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MA Sociology

Start date
1 year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

£9,810 f/t (Home students)
£20,430 f/t (International students)
More Fees and funding details.

Why study Sociology?

The 21st Century has witnessed rapid social changes, in terms of our personal relationships, communities, politics and the technology we use. Our MA Sociology degree offers the tools to understand the drivers of this change as well as the challenges these present to our societies.

Sociology provides distinct insights into the contested character of contemporary processes of global, national and local transformations, and how these transformations are driven by and reflected in the complexity of individual identities and allegiances.

The MA Sociology programme has a strong theoretical core, which critically examines the major sociological traditions as tools for understanding contemporary social transformations. We will take these traditions and combine them with cutting edge theoretical frames to explain social phenomenon that are reshaping our societies, such as: the rise of new technologies and social media; the rise of new forms of populist politics; widening socio economic inequalities; increasing forms of individualisation.

The programme will appeal to those who want to better understand complex shifts and transformations within our societies. Alongside social theory, the MA Sociology programme offers a suite of optional modules that examine a range of social issues and divisions, such as crime, migration, poverty and inequality, race and ethnicity. You will approach these issues by pursuing distinctively sociological questions of the relationships between individuals, groups, institutions and wider social processes; the dynamics of stability and change and the distribution of power. This will be paralleled by training in the analysis of empirical sociological research, the design of research programmes and the methods for collecting, interpreting and presenting sociological data.

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Core Modules

  • Transforming Identities (20 credits)
  • Transforming Societies (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits) 

Optional Modules* (80 credits from the list below)

  • The Third Sector and Social Policy (20 credits)
  • Migration, Super diversity, Policy and Practice (20 credits)
  • Policy Futures: Theories and Concepts in International Policymaking (20 credits)
  • Globalisation, International Migration & Citizenship (20 credits)
  • Crime and Social Harm (20 credits)
  • Sociology of Race and Racism (20 credits)
  • Applied Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis (20 credits)
  • Gendering Migration and Diaspora (20 credits)
  • Global Policy Institutions and Networks  (20 credits)
  • Migration and Development (20 credits)
  • Policy Evaluation (20 credits)
  • Changing Attitudes to Social Issues (20 credits)
  • Philosophies of Welfare: creating new societies? (20 credits)
  • Poverty, Wealth and Inequality (20 credits) 

* The optional modules listed  for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices


Fees 2022-2023

Code: 571D Full-time: £9,810 (Home/EU students)
Code: 571D Full-time: £20,430 (International students)

Learn more about fees and funding.

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

A postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK will provide up to £11,570 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas including part-time and distance learning.

Scholarships and studentships

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the Department directly or contact the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system.

How To Apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

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Our Standard Requirements

For entry onto this programme you will normally have an undergraduate degree of at least a 2:1. Applicants with a 2:2 degree classification will be considered on a case by case basis, if you have extensive related work experience.

Speakers of English as a second language will be required to hold an IELTs 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each band or equivalent qualification.

International Requirements

The mission of the  Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology in the  School of Social Policy is not just to ‘understand the world’, but to also ‘change it.’ Consequently we are at the forefront of cutting edge social science research that informs and influences public debate.

Our achievements

In turning this mission into practice, we are proud of our many achievements.  Our academics are recognised leaders in their field, working alongside UK government departments and supra national organisations, such as the European Commission and United Nations to bring about positive social change.  More than 2/3rds of our research is rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in terms of its rigour, significance and originality, and we have extensive international links with like-minded partners at Harvard, Melbourne, Peking, Vancouver, Seoul and beyond.

Why choose to study in the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology?

In the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, we believe that our research should inform the delivery of our teaching.  This means that are you will be taught by those who are involved in cutting edge research and who write the publications that you will study. You will be taught primarily by academic experts from the Department’s ‘Social Theory and Social Transformation’ research theme, which carries out high quality research to make sense of societal change.   Our research investigates global, national and local transformations, the patterns of social relationships and interactions and the culture of everyday life. 

Teaching and learning takes place across a variety of forms, including traditional lecture, interactive lectures, small group seminars, computer lab based sessions. We also believe that our teaching should be delivered not only through the classroom but through the social world itself. In particular being located in the city of Birmingham, one of the most diverse cities in the UK and the youngest city in Europe (largest percentage of the population under 24), the MA Sociology offers access to a ‘social laboratory’, that brings the issues that you study alive. A number of our modules utilise field trips and we have extra-curricular activities that offer trips to Birmingham City Council and the Houses of Parliament. 

Your degree will predominantly be assessed through a range of coursework, such as traditional essay, policy reports and dissertation - currently two of our modules utilise written examination as a mode of assessment. You will be offered the opportunity across core modules to complete formative assessments and to receive feedback which can be used to develop your writing style, structuring and critical reasoning, without the mark carrying into your degree classification. 

This programme will equip you with critical reasoning and analytical skills that are valued across a range careers, including social and market research, policy and campaigns, the media, charities and the voluntary sector as well as providing a basis for doctoral study.

Careers Network

The Careers Network provides a dedicated service to help you find work experience or internship opportunities outside of your studies, either part-time during term-time, or over the summer vacation. Right from the start of your degree you will have access to our interactive careers service, through which many regional, national and international employers advertise their vacancies, and your college internship officers will go out and about to find vacancies that will be a useful addition to your CV. 

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