About This Course
This degree is intended for students with a general interest in sociology who wish to update, extend and deepen their knowledge and understand current developments in the field.
The programme aims to provide students with opportunities to expand their knowledge of the discipline by engaging with contemporary research and by undertaking historical and comparative study.
MA in Sociology; Postgraduate Diploma in Sociology; Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Social Sciences
What will you study on this course?
Research Design and Strategy: The module is organized in terms of (a) principles of research design, (b) issues of data collection and (c) data analysis. Topics covered include, e.g., the definition and formulation of research problems and hypotheses, the relationships between and the rationale for using particular research methods, the relationships between empirical research and theory generation and theory testing, different forms of sampling, and potential bias in the interpretation of research findings. Students are taught how to access and use secondary data, construct and critique questionnaires and interviews, how to interpret measurement error and missing data, and how to record data from experimental and quasi-experimental research. Training in the use of SPSS is an integral part of the module and takes place alongside the sessions dealing with surveys, questionnaire design, structured interviews and data analysis.
Research Process and Meaning: The module provides postgraduate level training in the main varieties of qualitative and mixed methods research in the social sciences, including basic literacy in qualitative data analysis. Locating the research process in debates about situated knowledge, reflexivity and subjectivity, show how research design is unavoidably grounded in assumptions about the nature of the phenomena to be investigated and how researchers are implicated in the things they describe.
Students are taught how to generate qualitative data and how to apply a variety of analysis techniques. The use of ‘mixed’ methods is addressed through examples of text analysis, visual interpretation and online social research. Training in the use of NVivo qualitative data analysis software is an integral part of the module and takes place alongside the sessions dealing with analysing conversation, interviews, observations, ethnographic accounts, texts and visuals.
The dissertation is undertaken on completion of the taught modules. It is valued at 60 credits (one-third of the MA degree) and will be around 20,000 words in length.
Part-time students in employment may choose a topic related to their profession and an area in which they wish to develop further expertise and specialisation. Under guidance of a dissertation tutor, students will undertake their MA dissertation work independently on a topic of their choice. This may be a piece of empirical research including primary or secondary data analysis or a theoretical dissertation.
• Transnational Crime
• Key Issues in Criminology
• Comparative & International Criminal Justice
• Health Policies
• Key Issues in Social Policy
• The Inner City
A first degree at 2.ii standard or higher (or equivalent) in Sociology or a related subject is required. Related subjects may include, but are not limited to, Social Policy, Sociolinguistics, Political Science, Social Anthropology. Applications from candidates with professional qualifications and/or appropriate experience will also be considered on an individual basis.
International students whose first language is not English: An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5).
Graduates will find employment in a range of sectors valuing critical theoretical, analytical and methods skills. Further studies form another avenue, including PhD and subsequent jobs in teaching and research. An MA in Sociology can lead to working in politics and the media, or for business and social enterprises.