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MPhil in Sociology (The Sociology of Reproduction)

Course Description

This MPhil pathway is designed to give students a basic understanding of major themes and debates the sociology of reproduction and new reproductive technologies. Two core modules introduce key concepts and approaches to the sociology of reproduction, and core methodologies in this field. Other substantive modules can be chosen in consultation with the student's supervisor or the course director.

Topics to be covered include: core theories of gender, reproduction and kinship; the reproductive division of labour; social reproduction and the meaning of the 'mode of reproduction'; the sociology of new reproductive technologies; reproduction and globalisation; reproductive rights; media representation of reproduction and visual cultures of reproduction.

Background readings will be drawn from feminist science studies, the history of science and medicine, and the anthropology of reproduction as well as the sociology of reproduction.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hssompsrp

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the programme students should have:

- an advanced understanding of current sociological research in selected topics;
- the skills necessary to conduct independent social research and experience in their use;
- an ability to apply and develop modern social theory with respect to empirical topics;
- a deeper understanding of their chosen specialist area, including command of the literature and current research;
- the ability to situate their own research within current developments in the field.


The course offers teaching on Social Theory, Substantive modules and Research Methods. Students work towards a written dissertation supported by supervisions and a dissertation workshop.

Students receive written feedback on each essay and the dissertation. Feedback is also given during the dissertation workshop on the direction and progress of the dissertation research.


Students write a dissertation of not less than 15,000 and not more than 20,000 words on a subject approved by the Degree Committee.

Students write one methods essay of not less than 2,500 and not more than 3,000 words (or prescribed course work) and two substantive essays of not less than 4,000 and not more than 5,000 words.


Students are encouraged to proceed to the Faculty's PhD programme, provided they reach a high level of achievement in all parts of the course. MPhil students who would like to continue to the PhD would normally need to have a final mark of at least 70% overall and 70% for the dissertation.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

The Department of Sociology holds ESRC funding awards. Sociology is a recognised Doctoral Training Centre pathway toward a PhD. Therefore candidates for the MPhil in Sociology (Sociology of Reproduction) can apply for 1+3 ESRC funding.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in Sociology (The Sociology of Reproduction) page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK II.i Honours Degree. We require a previous academic background in sociology or related subject areas such as politics and economics. This course is not suitable for people new to the discipline.

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