- Develop research skills for careers in social policy, social work, local government and public service
- Explore specialist areas such as modern crime control, nationalism or nature and society on our optional modules
- Get support from research-active staff with interests that reflect the latest developments in sociology
- Attend and contribute to research events such as seminars, symposia and conferences
Our Master's course will help deepen your knowledge of the theoretical and substantive aspects of contemporary sociology. You’ll develop expertise in the principles and application of social research methodology, and examine key debates and issues like progress and reason, genetic structuralism and the role of modernity.
Our optional modules will also let you explore more specialist areas such as modern crime control, nationalism or nature and society.
This course will prepare you for work in many fields, including human resources, social policy, social work, educational development, community development, counselling, local government, the civil service, public services and charities.
Or you might decide to continue on to a research degree, like our PhD Sociology.
Modules & assessmentCore modules
- Contemporary Social TheoryYour focus in this module will be on two key debates in social theory. The first is the structure-agency debate which asks whether social action exists merely as (the often complex) activities of individuals or it exists sui generis, as a product of social structure and an object in its own right. You will look at four different attempts to reconcile the debate: Anthony Giddens's structuration theory; Pierre Bourdieu's genetic structuralism; the critical realisms of Roy Bhaskar and Margaret Archer; and the neopragmatisms of Richard Rorty and Patrick Baert. Your second focus of attention is the debate over the role of modernity and its ideals of progress and reason, starting with the Frankfurt School and looking at post-modern social theory as well as ‘late’ modernity and concepts like Ulrich Beck's risk society thesis; Anthony Giddens's 'reflexive individual'; or Zygmunt Bauman's 'liquid modernity.' Your assessment for this module will be the submission of two 3,500 words essays.
- Postgraduate Research MethodsThis module will provide you with the research skills and techniques needed both to critically evaluate the literature you will be using in your Masters course, and to put into practice in your own Dissertation. It will explore the methodologies and methods applied in contemporary social science research to enable you to select an appropriate range for your own needs.
- Major ProjectThis module will support you in the preparation and submission of a Masters dissertation, allowing you to explore in-depth a particular topic that reflects your academic interest.
Depending on the module, you’ll show your progress through a combination of essays, presentations, case studies and portfolio work, as well as a Major Project at the end of the course.