Sociology MA

Postgraduate (12 months full-time, part-time)

Cambridge

January, September

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time (September starts); 15 months full-time (January starts).

Overview

Gain an in-depth understanding of the latest issues and debates in sociology. Hone your research skills, and develop expertise that will prepare you for a career in social policy, social work, local government, public service and more.

Full description

Careers

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 & assessment

Core modules

  • This module will address key debates in contemporary Sociology, through the in-depth exploration of exemplar topics that currently preoccupy sociological scholars, thinkers, and practitioners. You will attend three sets of combined lecture-seminars, each focused on a distinct topic with accompanying assessment. The topics will be chosen to reflect current and cutting edge issues, but will also link to the broader context the discipline of Sociology. You will be assessed through 3 pieces of analytical writing, undertaken through the trimester, covering each topic, and comprising a total word count of 6000 words. Through this, you will be encouraged to engage with module content from the start of the module delivery, and hone your sociological reading, analytical and writing skills.
  • In this module you'll gain the research skills and techniques needed both to critically evaluate the literature you'll be using in your course and to put into practice in your own dissertation. We'll explore the methodologies and methods applied in contemporary social science research to enable you to select an appropriate range for your own needs. You'll have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of methods so that you'll fully understood them and be able to adapt them creatively for your own projects. The module will place research methods in a wider framework of social research strategies at a postgraduate level. We'll examine the research design options available to you at Masters level and explore thoroughly the issues involved in planning a research project and formulating research questions. With the aid of library expertise, you'll have access to and understand current tools for reviewing and researching existing literature. Particular attention will be paid to ethical principles and the politics of social research. A central part of the module will address the practicalities of employing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Computer-assisted analysis methods will be introduced.
  • This 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.

Optional modules (subject to availability)

  • In this module you will explore the sociology of identity and inequality as it relates to belonging, rootedness, and mobility. You will examine key concepts of nationalism, transnationalism, and diaspora and traces changing debates about their meanings over time. We will consider the varied and changing structures, politics and understandings of self, nation, place, and community. Notions of home and belonging will be investigated at different spatial scales, interlocking identities at the national scale with those of everyday life in families and neighbourhoods. During the module you will be supported to research case studies that allow appreciation of both the specificity of particular settings and also the ways in which these are part of shared, global developments.
  • This module considers the relationship between globalisation and social welfare and policy at a micro, mezzo and macro level. It considers how globalisation impacts on social welfare provision and policy planning in different countries and societal contexts, from a political, social, economic, technological and educational viewpoint. We will evaluate and critically analyse whether there are universal values and a universal knowledge base which can be relied upon to provide a response towards overcoming global problems, or whether they are, or need to be, culturally and locally specific. This module also looks at how individuals, social networks and organisations deal with providing support for those in greatest need and how this can be translated to work within an international arena from both a statutory and voluntary/non-governmental organisation perspective. Finally, we will consider the role of the social welfare and social policy worker within a globalised world, and critically debate universal standards of practice and transferable skills and adaptation.

Assessment

Modules are subject to change and availability.

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.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

At the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, we believe in thinking critically about the past, present and future to challenge perceptions and better understand communities and people.

With expertise from gender issues to literary analysis to exploring how the past has shaped our modern world, all our staff members are active researchers. This is reflected in our teaching, allowing us to support our students with the latest theories and practices, as well as essential employability advice.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2022/23 (full-time, per year)

£9,500

UK students starting 2022/23 (part-time, per year)

£4,750

International students starting 2022/23 (full-time, per year)

£15,000

International students starting 2022/23 (part-time, per year)

£7,500

UK students starting 2023/24 (full-time, per year)

£10,000

UK students starting 2023/24 (part-time, per year)

£5,000

International students starting 2023/24 (full-time, per year)

£15,800

International students starting 2023/24 (part-time, per year)

£8,750

Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us. Find out more about paying your fees.

International students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships and bursaries, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. These include an Alumni Scholarship, worth 20% off fees for ARU graduates.

International students

As well as a number of scholarships, we offer an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@aru.ac.uk for further information.

You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting a course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

Teaching at ARU

We offer face-to-face campus teaching (with the exception of Distance Learning courses), supported by our established online learning systems, which provide additional support for individual study and engagement. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information.

In the event that there are restrictions that are put into place due to the pandemic by the government - we will endeavour to retain face to face teaching as much as possible but will respond accordingly to the restrictions placed on the University.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Check the standard entry requirements for IELTS requirements for this course.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 686868

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 683680

Enquire online