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Contemporary Identities MSc

Course Description

The study of identity is a burgeoning area of sociological and cultural studies. Over a range of units, this programme provides an introduction to key themes in this field, with identity explored in both theoretical and substantive ways.

On the one hand, there has been an exciting and innovative strand of work to explore and re-theorise the ideas of subjectivity and selfhood in the context of changes brought about by late modern and postmodern society. On the other, the question of identity has come under scrutiny from within substantive areas of sociology, such as the sociology of race and ethnicity, the sociology of religion and the sociology of gender relations. There are also important discussions concerning the ways in which identities are recorded and observed, including debates over new narrative and other qualitative methodologies.

Programme structure

The MSc programme comprises six 12-week taught units and six assessed essays, followed by a dissertation.

Core units
-Contemporary Identities and Inequalities

Optional units
You will also choose at least four further units from a list of sociology units. Options vary each year but may include:
-Contemporary Sociological Theory
-Theories of Ethnicity and Racism
-Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
-Philosophy and Research Design
-Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
-Understanding Culture
-Narrating the Self
-The Theory and Politics of Multiculturalism
-Interpreting Gender
-Advanced Qualitative Research
-Advanced Quantitative Research
-Popular Music and Society
-Nations and Nationalism
-Care, Labour and Gender
-Religion and Politics in the West
-Understanding Risk

A maximum of one unit can be chosen from the other optional units that are offered by the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies in the academic year.

Third term
Independent study for dissertation.


Bristol graduates are in high demand and have an excellent record of employment following graduation. Students of our MSc programmes go on to pursue varied and interesting careers.

Many sectors - such as the civil service, NGO and charity work - require an MSc and some volunteer/internship experience. Graduates from our programmes have gone on to work for Refugee UK, Shelter, Barnardos, Oxfam, Amnesty International, government departments and the European Parliament, among others. Further details can be found on our careers and alumni website: http://www.bris.ac.uk/spais/prospective/prospectivepgt/ppgtcareersandalumni/

Visit the Contemporary Identities MSc page on the University of Bristol website for more details!

Entry Requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

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