters study will include: examining individuals’ experiences, and encounters with structures and institutions; reading new empirical research; exploring social theories; and assessing innovative methodologies. The skills you will develop in doing this will stand you in good stead as you progress into your career.
The taught modules on this programme provide you with a detailed understanding of a range of traditional and emerging social research methods; you’ll then apply this knowledge to your dissertation. The dissertation is your chance to carry out an independent research project on a topic that inspires you, supervised by one of our academics.
You may have already studied sociology, or perhaps you are considering a new intellectual home. Students from different humanities and social science disciplines, who have an interest in obtaining a deep and complex understanding of the social world, are welcomed on to this programme.
Aside from your core modules, you will also take at least one of these modules: